Changing Cords Faster


gstacho28
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Joined: 02/18/23
Posts: 6
gstacho28
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Joined: 02/18/23
Posts: 6
07/05/2023 10:00 am

I am about 6 months in, and just finished GF 1.  I still cant change cords fast enough when playing songs. I have a few songs I am working on that are basic. Wish you were Here, Ripple, Knocking on Heavens door. How much time each day should I put into just cord changes? Normal practice about 30-45 min a day. I have been practicing about 5-6 days a week.  Also, should I hold on GF 2 until I master basic cord changes fast enough to play these songs? thanks


# 1
ChristopherSchlegel
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Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,312
ChristopherSchlegel
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Posts: 8,312
07/05/2023 12:02 pm
#1 Originally Posted by: gstacho28

I am about 6 months in, and just finished GF 1.  I still cant change cords fast enough when playing songs. I have a few songs I am working on that are basic. Wish you were Here, Ripple, Knocking on Heavens door. How much time each day should I put into just cord changes? Normal practice about 30-45 min a day. I have been practicing about 5-6 days a week.  Also, should I hold on GF 2 until I master basic cord changes fast enough to play these songs? thanks

It sounds like you need to spend practice time solely focusing on chord changes. Until you can do them effectively & efficiently you won't be able to play them in time & thus play a song.


During part of each practice session, don't try to strum in time, don't try to play a song. Just focus on getting your chord changes solid. Do focused practice on chord changes. Take any 2 chords.


Form & play a C major. Strum it once to make sure it sounds good.


Form & play a G major chord. Strum it once to make sure it sounds good.


Repeat.


Incorporate all the other open chords into this routine as you are able. Just focus on getting the chord changes right until they are automated, as if they are second nature. If you try to mix in strumming, learning a song, and other things before you can do the basic physical motions of chord changes you are just going to get frustrated.


Be patient with yourself!


You can certainly move forward in any course to see what's next, to stay motivated!  But you should not consider yourself done with any given lesson until you completely understand the idea & can play the skill being taught.  


Hope that helps!


Christopher Schlegel
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# 2
gstacho28
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gstacho28
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07/05/2023 12:50 pm

Thank you for the feedback.


# 3
ChristopherSchlegel
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ChristopherSchlegel
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07/07/2023 1:55 pm
#3 Originally Posted by: gstacho28

Thank you for the feedback.

You're welcome!


 


Christopher Schlegel
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# 4
hinsont40
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Joined: 07/27/23
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hinsont40
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Joined: 07/27/23
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08/16/2023 8:35 am

Thanks for the info, I appreciate it.


# 5
innocci
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innocci
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08/16/2023 6:34 pm
#1 Originally Posted by: gstacho28

I am about 6 months in, and just finished GF 1.  I still cant change cords fast enough when playing songs. I have a few songs I am working on that are basic. Wish you were Here, Ripple, Knocking on Heavens door. How much time each day should I put into just cord changes? Normal practice about 30-45 min a day. I have been practicing about 5-6 days a week.  Also, should I hold on GF 2 until I master basic cord changes fast enough to play these songs? thanks

What I used to do years ago, was to leave my strumming hand completely out of it and just practice transitioning between two chords continuously. this really helped with smooth and quick transitions. Playing a chord and strumming once, then moving to the next chord and strumming once probably won't speed up correcting the challenge you're having. Strumming the chord each time you fret isn't going to help with a quicker transition. Practice moving between those two chords, until you can get it smooth, and then bring in the strumming. Most of us have had these same challenges, you'll get it my friend.


# 6
LisaMcC
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LisaMcC
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Posts: 3,960
09/18/2023 3:29 pm

Hi gstacho28,


I am guessing you were following Anders' terrific Fundamentals Course. 


I do not personally know to what degree he addresses specific strategies for changing from one chord to another, but in my Fundamentals Course (which pre-dates his, and we have slightly different teaching styles) there are a bunch of lessons on very specific strategies for changing from one chord to another, broken down into such chunks as : "Changing between G and C", "Changing between Am and D", etc. 


You might have a look - or Anders may have covered similar information that I am not aware of. 


As a player, and a teacher, I highly recommend practicing all of the chord changes you are coming up against, in simple pairs. Back and forth back and forth, over and over, observing your finger movements and noticing if they are developing a good confident flow when going from Chord#1 to Chord#2. 


And if the flow is still glitchy, experimenting with ways you might approach the chord-pair a little bit differently - until you land a plan that works well for you. 


As you do this, your hand begins to memorize SEQUENCES of motion. Not just one chord at a time, but it begins to physically memorize the "choreography" involved in commonly encountered chord changes. 


Hope this helps a little!


-Lisa


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

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# 7

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