PDA

View Full Version : Bb is impossible, I can't barre!



Youkalaylee
12-24-2012, 04:30 AM
Really need to learn this chord for a song I wanna learn. I've read the tips on ukulele hunt but keeping my finger straight is hard when im only barring two strings.

After 5 mins of trying I've hurt my wrist and my finger. Whenever I try and barre my finger ends up bending in all sorts of ways and won't keep straight or still. I can sometimes get the two strings to ring clearly but then when I try and fret the other strings in the chord I can't hold it.

Any tips please? Feel like I've hit a wall here :(

ukeeku
12-24-2012, 04:35 AM
I do not barre it. I used my pointer finger to hold down the E and A
Like this picture
http://i.ehow.com/images/a02/7d/83/play-bb-ukulele-1.5-800x800.jpg

GKK
12-24-2012, 04:35 AM
Keep trying, after awhile you'll be able to form the chord.

I don't bar the first fret, I just use the tip of my index finger to press the 1st and 2nd strings down.

Youkalaylee
12-24-2012, 04:39 AM
Keep trying, after awhile you'll be able to form the chord.

I don't bar the first fret, I just use the tip of my index finger to press the 1st and 2nd strings down.

Oh yeah, that's what I meant *embarassed face*

The ukulele for dummies book referred to it as a barre. I can't get my finger to hold down 2 strings.

foxisaac
12-24-2012, 04:42 AM
Often you can get away with a Bbmaj7 3210

wallyboy
12-24-2012, 04:58 AM
if you use pointer and middle finger instead of barre it might be easier,
this is a must to learn it is in a lot of songs, i can do it clean but slow,
keep going it will come in time

vanflynn
12-24-2012, 05:03 AM
If you can play the same chord shape up the neck, say 5433 or 6544, with out too much problem then your strings may be set too high at the nut.

Try that and see what happens.

Youkalaylee
12-24-2012, 05:06 AM
If you can play the same chord shape up the neck, say 5433 or 6544, with out too much problem then your strings may be set too high at the nut.

Try that and see what happens.

Nope no difference, I can play the E string most of the time clean its just the A string that never seems to sound dull.

blue_knight_usa
12-24-2012, 05:15 AM
Just practice with the 1+2 string and get a clean sound (don't worry about what chord that is) and then once you get that down. Press, strum, lift up, strum, press strum and repeat. Then after you are comfortable, add just the 3 string and do the same excercise. Then add the 4th after that. I have learned some difficult chords through this method and it does work. You just have to give it time and not get frustrated. Then once you have the chord down, practice Bb to G transition just to get your figures used to moving back and forth out of that shape using at least three fingers. Eventually you will develop muscle memory. It just takes times. Of course it always takes 100x longer than you want ;-)

Cheers!


Nope no difference, I can play the E string most of the time clean its just the A string that never seems to sound dull.

HBolte
12-24-2012, 05:23 AM
Assignment: Do it like the photo above 200 times. You'll be an expert after that!

KamakOzzie
12-24-2012, 05:27 AM
Gerald Ross has a good explanation here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YafhDexY6I .
Starts at 2:40. He is showing a C chord, but if you move it two frets back toward the nut you have your Bb chord. Might be worth a try.

Bill

kirbo
12-24-2012, 05:38 AM
Try rotating your index finger away from you and you may have an easier time. I don't know how else to explain it.

BlueLatitude
12-24-2012, 05:44 AM
You can try moving your wrist around into various positions too. I rotate my hand a bit toward the headstock to grab the chord...I think.... *runs to try* Yeah, my index finger is not quite parallel to the fret.

philrab66
12-24-2012, 07:12 AM
Really need to learn this chord for a song I wanna learn. I've read the tips on ukulele hunt but keeping my finger straight is hard when im only barring two strings.

After 5 mins of trying I've hurt my wrist and my finger. Whenever I try and barre my finger ends up bending in all sorts of ways and won't keep straight or still. I can sometimes get the two strings to ring clearly but then when I try and fret the other strings in the chord I can't hold it.

Any tips please? Feel like I've hit a wall here :(
Use 1st and 2nd finger on E and A string.

itsme
12-24-2012, 09:14 AM
Put your index finger on the first fret of the E string. Then kinda rock it backwards, bending the finger downwards at the first joint so that you are covering both strings.

Freeda
12-24-2012, 09:21 AM
Are you trying to barre two with your fingertip or first two knuckles? Or are you trying to barre the whole thing? I find it's much easier if I use the whooooole index finger. Like all 3 joints.

