The Illusive Barre
Do you get dead notes or buzzing on your barre finger when you plant a barre chord? Is it painful or vey uncomfortable to play barre chords? When planting a barre chord that includes your 2nd finger (e.g., F chord in first position), is your 2nd finger screaming for help?
Here are some quick tips that will help!
1) Pivot barre finger slightly away from you so that your barring a bit on the outside of the barre finger. You'll open up a tiny bit of space between the barre finger and fret. Keep the barre finger "leaning" away and slide it closer to the fret. This will help your other fingers be more comfortable and allow you to press less over all.
2) Pick which notes under the bar really need to be pressed and try applying pressure only to those notes. Remember that your finger bends! This is tricky at first but will help target where you really need pressure and where you don't.
3) Watch the tip-joint of the 2nd finger on "H" shaped barre chords. Make sure that it is neither points downward (so that you are pulling the string down) or hyper-extended (i.e. Make sure you don't collapse the tip-joint). The tip of the finger, from the tip-joint to the tip, should be fairly close to perpendicular to the fret board. The key is to make sure you're not pulling or bending your finger tip the wrong way!
Hope this helps!