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  1. #1

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    I just can't seem to be able to finger the drop 2 minor chord with 3 fingers.
    xx5766 where the 66 is a barre with your middle finger. I need to use four fingers so my pinky is used and cannot add extensions. Am I doomed?

    Any hints on how to get his grip. My hands are small which may part of the problem. I have tried and don't wan to force the issue as it does result is some pain. No pain no gain?

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  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by alltunes View Post
    No pain no gain?
    No, if there's pain stop!

    Note the position of your thumb on the back of the neck - is it towards the bass or treble side?

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by alltunes View Post
    I just can't seem to be able to finger the drop 2 minor chord with 3 fingers.
    xx5766 where the 66 is a barre with your middle finger. I need to use four fingers so my pinky is used and cannot add extensions. Am I doomed?

    Any hints on how to get his grip. My hands are small which may part of the problem. I have tried and don't wan to force the issue as it does result is some pain. No pain no gain?
    No, if it genuinely hurts, just do it the other way.

    I've never been able to play that chord with the barre...it doesn't hurt, but it feels weird. Just have to make some shifts if you want to grab different extensions...

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by alltunes View Post
    I just can't seem to be able to finger the drop 2 minor chord with 3 fingers.
    xx5766 where the 66 is a barre with your middle finger. I need to use four fingers so my pinky is used and cannot add extensions. Am I doomed?
    Yes, but not because of that.

  6. #5

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    Funny enough, I've forced myself to get that fingering down recently. It was uncomfortable for a while, but not too bad anymore.

    I can understand and agree with the sentiment that you should avoid pain (and hopefully that helps to avoid injury) but I think you have to separate 'uncomfortable pain' and 'injury pain'.

    If I never fought my way through some pain I would never have made it past an F barre chord.

    But of course, if it feels like you're doing damage, stop.

  7. #6

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    Oh, I remember this chord. Instead of Drop 2 I just dropped the whole thing. Never played it since forever. It didn't sound that good to begin with, there are better m7 grips.

  8. #7

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    No, your not doomed. I use this chord all the time and add the 11 by quickly shifting positions. After so many years it’s a seamless transition and sounds as good as anyone playing to those extensions with the other fingering. Just keep practicing it.

  9. #8

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    Maybe have another guitarist look at your grip?

    Not bragging, but that's an easy one.

  10. #9

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    I’ve never had a problem with that barre but over the years a lot of my students have had real difficulty with it. I’ve never pushed it on anyone. We’re all built differently so there’s no use trying to force something that’s uncomfortable.
    Remember, Django managed to play with two fingers so I don’t think a barre is going to make much difference.

  11. #10

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    I’ve moved away from doing half barres myself.

  12. #11

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    I was just thinking about that. I was working on a chord melody (I posted a video) that used that chord and I was having trouble getting to ring really clearly. I found that the four finger grip sounded better.

    I'd been playing it with the bar for 55 years. Maybe younger hands made it sound better.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    I'd been playing it with the bar for 55 years. Maybe younger hands made it sound better.
    Maybe younger ears were less discerning.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by alltunes View Post
    I just can't seem to be able to finger the drop 2 minor chord with 3 fingers.
    xx5766 where the 66 is a barre with your middle finger. I need to use four fingers so my pinky is used and cannot add extensions. Am I doomed?

    Any hints on how to get his grip. My hands are small which may part of the problem. I have tried and don't wan to force the issue as it does result is some pain. No pain no gain?
    Instead of a partial barre try putting the middle finger between the first and second strings, stopping both of them with the tip of the finger.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    No, if it genuinely hurts, just do it the other way.

    I've never been able to play that chord with the barre...it doesn't hurt, but it feels weird. Just have to make some shifts if you want to grab different extensions...
    Ditto, or I just grab a stack of fourths.

    John

  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by pcjazz View Post
    Instead of a partial barre try putting the middle finger between the first and second strings, stopping both of them with the tip of the finger.
    Good thought but fingers too small for that move especially on a 1 3/4" nut.

  17. #16

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    These types of fingerings take time to get used to - it is more the matter of control, flexibility and maybe strength. All of which develops gradually, you just do a little of this regularly and it gets better. Hand size should not be an issue here - I find having more space between strings makes this aspect of chord work easier.

    I learned playing on a big acoustic with high tension when I was young - was barring only with index, gripping even plainest Am7 5x555x and C x3555x with all four. It stayed like this through decades of my noodling. I've started doing barre with other fingers a year or so ago, and since then most of inconvenient shapes turned into preferred ones and what was impossible became reachable.

    I find it a good option to have - it unclutters both the brain and fingers. An example of C6 x3221x with all 4 fingers - a tonic grip I always felt awkward to arrive to in most cases.
    The ability is also closely related to finger rolls over the same fret when playing single lines - again uncluttering things.

  18. #17

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    I have the same challenge right now. My finger joints are stiff and don’t bend backwards easily. Some partial barres work but not this one. Strangely, two Barrys that I’m learning from right now, Barry Greene and Barry Galbraith, both use this grip extensively.

    I found that xx5566 is much easier and sounds hip in context, I play it with a double bar with index and middle, no need to break joints. Hammer on the fifth or something if you really want to hear it. Or, try xxx766 with an index bar. Or even xx8766... all of these let pinky play melody notes.