Hippie Dribble
12-24-2012, 09:25 AM
no shortcuts unfortunately. It really does come down to practice, more practice and then a bit more. It will start to feel natural after a week of endless repetition and eventually your fingers will move into position instinctively. It is a bit of a hard and frustrating road between now and then though.

one other suggestion for you though: why not try barre the whole 1st fret with your index finger to prevent the weird feeling of only the first 2 strings, at least that way you can straighten it right out instead of bending it.

Youkalaylee
12-24-2012, 09:33 AM
no shortcuts unfortunately. It really does come down to practice, more practice and then a bit more. It will start to feel natural after a week of endless repetition and eventually your fingers will move into position instinctively. It is a bit of a hard and frustrating road between now and then though.

one other suggestion for you though: why not try barre the whole 1st fret with your index finger to prevent the weird feeling of only the first 2 strings, at least that way you can straighten it right out instead of bending it.

But then the chord wouldn't work?

Oh do you mean just do it as an exercise?

Youkalaylee
12-24-2012, 09:34 AM
Are you trying to barre two with your fingertip or first two knuckles? Or are you trying to barre the whole thing? I find it's much easier if I use the whooooole index finger. Like all 3 joints.

How could I fit my finger just over the 2 strings if I use all of it?

Thanks to everyone for all the tips though, I guess 90% of it is practice.... Like most things, lol :)

Freeda
12-24-2012, 09:36 AM
How could I fit my finger just over the 2 strings if I use all of it?

Thanks to everyone for all the tips though, I guess 90% of it is practice.... Like most things, lol :)

You bar the all four strings with your index finger. Then use the middle and ring finger to complete the chord. This is a moveable chord shape so it is a really important one to learn!


Okay, here we go. The meatiest joint does the work of holding down the two critical strings as I'm barring all four strings.

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg176/queenfreeda/1356381702.jpg

Then drop down the other two fingers and you're in business.

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg176/queenfreeda/1356381709.jpg

I hope that helps!

Youkalaylee
12-24-2012, 11:35 AM
You bar the all four strings with your index finger. Then use the middle and ring finger to complete the chord. This is a moveable chord shape so it is a really important one to learn!


Okay, here we go. The meatiest joint does the work of holding down the two critical strings as I'm barring all four strings.

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg176/queenfreeda/1356381702.jpg

Then drop down the other two fingers and you're in business.

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg176/queenfreeda/1356381709.jpg

I hope that helps!

Ooh thanks that makes sense now! I've tried barring all the strings and I can do get all strings to sound cleanly and it feels a lot easier than just barring two. For a brief moment I managed to fret one of the other 2 strings and the sound was almost there then my fingers gave way. But progress! Yes!

I've decided to give myself the goal of mastering this within a week. And I'm also gonna be carrying a stress ball around the house in my left hand to try and build some strength up. :D this is why I love UU I would never have thought of just barring all the strings!

Freeda
12-24-2012, 11:37 AM
Ooh thanks that makes sense now! I've tried barring all the strings and I can do get all strings to sound cleanly and it feels a lot easier than just barring two. For a brief moment I managed to fret one of the other 2 strings and the sound was almost there then my fingers gave way. But progress! Yes!

I've decided to give myself the goal of mastering this within a week. And I'm also gonna be carrying a stress ball around the house in my left hand to try and build some strength up. :D this is why I love UU I would never have thought of just barring all the strings!
No problemo, dear. The finger strength will come. I'm working on developing my wimpy pinky finger!!

Youkalaylee
12-24-2012, 11:44 AM
No problemo, dear. The finger strength will come. I'm working on developing my wimpy pinky finger!!

Thanks again :) lol I've been trying to do fingerpicking exercises each day. I can't even open a jar with my right hand no wonder I can't do barre chords with my left!

hibiscus
12-24-2012, 06:39 PM
The members of this board are so responsive and helpful~ thank you!

mm stan
12-25-2012, 01:06 AM
try putting your index finger over the E and A strings in the first fret at a 45 degree angle...look at first picture post...
strength will improve, but will take longer than 1 week...hee hee (pun 1 weak) Good Luck and Happy Strummings..

Mercury
12-25-2012, 01:24 PM
no shortcuts unfortunately. It really does come down to practice, more practice and then a bit more. It will start to feel natural after a week of endless repetition and eventually your fingers will move into position instinctively. It is a bit of a hard and frustrating road between now and then though.

one other suggestion for you though: why not try barre the whole 1st fret with your index finger to prevent the weird feeling of only the first 2 strings, at least that way you can straighten it right out instead of bending it.
I have to agree, only practice will get it right and do try barring with your whole finger extended across the fretboard, this was easier for me starting out with this chord shape. You will probably find that you'll eventually alternate the fingering to suit the chord progression and or strumming pattern, so work on developing both.

