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View Full Version : Uke Minutes 46 - How to hold Barre Chords



anaka
05-16-2009, 01:32 AM
Hey all you cool kids of the Underground! It's Uke Minutes time!

Uke Minutes 46 - How to hold Bar Chords (http://ukuleleunderground.com/2009/05/16/uke-minutes-46-how-to-hold-barre-bar-chords/) (yup, we really are on episode 46! ... that's waaaay past 28. dude.)

So, an ukulele player walks into a barre ...

How'd you guys like this one? I know a lot of you have been mentioning bar chord frustration and asking about them - did this vid help at all? Aldrine was trying to think of the best way to explain the thumb placement concept. He came up with talking about ducks.

Does it make sense? Do you have your own special tips/tricks for holding barre chords? Did you notice the real duck in the background of the video? Post your comments below!

ScottieUke
05-16-2009, 02:31 AM
I for one fit right into the noob category that is learning most chords for the first time... Although barring four strings isn't quite as hard as six; I still find that my E string settles into the "nook" of my knuckle, which leaves the string sounding muted. While using my middle finger as support does sometimes help, having it available for shaping the rest of some chords is often more useful.

What are some techniques out there that can help me (and others like me) with keeping those strings barred!?
Keep it Real!
///S

spots
05-16-2009, 07:26 AM
I thought that the text on the main page (below the video) contained an important piece of information not covered in the vid.

The text mentioned that when barring a chord one needs to place the thumb under the neck of the uke, rather than craddling the neck in the crook betweeen the index and thumb. This may be old hat to experienced players, but it's helpful information for new players. Making that transition of thumb placement smooth and quick takes practice.

Sometimes I find it quicker and easier to press the thumb up under the headstock rather than the neck.

Work those fingers out to build strength! Something like a "Grip Master" is great for this. A duck shadow puppet "bill press"!

ukemonkey
05-16-2009, 07:55 AM
I for one fit right into the noob category that is learning most chords for the first time... Although barring four strings isn't quite as hard as six; I still find that my E string settles into the "nook" of my knuckle, which leaves the string sounding muted. While using my middle finger as support does sometimes help, having it available for shaping the rest of some chords is often more useful.

What are some techniques out there that can help me (and others like me) with keeping those strings barred!?
Keep it Real!
///S

I've had the same problem, sometimes it helps to roll your finger slightly over to the side so you are pressing with a flatter or straighter surface. Other than that it's just shuffling your finger so that the strings avoid the creases! keep trying and you'll get it (i spent ages avoiding barres -but not bars- but you only learn by doing).
hope this helps
ukemonkey

ukemonkey
05-16-2009, 07:58 AM
Oh and has Aldrine got a different uke on the go?

8890
05-16-2009, 08:24 AM
A nice song for practicing barre chords is Queen's "Good Company" (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2871). The first or second fret is barred throughout the verse and chorus. The variation suggested in post two is another sequence of nice, barred chords further up the neck.

Brown
05-16-2009, 03:31 PM
Nice vid, Anyone have any suggestions on how to make them hurt less? I've been playing guitar for a few years, have no problem with the bar chords same on the uke but since the uke is smaller and can't counter the pressure with my right arm I have to squeeze with my thumb. I'll start playing some all bar chord songs and my hand will start to hurt really quick because of how hard I have to press with my thumb. I think my problem is I'm squeezing too hard because I love to release bars to mute them and kinda do a reggae strum by raking the muted chord instead of chunking, so I'm constantly squeezing and releasing. I think I just solved it but any info will help, thanks.

anaka
05-16-2009, 04:13 PM
Hey guys! Nice, we got some pretty awesome and helpful comments going in this one! Once you get the proper hand and finger placement down for barre chords, it's mainly a matter of practicing the switch between regular chords and barre chords - once you get that, you're golden!

For this one:

I still find that my E string settles into the "nook" of my knuckle, which leaves the string sounding muted.
Usually a good placement for the pointer finger when barring all four strings goes like this - the finger has 3 main "knuckles" or points where it bends; one at the base of the finger (knuckle 1), one in the middle of the finger (knuckle 2), and one towards the tip of the finger (knuckle 3). Bar all four strings and place your knuckle 3 so it rests BETWEEN your C and E strings (the two middle strings). This should bring your knuckle 2 just below the A string and out of the way.

Thanks everyone - Keep the great comments and tips commin'!

CoLmes
05-16-2009, 07:45 PM
lol Aldrine's face during the shadow puppet routine was hilarious.. it's like in his mind i'm going "yes, i'm in the middle of a park making duck shadow puppets with my ukulele. FML"

good minute as always, good strategy :D

SuperSecretBETA
05-16-2009, 11:37 PM
Oh and has Aldrine got a different uke on the go?

I believe he's playing the Kamoa Select Spruce Tenor.

Daionsavage
05-21-2009, 02:05 AM
Work those fingers out to build strength! Something like a "Grip Master" is great for this.

:old::old:
maybe a bit... but you generally get better at something by practicing just that. I got myself a bunch of grip masters, power balls and rubber rings to get stronger hands when I started out on the upright... I overdid it and ended up with tendonitis in my hands and wrists. My playing got a lot cleaner and better once I threw those gadgets into the closet and practiced bass instead of excersizing my hands... and the tendonitis disappeared too! :)

I'm not saying that excersizing your muscles is bad, but the best way to improve on ukulele is to play ukulele, Holding barre chords is more about technique than about strength. That goes for the bass as well :cool:

ScottieUke
05-21-2009, 11:42 AM
My thanks goes out to Ukemonkey and Anaka!
Those are some awesome-helpful tips. Im working on the knuckle ideas and "thumbing" just repeatedly making barre chords and practicing away!
Keep it Real!
///S