  19. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by frankhond View Post
    I have the same challenge right now. My finger joints are stiff and don’t bend backwards easily. Some partial barres work but not this one. Strangely, two Barrys that I’m learning from right now, Barry Greene and Barry Galbraith, both use this grip extensively.

    I found that xx5566 is much easier and sounds hip in context, I play it with a double bar with index and middle, no need to break joints. Hammer on the fifth or something if you really want to hear it. Or, try xxx766 with an index bar. Or even xx8766... all of these let pinky play melody notes.
    I was working on Barry Greene's Joe Pass video and he has a cool riff based off of xx5766 but I will try the lick with your alternate grips. Thanks.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by alltunes View Post
    I was working on Barry Greene's Joe Pass video and he has a cool riff based off of xx5766 but I will try the lick with your alternate grips. Thanks.
    Small world:-) I’m working on billies bounce and the five position study. There are like these 2-3 chord sequences that keep popping up in his other videos too, with that 5766 thing baked in. Barry has crazy chord chops. But he also talks a lot about changing things up, so...

  21. #20

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    Hmm. I hadn’t thought of playing this voicing with the barre, but when I tried it I had trouble with it too!

    It oddly made doing it with four fingers seem easy in comparison, which is weird because that voicing in particular has been the last holdout of all of the root position Drop 2 forms for me (meaning it’s the one I still have trouble grabbing quickly).

    Seems like fretting the barre slightly toward the side of the middle finger instead of straight on makes it a bit easier.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by stringtapper View Post
    Hmm. I hadn’t thought of playing this voicing with the barre, but when I tried it I had trouble with it too!

    It oddly made doing it with four fingers seem easy in comparison, which is weird because that voicing in particular has been the last holdout of all of the root position Drop 2 forms for me (meaning it’s the one I still have trouble grabbing quickly).

    Seems like fretting the barre slightly toward the side of the middle finger instead of straight on makes it a bit easier.
    There is no problem fretting it with 4 fingers but then you run into music that assumes you have a free pinky to play extra melody.

    I already started training myself to apply the Joe Pass advice to play with a barre as much as possible... after a year or so I’m getting there. Makes you appreciate how hard this stuff is and how good those cats are.

  23. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by frankhond View Post
    Small world:-) I’m working on billies bounce and the five position study. There are like these 2-3 chord sequences that keep popping up in his other videos too, with that 5766 thing baked in. Barry has crazy chord chops. But he also talks a lot about changing things up, so...
    His Blues Comping course is great. How is the Billies Bounce? From the description it appears to be basic jazz blues?

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by alltunes View Post
    His Blues Comping course is great. How is the Billies Bounce? From the description it appears to be basic jazz blues?
    There is nothing basic about it even though it says so. Barry presents a bunch of those chord sequences that sound fantastic but are very challenging for someone like me. But I’m working on a few of these and there are “bread and butter” combos that are recognizable in the other videos. And it’s possible to simplify. Barry tends to grab and quickly switch to fully formed chord shapes. Many of these decompose into smaller fragments that you see in the jazz books...

  25. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by frankhond View Post
    There is nothing basic about it even though it says so. Barry presents a bunch of those chord sequences that sound fantastic but are very challenging for someone like me. But I’m working on a few of these and there are “bread and butter” combos that are recognizable in the other videos. And it’s possible to simplify. Barry tends to grab and quickly switch to fully formed chord shapes. Many of these decompose into smaller fragments that you see in the jazz books...
    I purchased Billie's Bounce and you are right lots of great chord moves and ii-V lines. Yes parsing down some difficult shapes helps at first but the downside is you either lose the top melody note or the bass note (solo guitar context) I guess you can try 10ths intervals and leave out a middle note to simplify? All of Barry's lessons are packed with information and repeated views will reveal more and more. At $15 they are a bargain.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by alltunes View Post
    I purchased Billie's Bounce and you are right lots of great chord moves and ii-V lines. Yes parsing down some difficult shapes helps at first but the downside is you either lose the top melody note or the bass note (solo guitar context) I guess you can try 10ths intervals and leave out a middle note to simplify? All of Barry's lessons are packed with information and repeated views will reveal more and more. At $15 they are a bargain.
    I gave up and subscribed. Even if I can’t go through all that in a lifetime, Barry’s playing is very inspiring and I like his no nonsense approach.

    One way to simplify is to hybrid pick and give yourself the pick and two fingers. Then just loop the thing over and over and do what you can with three notes maximum, using Barry’s chords as a palette. I just put on some drums and let rip, tons of fun.

  27. #26

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    Just play 3 of the 4 notes. Life is too short.

  28. #27

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    There are some good news. I have been practicing Barry Greene's chord position study (based on There Will Never Be Another You), and while simplifying some grips to be able to play it, I also set some time aside to persevere with that xx5766 drop2. Just gently asking my hand to find a way, no forcing or hurting. After a few months I can now hit it accurately maybe 70% of the time, which is good enough that I stopped simplifying it. There is still hope.

    Notably, the improvement doesn't come from developing a deeper joint break, my finger is just as stiff as before. Somehow, the fingertip got pliable in the right way and now covers both strings. The remaining 30% inaccuracy comes from complicated position change rather than the grip itself.

    So it's worth setting some time aside for the impossible stuff, one day it might become possible.