A Form Barre Chord 5th String

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by River Hill, Nov 26, 2017.


  1. River Hill

    River Hill Member

    Messages:
    37
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2015
    I starting to focus more on some of my playing techniques and wondering when you do an A form Barre Chord using a Barre with your pointer and ring finger do you let the high E string ring out or do you mute it? I can let it ring if needed, but I have seen it written out both ways. The only chord I have trouble letting it ring out is the Bb.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2017
  2. Axis29

    Axis29 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,392
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2007
    Location:
    Falmouth, Va
    I very rarely play all five strings in that form. Realistically, I'm usually stabbing at the middle strings, unless I'm trying to bring in some brightness in. Then, I'm only hitting the top couple of strings. I rarely panic about the high e string though.
     
  3. 71strat

    71strat Member

    Messages:
    6,866
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2013
    If I'm practicing technique, I try and play all of the strings cleanly. If you ever play classical, youll be way behind if you don't practice using all strings. You may not play all strings most of the time, but that's no reason not to practice every position, and every voicing.
     
    Pick'n'strum and JustABluesGuy like this.
  4. JonR

    JonR Member

    Messages:
    11,458
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Location:
    London
    It depends. The chord is theoretically complete without the 1st string - in fact you have two roots if you use all the middle 4 strings. But sometimes - in practice! - you will need the 1st string, just as sometimes you may need the 6th string.
    I generally don't use the double barre, except higher on the neck. I normally use 3 fingers on that upper fret. That enables the 1st string to be clear if I need it. Or, if I use the ring barre and want to be sure of the 1st string, I lift the ring a little more and use pinky on 2nd string; the ring will still hold 4th and 3rd. (And sometimes a muted 3rd string will give a nice open R-5-3 voicing too.;))
    I will often mute the 6th by just touching it with the tip of the index instead of fretting it.
     
    boyce89976 likes this.
  5. Tootone

    Tootone Member

    Messages:
    1,138
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2016
    Repeating above.... except I would suggest practice so you have the ability to let the 1st string ring or mute it. If you can play it both ways with ease you have more ammunition.

    Also learn to play like this

    1st Finger Barre, 2nd Finger 4th String, 3rd Finger 3rd String, 4th Finger 2nd String.

    This will allow your little finger to "play" the Sus2 (lift finger off), Sus4 on 2nd String and 7th on 1st String. Your 3rd finger can also "play" the 7th on the 3rd string by taking it off.
     
    ctreitzell and Tom Gross like this.
  6. Caprica

    Caprica Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,237
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2015
    Location:
    Orion Nebula
    like @JonR says "it depends"

    If you are learning barre chords for the first time, then yes it is important to get it right and the high e should ring out, so you know what the grip feels like for all 5 strings.

    If you are playing with a band, when you play rhythm you may want to focus on the mid range (to not compete with the bassist and vocalist) by muting the high E and low E. Sometimes you want to play split chords and on the down stroke and hit the low strings (EAD) and on the up stroke hit the high strings (GBE). Sometimes you will finger pick specific strings out. Sometimes you will haver a reason to play partial chords. And sometimes you will just screw up.
     
    tweedster likes this.
  7. River Hill

    River Hill Member

    Messages:
    37
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2015
    Thanks everyone for the input and feedback. I really appreciate it. I am not new to learning barre chords, but every now and then I go back and look at my technique as I am self taught. I often find holes in my technique that I try to correct.
     
  8. Mooselake

    Mooselake Member

    Messages:
    264
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2017
    I am (so far) physically unable to get the high E to ring in that shape using index and ring fingers--just not enough double-jointedness in my ring finger (perhaps one too many sports injuries as a youth). But I work on it every day a little and maybe someday I'll get it. In the meantime, when the situation allows, if I need the high E string and can't get it I'll either use my pinky for the entire partial barre (a "trick" I learned watching videos of Alex Lifeson), or use my ring finger on the 3rd/4th strings and tuck my pinky behind it to get the second. One or the other of those might help you with the Bb you mentioned having trouble with. Or you can brute force it by using fingers 2,3, and 4, on the 4th, 3rd, and 2nd strings respectively.

    What I can't do that is really frustrating is play that barre shape and add the 4th w/my pinky on the second string (think the intro to Panama or Dance the Night Away by VH).
     
  9. Tommy Biggs

    Tommy Biggs Member

    Messages:
    4,333
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2010
    Location:
    North Jersey
    I’ll use that bottom string to get an alternating bass note going sometimes. It’s good to be able to walk that index finger around.
     
  10. Sascha Franck

    Sascha Franck Member

    Messages:
    4,997
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2017
    I can play a mini barre with my pinky covering D, G and B but leaving E1 ring 2 frets below. Not exactly most pleasurable, though.
     
  11. kinmike

    kinmike Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,252
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago
    ya mean high E strings? there's two


     
  12. Mark Robinson

    Mark Robinson Member

    Messages:
    6,714
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    Forget the root on the A string and pick up the duplicates on the skinny strings two frets up? Or play it mu, by dropping a whole step on the B string. options, not all the time but sometimes I like those.
     
  13. stevel

    stevel Member

    Messages:
    12,759
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Location:
    Hampton Roads, Virginia
    I can't do it.

