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How To Practice Changing Chords
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How to Practice Changing Chords
Do you know how long it takes your fretting hand to switch from one chord to another? The key to further mastering the guitar and successfully playing and creating music for the instrument is the speed and confidence in making chord changes.
The development of brain and muscle coordination or muscle memory is need to play the instrument just like with most intricate human activity. It is the key to learn any instrument. The key to a good shooting performance for a basketball player is the proper hand eye coordination, when bring the ball up prepare, aim and throw toward the hoop. The right movements and strength need to score will be learned by the muscles in the arms, wrists and hands. The brain, eyes and entire body will get to know the routine of shooting the ball though the conditioning of constant practice.
Guitar playing is similar to this. Working in unison to relate the movements to the music being read and the notes produced by the guitar is done by the muscles in the arms, wrists, fingers, eyes, ears and brain. When a guitar player starts to change the chords this is the mechanism that works.
The beginning guitar player can use simple techniques to help develop these muscle memories and ear training for proper chord changes. Chord changes are not that hard to do as you will see by continuing to read.
First memorize all the chords involved in the song and visualize where the fingers of the fretting hand are involved in playing chords when changing them. The most important finger is the index finger when playing simple barre chords. It is used to squeeze all 6 strings across the fret board. You have to place the index finger across the proper fret along the fret board before putting the other fingers on the chord as you move towards playing the chord. The index finger is usually the most important when playing a broken or simple chord. The other fingers press the other strings on the chord while the index finger and thumb form a stable anchor on the guitar neck. The other fingers can follow to complete the chord when the index finger is normally played on the lowest fret and highest string where you can easily find the proper note.
Keep in time with the music but anticipate which bar and which beat the next chord will come when playing a particular song. Taking care to change each chord on time and on tempo a beginner should practice the entire song slowly from beginning to end. The student can begin to increase speed to the song’s correct tempo after begin able to play the entire song without errors in chords. Identifying particularly tricky chord changes is also helpful. The guitar player only has to slide the index finger (already in the barre position) to its proper position on the fret board and quickly press in the other stings of the chord so two consecutive bar graphs would be a fairly simple change. Chords that are positioned at a far distance from each other on the length of the neck are harder to perform just like changes from simple to barre chords. Practice the chord changes once you isolate difficult changes. Don’t play the last beat of the last chord if it is still difficult with a slow tempo. Use the time to move your fret hand into position for the next fret. Until the short passage can be played without errors keep practicing these changes. Go back to playing the entire song afterwards. Try different strumming styles to accentuate the song or a certain beat; or alternate strumming and light plucking to give volume and variety to the song’s music once you can play the entire song correctly. Actually copying how the original artist played it on the guitar is the best way to complete the song. Extra technique according to your ear and taste can be added with your own twists then. Your hands will be developed for more difficult chords and finger playing techniques.
You’ll be playing a new song by a seasoned guitarist in a short time if you do this for every song.