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Thread: Chords That Make You Fret

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Default Chords That Make You Fret

    What are the chords you hate?

    I've made my peace with a lot of them that used to bug me. The infamous E never really bothered me. My ring finger can do that barre of the 3 strings on the 4th fret, no problem.

    Bb used to be a struggle. I can get to it now, but not always quickly. Same with Em and B7. I can get there, but not without looking.

    My nemesis seems to be the Bm chord. My index finger refuses to do a "simple" barre while still allowing other fingers to work. Even doing the Bb, I'm not barring, I'm using fingertips on the two first-fret strings.

    My solution for Bm is either individual fingertips on the 2nd fret with a pinky reach (which I'm getting better at), or barring with the index and reaching way around and grabbing the G string with my thumb (which is awkward, but effective). I find that I don't usually even like how that chord sounds, so I just break all the rules and find a substitution that sounds right.

    The finger-crossing "diminished 7" chord shape used to flummox me, but I've gotten better at that. And then, what is it, the minor 7 that is the same, but with an open fret between?

    I haven't even gotten much into the "big stretch" chords. Still doing finger exercises with that kind of thing in mind!

    What are the chords that you hate? Or that hate you?
    What could possibly go wrong?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
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    25

    Default

    I always get a quick shot of pain in my hand when I play the Bb chord. No idea why that specific chord does it, but not others.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Em and B7 are my latest nemesis. I can do them, I just can't GET to them without looking, and they're fumbly.

    I'll just keep practicing.
    What could possibly go wrong?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 1890 View Post
    I always get a quick shot of pain in my hand when I play the Bb chord. No idea why that specific chord does it, but not others.
    I assume you're using the standard Bb shape. And I further assume it is the shape that's causing the pain and not the fact that you're forming the shape at the first fret (I mean, you'd still have the pain if you went to the 7th fret and used the shape to play E). If that's the case, let me make a suggestion. For me (and others I have spoken to) the index finger is the problem. To partially barre the A and E strings with the index finger, you have to acutely bend that knuckle between the proximal and medial phalanges. To get around this, I simply lay the index finger down flat and barre all the strings. This way, I don't have to worry about anything except fretting the G and C strings.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    West Midlands GB
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    Default

    One that I used to struggle with was Ab7 - 1323. It's a useful shape as a moveable 7th chord, so well worth persevering with.

    John Colter

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Location
    Prague, Czech Republic
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    Default First inversion of G major

    I play in low G tuning and when I need the G chord with the low B as the melody note picked by thumbpick on the beat, my left little finger must not arrive late to the fretboard. It still does.

    210202 132919 G_B.jpg

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
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    Prague, Czech Republic
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    Quote Originally Posted by ubulele View Post
    Is there some reason you don't play this as a barre chord (no little finger used)?
    The reason is that I play the melody on the low G and C strings with my left index and little finger, as in the first half of this video:


  8. #8

    Default

    I'm working on Sail On Sailor by the Beach Boys (on Bari).
    It has an EbM9 - 1031 ( Eb G D F)
    I have to contort my wrist around to play it cleanly.

  9. #9
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    Feb 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by emkc View Post
    I'm working on Sail On Sailor by the Beach Boys (on Bari).
    It has an EbM9 - 1031 ( Eb G D F)
    I have to contort my wrist around to play it cleanly.
    I know what you mean. I have been playing 1001 Am add9 and you really have to swing that elbow to get the angle. Have you tried playing 1131? It is only different by one half-step of a note and it would be a lot easier to finger with just a straight barre and one finger down on the E string.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by ripock View Post
    I know what you mean. I have been playing 1001 Am add9 and you really have to swing that elbow to get the angle. Have you tried playing 1131? It is only different by one half-step of a note and it would be a lot easier to finger with just a straight barre and one finger down on the E string.
    No, that doesn't sound right.
    An easier fingering is 1331, replacing the 3rd with the 5th (Bb instead of G), but I think the G better defines the chord.

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