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Tuesday Tip – How do you change chords so quickly?
October 23, 2012

Before we head off into Tuesday Tip land I have to say that this is another area of the guitar that can only truly be improved by practice. That, of course, goes for everything to do with the instrument. However, that said, there’s no point in practicing the wrong things or the right things in the wrong way.

So with that in mind here is my top three tips for changing chords quickly.

Number one: When changing chords in a progression many beginners take the whole fretting hand off the guitar and the reposition it all together. Sometimes this is necessary but most of the time you find that if you move one finger at a time, common chord progressions allow you keep one or more fingers on the fretboard on the same string or fret and sometimes both. Open chord sequence’s are the most likely to be made easier this way but even more complex CAGED chord work can be speeded up.

Number two: When you find that you’re playing a simple chord and you have spare fingers, keep them close to the action. A common mistake surrounding chord work is sticking unused fingers up in the air or even behind the neck with the thumb. It may look tidier folks, but when it comes to flashing from chord to chord it isn’t going help if half your fingers are on holiday.

Number three: Timing should be your focus. Get your foot tapping, and keep your picking hand in motion. If you play some dead strings or a wrong note that’s OK. When you get back to the troublesome point you’ll know which note to focus on. It’ll train your fretting hand better if it’s striving to keep up rather than dictating the pace of proceedings.

Good luck and good practice!