    I see people "backbend" their ring finger joint so that the upper joint of the finger covers the three "inner" strings, allowing the "outer" 1st and 5th strings played by the index finger (the barre) to ring out.

    I have to play it with fingers 2,3, and 4 on the inner strings.

    However, I rarely rarely do. I typically just leave the 1st string out. I play it weird - I play it like it was a 3 note power chord, with fingers (bottom to top) 1-3-4 and then my pinkie barres the 2nd and 3rd strings so it ends up 1-3-4-4.

    In doing this, I can't let the first string ring out, but I can play a 6 chord if I let the pinkie press down the 1st string as well so it looks like 1-3-4-4-4 (some people play this 1-3-3-3-3 but I can't do that either).

    If I have to have the first string ring, I either play it 1-2-3-4-1 or leave off the lower note, playing 2-3-4-1 or just the upper 3 strings.

    If nothing else works, I move the whole shebang down to the 6th string and move it up the fretboard to the same notes!

    Don't obsess over it. Continue to work to get it to sound good, and find as many different ways to effectively play it as possible, and concentrate on learning to play songs.
     
  14. tweedster

    tweedster Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,017
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    Central NJ
    I leave the top string out when using the A shaped barre. It usually clashes with the singer or lead instrument of the moment.

    I usually comp rhythm guitar w triads & usually on strings 2,3,4 and stay out of everybody's way. If I need the top string, I'll use a triad with string sets 1,2,3.

    And the triad doesn't have to be the 1,3,5. It can be 3,5,7 or 5,7,9 (in other words superimposing/reharmonizing the other diatonic chords on the chords of the song. Doing that and using inversions makes for a lot of nice lines with ascending or descending top notes.

    Was lame when I started, but with practice it became fun.

    When doing a rocker like Cocaine, I usually do the A form barre as a double barre with the index and pinky. It seems like less work. Saw Clapton do it first, and when I tried it, I realized it felt very natural to me.
     
    cmstrat likes this.
  15. splatt

    splatt david torn / splattercell Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    21,130
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2008
    Location:
    you might find me somewhere.
    i agree with being capable of playing this chord in more than one way if possible, but..... in the moment, whatever works is good.

    to be a little more specific:
    dropping the pinky (to the barré) on 2nd string yields the 9th, not the 2nd;
    pinky can grab the 11th on 2nd string & b7-8va on the 1st string;
    that's the b7 proper revealed on the 3rd string.
    and, and and: the 4th is revealed if dropping to barré on the 4th string --- that's a beautiful chord there, that, imo.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2017
  16. ctreitzell

    ctreitzell Member

    Messages:
    338
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2017
    Location:
    France/ UK
    it really depends on the voicing and progression.
    for me, if I want the high E to sound cleanly fretted in your major chord example (assuming standard tuning):
    I use my pinky to barre the 5th/Root oct/Maj 3rd oct; that’s the only way I can get a clean fretted A/5th string Root along with simultaneous 5 oct on the high E with index barre. I have always played it that way since I was teen. I get less accurate results using my ring finger (fouls the high E).

    I actually find it harder to get a clean D chord shape high E solid fretting without fouling the high E with pinky, whether barring with ring finger are using them all.
     
  17. Sascha Franck

    Sascha Franck Member

    Messages:
    4,997
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2017
    That depends on your "school of thought". But the most common chord name for that particular voicing these days would be "X2" or "Xsus2", as there's no 3rd present.
    Spoken in "raw interval" mode and looking from the lowest root note, it is of course the 9th that is revealed, but raw intervals aren't exactly what chord nomenclature is about - and especially with this voicing it's a moot point as there's an octaved root and 5th to start with.
     
  18. splatt

    splatt david torn / splattercell Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    21,130
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2008
    Location:
    you might find me somewhere.
    i'll keep that in mind, but i don't know why, when i can simply name a chord to reflect even slightly more accurately its vertical voicing.
    ???
    i admit that i've never seen what you're outlining --- what i responded-to of @Tootone's post --- in my working life; i don't mean to imply folks don't use that nomenclature, but i haven't seen it.

    if it's a moot point, why bother calling the lowest note the "root", as you've done? i'm mystified, if communication of voicing has any meaning whatsoever..... which it does, for me.
    if "raw intervals" aren't what chord nomenclature is about, what is it about?


    really; i'm mystified. apparently, as much as i actually work & play & read & write, i'm living in another world entirely. i have never seen what you call "is most common".
     
  19. Tootone

    Tootone Member

    Messages:
    1,138
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2016
    @splatt

    Xsus2 and Xsus4 is what you would see written in nearly every "song book for guitar". It is correct in the sense that there is no 3rd. I know the actual notes in question are a 9th and 11th above the root, but generally a 9th or 11th chord name implies the 3rd is present (at least in the overall harmony).

    If you read music, I guess you would never pay much attention to what's written over the stave or chord boxes. ;)
     
    Sascha Franck likes this.
  20. splatt

    splatt david torn / splattercell Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    21,130
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2008
    Location:
    you might find me somewhere.
    thanks.

    i read & write notation; i'm reading down a new score right now, for performance in paris just before christmas.

    but, i admit: i don't actually read "song-books for guitar"; i don't really even see them.
    i never read chord charts other than if i, my friends, employers, students, mentors write them, most of those folks involved in either the crossover between jazz & "new music", or in some kind of songwriting.
     

Share This Page