Your Guide to Achieve Seamless Guitar Chord Changes for Beginners

The nature of the guitar allows it to be played and enjoyed by people with a wide range of musical goals. This can range from those who want to learn just a few chords from their favorite songs to professional musicians who devote their lives to mastering the instrument.

If you intend to use the guitar as a simple backup instrument – whether it be for singing pop songs or accompanying old-time fiddle tunes, you’ll need to master some chords.

Changing chords can be hard. Not only are so many shapes so different, but it requires a bit of dexterity to form shapes in the air before even touching the strings. That being said, it is nowhere near impossible.

In fact, thousands of guitarists change chords every day. If they didn’t, we would be listening to the same chord throughout every single song.

In this article we will discuss how you, as a beginner, can learn to make seamless chord changes.

guitar chord changes

Relax Mode

The first thing you need to do, before we even get to the chord changes, as make sure that you are relaxed while playing. Your body has everything to do with your chord changes. If you tense up when you are nervous, you are going to have a ton of trouble learning how to do any sort of movement seamlessly, never mind manipulating the small, non-muscled digits of your hand. The key is to relax. Don’t look at chord changes as a milestone in your playing; look at them as just another step within your song.

When you change guitar chords, you want to keep the pressure on. While you don’t want to turn your hand into a rigor mortis claws, you do want to keep enough pressure on your fingers to fret the next chord. This is part of the seamless process; being able to make the chord sound as if it was already there, just waiting to be strummed.

When To Change Finger Positioning

Try not to change finger positioning with your fingers still on the strings. This will cause fret squeaking, which will make the intervals in between chords changes extremely noticeable. Lift your fingers roughly half of an inch above the strings when changing chords.

The best place to start off with chord changes is by changing between larger chord shapes. This will allow your finger to develop the dexterity needed for smaller, more subtle changes, which will require fine movements.

Starting Of With The Major Chords

Start off with a larger chord such as G Major, and move to another chord, such as A Major. Play each chord for a full bar and then switch between them. Allow your finger to make their movements naturally; rushing your fingers will only cause them to lock up. This will also teach your fingers to change in that manner. Your muscle memory will dictate how you play for the rest of your guitar-playing life, so you want to develop it as accurately and as cleanly as possible.

Once you feel comfortable moving between larger chords shapes, try moving between smaller chord shapes. You may notice that they are more difficult as they require your finger to stay closer together at all times between the changes.

Then The Smaller Chords

Take your time with the smaller chord changes, just as you did with the larger chord changes. Allow your fingers to find their rhythm when moving. Don’t worry about keeping time at first; worry about chord change accuracy.

Set aside a block of time each day in which to practice chord changes. When you are learning guitar chords, add them to your chord change practice. This will allow your fingers to become more familiar with their shapes. Have fun, and good luck.

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