C shape barre chords

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I have heard from those who ought to know that C shape chords were a staple of some 50s and 60s guitar styles. Does anyone use them much today? What about G shape? I can get my fingers to form them with some reluctance, wondering whether it's worth the effort of learning them properly.
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  • The intro to Under The Bridge uses a C shaped D chord which is the first thing I can think of in terms of a song application.

    I use parts of the C shape for other songs, mainly the A and D strings and also for 7th chords.

    Same with G shapes, but with the lower 2 strings only.
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  • GrunfeldGrunfeld Frets: 2730
    edited February 7
    C shape for sure.
    Use it all the time*.  Tend to make it across 6 strings but only play 3 or 4 of them.
    G shape, tend to make bits of it; top bit or bottom bit.

    * The absolute classic being a move between a minor and its relative major (either way) i and I can't be arsed to move my hand across the neck.

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  • vizviz Frets: 5106
    edited February 7
    Yes I use C-shaped barres all the time as 1st inversions off the bottom string. Here’s one at 0:33  

    https://youtu.be/IGrZrVcorBo

    and 0:27 and 0:29 here:

    https://youtu.be/0edZA765Tvs

    .
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  • tone1tone1 Frets: 1689
    I cheat and usually leave my pinky off the C shape barre chord.. Having said that, C & G Barre Chords don’t feel natural for me to play  :s
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  • vizviz Frets: 5106
    tone1 said:
    I cheat and usually leave my pinky off the C shape barre chord.. Having said that, C & G Barre Chords don’t feel natural for me to play  :s
    It’s just a question of getting used to them, then they seem as normal as anything else, and they’re really really useful for getting that smooth bass melody. I also use the G-shape all the time, but not including the bottom string - I can’t see the point because an E-barre suffices. But I often do a 1st inversion off the A-string, like for example x4222x for an A-chord in 1st inversion. 
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  • KKJaleKKJale Frets: 716
    edited February 7
    One guy who makes use of barre C shapes is Nick Lowe... big feature of his rhythm style.

    An example below, there may be better ones. 


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  • StuckfastStuckfast Frets: 384
    Interesting, hadn't tried it with the thumb on the low E string.
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  • springheadspringhead Frets: 234
    Hendrix was a fan of the G barre shape, or at least with the bottom string missing so strictly speaking an inversion.  Features in Wind Cries Mary - second set of three ascending chords in the intro and the Bb - second chord in the verse.

    Enabled him to pick notes in and around the chord as he so often liked doing
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 2182
    I use the C shape with barre. Like all chord shapes it takes a bit of practice. I found the G shape easier to learn, probably because the little finger is less stretched. However don’t use it because I don’t like the sound with that very high note on the top string.
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  • BranshenBranshen Frets: 941
    edited February 8
    never really liked the tonality of that shape (without extensions) so I have not bothered to bar it and move it around. I play C chords using the A-shape or E-shape.
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 2182
    The C7 shape without a barre is quite common, for example E7 x7675x
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  • Matt_McGMatt_McG Frets: 116
    I more or less never play inversions as barre chords like that. Pretty much always 3 note 'Freddie Green' type voicings, or similar fingerings. I'd regularly play movable shapes that are 'C-lke' or 'G-like' but they just wouldn't involve a first finger barre.

    So, I might play:

    F: 8x756x  
    F6: 8x776

    Or:

    12 x 9 12 x x

    For Em.

    The only time I'd play C or G shapes as a barre would be if I was doing some fake-capo-ing, or some Hendrix things. Neither of which I'd make any claim to be expert in.
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  • JackGrantJackGrant Frets: 11
    Lots of 30s- 50s guitarist used them c Shape as a base for soloing... much more than many later styles.  3 examples (if mymemories right)

    Roly Poly - Bob wills
    Dinah - Django (of,course, he used lots of,approaches)
    lipstick on my collar - connie Frances 

    might be an element of the "used a lot..." part of,OP

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  • bingefellerbingefeller Frets: 5500
    viz said:
    Yes I use C-shaped barres all the time as 1st inversions off the bottom string. Here’s one at 0:33  

    https://youtu.be/IGrZrVcorBo

    and 0:27 and 0:29 here:

    https://youtu.be/0edZA765Tvs

    .
    Damn nice playing!!!


    I’m with Matt McG I don’t really play full barre chords, only 3 or 4 note versions.  
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3662
    I use the C shape all the time but often  put thumb over the top rather than bar it, for maj 7th F shape I'll use the Thumb for the root note. 
    I got better at bar chords because I'm lazy and couldn't be arsed to put a capo on for songs like Hotel California .... so I just used to bar all the chords and it sounded 80% the same which is good enough 
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • John_PJohn_P Frets: 1975
    Yes I use it (or a reduced version) quite a lot.   

    I also use a moveable D shape a lot - miss the top string and you have a power chord that cuts through and takes up less frequency space than an A or E shape which can be handy if you have two guitars or keyboards.  
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  • vizviz Frets: 5106
    viz said:
    Yes I use C-shaped barres all the time as 1st inversions off the bottom string. Here’s one at 0:33  

    https://youtu.be/IGrZrVcorBo

    and 0:27 and 0:29 here:

    https://youtu.be/0edZA765Tvs

    .
    Damn nice playing!!!

    .  
    Ah thanks old feller!
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  • ModellistaModellista Frets: 944
    Danny1969 said:
    I use the C shape all the time but often  put thumb over the top rather than bar it, for maj 7th F shape I'll use the Thumb for the root note. 
    I got better at bar chords because I'm lazy and couldn't be arsed to put a capo on for songs like Hotel California .... so I just used to bar all the chords and it sounded 80% the same which is good enough 
    Your thumb reaches over two strings? Wow!
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  • ModellistaModellista Frets: 944
    The C shape is a really useful one. I've taken to regularly playing D in a C shape. You don't even need to barre the top F#, just leave the top E open for a nice add9/sus2 (x54230). The big attraction being that it features a 3rd in the bass which fills out the chord and can help with finding the third when singing (see 35 seconds in here ). The same advantage from the G shape, even more so if you don't bother with the bass note and use the first inversion as suggested above (C6 would be x75555). 
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  • Jedi42Jedi42 Frets: 4
    It's best to not think of specific chords as attributed to one era. All chords and the way they can be played can be useful depending on when and where they are needed. The main thing is to ensure that you can play any chord in multiple positions all over the neck. In this way, you can connect smoothly between chords (if that is the sound you want). I often tell my students that there are only two reasons for moving large distances to play any two chords...

    1. That is the sound you are after.
    2. You don't really know your chords.

    Ged
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  • PhibTreMorPhibTreMor Frets: 4

    Barre chords and inversions, sometimes it's a bit like finger yoga!  It's nice to stretch them out a bit; C & G are both good for that. 
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  • BradBrad Frets: 213
    Jedi42 said:
    It's best to not think of specific chords as attributed to one era. All chords and the way they can be played can be useful depending on when and where they are needed. The main thing is to ensure that you can play any chord in multiple positions all over the neck. In this way, you can connect smoothly between chords (if that is the sound you want). I often tell my students that there are only two reasons for moving large distances to play any two chords...

    1. That is the sound you are after.
    2. You don't really know your chords.

    Ged
    Very true, particularly the last bit. 
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