Getting barre chords to sound right can be a frustrating and painful part of every musician's journey; I remember spending hours practicing barre chords as a teen until I developed tendinitis...You don't have to follow the same path! This curriculum will give you all the tools to overcome this obstacle, WITHOUT injuring yourself. Our exercises have been successfully tested on a range of adult learners - all of whom had been struggling, without results, for some time. Remember, it's worth it: once you master barre chords, you'll be able to play just about any chord you need - AND RADIOHEAD'S CREEP!!! So get ready, and remember to practice every day or two!!
Step One - Getting your fingers in shape with Power Chords
Let's start by getting your fingers in the right shape for barred chords - without barring just yet. Learners often focus too much on their index and lose mobility in the other fingers. If your fingers can still move, you're closer to success. You'll find right-hand fingerings on the staff and stroke directions on the tabs if you're using a pick!
Step Two - Get in touch with your strings by muting them
Now that your fingers know the right shape for barred chords, we need to get your index ready. With these exercises you'll practice muting the strings with your left-hand index, getting used to their contact. Don't overthink this, keep you ears open, move around and your muscles will learn on their own!
Step Three - The E Major Shape
In order to play the E Major barred chord shape we need to add a finger to our power chord shape: the middle finger. As you get more comfortable with this shape, barring chords will get easier! Remember to keep your wrist aligned with your forearm. Whenever you feel tension or notice your wrist makes a sharp angle with your arm, stop, release all tension and get back at it!
Step four - Strengthen your bar!
Now that you're comfortable with the shapes and the contact of the strings, let's teach your muscles how to bar. Don't overthink, it's a matter of repeating and strengthening a very unusual movement for your muscles. Trust your muscle memory, and these exercises will put you on the right path. Plus, you get to learn how to play Pixies' Where Is My Mind!!
Step Five - Easy version of Radiohead's Creep
Now you have all the tools to play a slightly simplified version of Creep! The difficult part is getting all the strings to ring... Keep moving on even if one string is not sounding right now. It will all come together eventually! Don't forget to have a break when your hand feels tense!