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Barre Chords

"Barre Chords - Are a type of guitar chord where one or more fingers are used to press multiple strings across the fingerboard in a downward motion..."

As the music gets complex, the more this chord comes into its own. There are so many guitar chords played in classical guitar music that you need excellent guitar technique to deal with them.

The way I've found best to play these chords is by placing your finger as flat as you can across the strings. I also tend to use the side of my finger closest to my thumb in a slightly turned style as I find I can avoid the ridges in the digits of my fingers and the effect is to have a flatter surface on which to perform it.

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Here are two photos of me playing a full barre (across six strings) and a half (across four strings)...

Take a look at Tim Gillespie's Book Of Chords. It really is an unusual but clever way of looking at chords and on the guitar...

Notice my index finger is slightly turned to miss the ridges in my digits as I explained previously. It's quite an easy thing to do once you get used to it. Although many "experts" say your finger should be straight, I've never had a problem with it, and I can perform some pretty complex and technically difficult music.

I suggest you experiment and make up your own mind. We are all different with different physical capabilities, but there are A-L-W-A-Y-S exceptions to the rule. So don't be afraid to flout convention when needed. Here is a graphic of the "half" (4 strings) and "full" (6 strings) as they look in music notation on the third fret of the guitar...

Ralph Denyer's, "The Guitar Handbook" has some excellent information on barre chords...

I hope this page has been of use to you in understanding how to play chords Good luck!

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