barre chords

barre chords

Postby caspersvapors » Fri Jun 16, 2006 3:09 pm

so how many have you guys actualy make a barre most of the time and how many of you just baree the e and B string then use the thumb?

(for a chord like this)
e-3
B-3
G-4
D-5
A-5
E-3

Just curious because Ive noticed most famous guitarists including Garcia dont make barres for chords like that and use the thumb instead, should I get in the habit of doing it the other way? Right now Im used to making barres but youre not as mobile and that thumb up top isnt coming easy to me
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Postby strumminsix » Fri Jun 16, 2006 3:23 pm

Garcia and man others use triads. Not I can't say JG didn't use his thumb only that I've not seen it.

To me you play what is right. Each barre form has a differnt voiceing as well as playing triads which has a differnt voice.

Got to know them all IMO.

Bobby uses tons of barres and odd construcst of chords and he's likely one of the best rhythm guitarist of all time.

I'd say if you are gonna learn something from Jerry learn his lead and how he related every note on the fretboard to one another.

But if you are gonna learn rhyth, that's where I'd say study with Bobby.
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Postby caspersvapors » Fri Jun 16, 2006 3:30 pm

are triads what I just described?

for chords like Bm, C#m or B and Bb I still make a barre, just wondering for a chord like G or F if that other technique has any pluses
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Postby FretfulDave » Fri Jun 16, 2006 4:06 pm

I wonder about that too. I use full barre chords for the most part. The thumb style might be helpful to folks that play a lot of riffs between chords. You start with your first finger in a useful position rather than layed across the fretboard. When I do play riffs or take a solo, I defintely notice that I have to move my hand quite a bit to get into position to use the index finger. Lately I have been trying to play the regular barre chords that are based from the open E, A and C in four finger format. It puts your fingers in yet another postion to begin a riff, a walkup or walkdown.

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Postby shakedown_04092 » Fri Jun 16, 2006 4:25 pm

caspersvapors wrote:are triads what I just described?

for chords like Bm, C#m or B and Bb I still make a barre, just wondering for a chord like G or F if that other technique has any pluses


Triad comes from it's derivative: three. A triad is any chord that has 3 notes in it, and the barre chord you described one among many many triads found on the neck. Any major or minor chord (straight up major or minor, not 7ths or anything like that) are triads. Take a look at the G barre chord you described above, and beside it, I've put the actual notes you are playing. You'll notice, even though you are barring and strumming 6 strings, you are only playing 3 notes:

e-3 G
B-3 D
G-4 B
D-5 G
A-5 D
E-3 G

As far as I know, a triad is just a chord with 3 notes, but I'm sure (and hope) someone else here could elaborate more on this. These notes also happen to be your I-iii-V (one, three, five) in the major scale, and rest assured that's no coinsidence. Your major chord is made up of the I-iii-V, in this case your chord is G, and the notes that make up a G chord, no matter where you play it on the neck, are G (I), B (iii), & D (V).

I'm still digesting this whole 'guitar theory' thing, but that's the best I can describe it as of today. :) Hope that helps.

Same goes for a minor chord. Let's take Gm, for example:

e-3 G
B-3 D
G-3 Bb
D-5 G
A-5 D
E-3 G

Still only 3 notes. The "mother" scale of the minor modes is Aeolian. The I-iii-V of Aeolian is G (I), Bb (iii), and D again (V). Learning the 7 modes (Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, & Locrian) has really helped me understand this HUGE concept, but I still have a looooooooong way to go. But I love every minute of it, even when I think I hate it.

Cheers,

Ben
Last edited by shakedown_04092 on Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby lyghtningod » Sat Jun 17, 2006 2:34 am

shakedown_04092 wrote:
As far as I know, a triad is just a chord with 3 notes, but I'm sure (and hope) someone else here could elaborate more on this. These notes also happen to be your I-iii-V (one, three, five) in the major scale, and rest assured that's no coinsidence. Your major chord is made up of the I-IV-V, in this case your chord is G, and the notes that make up a G chord, no matter where you play it on the neck, are G (I), B (iii), & D (V).

I'm still digesting this whole 'guitar theory' thing, but that's the best I can describe it as of today. :) Hope that helps.

Ben


May I correct a few points?
When we say 1 3 5, we are referring to notes in the scale. So 1 3 5 in C would be C E G, which are the first third and fifth notes in the scale of C major.

A Cm would be 1 b3 5, or one, flat three, five. C Eb G
When we use Roman Numnerals I, iii, V, we are referring to chords.
So I iii V would refer to the Chord C, Em and G. But they do not refer to the notes, but rather to the chords.
A basic chord progression is can be notated as I IV V. This would be for instance, 12 bar blues.

