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Middle finger over index?


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#1 Barefoot

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Posted 07 September 2016 - 04:01 AM

Hey gang. I find that when I'm playing minor/minor7/sus chords I tend to place my unused middle finger slightly over the index finger and apply some amount of pressure...mostly for comfort but it also gives a little more strength to my index finger. Now, I don't need to do it as I've worked up enough strength in the index finger by itself. When I focus on not doing it I can still play the barre chords fine. However, it just seems natural for me to put it over the index. It doesn't seem to slow me down if I go from one of those barre chords to another that uses the middle finger, like a major chord for example. Feels weird when my middle finger just points up or is bent and hovering over the fretboard waiting. It just naturally wants to go over the index. Anybody else experience this? Is this considered bad form and should I actively work at changing this habit? Sorry if this topic has been discussed already. Thanks!

 

~Garth



#2 yellow

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Posted 07 September 2016 - 09:51 AM

Hello Garth.
I am no expert but I am wondering whether this habit could slow you down when you start mixing the barre chords with open chords and the speed of the exercises increases (up to 100 bpm in session 9). It is akin to the good habit Steve taught us of having your fingers spread out hovering over the frets when playing single notes, they are poised ready for action.

Mandy

#3 Eracer_Team -DougH

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Posted 07 September 2016 - 10:24 AM

From what I've seen, even the pros (like Steve Krenz) puts their middle finger on their index to help Barre chords. My finger does stretch that way so I can't.
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#4 JWELLS

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Posted 07 September 2016 - 11:36 AM

NO! Good fretting mechanics requires that the finger tips fret perpendicular to the fretboard just aft of the fret wire. You seem to be falling for the old adage "Practice makes perfect," but it doesn't. Perfect Practice makes Perfect. I didn't invent it; NFL legendary coach Vince Lombardi did! What you're doing is to ingrain the wrong procedure. Please stop and work on your fretting technique. You'll be glad you did!

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#5 d2_racing

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Posted 07 September 2016 - 01:31 PM

Like JWELLS said, don't to that. You can undo what you are doing, because if you continu, it will become a bad behaviour and it's really hard to get rid of that if you continu to do that on long term.


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#6 triple-oh

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Posted 07 September 2016 - 03:20 PM

We are talking about barre chords? I am like you It feels comfortable to place my fingers that way. Especially, when playing 6th string barre chords like  Am or Cm. I'll check the "rule book" and get back with you. :whistle:


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#7 Barefoot

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Posted 07 September 2016 - 05:40 PM

So, here's what it looks like when I position a minor 6th string barre chord:

 

minorbarre_zpsqkimjomb.jpg

 

The middle finger just crosses over the index slightly and applies slight pressure...maybe a little more pressure than usual if I play the Fmin barre. I have the strength in the index finger to barre on it's own, so it's not a crutch for a weak index. If I force my middle finger to hang by itself (either straight or bent) I can do it without compromising the chord. It's just very natural, comfortable and automatic to cross over a bit when playing min/min7/sus barre chords. When I know I'm going to need the middle finger to fret a string I naturally release it so that it's ready to do it's thing. It's not slowing me down or causing playing issues with the lessons or playing songs...at least for now anyway. Been playing guitar off and on for many years and always barred certain chords this way. I've found pictures of other players who do it as well. I'm interested in good technique, form, etc. these days...hence my inquiry. Thanks for the responses...I appreciate it!

 

~Garth



#8 Eracer_Team -DougH

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Posted 08 September 2016 - 01:26 AM

Steve states right in the video from what I remember that's ok. I'd have to rewatch but I'd stake a pizza on it
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#9 dlpsr

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Posted 08 September 2016 - 02:31 AM

Here are some pics of good technique in my opinion. http://andylemaire.c...hand-positions/

You will see Steve occasionally doing what you do with helping the index finger in his session videos or doing something with it besides just letting it dangle when not in use.

I am also working on barre technique. Thumb position on the back of the neck properly, using the tips of the fingers
for notes intead of the pads.

