Want to play bar chords as your favorite guitarists do? Bar chords sound pretty cool, so they are widely used. To be honest, bar chords are a little hard to hold but not all bar chords are hard, some are very simple. Chords are all about how accurately you place your fingers and bar chords are no different, they are also the same. The better the finger placement you have, the better the sound you would get undoubtedly.
As we said before, bar chords are hard and you need some techniques so that you would be able to play bar chords and the sound would be crispy. Hand strengthening is the key to bar chords, you have to strengthen your hand. Since most beginners don’t know, in this very guide we are going to teach how do you strengthen hand for bar chords!
Ways to Strengthen Hand for Bar Chords
For playing bar chord, the hardest part of the process is your index finger placement. That finger has to be on overall the strings and you need to keep the strings pressed down to fretboard. However, below we are providing some tips that will surely help you to learn to play bar chords easily.
1. Practice with full patience
Hook one thing in your mind clearly, you will not learn to play bar chords is one day. In the beginning, your fingers will start paining, the sound wouldn’t be clean at all, and your patience will start to drop little by little. People who are well-focused and dedicated, don’t lose patience, keep practicing and most importantly they trust the process. If you want to learn to play bar chords, you have to put in a good effort. If you enjoy the process, it will be easier for you and you won’t, the process will force you quick after a while. So the point being, trust that you would make and keep improving.
2. Finger placement
One of the most important and hard parts, finger placement. A finger that plays a major role in the bar chord is the index finger. The index finger is required to be placed in a little diagonal way over the entire set of strings. At the beginning the finger might start to pain, the strings might put strain on the finger but you have to keep going. If you feel pain, immediately take a quick rest and then get started again.
3. Needed Pressure
After the index finger placement, you need to put pressure on the strings evenly. This could be really hard at the beginning and surely your finger will be irritated. But initially, try to put firm pressure, don’t get too hard that will increase the risk of finger staining, you don’t want that.
After applying the pressure, hit all strings one by one and check if they ring out clean. In the beginning, that is not going to be clean for sure but it will improve with time. If you hear a dull sound that means you need to put little more pressure on the strings and keep increasing the pressure with time until you reach the cleaner crispy tone.
4. Take rest but come back again
After the pressure putting phrase, many people quit perfecting the index finger placement. They just move on with that or quit it. You might get irritated or frustrated and it’s okay to take a break but make sure you come back after a short break. When you are struggling with the finger placement, that means you are struggling at the most important phrase and it’s going to take little time.
5. Move the finger up and down
Well, congrats if you have perfected the finger placement, now the rest path is going to be very easier for you. Once you can pull out a clean tone from the strings and now time to step up the game a bit. When strumming, try to place the finger in different frets in a rhythmic way. You need to be compatible with this because you won’t be playing the same bar chord over and over again. There will be a couple of bar chords and you have to shift from one to another pretty quickly.
6. Try shifting to different bar chords
Once you have learned a couple of bar chords and now try shifting one from others quickly and in a rhythmic way. The strumming shouldn’t stop and to make the timing accurate we suggest using a metronome. Metronome is a thing that you will be needed everywhere. This thing teaches you the timing and in music, if the timing is not right, everything is ruined. So make sure you practice with the metronome.
However, try to shift from one bar chord to another. For example, if you have learned Bm, Am, Em, and Am chords. Start learning shifting between two. First, learn to shift perfectly from Bm to Gm. And after Gm to Em and then Em to Cm. Once you get a good hang, then try four at one go. This is how the improvement will be faster and accurate.
7. Reduce the action
This one is for those who are struggling too much to put the index finger and put the needed pressure. If you find it is very hard on your finger to put pressure or you are not getting the clean sound, then lower the string action. When the action is high, it is hard, lowering that the strings get softer so that you can easily put the pressure and practice. But don’t stick on low tension, once you get to the right spot, start practicing on the regular action.
This is exactly how do you strengthen hands for bar chords. The process will be little sour the but the result is too sweet, trust me! Just keep going and trust the process, you will be there.