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Old 07-29-2021, 12:17 PM
Lead Pipe Lead Pipe is offline
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Default Beginner question

When learning cords do you memorize the shape of your fingers making the cord, then place them on the strings? If Iím learning C for example I know where my fingers belong but I find each finger is feeling around for the right string. Not sure if Iím. Explaining this correctly..

Thanks!
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Old 07-29-2021, 12:23 PM
MThomson MThomson is offline
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Hi there. I learned by learning where to place my fingers and slowly getting faster at the fumbling around. It's highly frustrating, but it does get you there. Rather than try to memorize the feeling of your hand away from the guitar where it will vary and you won't notice, I'd recommend practicing slowly getting your fingers in a very good place o the strings and then speeding up.

One thing to pay attention to is what fingers stay in the same place, or move a small distance during changes and use these to anchor your hand as you get the other ones down.

And everyone has been through it. It's OK. It gets better. Enjoy the journey - it's a lot of fun
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Old 07-29-2021, 12:27 PM
Sponserv Sponserv is offline
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This is an excellent question when first starting out. We have ALL been there.

After awhile your chord fingerings will become second nature and you will never think this deeply about the placement of your fingers again. You will just fret the cord and it happens. Be patient. Give yourself time.

When switching chords you will give a lot of thought to finger placement and the most logical way to move chord to chord. For instance, if there is a common note/finger placement between the two chords you will just move the fingers not in common.

I used Justin Guitar's "One Minute Chord Changes" method quite a bit and it always helped get over the hump. Google it.

Don't get frustrated.....in time this will all come together for you.

Keep on strummin.
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Old 07-29-2021, 12:27 PM
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Methos1979 Methos1979 is offline
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Great question. When I was learning I'd have to individually place each finger on the correct fret/string then strum. There would always be buzzing and what not. Over time you'll automatically 'remember' the chord 'shape'. I great way to practice is after you get the fingers into the correct shape, strum a few times and then very lightly pick your fingers straight up off the strings while maintaining the same shape, strum the open strings a few times then try to lower the fingers back onto the strings in the same position and strum. Once you get to where you can do that over and over again successfully you can then add other shapes. It's extremely slow going but very worthwhile. Start with very simple chords like Em or Asus2 which only use two fingers.
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Old 07-29-2021, 12:29 PM
SRL SRL is offline
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Yeah, it just takes time and practice.

One of the exercises people do is a "chord change" exercise. Pick two chords, such as G and C. Then set your metronome/app very slow, to where you can fully change from one to the other and strum. So like, beat 1 = C strum, beat 2 = G strum, beat 3 = C strum, beat 4 = G strum. In the beginning, it will be REALLY slow, but as you practice, you can turn up the tempo on your metronome/app. Then, keep doing the same thing with other chords.

This "start super slow and speed up using a metronome" technique can be applied to learning virtually any guitar song or skill.
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Old 07-29-2021, 12:39 PM
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Here's what I did when I was first learning to play. Every night when I sat down to watch TV I would have a guitar on my lap. While watching TV and not focusing as hard on the guitar I would make the chord shapes and just give it a quite strum with my thumb to make sure all the notes rang out clearly. After a while the chords would come easily and I wouldn't have to concentrate so much on fingering the chord. This is something you need to do in addition to your normal practice time and it helps if it's football season.
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Old 07-29-2021, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goat Mick View Post
Here's what I did when I was first learning to play. Every night when I sat down to watch TV I would have a guitar on my lap. While watching TV and not focusing as hard on the guitar I would make the chord shapes and just give it a quite strum with my thumb to make sure all the notes rang out clearly. After a while the chords would come easily and I wouldn't have to concentrate so much on fingering the chord. This is something you need to do in addition to your normal practice time and it helps if it's football season.
That's so funny. That's exactly what I did when I was starting out. I love sports, but get impatient just watching entire games --I feel like I'm wasting time. But then, when I started quietly practice my chords while watching, I felt I could watch an entire game AND accomplish something important.

