January 28

Bar Chords are HARD!

2  comments

I see a lot of challenges when people are first starting to play guitar. The one that stands out is bar chords. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard “bar chords are hard” I’d be rich.

But the thing is I can relate. I can remember when I was first learning to play guitar. I thought "Boy, I don’t know if I'll ever be able to actually play this smoothly." 

Now I don’t give it a second thought. The good news is that I’m not an exception. 

I’ve made many videos on different aspects of how to play bar chords and prepare for them. Here I wanna talk about something that I think comes before all of these exercises.

It's Hard... But You Can Do This

First I wanna tell you that I know you’ll be able to do it. Why am I so confident? Because I've seen it over and over. As a matter of fact, I don’t think I’ve ever taught anyone that couldn't do it.

I’ve had people quit before they got there. The issue was more of a lack of “faith” rather than a lack of ability. Some might say a lack of persistence. But I believe the lack of “faith” came first.

Many wrongly assume they “should” be able to play bar chords fairly quickly. Hey… it looks easy when others do it. When they discover it doesn’t come easily they get frustrated. That’s when the self-talk starts. This is what eventually leads to a loss in “faith”.

It goes something like this… “Maybe I'll never be able to do it. I might not have what it takes​ even though I’ve seen other people do it. This could be a waste of time and effort”.

Here’s what I wish someone had told me…

Here’s what I wish someone had told me…

When you first go to play a bar chord you’re really at a disadvantage. In that sense bar chords are hard. They’re much harder than any of the other chords that you've been playing up to that point.

A full bar chord takes roughly equal amounts of strength and proper technique. For most people, it doesn’t come all of a sudden. It comes little by little over time. And there's no better time to start working on it than NOW.

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

Old Chinese Proverb

Don’t wait until you need a bar chord to play a song. Start way ahead of time and practice strategic exercises. 

Break the technique down into parts. Spend time practicing the bar portion. Strengthen your finger and get accustomed to what it takes to press down all those strings. Go up and down the neck. Play the bar one note at a time and listen to how it sounds. Practice the fingering for the other parts of the chord. Find good exercises and work on them daily. Take your time. It’s a process.

Have an organized approach. If nothing else this provides some proof to the “doubting mind” that you’ll eventually get there.

Some people that aren’t terribly organized still are able to play bar chords. They’re really persistent. Personally I’m not that persistent. I prefer to use an organized systematic approach.

You can do this! Don’t let your “doubting mind” tell you otherwise. 

If you’d like some help with the organized system check out my course “Barre Chords for Everyone”. It’s included in my Real Guitar Success Academy. 

If you’re a member you’ll find the link on the Home Dashboard once you log in. If you’re not a member yet you can still get access for two weeks for a buck

Whatever way you go about it I want to encourage you to keep at it little by little. This is clearly a case where the tortoise wins out over the rabbit. If I can provide any help or encouragement let me know in the comment section below or in the Real Guitar Success Academy community forum.

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Tomas Michaud
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Tags

cp barre chords, cp challenging chords


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