Barre Chords Unlocked: Key 2: The Barre

2. The Barre

The index finger is the mechanism by which we convey pressure from the back muscles to the strings.

Most of the time the side of the index finger nearest the thumb will transmit the pressure to the strings.

If you try and play a chord by "gripping" the strings you will limit the mobility of the fingers and increase fatigue. So, to reiterate, the energy comes from the overall posture, not from the gripping action of the fingers.

Let's get familiar with the roles of the fingers in a barre chord by practicing on a table.

Again, here are the joints in the left hand:

Place your left hand palm down on the table.

Now relax the hand and fing the natural position on the fingertips. The natural position of the fingers is slightly curved.

Straighten the Distal and Middle phalanx of the index finger.

Move the proximal phalanx of the 1st finger away from the 2nd finger.

Check that the 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers are still free to move about.


Now move the 4th finger away from the others. This movement is occasionally necessary for chords.

There we have it! These are the finger movements necessary to play barre chords.

Next we will apply these movements to the guitar.

Next: Barre Chords Unlocked: The 1/2 Barre

This article is an excerpt from:

Barre Chords Unlocked
Barre Chords Unlocked.

Click here to download Barre Chords Unlocked for free!

Browse and download all the books by Peter Inglis.