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Classical Guitar Lessons: Barres

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lesson is on barres.
Also known in other parts of the world as
For the purposes of this lesson I'm just
gonna refer to them as barres.
And barres not meaning measures the lines
that separate measures, but
or bars meaning measuring, but bars as in
the, the, the makeshift capo that we,
that we make with our first finger.
According to indications on the score.
There's a, there's, for more on this topic
you can,
you can go to this really very good book
by Scott Tennant.
And which in, on, I think it's just a page
long on barres.
Where there's a, there's an exercise in
there, and then he explains
the, the premise that you really don't
need in most situations,
you really don't need your whole bar all
six strings.
Underneath your barre, in order to be
successful with barres,
because most of the time only certain
notes or
only certain strings are needed to be
sounded underneath the barre.
And just to give a quick example of that,
if I, say, if I play a,
place a barre on the fifth fret.
It is a good thing, a good measure of your
strength over time that you can actually
sound all five,
all six of those notes without buzzing.
But a good example here is a lot of times
if you have say for
example a A major chord there.
Because on the fifth string,
fourth string, and third string,
there are notes in that A major chord held
by your third,
fourth, and second finger, those strings
are not actually needed to be held down.
And so you can alleviate a lot of tension
in your barre, and
a lot of effort by noticing exactly which
strings do need to be held down.
So, if we see that strings five, four, and
three are taking up, are,
are being used by [SOUND] your second,
third, and fourth finger.
Then really only the sixth string [SOUND],
second string [SOUND], and
first [SOUND] really need to have a solid
So in fact,
my, my, my first finger [SOUND] as you can
see here creates something like an arch.
Where the sixth string, and the second,
and the first produce true notes, but
the third string for example,
if I go to pluck it,
I really, I mean I'm not even using it.
Same with the fourth and so on because
they're not needed and
this really gives a very relaxed feeling
to the hand where I don't need to use
even half of the effort [SOUND] in order
to play this barre chord passage of,
if there one happens here like this.
A passage in a piece of music, a
well-known piece of music I can use
is from BWV 999, the, the prelude by Bach.
If I, at measure nine we, we encounter our
first bar,
a five string bar in the first string.
On a lot of guitars bar on the first
string is kinda hard to hold down.
If I play from measure seven, most of the
time I see,
I will see students doing something like
You know, really making an effort
to place all of the strings underneath
that barre.
So that they would all be true.
But really you only need in this instance
the fifth string and the first.
So really how you should approach that if
you're working with that piece, and
we will cover that in the lesson in the
we will cover this very prelude.
First, just place the first
finger as if there is no barre.
Then you're playing two and
four on the this third and second strings.
then just find that segment of your first
finger that will,
that will sufficiently hold down
the first string.
And, and again, it kind of, you'll, you
can see on my left hand it's something
more of like an arched first finger than
really a barre.
And in 90% of your passages that's the,
the contain a barre you'll notice that all
the notes,
all the strings that are underneath your
barre are not needed.
And so, you should customize in fact the,
the pressure of your left hand according
to each individual place,
each individual barre that's marked in any
piece that you're doing.
And you'll find that the muscles become
very refined along your first finger
and more specialized to, to each
individual instance that you encounter.
So that's just a little bit of a lesson on
barres, and
I I hope that you will enjoy the discovery
of, of barres.