When we grab our guitars what is it that most of us want to do? Play songs!
When it comes down to it, that is what all of us guitar players really want to do. Even when we want to just jam or “noodle around”, we are still playing (or attempting to) some kind of constructed form of music.
It seems simple, doesn’t it? Not really, because for many, it isn’t easy.
And here is what the problem usually is: the chords don’t sound right. In fact, they suck.
I see it so often that I decided to make it my mission to help people correct it.
I even have a name for it: The Chronic Chord Condition. It’s a condition of the fingers not doing what you want them to do.
And as with any chronic condition, we need to have a cure.
In this case, there are a number of them. Here are my top 4 cures that have worked best for my guitar students:
Glued Finger Technique
Sometimes the simplest solution is to “do nothing”. In this case, one or two of the fingers on the left hand just stay where they are.
They don’t really move. It’s as if they are “glued” to the fretboard.
This cure is the most common solution to changing those chords around.
I explain it here in this video:
Slide Finger Technique
Sometimes the best method is to simply slide a finger or two along the string to get to the next chord.
You can do it in a way where you hear the slide. But most of the time you don’t.
It becomes a simple matter of releasing pressure on the fretboard, but still staying on the string. Then, you move along to another note that is part of the next chord, but on the same string.
This video clip explains it best:
This cure is one that is used a lot. And it means just that: many chords have common patterns to each other. Many look identical like the barre chords we play. Some have similarities with just one or two fingers.
In this video I explain the less obvious patterns, where only a couple fingers are the same for each chord:
This one is a little different, and maybe more difficult to do. When you go from one chord to the next, a finger on the first chord stays at its place on the fretboard while the rest go to the next chord. However, that finger then leaves the fretboard before that next chord is played.
That particular finger acts as the pilot (or anchor) to help guide the others to the next chord.
This is good for beginners to learn how to transition between certain chords. Eventually, once muscle memory kicks in, you might actually find yourself not doing it any more. Or you might like it and keep it. Here is a demonstration on how it works:
Hopefully this helps with some of the struggles you might have in your playing. Hit me up with any comments about wanting to know more!