Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #472  by jck_strw
 Tue Jul 13, 2004 8:04 pm
I play this song using barre chords and it just kills my left hand--right at the base of the thumb. About three and half minutes into the song (I like playing along to the Skull & Roses version), my hand feels like it's ready to fall off. Is this normal?

 #473  by ebick
 Tue Jul 13, 2004 10:20 pm
Acoustic or electric?

 #474  by jck_strw
 Wed Jul 14, 2004 6:08 am

 #485  by ebick
 Wed Jul 14, 2004 8:57 pm
That explains it :)

 #487  by qiuniu
 Wed Jul 14, 2004 10:20 pm
Ifin' I takes my acoustic camping I eventually get over the barre cord deal with my left hand after a couple of nights. I found that placing my left hand on my knee and applying pressure with my right elbow helps to loosen up this 'knot'. Hell I sometimes get 'em on my electric if I play for three or four hours. As far as I know after all this time that practice will strengthen it to the point that you can play shows (and make it through). Keep playin dead!

 #512  by Delvis
 Fri Jul 16, 2004 2:27 pm
I play this song using open chord positions, sounds pretty cool and it's sure easier on the ligaments. :wink:

 #576  by poppiseed
 Tue Jul 27, 2004 2:27 pm
Definately use open chords and you could play a nice C chord bu using a small adjustment to you G chord by keeping you two G notes on the third fret of the 1 and 6 string and then adding your C on the 2 string and a E on your 4 string. It is a bit o' cheating but I like to use it because it keeps G as the roots of the chord....try it out and let me know what you think.


 #1015  by DeadGuest
 Sat Oct 02, 2004 6:46 pm
one thing I have notices is if I play the E shaped Barre chords, like barring the 8th fret for C, it hurts hella less than using the A shaped barre chords, C being barred at the 3rd fret.
 #1019  by poppiseed
 Sun Oct 03, 2004 7:29 am
One way to beat the pain is to pick a song that has a lot of chord changes, and is in a major key with the chords being mostly major. PLay the song with you A barre chords. By the time you could play the whole song, barre chords will not hurt one bit. You muscles need to get used to these stangard postions. Espically plying dead tune, Booby uses a hybrid of barre chords for most songs....rarely would you see something open, and strait foward. He is usually addin a ninth seventh 13th...what have ya...just to make our playing more fun and always a learning process.

 #1107  by gratefulDev
 Mon Oct 11, 2004 8:57 pm
There is an art of switching between barre and open chords that I try to do while playing acoustic - much easier on the hands. Bertha is definitely a song where it's worth trying.

And of course, nobody is required to play all six strings in a barre (or five for the A form)....a "power chord" (just two notes, so not really a chord) or 3-note chord will often suffice. Although you wouldn't want to restrict yourself to them, unless maybe you were in a punk band.

 #2330  by yossarian084
 Tue Dec 06, 2005 8:42 pm
Im sorry to ask what could be constued as a dumb question, but what are you guys calling the A form? I use the same form on A as I do for G and C and B too. (Duck)

 #2331  by ebick
 Tue Dec 06, 2005 8:50 pm
For major chords, there are really just three shapes, A, E & C or D (take your pick).

So, an open A is 002220

If you play a C in A form, it would look like:


A D in A form, x57775


 #2332  by jck_strw
 Tue Dec 06, 2005 8:52 pm

That's what I know as the A form barre chord. In this case a B.

well spotted. ;)
Last edited by jck_strw on Tue Dec 06, 2005 8:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

 #2335  by spilly
 Wed Dec 07, 2005 12:34 am
all the obove recomendations would work just fine, but I suggest playing the full barres as you are. Deal with the pain and you'll get over it pretty quickly, I've been working on some very advanced changes and my fingers hurt all the time from stretching, but I can play regular barre chords on my acoustic all day long. pain is temporary, find pride in your changes

 #2336  by gratefulDev
 Wed Dec 07, 2005 12:42 am
So if you play an open G, as in


That would be the A form too?

On another note, I like switching between barres and open chords because it enlarges the sonic palette.