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AmberMuffinz
07-23-2013, 03:18 PM
I have long skinny fingers and they give me a lot of issues when it comes to barring. I've kind of avoided learning songs that require certain chords because it's so difficult for me. Does anyone else have this problem or am I just weird? lol.

The chord I'm having trouble with right now is Bb but it's not nearly as hard as others, though it does hurt my index finger a bit afterwards. This song also has B7 in it... I am able to do it sometimes but most of the time my fingers aren't holding all the strings down sufficiently and it makes an awful noise, yikes!

Mostly just complaining but also wondering if others have this issue and how they get around it. I just got my ukulele back in February or March so I haven't learned a whole lot yet. Actually just recently learned to play a full song fairly well without pauses! Woo. (Even if it is a short 3 chord song)

itsme
07-23-2013, 03:42 PM
I don't know... I think skinny fingers are probably preferable to fat sausage fingers in most cases.

If a barre chord on the first fret is particularly hard, it might be because the nut is too high.

I don't find Bb hard at all. You don't need to barre across all four strings. I put my index finger on the second string at the first fret and then just bend the finger downwards so it covers the first string as well. I've heard this referred to as a "hinge barre" in guitar terms.

ukemunga
07-23-2013, 03:45 PM
I have long skinny fingers and they give me a lot of issues when it comes to barring. I've kind of avoided learning songs that require certain chords because it's so difficult for me. Does anyone else have this problem or am I just weird? lol.

The chord I'm having trouble with right now is Bb but it's not nearly as hard as others, though it does hurt my index finger a bit afterwards. This song also has B7 in it... I am able to do it sometimes but most of the time my fingers aren't holding all the strings down sufficiently and it makes an awful noise, yikes!

Mostly just complaining but also wondering if others have this issue and how they get around it. I just got my ukulele back in February or March so I haven't learned a whole lot yet. Actually just recently learned to play a full song fairly well without pauses! Woo. (Even if it is a short 3 chord song)

I envy you your long skinny fingers. Your barre chords WILL happen. I have little stubby fingers and can't even reach the G string with my pinky! Makes things tough some times. Barre chords were too, but coming along.

Alternate B7: 4320. Move an Em towards your face on the neck. Not towards the headstock, not towards the bridge. The A string is open.

Kayak Jim
07-23-2013, 03:48 PM
If the action on your uke is too high it will make barring difficult, especially close to the nut.

Also, I sometimes roll my barre finger slightly so I'm using more of the side of it.

Puotta
07-23-2013, 03:50 PM
I heard about this method off of a youtube video. Im on my phone right now, so ill try to find it again once I get home.

Simply just barre the 5th fret. Then play each string individually. If it sounds good, move to the fourth fret, and so on. Once you get a muted string, try to reseat your finger. If it still isnt fixed, go back down to the fifth fret and start over. Do this a couple times through each time you pick up your uke and youll play barre chords in no time.

I tried it and it worked great for me. Now im working on the song rodeo clowns by jack johnson, because its almost entirely barre chords. And I like the song.

Good luck, you'll get it in no time.

Edit: Here is the video I mentioned.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CO7zryA668

ukemunga
07-23-2013, 03:51 PM
I don't know... I think skinny fingers are probably preferable to fat sausage fingers in most cases.

If a barre chord on the first fret is particularly hard, it might be because the nut is too high.

I don't find Bb hard at all. You don't need to barre across all four strings. I put my index finger on the second string at the first fret and then just bend the finger downwards so it covers the first string as well. I've heard this referred to as a "hinge barre" in guitar terms.

Uh huh, uh huh, I like it...

Me too. SO that's what it's called.

Kyle23
07-23-2013, 04:01 PM
Try holding down your fretting finger with another finger. If you barre with your pointer finger, put it on the strings and lay your middle finger over it and squeeze with both. That should give you extra strength to hod it down.

Mxyzptik
07-23-2013, 04:29 PM
I'd take the long skinny fingers over my stubby fat ones any day. I don't barre my Bb . I play it with 4 fingers and it seems to work fine, I never thought of barring it to be honest.

When I had my Fender my Bb sounded like a bag of mud but after a ton of practice and a new Collings it sounds just fine. There are still plenty of chords I can't make but I think it's just practice that'll make it happen.

AmberMuffinz
07-23-2013, 04:35 PM
Thanks for the suggestions everyone! As with anything I guess it'll come along after lots of practice! I had my ukulele setup when I first bought it so I'm not super concerned about the height / action / whatnot. I also have low g strings if that matters at all.

I'm a bit slow when learning a new instrument. I learned "You are my sunshine" and was super stoked haha. I'll keep working on it and try out different things. I'm still not excited about barred chords though. B7 is going to be the death of me on this song!

stevepetergal
07-23-2013, 04:52 PM
I learned from Gerold Ross that it's much easier to play barred chords if you move your wrist forward. This is a great way to learn to play. It allows you to fret using the tips of your fingers (ideal) as well as to barr with the strongest joint of your finger, the knuckle. So, try moving your wrist forward and bring your fingers up toward the cieling.

ukemunga
07-23-2013, 04:59 PM
And I might add... Where is your thumb?

Many (me included) find it better to keep your fretting thumb on the back of the neck rather than cradling it between thumb and forefinger.

Though it is those with longer fingers that can make the "cradling" grip work. And even use the thumb to fret the G string on some chords.

Patrick Madsen
07-23-2013, 08:29 PM
Back in the day, we didn't call them long skinny fingers. They were called 'boney Fingers" There was a hit in the 60's called Boney fingers.

armchair_spaceman
07-24-2013, 04:06 AM
I don't know... I think skinny fingers are probably preferable to fat sausage fingers in most cases.

qft brother.

AmberMuffinz
07-24-2013, 02:18 PM
And I might add... Where is your thumb?

Many (me included) find it better to keep your fretting thumb on the back of the neck rather than cradling it between thumb and forefinger.

Though it is those with longer fingers that can make the "cradling" grip work. And even use the thumb to fret the G string on some chords.

My thumb is on the back of the neck. Sometimes when I have trouble with a chord I'll move my wrist around to try and make it work better. So far I'm better at doing this sitting down than standing lol. But I think that's pretty common. I don't use my thumb to fret the G string on any chords though... At least not yet.

bnolsen
07-24-2013, 04:42 PM
i have skinny fingers but fat fingerpads. When I barre with my first finger i slide up so the 1st string is about under the middle joint so my finger hangs over the edge quite a bit.

Ipcmlr
07-24-2013, 06:47 PM
I'm also just a beginner but doing a barre at the fret itself is always easiest.
You can also get "light" strings which are thinner strings. Southcoast and worth have them. Not sure about other brands.
I wish I had long fingers.
I cannot reach the g string with my pinkie:(

AmberMuffinz
07-25-2013, 03:08 PM
I'm also just a beginner but doing a barre at the fret itself is always easiest.
You can also get "light" strings which are thinner strings. Southcoast and worth have them. Not sure about other brands.
I wish I had long fingers.
I cannot reach the g string with my pinkie:(

Oh wow. All my life my mom told me I had piano fingers lol. Too bad learning music is a very slow process for me! I have Aquila Nylgut Low-G strings on mine right now. When these are on their way out I'll probably try regular instead of low G. It does sound pretty nice though!