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Here is Another One of the Major Struggles on Guitar

So I recently did a poll of what was the #1 struggle out there on guitar.

I found another one that was really quite prominent.

If you missed my post from last week, check out the #1 struggle on Guitar. You can read it here.

But there is another.

And man, is it a doozy for many.

Sometimes the mere mention of these words strike fear in the hearts of many.

Ok, buckle up.

Are you ready?

Here it is:

Barre Chords!

I’m actually typing this on Halloween and I think that if there could be a guitar oriented horror story it could be title something like:

The Attack of the Sinister Barre Chord!

Ok, maybe not that, but you get the idea.

It can really be a pain for so many. Maybe you are one of them?

But also, I’m guessing that many of you have conquered that immense villain.

And that should be an encouragement to the rest of you because there is hope on the other side.

The real tonic to that poisonous elixir is this: practice.

Nothing can be a substitute for that very act of practicing.

But what you all should be aware of is that the amount of time needed to overcome this struggle is different for everyone.

While some may get it within days or weeks, others might take months to get it.

The key is to not give up. If you give up, you sealed your fate and gave in to that monster.

I have taught many players and see all kinds of awesome achievements.

And, if you are one of those that gets discouraged that others seem to get it quicker than you, I have news for you:

Odds are real good that there will something else on guitar that will come easier to you that others are going to struggle mightily on.

I see it all the time.

One takes a million years to get it on barre chords but finds scales are a piece of cake while another can grasp a barre chord like its breathing but can’t play a scale without immense frustration.

The key is to hang in there!

Also, if you are trying all of this on your own, it makes it that much harder. 

Find a mentor, a teacher, a friend, that knows what you are going through and has the experience to help you through it.

I can’t say enough about that.

Plus, find some online videos from reputable people to show some other tips and tricks to overcome your struggles. While it isn’t the same as private instruction, it can help and often be a supplement to your private help.

I teach all the time and regularly will point to videos (some mine, some from others) that will help with whatever a student is struggling with.

Here is one video I made to help those of you a little ways into your barre chord journey. It’s a cool exercise called Zig Zag. Give it a go:

🎸 Here’s a Cool Guitar Finger Exercise for You!

Are you having trouble moving your fingers from chord to chord?

Or, perhaps having problems trying to play some kind of cool solo?

The Finger Crawl exercise is great for your left hand coordination.

However, if you really want your fingers to work the way you really want them to, try this exercise.

I call it Diagonals.

As you do the exercise, you will see why it is called that way. Your fingers move in a diagonal direction across the fretboard.

You don’t have to be a lead guitar player either. Every guitarist should do this kind of exercise.

I do need to tell you that if you have never done it before, it will be hard.

Press through it. I assure you that you will be able to play it well in a short amount of time.

As long as you practice it.

Even if you have a handful of minutes available, this could be a good one to keep the fingers in shape.

=> But, a word of caution, if you have never done this before: start slow! It might hurt a little if you overdo it.

Take your time building up to it. You will definitely do well in time.

“All good things come to those who are patient”

Hop on over to the blog to get a detailed description (w/TABS) and the video on how to do the two methods:

Here’s the Blog that describes it in detail: Diagonal Finger Exercise

Want the video? Here ya go:

Good luck!

Guitar Finger Exercise Stretching

Guitar Finger Exercises: Stretching to a Song

Getting the fingers in shape using finger exercises should always be a top priority when learning and playing guitar.

I have a ton of exercises that I use with students to help them get their fingers in shape.

However, I think that some of the most fun ways of doing that are learning parts of songs.

For me, it keeps the interest going plus I will have learned a new song to boot!

Finger stretching is one of those things that you really need to keep up with as a guitarist.

There are many songs out there from blues to pop to prog that will require some degree of stretching the fingers. And, if you aren’t fully stretched out, you will have difficulty playing them.

Warm Up Exercise

So, when getting the fingers ready to even play these “stretchy” songs, you need to always warm up!

Let me repeat: always warm up!

This is so true before doing any stretchy type of riffs/songs on the guitar. But really, warm ups should always be a thing.

Do things like the following:

  • Do a chromatic scale warmup.
  • Go over a scale you are learning. Or one that you know that is a favorite.
  • Play some simple songs that you are familiar with.

What you could also do is go to a Guitar Gymnastics Course and take up on some exercises you can work out with. Just click on the link below, enter your email (don’t worry, no spam crap here. I’ll send you some more tips later if you want them, that’s it).

Start Stretching Exercises

After you warm up, you can work on those stretches!

Here is one article I wrote about this very subject that might help:

Guitar Finger Exercises: Stretch Your Way to Success

A “Guitar Exercise” Song for You

Now try this popular song to test your “stretchy-ness”.

Some of you might be ready for it.

Some of you might not. If that is you, don’t be intimidated by this song. It will simply take you longer but the journey will be oh, so worth it! In fact, I strongly encourage you to take it slow! Just work on one part of the riff until you have it. Then go to the next and so on. You have heard the saying that the greatest journey begins with a single step. Make this one one of your single steps!

Important: also, as you watch the video, be sure to watch how my left and right hands are positioned on the guitar. Specifically the wrist and thumbs. Are they bent or pressing in ways that are making it difficult? Do a self check on that. Watch how I am positioned and do your best to mimic what I am doing.

Ok, enough of that. Now on to the song. Here is the familiar riff to Message in a Bottle by The Police.

Have fun!

Grab the TAB here: Message In a Bottle TAB.

Note it says (Another) Guitar Finger Stretch.

I have another one that will be more challenging if you are up for it. Stay tuned, I’ll send it soon. (Or you can simply look at my You Tube Playlist and look for it).

Rock On,