So, yesterday, I uploaded a video demo of how to play “Whataya Want From Me” by Adam Lambert. If you haven’t already, you should go check it out! It makes heavy use of the B minor barre chord though so you might want to read all the barre chord advice posts I’ve been making over the past few weeks (just go looking through the categories section :) )

Anyways, I’m just gonna spend a little time telling you some silly things that could be making barre chords – and playing guitar in general – a LOT harder.

1) Sweaty Hands – Seems obvious right? Sweaty hands are slippery and can make it extremely difficult to achieve the level of precision necessary to properly fret barre chords. I keep a towel nearby when I practice to dry off the sweat when it starts to affect my playing. Trust me, it makes a big difference when your hands are dry and you can grip the barre firmly!

2) Dirty/Greasy Fingers – This one seems obvious too but it’s surprisingly easy to overlook. Grease can be left on your hands from not properly washing after eating, etc. and can have a similar effect to what I described above. Greasy fingers will slide all over the fretboard and making nailing a barre chords extremely difficult – particularly if you have to switch positions, i.e. move your hand up and down the neck of the guitar with precision (while maintaining the barre chord form).

3) Not “warming up” – This isn’t quite so obvious but it’s a very good idea to play through some songs/progressions that don’t use barre chords – at first. This will free up the muscles, and joints, in your fingers so that -when you start working on your barres – they’re ready to go. “Cricking” your fingers for a second before you practice can help a lot too by releasing tension.

4) Long Fingernails – Most people learn as they go along that its best to keep the fingernails on your fretting hand short. In case you’re one of the few that didn’t, long fingernails make forming open chords very difficult and playing barre chords nearly impossible – at least for a beginner. They can get caught on the wrong strings and make it hard to use the fingertips to fret – encouraging bad habits.

Well that’s all for today! :) Be sure to read up my other posts – if you haven’t already – to help you get the hang of barre chords before you try playing the song/progression video I uploaded in my last post. I tried to use a song everyone would know but you can always Google it if you don’t :P

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