Chords: one finger at a time or all at once?


marc1
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Joined: 12/27/22
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marc1
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Joined: 12/27/22
Posts: 3
02/02/2023 8:29 pm

Hi guys


so i've been practicing daily for 1 month now. Doing lots of chord and chord switch drills etc. 


when i play 3 finger chords, i usually use one finger as an "anchor" first and then follow up with the other two. 
now i've heard that it's better to learn to position all 3 fingers first, hover over the strings and then press down with all fingers at once. 


what do you guys think about that method? Should i be doing that instead of one finger at a time? Or can i keep doing that and with time i'll be able to frett with all fingers at once?


 


thanks for any pointers!


 


greetings from Switzerland✌🏼


# 1
ddiddler
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ddiddler
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02/04/2023 12:45 pm

Hi Marc


You will find these can both be done as they are seperate exercises with differing aims. 


The anchor finger is what you will often use in a piece of music. Along with visualising which figures will need to move and to where.


The hover technique is to develop muscle memory. Lift put down and repeat.


too early to pick and chosse your preferences.


You will develop what works for you. The beauty of an online course


Changing speed only improves with practice and is the big step forward to be able to play songs so stay with it in your practice sessions but it doesn't have to be done to the death and boredom steps in.  Repetition is needed, repetition can be boring but unavoidable. 


Dave L


 


# 2
LisaMcC
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LisaMcC
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Posts: 3,960
02/05/2023 4:35 pm

Hey Marc,


I am a fan of the "anchor-finger" method, especially in the beginning. 
Sure, ultimately our goal is to land the whole chord all at once, and the anchor-finger technique can get you there, along with some added benefits. 


For instance, if the bass note of the chord (the lowest note in the chord) is a FRETTED NOTE, that should always be put into place first. Why? Because with most strumming or picking techniques you use, THAT NOTE will be the first note that is played when you get to the next chord. 

Buys you a microsecond or two of extra time to get the other fingers in place.


Over time, this microsecond will no longer be needed, as your physical memory takes in the enirety of what must be done to play the chord on time, with good tone. Plus, it lays a nice "bassy" foundation to the sound of the chord, which makes it sound more grounded.

So this "basss-note-first anchor-finger" technique will work well with any of the open-chords that have a fretted bass note - like C, G, F.


And all barre chords!


In other situations, like open chords whose bass note is an open string (like D, Dm, A, Am, E, Em), your bass note is a freebie. In that case,you want to think about what chord you are coming FROM, and what chord you are going TO, and see if it makes sense to name any particular finger "the anchor finger", because of how it is positoned in chord #1, and then in chord #2.


In some cases, the anchor-finger may not have to move at all! Like when going from Am to D7. You'd just leave your index finer in place on the second string, first fret, as you make the switch. Really helps to streamline the switch.


I hope this makes sense and helps a little! 
- Lisa



Lisa McCormick, GT Instructor
Acoustic, Folk, Pop, Blues

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# 3
dhillonkeneth
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dhillonkeneth
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02/11/2023 9:07 am

It depends on the song and what comes before, during, and after the A chord. For example, I play the A chord with one finger when I do the intro to “Honky Tonk Women.” This leaves my other fingers free to do fills with bass notes while sustaining the A chord on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th strings. 


# 4
chemical_fusion
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chemical_fusion
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03/06/2023 10:24 am
#1 Originally Posted by: marc1

Hi guys


so i've been practicing daily for 1 month now. Doing lots of chord and chord switch drills etc. 


when i play 3 finger chords, i usually use one finger as an "anchor" first and then follow up with the other two. 
now i've heard that it's better to learn to position all 3 fingers first, hover over the strings and then press down with all fingers at once. 


what do you guys think about that method? Should i be doing that instead of one finger at a time? Or can i keep doing that and with time i'll be able to frett with all fingers at once?


 


thanks for any pointers!


 


greetings from Switzerland✌🏼

I think it just comes naturally as you progress through the course, you will get to a point where you just cannot keep up with the speed of the chord changes as the BMP increases when you progress through the lessons, I guess your fingers kinda naturally start to try and keep up with the BPM with practice, and then finally bam your doing it without thinking about it!   

Then you learn a new chord lol 


   


# 6
janettabloomquist
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janettabloomquist
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03/07/2023 4:10 am

Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages, and which one is better for you depends on your playing style and preferences. However, it is generally recommended to learn to position all fingers at once and press down simultaneously, as it can help you play more efficiently and accurately in the long run. When you use one finger as an anchor and then follow up with the other two, it may lead to inconsistencies in your playing, as the first finger might not always be in the same position. Additionally, it may slow down your playing and make it harder to play more complex chord progressions. On the other hand, positioning all three fingers at once might be challenging at first, but with practice, you can develop muscle memory and improve your finger dexterity. It can also make it easier to transition between chords, as your fingers will be better synchronized. Overall, you can continue using your current method for now and gradually work towards positioning all fingers at once. It is essential to practice consistently and be patient with your progress, as mastering guitar chords takes time and dedication. 


# 6
marc1
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marc1
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09/19/2023 6:59 am

Thanks for the reply!


 


I‘m still practicing daily and the chord changes are a lot easier and I can make the switches will all the fingers at once for the open chords. 
But when applying barre chords, i still need to set the barre first and then follow up with the other fingers. 
I’ll definitely get there with practice 😄👌🏼


# 8

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