Just submitted this article to EzineArticles so my readers are getting my usual pre-release :)

If it’s your first time on my blog and you want to read all my tips, and technique advice, on playing barre chords (and there’s a lot of them) go through the categories in the sidebar and read up! (couple of videos hiding there too) :)

The most common reason for beginners’ giving up on barre chords is a feeling of hopelessness that develops when they don’t get the hang of it as quickly as they had hoped. This is made worse by the burning feeling along the side of the index finger – unavoidable during the first few days/weeks of practicing. This comes from the harsh effect the strings have on the skin in this area (used to apply pressure to the barre) that is not accustomed to dealing with such stress.

Assuming a typical learning process, any guitarist as this stage should already have an idea of what callouses are. By this point, your fingertips should be quite “rugged” and you should see a clear difference between those on your fretting hand and your strumming hand. It is these very same callouses that you will need to develop along the barring side of your index finger and – until you do – barre chords are going to hurt.

The simple solution to this is to persist through the discomfort and force yourself to practice – rather than giving up on barre chords and using pain as an excuse. This is the road chosen by many beginners who, almost invariably, come to regret their decision when they realize how limited they are. Within a few weeks, and probably only a few days, the skin along the side of your index will toughen up and develop firm callouses – providing that you practice diligently every day and don’t wimp out! Once they are there, these callouses never go away completely, which means that barre chords will never have to cause you pain again, and – as I’ve always said – you can’t be considered a good guitarist (at least not by anyone whose opinion matters) if you don’t master the use of barre chords. They are absolutely essential to playing most popular songs (the primary motivation for beginning guitarists) and multiply your chord vocabulary greatly – making them well worth the short-term initial pain.

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