5 Tips For Changing Chords Faster On Guitar

by Rodrigo Sanchez, Sep 6, 2021 . 4 min read

5 Tips For Changing Chords Faster On Guitar

Today we’re going to talk about five tips for changing chords faster on guitar. This is one of the main obstacles that beginners face when learning the guitar.

Once you know a few chords, then it becomes a matter of changing smoothly from one to the other. Without this, playing songs well is impossible. However, with some dedicated practice and by following these five tips you’ll be changing chords smoothly in no time. So let’s tune up and get to work. Here are the five tips for changing chords faster on guitar. 

Learn the chords well

This means that you know exactly what chord you are playing and where the fingers go. To make sure you know the chord well, you should be able to place the chord right at any given moment. For instance, if you are working on a Dm chord, you should be able to place the fingers on their correct positions immediately. Try removing your left hand after playing the chord, and then placing the Dm back without any hesitation in the movement. 

Visualize the chord change before it happens

Let’s suppose you want to change from a Dm to a G chord. First, place a Dm and stay on it. Before moving on to the G, look at the fretboard and see where the fingers go before moving them. In other words, while you are holding the Dm, look at where your fingers need to move to. Take your time when doing this. After you’ve mapped where your fingers need to go visually, then you can change the chord slowly. 

Figure out the shortest path between chords

After you’ve changed from the Dm to the G, go back to the Dm. Make sure that all these movements are done very slowly and accurately. Switch back between Dm and G and look at exactly how your fingers are moving. By doing it slowly, you will be able to see what is the shortest path between chords for all the fingers involved. Speed that up incrementally until it becomes one smooth motion

Avoid lifting your hand too far away from the fretboard

This is a common mistake that many of us make when starting out. We tend to completely lift our left hand far off the fretboard in order to change chords. Naturally, this is the exact opposite of the previous point. By lifting the left hand far off the fretboard, not only are we creating unnecessary movement. We are also adding unnecessary tension. 

Use a simple strum pattern at first

The idea here is to focus on the left hand. In order to do so, the right hand must play as simple a pattern as possible. Naturally, there is nothing simpler than just downstrums, especially if played at a slow tempo. Make sure you can carry out the desired chord changes smoothly at a slow speed and with an easy strum pattern, before changing the pattern or increasing the pace. Use a metronome to track and increase your speed in small increments. 

These five tips for changing chords faster on guitar can be of great help to a common problem. If you take it slow and practice effectively, you will be able to change chords easily in a short period of time. Once you can change among a few chords, try learning a few easy songs to pout it all in context. But remember to also take it slow when learning songs and only speeding up once you are comfortable with changing chords. Leave us comments with other areas of guitar you’d like to get better at. 

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