~dave~~wave~
12-25-2012, 03:26 PM
Really need to learn this chord for a song I wanna learn...

If you "need to" and "wanna" badly enough, then you'll eventually master it.

Has anybody suggested that in the meantime you transpose the song up two steps so you can play a C, or down one step so you can play an A?

There are hundreds of thousands of happy, non-frustrated uke players who only are competent playing in "the people's key" of C. ;)

NightStar
12-27-2012, 09:51 AM
I have the same problem...so frustrating! I will try the below as it sound like a good way to train the fingers. At the moment I just play the E C G strings and only strum those 3 strings. It's a patchy fix but I know I eventually have to train my (older) fingers to play it properly. :cool:


Just practice with the 1+2 string and get a clean sound (don't worry about what chord that is) and then once you get that down. Press, strum, lift up, strum, press strum and repeat. Then after you are comfortable, add just the 3 string and do the same excercise. Then add the 4th after that. I have learned some difficult chords through this method and it does work. You just have to give it time and not get frustrated. Then once you have the chord down, practice Bb to G transition just to get your figures used to moving back and forth out of that shape using at least three fingers. Eventually you will develop muscle memory. It just takes times. Of course it always takes 100x longer than you want ;-)

Cheers!

NightStar
12-27-2012, 10:13 AM
Ah, look at those lovely long slim fingers! I think I have identified my problem: shorter fatter fingers that don't bend LOL. But then Iz had even fatter fingers ... so I guess It's just practice, practice.... :D.
Lots of good tips here.


You bar the all four strings with your index finger. Then use the middle and ring finger to complete the chord. This is a moveable chord shape so it is a really important one to learn!


Okay, here we go. The meatiest joint does the work of holding down the two critical strings as I'm barring all four strings.

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg176/queenfreeda/1356381702.jpg

Then drop down the other two fingers and you're in business.

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg176/queenfreeda/1356381709.jpg

I hope that helps!

Pueo
12-27-2012, 10:20 AM
I have two pieces of advice:
1. DO NOT LOOK AT YOUR LEFT HAND! Try to hold the ukulele with the fretboard as vertical as possible. This will make extending your finger for the barre much easier. Many people are trying to watch their left hand make the chord, and so they tip the fingerboard back so they can see. STOP IT! Your wrist will thank you.

2. RELAX. You are probably pressing way harder than you need to be to make a clean tone. This is probably making it more difficult for you to fret the chord, and will fatigue your hand much more quickly.

It will get easier with practice, stick with it!

Newportlocal
12-27-2012, 11:17 AM
Try playing Evil Ways by Santana. After you do that adding one more finger will be easy.:D
http://www.scorpexuke.com/songs/Evil_Ways.pdf.php

Ukelix
12-27-2012, 01:38 PM
just play it with a straight finger as a full barree, the same way you would play a Bbm or Bb7. No reason not to full-barree it. :)

Youkalaylee
12-27-2012, 01:39 PM
I can get a clean chord sound doing Bb! Yes, it seems to ache my wrist and my forefinger is now so sore its difficult to type this, but I did it for a good 20 seconds! Progress again!

The tips on this thread have really helped, as well as the messages of support. Thanks guys.

vanflynn
12-27-2012, 02:20 PM
Congrats! That is a big breakthrough. It opens up lots of chord options up the neck.

Try some transitions in and out of Bb, like F, C, Dm. That may help find your comfortable version of the chord.

Newportlocal
12-27-2012, 02:30 PM
I can get a clean chord sound doing Bb! Yes, it seems to ache my wrist and my forefinger is now so sore its difficult to type this, but I did it for a good 20 seconds! Progress again!

The tips on this thread have really helped, as well as the messages of support. Thanks guys.

Congratulations! That is a great breakthrough for you.
It just comes down to practice,practice,practice.
Everyone is working on something. I was recently working on making my transitions to E quicker. For some reason forming it was bothering me. I have gotten much faster and better with lots of practice. I like doing spider exercises. They seem to be really helping all my chording.

