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Author Topic: Schprockie's guitar-playing is officially crap.  (Read 1872 times)

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Offline Schprocket

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Schprockie's guitar-playing is officially crap.
« on: December 19, 2008, 04:41:29 AM »
... according to Schprockie.

I've come to the conclusion that somewhere along the line I either have congentially flabby fingers which contribute to string buzz when playing barre chords, or I have developed some extremely bad habits over the last 15 to 20 years (which is why you don't hear too much gee-tah action being played by me...)

Let's say I'm playing the chord in the image below:



With the 'sliding E chord' I generally have trouble with string buzz on the bottom E string at my finger tip and with the B string where my finger is soft and fleshy. In the case of the G#7, I may even be muting the D!

With a 'sliding A chord' form, I barre the whole fret, which I've since found on some sites you only do to the A string and you don't play the bottom E ::)
This also has mixed results with unintentional mute and string buzz occuring on the two E strings and the B. I can't play the 'A form barre' without using three fingers.

I used to think it was because I'd always played acoustric guitars but better guitarists than me can pick up my guitars and make 'em sing instead of moan...

I'm thinking it's because I've developed a habit of lying my finger 'flat' across the fret rather than slightly on the side. :-[

Any suggestions? ... to help me play guitar better, I mean... :D
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Offline way2lon

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Re: Schprockie's guitar-playing is officially crap.
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2008, 05:20:50 AM »
It might sound crazy and unconventional Steve but I don't make bar chords anymore. I was the same as you and it HURT like Hell so I use my thumb around the neck and my index finger bars the top strings, the E and B. You can go from F all the way up the fretboard from there to just about cheat anything....whoops ...what have I said????
Dave
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Offline DinoWodini

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Re: Schprockie's guitar-playing is officially crap.
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2008, 07:08:11 AM »
Hey S, instead of playing the G#7 why not play the good old Ab7. :) ;) :)

Joking of course.  I cant be much help to you here because for me, my barre chords days are a distant memory.  In the old days i used to think using a "capo" was cheating but I am afraid I personally use a capo in most of my recordings because I like the ringing of the strings on an open fret.  Allthough barre chords are not a problem for me to play I just prefer to use a capo while recording (only on the acoustic guitar).  I have been known to move the capo up or down the frets to record various parts within the same song.  Live performing is a totally different kettle of trout fish because I have never played an acoustic with a band.  Always been electric and always straight tuning.

The "action" of your strings can also contribute to buzzing strings or muffled strings when playing barre chords.  If you are using too much pressure to force the strings onto the fret then you have the added problem of soft flesh and harder boney parts of the index finger to worry about.  This can amount to two or three different pressure points on the fret in order to get the six strings down to give a clear note.  This can also cause certain notes within the barre chord to be either flat or sharp or buzz or muffled.  Problems!!!

Another thing that can effect the sound of a barre chord is the exact position you place your fingers on the fret you are barreing.  In the middle of the fret - closer to the fret etc.   A lot of things to think about.  Too many!!!

For mine, I use stardard light gauge "12 - 54" on my acoustic and I can sit an Aussie $0.10c coin on the 12th fret just under the strings and get a slight buzz from the string against the coin when the string is plucked.   For me that is a pretty low action.

When I have the capo on say the 3rd fret (where I most prefer it) i can just fit an Aussie $0.05c coin under the same 12th fret without getting a string buzz (or slight).

From my point of view, a low action promotes easier left hand fingering or fretting.

Thats my $0.02 worth.  I would be interested to hear other comments on playing barre chords as well.

Dino

Offline Vincent

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Re: Schprockie's guitar-playing is officially crap.
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2008, 07:11:26 AM »
Playing chords or lead on the guitar is more about elbow placement for me.

If elbow is to close to body or to far away you can make it harder on yourself to fret the guitar...also moving the elbow forward and backward helps as well.

The trick is to move arm/elbow in all directions and move it around untill you find a more comfortable spot to play...also dropping elbow down can ease tention as well and bringing elbow up can help in regards to playing lead guitar.

Once you find a good spot doesnt mean you use that postion all the time however for certain chords you may have to adjust.


Offline Joom

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Re: Schprockie's guitar-playing is officially crap.
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2008, 09:51:57 AM »
There is a pretty good discussion of bar chords here, and the whole site is an interesting read...

http://www.heartwoodguitar.com/WordPressBlog/?p=23
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Offline Smurf

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Re: Schprockie's guitar-playing is officially crap.
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2008, 10:37:58 AM »
Hey Joom that looks like a decent site....thanks for the link! Plus it don't hurt that there are "Two Tracks" in the picture, 'eh? ;)

All good points folks, and I would like to add to Vincent's. Along with adjusting the elbow for leverage, I also find myself tilting the neck either up or down to reach certain ones, F a little lower, Bm a little higher.

It also helps to barr right behind the fret, for me this seems to help the "buzz".

Good Luck, and Practice, Practice, Practice! :o 8)
Question,

Offline Schprocket

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Excellent feedback all...
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2008, 09:20:52 PM »
This information is all very much appreciated.

