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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Fret a barre chord with ring instead of index finger?


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/393763

Josephpetrie - Posted - 11/03/2023:  10:12:33


Hi All,

At the moment I am learning to vamp backup for Blackberry Blossom (which means changing chord twice per "measure"). I have just discovered that sometimes it is quicker and easier to fret a barre chord with my 4th/ring finger rather than physically move my hand to fret it with the index finger.

e.g. moving between F shape D-chord starting on the 10th fret and a barre chord G across the 12th fret.

The hand barely needs to move.

I haven't come across this idea before and I cant find any reference to barre-ing a chord with the ring finger on here or the internet. Is this a legitimate thing to do? It seems to work for me.

Cheers,

Joe

250gibson - Posted - 11/03/2023:  11:08:32


Yes, it is commonly done as your ring finger is already there, it just has to flatten out.

Texasbanjo - Posted - 11/03/2023:  11:11:43


Yes, it's very common. I do that a lot if I'm playing backup chords and need a quick change from the first closed G chord to the C chord rat the 5th string. It works up and down the neck for any first position (G shape) to a barre position chord. If you don't need the entire 4 string chord at the barre, you can just barre the two or 3 strings you need for what you're playing.

FenderFred - Posted - 11/03/2023:  13:22:00


quote:

Originally posted by Josephpetrie

Hi All,



At the moment I am learning to vamp backup for Blackberry Blossom (which means changing chord twice per "measure"). I have just discovered that sometimes it is quicker and easier to fret a barre chord with my 4th/ring finger rather than physically move my hand to fret it with the index finger.



e.g. moving between F shape D-chord starting on the 10th fret and a barre chord G across the 12th fret.



The hand barely needs to move.



I haven't come across this idea before and I cant find any reference to barre-ing a chord with the ring finger on here or the internet. Is this a legitimate thing to do? It seems to work for me.



Cheers,



Joe






Hi Joe



Bar chords are a challenge for most people. I have found over the years to use whatever works for the moment in time, Whether it is an index finger, a ring finger or multiple fingers. A lot depends on what comes before and after the chord, where on the neck your playing the chord. Typically I'll only fret the bottom two or three strings. Rarely do I fret the 4th string. Don't press on the strings too hard.



Check out this guy he really helped me when I was struggling to get my head round fingering the neck.



 

KCJones - Posted - 11/03/2023:  14:52:47


Yeah that's how I do it a lot. In general wit that F-shape chord it can be useful to do a lot of what I cap "guitar style" fretting where you do barre and partial barres to get the specific chord you want.



With the F-shape , by moving just one finger at a time, you can go from major root chord (5435), to minor root chord (5335), to 7th root chord (5433) , to the IV chord (5555). You can also get the 7th IV chord pretty easily (x355). All of these are movable chords anywhere on the fretboard. That's a lot of versatility without ever really moving your hand, just change how you're flexing your fingers.


Edited by - KCJones on 11/03/2023 14:56:44

mmuussiiccaall - Posted - 11/04/2023:  06:37:01


A telltale sign of a well experienced player is the lack of wasted movement on the fingerboard. Everything has its pluses and minuses in that regard, say, for example, you do barre with your ring finger you’ve placed two powerful fingers behind it that cannot accomplish anything, but as long as you don’t need them to play any Melody or back up notes, it’s fine.

eagleisland - Posted - 11/04/2023:  07:15:33


quote:

Originally posted by mmuussiiccaall

A telltale sign of a well experienced player is the lack of wasted movement on the fingerboard. Everything has its pluses and minuses in that regard, say, for example, you do barre with your ring finger you’ve placed two powerful fingers behind it that cannot accomplish anything, but as long as you don’t need them to play any Melody or back up notes, it’s fine.






Agreed. Let me take this a step further.



Watch the fretting (or stopping) hands and fingers of ANY really good player of a stringed instrument. Doesn't really matter if it's a fretted instrument or something from the violin family.



