Monday, October 05, 2009

Beginner Lesson:
Individual Chord Practice

Before beginner guitarists can learn how to change chords, they must learn to make chords automatically from muscle memory. In my lessons, I refer to this as 'Individual Chord Practice'. Here are four chord shapes to practice.



Start with the Em chord grip above, and follow these instructions to practice your muscle memory:

1) Form the G chord grip as it is shown in the diagram above.

2) Sound each string of the guitar by playing a rest stroke to the next string. This way you can hear whether each string is sounding, and whether or not that individual string is muted or is buzzing.

3) Adjust your fingers so that each of the strings is ringing clearly. Find a friend or a teacher to help you with this. Model your hands on those of your favorite players. Most importantly: make small adjustments. Go slowly.

4) Release the pressure of your fingers on the strings. But DO NOT REMOVE them. Leave them in contact with the strings.

5) Re-apply pressure to the strings and repeat the above instructions x15.


Once you are able to reliably recreate clear sounding chords, step # 4 changes:

1) Form the G chord grip as it is shown in the diagram above.

2) Sound each string of the guitar by playing a rest stroke to the next string. This way you can hear whether each string is sounding, and whether or not that individual string is muted or is buzzing.

3) Adjust your fingers so that each of the strings is ringing clearly. Find a friend or a teacher to help you with this. Model your hands on those of your favorite players. Most importantly: make small adjustments. Go slowly.

4) Let go of the strings while continuing to hold the chord shape in the air, as if you are mime-ing the chord. Let go of the strings, but only let your fingers travel about an eighth of an inch from the strings. As you get better at this, increase the distance. As always, the 3x correct rule is a good idea.

5) Re-apply pressure to the strings and repeat the above instructions x15.


Repeat the above practice with each of the four chords above. As that gets better, you are ready to work on chord transitions.

Now go play some guitar!



dcguitar.com
Advancing Guitar Lessons:
Washington, D.C.
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for Beginners and Beyond

1 comments :

Dy-sphoric said...

Great beginner lesson...and something that I can do...as a beginner. Thanks for posting great articles like this and helping us.

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