WeAreTheCosmos
12-27-2012, 06:23 PM
One of the first songs I learned was Better Together by Jack Johnson... It features a bunch of chords and a few variations of this one, including sliding while holding this chord, check it out for practice.

bobamos
12-27-2012, 06:31 PM
I am new to ukes but have played guitar for over 40 years. My approach to guitar as well as anything in life, is to never shy away from something because it is difficult to do. If ANYONE can do it i certainly can too.. So... just keep trying and do not give up! You will be so happy when you achieve your goal.

Newportlocal
12-27-2012, 06:33 PM
One of the first songs I learned was Better Together by Jack Johnson... It features a bunch of chords and a few variations of this one, including sliding while holding this chord, check it out for practice.

Do you have a link to a PDF for the sliding version you are referring to?

Ukelix
12-28-2012, 05:33 AM
it seems to ache my wrist and my forefinger is now so sore its difficult to type this,

put your thumb right where your pointer finger is, just on the opposite side of the neck, so you can apply the pressure out of your hand. the wrist should be relaxed at all times. hope this helps.

captain-janeway
04-10-2015, 10:36 AM
That's what I was thinking as well. My fingers end where her fingertip joint begins.

Louis0815
04-15-2015, 01:42 AM
Pueo already mentioned two very important success factors, let me add a third one: Posture in general.
Personally, I find it extremely helpful for this kind of barre chords to have the neck pointing upwards (approx 45) with the headstock roughly at the same height as my left shoulder. Thus you don't need to bend your left wrist too much.

Hippie Dribble
04-16-2015, 03:56 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=U77nkOf7GJ8

Icelander53
04-16-2015, 04:39 AM
Oh yeah, that's what I meant *embarassed face*

The ukulele for dummies book referred to it as a barre. I can't get my finger to hold down 2 strings.

I was the same and eventually I started getting it. Maybe a progression from Gm7 to Bb. I learned to play Groovin by the Rascals and it uses F and Gm7 in most of the verses and after playing that for awhile the Bb got a ton easier. But I still struggle myself with Bb and not so much a problem with the E and A string but just moving to a Bb from other chords. That's still very challenging. But challenges are good right?

GinnyT11
04-16-2015, 07:43 AM
Practice on this.
Here's what it sounds like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFvXvfUF-Co

I'm Into Something Good
Gerry Goffin and Carole King

(F)Woke up this (Bb)mornin' (F)feelin' (Bb)fine
(F)There’s somethin' (Bb)special (F)on my (F7)mind.
(Bb)Last night I met a new girl in the neighbor-(F)hood—oh yeah.
(C7)Somethin' tells me (Bb)I'm into somethin' (F)good.
(C7)Somethin' tells me (Bb)I'm into somethin' (F)good.

(F)She's the kind of (Bb)girl who's (F)not too (Bb)shy,
(F)And I can (Bb)tell I'm (F)her kind of (F7)guy.
(Bb)She danced close to me, like I hoped she (F)would.
(C7)Somethin' tells me (Bb)I'm into somethin' (F)good.
(C7)Somethin’ tells me (Bb)I'm into somethin' (F)good.

(C7)We only danced for a minute or two,
but she (F)stuck close to me the whole night through.
(C7)Can I be fallin' in love?
(G7)She's ev’rything I’ve been dreamin' (C7)of! Bb C7

(F)I walked her (Bb)home, and she (F)held my (Bb)hand
I (F)knew it wouldn't (Bb)be just a (F)one-night (F7)stand.
(Bb)So I asked to see her next week and she told me I (F)could.
(C7)Somethin' tells me (Bb)I'm into somethin' (F)good.
(C7)Somethin' tells me (Bb)I'm into somethin' (F)good.
To somethin’ (C7)good, oh yeah...somethin’ (Bb)good…
To somethin’ (C7)good, oh yeah somethin’ (F)good.

Icelander53
04-16-2015, 12:55 PM
Hey that was a fun song. Lots of Bb to bug you.

mm stan
04-16-2015, 08:54 PM
If you notice when some players don't bar the first fret e and a strings parallel and their fingers at and angle , it's usually for more comfort. Try it
Also get a setup on your uke, you nut may be high and it makes it harder on the first fret as you need more pressure. Good luck and happy strummings :)

Ukejenny
04-17-2015, 04:39 AM
Took me quite a long time to get to Bb. I remember going from F to Bb over and over, trying to lay my index finger down to get the A string fretted. After millions of tries, over weeks and weeks, my fingers finally got there. Repetition of good practice methods will make it happen.

mikelz777
04-17-2015, 05:34 AM
Learning Bb was a necessity for me because it shows up all the time when I transpose a song to fit into my vocal range. I do the partial barre version where I barre the E and A strings and fret the other two. I found it quicker to move to and from the Bb that way.

