You know what I hate more than barre chords? The incredible pain in my left index finger caused by typing a post right after playing…which I’m doing now…but I love you guys that much! :)

P.S. I really don’t but I’m hoping if you believe me you’ll subscribe :D

So one of the good things about having a music student like me -rather than a pro – blogging about difficulties in learning to play barre chords is that I know exactly where you’re coming from! I’m deep into the learning process just as much as you are and, as such, am prone to mistakes. (I think the video I put up on my last post proved that nicely :) ) That being said, I’m going to detail some mistakes I’ve made that I later found out were – not only hurting my playing – but also promoting injury :(

1) Wrist tension – Putting too much strain on the wrist is the most common mistake made when learning to play barre chords. (…well…I’m calling it the most common mistake because I did it and it makes me feel better about myself to think that lots of other people did too :) ) Usually, the first instinct will be to keep a vice-like death grip on the neck of the guitar in a desperate attempt for “force” all the strings to ring out. While some amount of force IS necessary, you should keep this in mind. Don’t try to use the entire surface area of your palm to apply pressure! The only part of your fretting hand that should be pressing against is your thumb. To illustrate, I made a quick YouTube snippet to show the right and wrong grip for a B minor chord.

See the difference? The “incorrect way” puts far too much strain on your wrist and can even give you carpal tunnel syndrome. :( Incidentally, when my guitar teacher first made me correct my hand positioning it felt AWKWARD…but you’ll get used to the change in a day or two :)

Just remember, if your wrist hurts you much (or feels very tense) when playing barre chords you’re doing something wrong! Your fingers are going to hurt until they get accustomed to it (especially the index) but your wrist should not be put under stress. Keep it relaxed as possible and let your fingers, and thumb, do the work! Barre chords DO get easier this way :)

Check back tomorrow for my next post! Or better yet….subscribe! (the boxes to do that are at the top right hand corner of the page) :)

Oh and I’ll be setting up a Twitter account and a Facebook account for the blog soon too! :)