A major chord is made up of the 1, 3 and 5 notes of the major scale. I, IV V refers to the chords used, say C F and G.
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Postby strumminsix » Sat Jun 17, 2006 8:54 am

Playing a triad is similar to playing guitar like a piano.

Most chords are comprised 3 notes so only play those 3 notes.

When we strum an open chord say a G, we play: G B D G B G.
If you were to play a triad youd only strum: G B D

So if you think about it, triads: Major, Minor, Aug, Dim
Then 4 note common 4 note chords: Maj7, Min7, Dim7, 7+9 (or 7#9).

So we can see that you can play most songs all over the neck and not barre. But as I said earlier, you have to be careful of voicing. A triad of a rockin' A D sounds different than playing that bounce on the 5th fret.
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Postby Trystine » Sat Jun 17, 2006 5:23 pm

Started reading up on triads a few weeks ago. This is what I've gotten so far:

There's four kinds of triads-major, minor, augmented, and diminished; each comprised of the 1st, 3rd, and 5th notes from the root's respective scale. I.E., to make a major triad take the 1st, 3rd, and 5th note from the major scale of the root note. So, if you want to make a C major triad you'd use C, E, and G to make the chord.

For a minor triad take the notes from natural minor scale. For an Aug. triad use the whole tone scale. And to make a diminished triad use the diminished scale.

...then there's inversions...

Hope this helps someone out there, it reads like greek in the handbook I have.
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Postby caspersvapors » Sat Jun 17, 2006 8:02 pm

ok this whole thread has deviated away from the original question
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Postby wisedyes » Sun Jun 18, 2006 9:15 am

Personally, playing alot of barre chords makes my hand ache after awhile, so I kind of tend to avoid them. Using my thumb to get the 6th string root does help, but as I don't have very big hands, it is still sort of awkward. I guess I use alot more partial barres than full barres for sure. This might explain one reason why you do see many players use the thumb.
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Postby jahozer » Tue Jun 20, 2006 5:10 pm

I never use my thumb. Get your hands strong enough to play those full barres chords all damn day long. Seriously. There is no excuse for lack of hand strength. Then start to deconstruct those barre chords and find the triads and chord fragments.
Then and only then, can you experiment with using your thumb to ADD notes, not cheat away for not doing full barres.
Also do an internet search on CAGED chord theory.
It will go alooooong way. Think crazy bobby chords.
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Postby jahozer » Tue Jun 20, 2006 5:13 pm

hmm, I may have not read the entire post...
I don't think Jerry is using his thumb per se. I think it looks that way, because of the way he positions his hand to play those triad type chords and other voicings.
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barre chords

Postby lyghtningod » Tue Jun 20, 2006 11:38 pm

On using your thumb:

Some do, some don't. The larger the hand, the easier it is to use your thumb.

I only use my thumb on a D chord, when I want the F# on the low E string.

There are always alternative ways to play chords. Jazz players do not use barre chords for several reasons. One, as mentioned, there are lots of doubled notes in a barre chord.

Two, barre chords are hard on the hand. I suppose, as mentioned, that you should be able to play a barre chord all day, but I can't, not on electric or acoustic, so I use more partial chords and jazz voicing. Barres just aren't needed, especially in a band context. Playing alone, it helps fill out the sound, but in a band, it can be too much, sonically.
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Postby jahozer » Wed Jun 21, 2006 3:36 am

Hey lyghtningod, I agree with everything you just said, and playing jazz style fragments is almost always preferrable. I think my caution, lies however, with beginners. Hand strength is important, and bad technique will only hold one back. As I said experimentation as extra options is awesome and is not to be confused with compensation.
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chords

Postby lyghtningod » Wed Jun 21, 2006 10:28 am

jahozer,

You are right, of course. It is important to get technique down early in the process. And hand strength is important. You can't be getting cramps in the middle of a gig.

Barre chords are part of the vocabulary of guitar paying, and need to be learned and practiced regularly.

Bobby Weir has very large hands, which makes it possible for him to grab the voicings he does. My hands will not stretch that far, so I use other voicings.

Jorma uses a voicing that I would love to be able to use, but my hand will not get it.

He plays (from high E to low E)

F (first finger)
D (fourth)
G open
F (third)
B (secoond)
G (with thumb)

Everytime I try, I get cramps. Oh, well. Look for alternatives.

As long as all the notes you need ring out freely, I don't suppose it matters how you play the chord.
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