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FDP Forum / The Chop Shop / Playing Barr Chords

Contributing Member

Edmond, OK

May 8th, 2018 03:09 PM   Edit   Profile  

I've seen multiple people play an 'A' barr chord with the little finger. I've never done or felt the need to play them that way. Am I missing something?

Contributing Member


trust your cape
May 8th, 2018 04:04 PM   Edit   Profile  

Nah, you’re not missing anything. Play the chord shapes with the fingers that work best for you.

I play the A shape barre with the little finger. I started out using the ring finger and went with that for many years. About a year ago I injured my left hand and the ring finger was painful to move.

So my little finger came to the rescue and that sort of stuck, because the little finger is actually stronger than the ring finger for most people. Makes sense because I can now play longer with less hand fatigue.

Contributing Member

So. Cal. USA

May 8th, 2018 04:51 PM   Edit   Profile  

I'm a ring finger guy for the A shape, A string root based chords. It allows me to use my little finger to add the sus4 and do other noodling.

I'd be restricted if I used my pinky for this shape.

This is a huge bass thing however, I see many players use the pinky two frets up from the index finger. Again I then cant use my little finger up a fret in a scale or over in a 4th.


U.S. - Virginia

May 8th, 2018 05:22 PM   Edit   Profile  

I think it's good practice to use multiple fingers when possible to facilitate melody and inside/outside chord voice movements.

So I would suggest coming up with your stock fingering for "regular ole A" at second position, then some tertiary fingerings such as fingers 1,2,3 respectively on the E, A , C#.

Then, 2,1,3 on the E, A, C# respectively,

The pinky version discussed above being 2, 3, 4(pinky) on E, A, C#

I mostly barre the A there in pop style tunes if I am just strumming. The pinky 2,3,4 is my second go to because the pinky is good for high voice movement. It is strong, like Peegoo says.

You'll notice upright bass players rarely go for the ring finger. It's 1, 2 and 4. When you are playing those giant strings an inch off the fingerboard, you really can't fool with that weak ring finger much.

Mick Reid
Contributing Member


American-made in Oz!!
May 8th, 2018 05:36 PM   Edit   Profile  

I am physically incapable of holding down the A & D strings with just my ring finger.
My ring finger knuckle just don't bend dat way.

Plus, using the little finger is just how learnt it and it seems most chord charts show that way (#4 finger).

Contributing Member

Edmond, OK

May 9th, 2018 07:19 AM   Edit   Profile  

That's what I figured the response would be. All good.



May 9th, 2018 09:25 AM   Edit   Profile  


Which shape, fret, root, etc are you talking about?
Root 6?
Root 5?
Root 4?
Etc etc etc.

But as someone said, it really doesn't matter as long as you are able to do what you want to do.

Contributing Member


trust your cape
May 15th, 2018 09:22 AM   Edit   Profile  

The A-shape barre, root on the 5th string.

FDP Forum / The Chop Shop / Playing Barr Chords

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