mikelz777
04-17-2015, 07:21 AM
Try this version of the song with even more transitions to and from Bb if you want the practice. (additions and/or changes made in bold)

(F)Woke up this (Bb)mornin' (F)feelin' (Bb)fine
(F)There’s somethin' (Bb)special (F)on my (F7)mind.
(Bb)Last night I (Eb) met a new (Bb) girl in the neighbor-(F)hood (Bb)(F)
(C)Somethin' tells me (Bb)I'm into somethin' (F) good. (Bb)(F)(Bb)

(F)She's the kind of (Bb)girl who's (F)not too (Bb)shy,
(F)And I can (Bb)tell I'm (F)her kind of (F7)guy.
(Bb)She danced (Eb) close to (Bb) me, like I hoped she (F)would. (Bb)(F)
(C)Somethin' tells me (Bb)I'm into somethin' (F)good. (Bb)(F)(F7)


(C7)We only danced for a minute or two,
but she (F)stuck close to (Bb) me the (F) whole night (F7) through.
(C7)Can I be fallin' in love?
(G7)She's ev’rything I’ve been (Gm7) dreamin' (C7)of!

(F)I walked her (Bb)home, and she (F)held my (Bb)hand
I (F)knew it wouldn't (Bb)be just a (F)one-night (F7)stand.
So I (Bb) asked to (Eb) see her next (Bb) week and she told me I (F)could. (Bb)(F)
(C)Somethin' tells me (Bb)I'm into somethin' (F)good.(Bb)(F)
(C)Somethin' tells me (Bb)I'm into somethin' (F)good.(Bb)(F)

ichadwick
04-17-2015, 08:10 AM
Practice.

Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice.

It will come to pass if you stick to this.

GinnyT11
04-17-2015, 11:35 AM
When I first tried I'm into Something Good as a newbie player, I could not do the F-Bb fast/accurate enough with the music. I haven't tried in a long time, but this week I picked it out to play with friends and I had no trouble with Bb at all—I guess you learn Bb by playing it everywhere.

However, mikelz, you have throw my bugbear into that mix, the Eb (stepsister to the dreaded E)! Now I've got to practice some more.

mikelz777
04-17-2015, 12:03 PM
That Eb transition was the hardest part for me but it really adds to that line of the song to have it in there. I still don't have it down totally so I need to practice more because I end up slopping it fairly often. That's why I make the Bb using the small barre. It makes it so much easier to move between F and Bb and to move to/from Eb to Bb. If I barred using my entire finger, I'd never be able to make the change fast enough.

HBolte
04-18-2015, 03:29 AM
Play one of the versions above 500 times and you'll have it down. Simple.

There is no magic bullet.

kohanmike
04-18-2015, 06:48 AM
Because I've played rhythm guitar for about 50 years, a uke Bb was not a problem for me, I barre just the E and A strings. I also have fingers that bend slightly back at the joints, which allows me to barre two or more strings at a time with one finger, which makes it easier for me to hold an E chord, index finger on the A string, middle and ring finger across the other three.

Tootler
04-23-2015, 11:12 AM
As others have said it's a matter of keep practising. It's taken me a long time to be able finger Bb reliably. The main problem has been transition from other chords but I'm getting there.

Eb is actually easier than E. The apparently "obvious" way to finger Eb is either 3331 or 3336 ie E moved down one fret. However you can also use 0331 as the notes of the Eb chord are actually Eb-G-Bb so you can leave the G string open. It makes it a lot easier. I recently worked on a song which included Eb in the bridge and had little trouble with it even though E is something of a bane for me. If I need an E, I usually use either 444x (ie mute the A string) or 4447 as I find 4442 just too much of a stretch for my hands.

Of course if the best key for you to sing a song in is E, you can always use a uke tuned ADF#B ;)

ubulele
04-23-2015, 03:01 PM
Of course if the best key for you to sing a song in is E, you can always use a uke tuned ADF#B ;)

Or more simply, capo at the 2nd fret. Either way, you have to transpose and play as if in D.

Or use a bari, where you play as if in A. Since the the troublesome E-shape then corresponds to B, which is the V chord in the key of E, you may be able to satisfactorily substitute B7 (using the E7-shape) for any V chords which aren't already notated as B7s. Capo a bari at the 2nd fret (A6 tuning) and you can play as if in G; capo at the 4th fret, and you can play as if in F. Figuring out and marking the new shape names should take a few minutes at most.