How To Play Barre Chords With No Strain
By Chris Glyde
The bar chord is one of the most useful and versatile chord types you can play.
At the same time, for the majority of guitar players, it’s very difﬁcult to play these chords
for a long period of time without the hand cramping up, straining or getting tense. In this
article, we’re going to talk about all the aspects of your playing that are causing you to
strain when playing barre chords. By the end, you should know how to free up your
hand and get the most from this chord type! Without further ado, here is problem 1:
1) You press to hard with the barre ﬁnger.
The biggest problem for most players is the amount of pressure they use on the bar
ﬁnger. If you apply too much pressure on the barre ﬁnger, you will cause your wrist to
come out farther than it should, thus making the barre chords more tense. If you
struggle to play the barre chords for longer than 10 minutes, this is probably your
You need to start scraping the side of your ﬁnger the barre is laying on. Scrape the
ﬁnger by simple taking the area of the ﬁnger on which you place the strings and scrape
it against the strings. Make sure your scrape is vertical, or from the ﬂoor to the ceiling,
like the arrows in the picture below demonstrate.