You also see Steve and the fellow in the link, use the boney side of the index finger for barreing, curled a little as necessary, instead of the flat fleshy part of the index.

Especially for wider fretting barres over more than 3 frets, bringing in the elbow towards the ribcage, reaching down under the neck etc.

Laying the middle finger on the index inhibits using the boney part a little I suppose as far as technique goes.

Im not much for rules and rigidity. If it works it works, if it causes no other grief. But I also push myself for good technique for improvement. To each his own path.

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#10 Barefoot

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Posted 08 September 2016 - 04:00 AM

I went back and put on the DVD. I skipped ahead to where Steve is showing us the barre chords

and took a quick screenshot...I hope I'm not in violation of board rules by posting this (I read them

to be sure):

 

skminorbarre_zpsdgfis2f0.jpg

 

He isn't touching the index with his middle finger, but his middle finger is more or less straight as

opposed to being very bent like some other players. I practiced barre chords this evening and

concentrated on not touching the index. I might be able to overcome this habit and will continue

to work on it for better technique purposes, but I'm not going to worry about it too much unless

it poses a major problem for me down the line.

 

Thanks for the link, Dave. I'll read through what Mr. Lemaire has to say about barre chords. I do

round my index finger and use the bony part (kind of hard to tell in my photo). It makes a better

connection for me...kind of like a capo. I'm still struggling with the tendency to want to pinch my

hand when making barre chords. It causes me thumb pain after a short while...especially when

practicing nothing but these chords. Been working on that part for several weeks now. It's a hard

one to break as well.

 

Thanks everybody for the constructive feedback. It's very much appreciated!

 

Have fun,

~Garth



#11 Barefoot

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Posted 08 September 2016 - 06:15 AM

Oh dang...you're right, JB! I never picked up on it before. It's been quite a while since I practiced 

with the DVD all the way through. Glad I took the time to go through it fully again tonight...thanks

for lighting the fire under my butt!

 

Been doing it like that for years without issues so far. Sounds like some feel it's no good and

worth changing while others either do it themselves or see no issues with it. Even Steve does it 

at least sometimes and as we all know, he's a great player! I guess it boils down to what feels right

and what works. I've been so focused on form/technique the past few weeks when it comes to

barre chords that I was questioning my way of doing things. Of course, I'd like to undo any bad

habits I've developed over the years. Definitely, the pinching/squeezing of the hand needs to be

the main focus for me at this stage, no doubt.

 

All the best,

~Garth



#12 SandyB53

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Posted 10 September 2016 - 09:51 AM

I am not to Session 7 yet but I personally tend to Agree with JWELLS. Right now your Technique may work for you but down the road as you play different songs at different Tempos, there is the possibility that your Current Method could cause you difficulty. I am not sure whether or not that is True or Not since I am not an Advanced Player but if it Were True, you would hate to have to begin at that point trying to Break a Bad Habit. I say if you can form Barre Chords with Proper Technique...Do So...if not, form it as close as you can. I call this the "Common Sense Approach".


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#13 Barefoot

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Posted 30 September 2016 - 08:52 AM

Just an update to say that I've been working on the middle finger issue and have finally broken out

of the habit. Not only do I not cross the middle finger over the index, but I also bend it now which

used to feel very awkward before. I was very mindful of how I was playing the past couple weeks

and now I don't have to think about it much anymore. Been practicing my butt off and working on the

hand technique. The work has been paying off! I've been doing both Session 7 & 8 together and will

most likely move on to Session 9 the week of October 10th. I'm pretty done focusing on these Barre

chords but am going to give it one more solid week.

 

Have fun,

~Garth



#14 yellow

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Posted 30 September 2016 - 10:59 AM

Oh well done Garth, thanks for the update.
You are making fabulous progress.
It feels great to be able to play chords all over the neck doesn't it!

#15 Barefoot

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Posted 01 October 2016 - 07:57 AM

Thanks for the kind words, Mandy. Yes, and to play them properly is a bonus!

 

~Garth






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