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thebluewaffle's avatar

Guitar. How much will playing an A-shape barre with all my pinky hinder my progress?

Asked by thebluewaffle (1002points) October 24th, 2013
8 responses
“Great Question” (1points)

As the question says, I play an Amajor shape Barre chord using my whole pinky. As opposed to the whole ring finger way? Anyone know of any songs that play this chord and require your pinky to be free to fret different notes?
Just want to know if I’ve picked up a bad habit!


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OneBadApple's avatar

Your description of how you are playing an ‘A’ bar (not Barre) chord has got me scratching my head, Mr. waffle.

The two most common ways to play ‘A’ are shown on this chart, and as you can see by viewing the ‘bar’ version of it, you would bar the whole 5th fret with your index finger, then place the other three fingers as shown.

Hope this helps….

thebluewaffle's avatar

No not an Amajor Barre chord I mean as if you played 113331 for example! Get what I mean? Sorry for not explaining correctly!

thebluewaffle's avatar

I only say Amajor as it is in the shape of an open Amajor

dxs's avatar

@OneBadApple You can Barre however you want, there’s no rule or anything, just “standards”. I find it much harder to play using 3 different fingers, in fact.
I never thought of Barreing an A major chord with my pinky finger when when not playing open. It makes playing the high e-string so much easier to play! Thanks!
I don’t know of any music that may require your pinky, but I’m sure it won’t be too difficult of a habit to break, I just find it easier to get the sound of the e-string when playing with your pinky finger. I occasionally find myself using fingering that is abnormal to me by reflex.

dxs (15160points)“Great Answer” (0points)
thebluewaffle's avatar

I only Barre using my pinky because my hands are small! So its a struggle using my index.

dxs's avatar

I always used my ring finger even when on higher frets than an open A chord. I angle it on the fret to get all three strings. If you’re playing higher on the fretboard, then you use your index finger to barre the fret and thats when it feels easier for me to use my pinky to barre the 3 higher strings.
So just try stretching your ring finger to do it. I use the pad of my fingertip up to where the first joint is to barre the 3 chords. You may need more than that if your hands are small, so watch out for the gap in your finger where your joint is because that will mute the string instead. Try using the right side of your ring finger where your finger is more jelly-like.

dxs (15160points)“Great Answer” (0points)
thebluewaffle's avatar

Bloody hell I meant so its a struggle using my ring finger! Sorry I’m typing on my phone and keep making weird typos!

OneBadApple's avatar

First, my apologies, bluewaffle. After all these years, I learn that bar chords, although named for ‘barring’ a fret using the index finger, can also be called Barre chords (although that logic still escapes me).

Nothing wrong with using your pinky finger to play ‘A’ in the location you are talking about, since the chord will of course sound the same. It might make sense for you to train yourself to get used to the conventional index, middle and ring fingers, since that way will always free-up your pinky finger for possible other assignments,,,,

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