Monday, April 18, 2011

7 Tips for Learning Guitar Chords

If you're like many guitarists out there who want to learn guitar chords but are having some trouble, then this article is for you. I'll cover some key aspects that are often overlooked by tutors and "learn the guitar" products; I guarantee you'll be able to learn guitar chords much easier after reading this article.

1. Do exercises

Ok, so don't jump in your car and go to your local gym for workout, it's just not going to help that much. What I mean by exercises is to do some guitar chord exercises. For example if you are trying to learn the G chord a good exercise to practice would be picking each note and then strumming, this will give you a good idea of how well you have formed the chord. If you're hitting a lot of dead notes they will become obvious when you pick through each note.

2. Practice in your head

Yes, it sounds silly, but the science and results of this method are stacking up like apartments in Manhattan. If you're not already trying to learn guitar chords in your head then you're putting yourself at a severe disadvantage. Try this: Picture yourself holding your guitar, zoom in one the neck where you are going to form the chord. Now put your fingers on the strings and really concentrate on how you are going to get each finger into position. Those of you who already use this method know how powerful it is. If you don't think it works then I only ask that you try it for one week and see what kind of results you get, you will be pleasantly surprised.

3. Do easy changes

Changing from one chord to another is without a doubt the best way to learn guitar chords. You're putting yourself under pressure and committing the guitar chord shape to your muscle memory. Once you have it in your muscle memory it becomes a lot easier to form the chord again. Here are some simple changes to try: G Add 9 to C Add 9, A to E, C to G. For more exercises visit our Instant Guitarist website.

4. Build finger strength

Well I told you off for going to the gym earlier, but now it's not such a silly idea. Building finger strength is often a slow (and sometimes painful) experience, but it doesn't have to be that way. Practising scales, doing finger weights, and if you're really keen finger press-ups are all great ways to improve your finger strength. One thing to remember is moderation, don't over do it, just a few exercises a day should be plenty.

5. Look at other people

Don't just look at anyoneĆ¢€¦ they might think you're weird. Look at guitarists! Notice the way they jump from chord to chord and how they are forming each chord. It's such a good way to learn by example, however I need to give this disclaimer. It's great, but you need to be careful not to copy bad habits, and a lot of the guitarists out there are limited by the bad habits they pick up from inexperienced tutors and rubbish guitar tutorials.

6. Wear a blind fold

Yeah I guess it does sound a bit rude, but if you want to be the ultimate Zen master and learn guitar chords quickly it's a good idea to try it out. I don't really wear a blindfold when I do this method; I just make sure I'm not looking at my hands when changing from one chord to another. To start with it will be too tricky to change chords, just try forming a G without looking at the fret-board, then give it a strum, pick each note and see how well you did. I've seen people have great success with this method, so I'm sure this will work for your playing.

7. Three at a time

Learn three chords at a time, I don't know why this works, but it just does. Maybe it's a magic number that our brains relate to, who knows? They key thing is that if you pick three guitar chords you want to learn and keep practising them, then you're going to learn guitar chords a lot faster than if you just pick one or two. I'd recommend starting out with some of the easier ones (D, A, E, G), pick three of those and get to it!

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