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Learn Guitar: 3 Strategies To Help You Play Chords With Confidence
One of the most significant problems guitarists of all levels
encounter is the ability to change chords quickly and accurately.
It's not simply a matter of practice makes perfect, rather a
case of "perfect practice" make perfect.
The best way to accelerate our guitar playing is to avoid
learning something the wrong way and then reinforcing that bad
habbit by practicing our mistakes.
Once we learn something it is very hard to re-train our
nervous system, keep in mind that it takes one hundred
consecutive correct inputs to replace one incorrect piece of
Here's three tips for learning guitar chords and overcoming
difficulties with chord changes :
1. Single Movement chord change - When moving from one chord to
the next it is essential that your left hand fingers (assuming
you are a right handed player)stamp down on the strings in one
single movement...like a rubber stamp!
2. Metronome practice - left hand motor skill training program
(a) choose a chord shape you are having difficulties with.
(b) Tap your foot and adjust your metronome to the tempo you feel
(c) Let the metronome click for a few bars, when you are ready
strum the chord once on the first beat and continue tapping your
foot for the remaining three beats.
(d) Our first tempo objective is a successful performance of the
chord you have selected at a metronome tempo of 60 beats per
(e) Do not set your metronome to a desired speed and try to rise
to meet it. rather, use the metronome only to track your
3. Guitar Grids - divide your strings into four string grids.
It's amazing how many great guitar sounds you can achieve by
playing triads (three note chords), often triad playing is
overlooked as something only beginning guitar players use for
playing nursery rhymes.
Start by dividing the six strings of your guitar into four string
grids, each grid consisting of three strings.
String grid 1: strings 1,2 & 3
String grid 2: strings 2,3 & 4
String grid 3: strings 3,4 & 5
String grid 4: strings 4,5 & 6
The idea is to restrict yourself to only one string grid and
learn to play all the chords of the harmonized scale entirely on
that string grid.
For example, play the following chords on string grid 1:
C,Dm,Em,F,G,Am Bdim & C
then learn how to play the same chords entirely on string grid 2.
When training with a metronome you will notice that your tempo
will vary from day to day, this is to be expected. Keep in mind
your target tempo and be prepared to work slowly towards that
Remember that we want to avoid making costly mistakes that will
require an enormous amount of re-training to fix.
Most fast songs on the radio are performed at a tempo between
mm=100 to mm=120, keeping this in mind when you practice will
keep you focused on accurate playing.
By practicing your chord changes slowly and accurately, then
gradually increasing your metronome tempo over a number of weeks
you will notice a new confidence in your chord playing.
How to Play Guitar
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