Thank you !   :)
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Offline rk

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Re: Schprockie's guitar-playing is officially crap.
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2008, 09:21:31 PM »
i would add to that list to keep your fret hand moving.  not up and down the neck, but off and on the fret board.  if the rhythm is choppy, don't mute with your picking hand, let your fret hand relax.  it kind of goes with pressing too hard, or too long.  also, if the song allows, press more on the the low strings and then alternate with the high strings.  does that make sense?  like on a reggae song, play the bass strings on 1 (the downbeat) and the high strings on the upbeat.

so, with all of that said i usually don't barre more than 4 or 5 strings when strumming.  my positioning may look like i'm doing the full 6, but if i pluck each string i'll find i'm not playing the high strings or the low strings or just playing the four in the middle depending on the song.

muted = x

E 4 or x
B 4 or x
G 5
D 4
A 6 or x
E 4 or x

a lot of funk guys don't play the full 7th, too, just 2 or 3 strings.  the bass player should fill the low end, right... maybe?

in response to dino's, just play an Ab7, here's is what i play depending on the previous and next chords in the song

E 2
B 1
G 1
D 1
A x
E x

this is more comfortable to me if i only use two fingers, wrap my thumb and then my index finger barre doesn't go past the D string, and the middle finger plays the high E string.

interesting topic.  got me thinking about method and technique.

Offline Schprocket

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Re: Schprockie's guitar-playing is officially crap.
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2008, 01:03:17 AM »
Yeah that makes sense mate.

Muting on the fret I have almost down pat but the bit about squishing only the string/s you're likely to be strumming is a good idea.

I also think my approach to playing chords has been all wrong for a very long time. I tend to play all strings, not missing any. This is gonna be hard unlearning all of these bad  habits I've created for myself :D
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Offline rk

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Re: Schprockie's guitar-playing is officially crap.
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2008, 10:33:47 AM »
i learned on my own w/ some tips from guitar magazines 10-15 years ago, so i'm not saying anything i do is correct.  a lot of stuff back then was from sloppy grunge players.

Offline Schprocket

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Heads Up on my guitar lessons...
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2009, 12:44:22 AM »
Well, I really don't have the basics right but I'm not chucking a hissy fit about it (for a change!), I'm just accepting that I'm having to learn what I have concentrated on in the past and treating it like I'm just learning.. which really I am LOL

So I invested in the course Learn & Master Guitar with Steve Krenz and I'm just takin' it slow.

I had posted a response to some loser at a YouTube site who was less than complementary about the lady doing the tutorials. A dude from Nashville (don't they all come from Nashville?) called Eric read my post and invited me to see his site, which I did, and I think I'll be checking it out regularly...-ish... when I find the time... ::)

http://www.youtube.com/user/yourguitarsage is Eric's YouTube page where you'll see the intro (below) and links to his lessons and how-to-plays

« Last Edit: February 15, 2009, 12:47:51 AM by Schprocket »
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Offline kcc

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Re: Schprockie's guitar-playing is officially crap.
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2009, 07:32:41 AM »
I not a "guitarist" by any stretch of the imagination. FWIW I found the height at which I "wear" my guitar makes a huge diff. in how well I can play it!. I wear it on the higher side than most. This puts the neck in a comfortable range to move - like smurf said - and get your hand in good position. Same with bass. As a kid used to wear my bass where my right hand - pluckin hand - was almost no bend in the elbow! Now I wear it middle of my belt.

The other thing is to be aware of how relaxed your shoulders/arms/hands are.

KC
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Offline Badfinger

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Re: Schprockie's guitar-playing is officially crap.
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2009, 11:15:32 AM »
yeah, rk is on to it man... i play mostly blues, rock, and r&b....three or four strings in any chord go along way, especially if you move em around some and find some good spots to play them. Often when I play barre chords it's only on the bottom three or four and I will leave the top 2 or 3 open and if it works out key-wise, I'll play them.

And there is nothing wrong with a capo, if it makes you happy, it's right. Screw what anybody else thinks about YOUR music or your playing. A good capo is like having another dozen guitars around all with different tunings.. I fail to see what's wrong with that.

High actions and heavy strings are thankfully, and finally, dying the death they so deserve. It's just stupid to have guitars that are hard to play for no good reason. Now, pretty stiff is one thing, I play .011s on my electrics and .012 or .013 sets on acoustics( which are light on acoustics), but man, these old school guys and the medium strings on these poor old guitars, and they crank the actions way up and just hammer on the old things with these monstrous heavy pics...and just can't imagine why the bridges are lifting or the necks are warped or the frets are getting worn out.

I should'nt say anything, those guys pay me a lot of money.

 ;D
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Offline AsWeGoHomestead

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Re: Schprockie's guitar-playing is officially crap.
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2009, 08:35:27 AM »
It might sound crazy and unconventional Steve but I don't make bar chords anymore. I was the same as you and it HURT like Hell so I use my thumb around the neck and my index finger bars the top strings, the E and B. You can go from F all the way up the fretboard from there to just about cheat anything....whoops ...what have I said????
Dave
Hey Dave.  Very interesting, I can't quite picture what you are describing? Would like to know more about this  :) hate bar chords >:(
awg :)

Offline AsWeGoHomestead

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Re: Schprockie's guitar-playing is officially crap.
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2009, 08:39:57 AM »
Joking of course.  I cant be much help to you here because for me, my barre chords days are a distant memory.  In the old days i used to think using a "capo" was cheating but I am afraid I personally use a capo in most of my recordings because I like the ringing of the strings on an open fret.  Allthough barre chords are not a problem for me to play I just prefer to use a capo while recording (only on the acoustic guitar).  I have been known to move the capo up or down the frets to record various parts within the same song.  Live performing is a totally different kettle of trout fish because I have never played an acoustic with a band.  Always been electric and always straight tuning.

Thanks Dino never thought of changing capo location and recording different parts. I love my capo, been using one for years.  With my short fingers bar chords are a nightmare.  I love the sound but hate the pain ;D
awg 8)