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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Neil Lowe What the 'F' is goin' on at Mudcat? (107* d) RE: What the 'F' is goin' on at Mudcat? 06 Apr 00

I read that Merle Travis almost never used barre chords, and looked what he accomplished. He was able to play all those beautiful, jazzy sounding chords by draping his thumb over the neck - sometimes over both of the top strings - when needed. It looks almost like he had a double-jointed thumb from the photos of him making those pretzel-twist chords. I tried to copy his fingerings, with little success, but I was originally taught the barre method, so in that way I suppose I was predisposed to failure.

I play a little electric blues, so it's almost unavoidable, as well as easier, to make barre chords on an electric guitar. I've been making barre F at the nut for so long that when I play F on electric or accoustic, I almost always make it a barre, out of habit.

My nemesis is barre E (or barre D, for that matter) at the fourth fret - what I call E second position (what others call an 'inverted E??). It's hard to make the change to E at the fourth fret - it requires more accuracy because no two fingers end up on the same fret; all your fingers, especially the pinkie, are outstretched. It's also harder for me to slide this chord up and down the neck, for the same reasons.

Regards, Neil

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