You don’t think the best way to practice making chord changes is just for beginners, do you?
Well, the question might be, but the challenge is the same for both the seasoned and the greenhorns alike.
You see, nobody, and I mean nobody, knows everything on the guitar. Even those who’ve been around the block a few times still learn new chords, new finger patterns, and new techniques. It’s all part of the journey, strumbud.
Now, sure, there are some differences between the old-timers and the newbies. The veterans have more practice making chord changes. Their dexterity is a little more polished. But at the end of the day, getting over that hump is the same. It’s all about practice, practice, practice.
So, let me lay it on ya, strumbuddy.
Here are the five steps to mastering chord changes smoothly.
1. See if there’s a practical fingering for the song you’re playing.
I mean, come on, have you seen those books with an open A chord played with the pointer, middle, and ring fingers all smunched in a row, in the second fret?
Not happening with my sausage fingers I’ll tell ya that.
For songs in the key of A major or D major, I make my A chord with fingers shaped like an open D major, just all in the second fret. It’s fast, simple, clear, and smooth.
Plus, my fingers are comfy tucked in a little triangle.
2. Place each finger, one-by-one, in position.
Yeah, I know it sounds like “see Spot run”, but trust me, it works. Start by switching to a chord you already know quickly, then try to make the chord you’re learning faster next time.
3. Pick up the pace switching chords.
Once you’ve got the fingering down, it’s time to crank up the tempo. Play along with a track you know that has the chord in it. The pressure of keeping up with the track will frustrate you, but it’ll also get you switching chords faster than you thought possible.
4. Switch on and off the chord while watching TV
Yeah, you heard me right. Once you’ve got that muscle memory down, test it out. Do something to take your mind away from consciously thinking about making the chord.
Chat with a friend, watch your favorite show, or check out that dreamboat across the park making eyes at you.
5. Switch chords as fast as you can.
Lastly, just rip through a bunch of chords you know well, and include the one you’re learning.
Crank it up.
Switch chords with every strum, and pick up the tempo. Before you know it, your fingers will be rolling across the frets like a raindrop on your car’s fresh wax job.
So, there you have it, strumbud. Follow these five steps, and you’ll be a chord-changing machine in no time.