C barre at the 8th fret

I’ve been trying to get a C barre chord down but I’m having problems with the B string ringing out clearly. The problem is I can’t get my index finger to lean over enough like I can what I’m barring lower down the neck.

Doe anyone have any top tip’s on how to make that pesky B string ring?

I forgot to say, this is on my acoustic.

Thank you. :slight_smile:


Try moving your whole body to the left (if you are right handed), and roll your fretting hand (counter clockwise) to have a better positioning of your fretting fingers.

The best thing I could say is “just do it”
Start from fret 1, to 2 to 3… all the way to 8.
Have fun, you are on the right track!!!

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Try tucking your elbow closer to your side, which will give you a better chance of barring with the side of the finger and not the fleshy part.


I have to move my index finger up slightly so the inside of the joint doesn’t land on a string… my index finger is pretty flat and doesn’t lean much when I get that far up the neck. Maybe it’s bad technique …I don’t know… but works for me.



My trick to make the strings ring out clearly is to curl a little bit index…but it’s a bad habit I want to get rid of…so don’t do it… I can’t help, I’m replying just to emphatize with your struggle. Btw the C chord up there sounds so lovely :heart_eyes:

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I’ll try this as my technique is actually worse!

In addition to the other good tips here, use your right arm to leverage the guitar and push the fretboard into your left hand (assuming you are playing right -handed position).

That bit of extra pressure can make the difference getting the barred strings to ring out.

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It’s not a bad habit to curl your index finger a bit. If you look at Justin’s index finger he has a bit of a curve. It help close the spaces where the knuckle joints are.


Yes. Play the 6th E string with your thumb and forget the bar except the top two strings.

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Thank you for your help everyone. I’ll give your tips a go.

Have you explored the tips in this lessonyet?

You might want to test some different spots for the “meat” to catch the string by

  • rolling your index finger a tiny bit to the outside,
  • moving it up and or down juuuust a little

make sure your indexfinger doesn’t end up hanging over the outside of the neck; the tip of your indexfinger should remain on the fretboard.

I disagree.
It’s harder to do barres on fret 1 than on fret 8 because of the pressure needed to press it down at that point. When people have difficulties doing an F barre on fret 1, I suggest them to try the shape on frets 5,6,7,8 first because barres are easier there.


Thank you for the link Lieven, I’ll give those a watch and thank you for the tips.

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Hi Stefan! Psst, let me share a secret with you. Get your lovely guitar to luthier for a wonderful setup and bam! Magic happens and you could play the barre chords well =)

High action/thick neck do contribute to the playing difficulties higher up the neck. Actually in some beginner lessons Justin do mention that, you could also try to figure it out but it would be painful, and even if you do manage to play that note you want, it wouldnt sounds as good as a guitar with good setup :heart:

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Thanks Vincent. My guitar has had a set up. The part I’m finding hard is how cramped up my hand is up there playing a barre and because of that the inability to seeming to be able to roll my finger a little. I suspect and I’m going to try later, that I’ll be able to do it on my electric.

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Alright. Actually I do not use that C barre chord often becoz it is not comfortable (not economic either) so I always opt for alternatives like barring the A shape with ring finger instead of cramping all 3 of my fingers, or let the thinnest two open strings ring out

Yeah definitely could try to master that chord shape (and many others) and get to play the chord you want the comfortable way!

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@SgtColon Hi Stefan, after getting the official answer, there is little for me to add as regards your technique. But as an aside check the action on your neck. If you have too much action there, in general barre chords will be much harder around the 7th - 9th fret. And, in general, barre chords are harder to get right on the acoustic than on the electric. If you action is too high (> 3mm) at the 12th fret, obviously you’ll have more trouble. Normally, the full F barre is way more difficult as a barre then the A or the C chord, because you’ll have much less tension on the strings to overcome.

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That “a bit” is crucial here. My index finger is too arched, compared to Justin’s and if I lift pinky up to play a major 7th that string won’t ring out . I need to do more foccused work on this, now I have set more important priorities. Thank you for replying, it must not be completely wrong if all the strings ring out clearly, I have a starting point at least and I just need to do some adjustments.