Anyway, back to the OP question. I just want to echo some of the great advice so far:

Justin Guitar's "one minute chord changes" are an awesome exercise.

The step up metronome thing is also great -- plus it also gets you used to playing to a metronome (very important)

But I want to add that once you are relatively comfortable with a few chords and changing them (not perfect, or super fast, just kinda comfortable) then go learn new chords and keep adding chords. Don't wait to totally perfect your technique before moving on. You'll find that the new challenges suddenly makes the previous chords easier to do.

Good luck -- you're gonna have a lot of fun!
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Old 07-29-2021, 01:01 PM
Colinguitar Colinguitar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sponserv View Post
This is an excellent question when first starting out. We have ALL been there.

After awhile your chord fingerings will become second nature and you will never think this deeply about the placement of your fingers again. You will just fret the cord and it happens. Be patient. Give yourself time.

When switching chords you will give a lot of thought to finger placement and the most logical way to move chord to chord. For instance, if there is a common note/finger placement between the two chords you will just move the fingers not in common.

I used Justin Guitar's "One Minute Chord Changes" method quite a bit and it always helped get over the hump. Google it.

Don't get frustrated.....in time this will all come together for you.

Keep on strummin.
I used Justin Guitarís one minute chord changes. It helped a lot. If you write down the numbers per minute with the date, you will have something concrete to show you are making progress. It will come but maybe slowly. Keep persevering.
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Old 07-29-2021, 01:09 PM
Warren01 Warren01 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goat Mick View Post
Here's what I did when I was first learning to play. Every night when I sat down to watch TV I would have a guitar on my lap. While watching TV and not focusing as hard on the guitar I would make the chord shapes and just give it a quite strum with my thumb to make sure all the notes rang out clearly. After a while the chords would come easily and I wouldn't have to concentrate so much on fingering the chord. This is something you need to do in addition to your normal practice time and it helps if it's football season.
But which shows did you watch?
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Old 07-29-2021, 01:51 PM
Dru Edwards Dru Edwards is online now
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Just keep repeating playing the chord. For example, it may take you 5 seconds to form the chord, then give it a strum, remove fingers and start again. You'll get frustrated but then the next day you'll try it and you may be surprised.

Same with practicing switching chords in both directions, i.e. Em - G - D - C and then C - D - G - Em, and other permutations.
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Old 07-29-2021, 02:22 PM
Lead Pipe Lead Pipe is offline
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Great suggestions, thanks again for the help.
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Old 07-29-2021, 02:28 PM
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Probably it's largely motor memory than anything else and the fretboard needs to be in your hand (try getting the fingers
quickly in chord positions without the neck at hand - not going to happen). Repetitive practice required.
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Old 07-29-2021, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SRL View Post
Yeah, it just takes time and practice.

One of the exercises people do is a "chord change" exercise. Pick two chords, such as G and C.
Yes, and in a way I still do this.
I remember sitting watching TV and doing reps, 300 each G, C. Back and forth and repeat.
After awhile (months maybe) add a strum pattern and a 3rd chord.
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Old 07-29-2021, 03:55 PM
Colinguitar Colinguitar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dru Edwards View Post
Just keep repeating playing the chord. For example, it may take you 5 seconds to form the chord, then give it a strum, remove fingers and start again. You'll get frustrated but then the next day you'll try it and you may be surprised.

Same with practicing switching chords in both directions, i.e. Em - G - D - C and then C - D - G - Em, and other permutations.
Agreed. Also, as well as giving it a strum, play the individual notes to be sure you are not accidentally muting strings.
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Old 07-29-2021, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lead Pipe View Post
When learning cords do you memorize the shape of your fingers making the cord, then place them on the strings? If Iím learning C for example I know where my fingers belong but I find each finger is feeling around for the right string. Not sure if Iím. Explaining this correctly..

Thanks!
Hi LP

I've played them so many years, I think guitar fingerings and chord placement.

I don't memorize them as in memorizing math tables. I just play things so many times, my brain thinks it and my hands do it.




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