There are basically two axises of motion that come into play. For lack of a better term, let's call the LONGITUDINAL axis the one that goes up and down the neck. This is controlled by the forearm, and potentially (on really big instruments such as upright bass or cello) the upper arm and even the shoulder.



The second axis is what I'd call the LATITUDINAL axis. This is the axis ACROSS the fingerboard - and we control that pretty much entirely with the fingers.



A key concept with the latitudinal axis is keeping the fingers in column  with the frets - in other words, our fingers would stay more or less parallel to the frets if we were just holding our hand over the fingerboard. But we don't do that. We use the fingers to stop specific strings at specific locations.



The big moves - the longitudinal ones - are the ones that allow us to miss the target. The small moves - latitudinal - have us moving each fingertip ACROSS the fingerboard as needed. The less longitudinal motion required, the better.



Nobody, IMO, exemplified this concept better than Tony Rice. Pull up any video of him where you can really see his left hand and left arm. You'll see that his motion is minimized - he used longitudinal motion a lot, but it's his latitudinal motion - and how efficient he was in moving his fretting fingers across the board - is brilliant. Everything is incredibly precise, and his fingers stay in column with the frets. You can see that pretty well here:



 


Jack Baker - Posted - 11/04/2023:  07:27:09


Great Scholarly Theoretical analysis of a Tony Rice tune. I don't know if my brain is equipped to ever play this tune until I improve my Music Theory and I have advanced Degrees in Musical Theory. Thanks Skip,,, Jack


Edited by - Jack Baker on 11/04/2023 07:28:18

Jack Baker - Posted - 11/04/2023:  08:24:27


quote:

Originally posted by Jack Baker

Great Scholarly Theoretical analysis of a Tony Rice tune. I don't know if my brain is equipped to ever play this tune until I improve my Music Theory and I have advanced Degrees in Musical Theory. Thanks Skip,,, Jack  just kidding Skip HA!






 

NotABanjoYoda - Posted - 11/04/2023:  10:14:08


I often use my pinky and index with thumb wrap around on banjo and guitar.

The problem Ive always had is keeping my pinky from "retracting" while playing appregios. To play fast single string the fingers must stay close to the strings. My pinky says heck no!

steve davis - Posted - 11/04/2023:  16:14:35


Play whatever is comfortable for you and gets you where you're going in time.

My playing was all chords for the first 10 years and there are a great many choices.



I tend to use a barre chord with my index as a moveable nut and fret chords ahead of it with the rest of my fingers.


Edited by - steve davis on 11/04/2023 16:17:04

monstertone - Posted - 11/06/2023:  09:31:32


Another one of the "tricks" is the shift between the F & D shape, which becomes much simpler when thought as simply switching positions of the index & middle fingers. Even though most always requiring slight longitudinal movement, by not lifting the ring & pinky fingers completely off the strings, it is easily accomplished as a slide. When added to the aforementioned "collapsed" ring finger barre technique, one is able to easily vamp through BB at speed. enlightened


Edited by - monstertone on 11/06/2023 09:33:38

steve davis - Posted - 11/06/2023:  10:01:17


Speaking of changing chords twice in a measure there is plenty of time to get to the next chord no matter where you want to choose it.
Playing the melodic melody or harmony is a bit more locked in.

gcpicken - Posted - 11/17/2023:  19:26:35


I have come to do my chords with middle and ring together. For me, it saves rotating/bringing my hand completely out of position. I'm not suggesting anyone else do that. Just throwing out there.

monstertone - Posted - 11/25/2023:  15:18:09


Start vamping BB by holding the F shape D chord @ 12,11,10,12, but then barre the 3rd & 2nd strings @ 12th fret by collapsing the ring finger. This makes the barred G chord @ 12th fret. By de-collapsing (is that a legit word?) the ring finger, that barred G chord then becomes a D chord & you're off to the races. wink

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