Chord change exercises


#1

hi guys i’m just learning rhythm guitar, and i was wondering if anyone could suggest any chord change exercices that i could follow, i’ve got the “boom chick” but i’m a little slow with my chords.

regards brumski


#2

Hey Brumski,
I heartily recommend Ben’s rhythm series:
banjobenclark.com/videos/45/ … hm-series/
It’s awesome. Just keep playing with him and it will come with time.

My wife is learning to play a bit. She would take her time placing each finger for the next chord. One day I told her make a G as fast as you can without looking. BOOM! G chord. Same thing with C, D, Em. She had trained herself to slow down at the chord changes. In retrospect, I think that might be kind of normal. It’s almost like you have to force yourself to trust your fingers where to go. Playing with a video or CD (or metronome seventhstring.com/metronome/metronome.html) makes you have to get the changes in a fixed time, so it’s very helpful. The nice thing about a metronome is that you can start slow and pick up the tempo in small measurable increments.
Keep at it, and you’ll get over the hump!


#3

I like checking out the rhythm tracks on Ben’s flatpicking tef files. I think most of the tabs have them. I usually play along with just the rhythm before I even start on the lead track. Some of the rhythms are pretty neat (like Angeline the Baker).


#4

thanks mike, i’m working along with bens rythm vids, had my guitar for one month, and i’m “boom chicking” and singing with g c d really pleased with my progress. perhaps i’m a little impatient!! gonna git me a metronome!
(rhythm, such difficult word to spell :confused: ).

regards ron


#5

— Begin quote from “brumski”

hi guys i’m just learning rhythm guitar, and i was wondering if anyone could suggest any chord change exercices that i could follow, i’ve got the “boom chick” but i’m a little slow with my chords.

regards brumski

— End quote

It’s been years, and no direct lessons that I can give you to link to but I can remember working on chord changes and chords themselves 27 years ago when I started and 2 things that really helped me were:
IF your fingers get sore and you can’t play then simply stare at the guitar and visualize where each finger is supposed to go to make a chord…this will help get it in your head…you should be able to look at the guitar and visually see your chords without fretting them. Guitar will really turn more so into a “visual” practice when you get more into scales and such.

On changing: Since you are learning I am probably pretty sure you are learning your “open chords” that take place on within the 1st 3 frets. Well in your rhythm/timing/making efficient chord changes and keeping the boom chick going to to take advantage of the “open strings” in your change…for instance, make an “open G chord”…notice that your 2nd, 3rd, and 4th strings are “open” and do not need your fingers on them to make a G chord…well that is because that as open strings they are G,B,and D notes…that in itself is a G chord (3rd inversion right?)…those notes make up a G major Triad/Chord…well realize that when changing chords to hit those grouping of strings and no others and it gives you time to move your hands…I mean you can literally not even fret any notes on the guitar and strum these 3 open strings and you are strumming a G chord…so if you can’t keep it in time and change quick enough then realize that you can use open strings around the chord. Bluegrass is one form of music that loves use open strings/groupings of strings in both the rhythm and lead of the songs.

I may have confused you but I hope I have helped


#6

Good stuff OldHat!


#7

yep, good stuff indeed!! thanks for the input fellas.

ron


#8

I should have added in my post above that those open strings can be used individually for a “boom” or together as a “chick” if need be…so now you should see that if you do not have to fret anything for either the “boom” or the chick" then realize that this could give you time to move your hands to the next chord.

Continuing on:

I guess this is a “no-no” in music and “best chord practice” and most teachers will tell you that when changing chords that all fingers should land at the same time to make the chord…however I say they hell with that, is a good idea in practice but for beginners realize that for instance changing from a G to C chord that when you land in the C chord realize that the C note on the 5th string 3rd fret is gonna be your first action in that chord and is gonna be the “boom”…so focus on getting that finger down on that note within the c chord first and then the others have time to find their place in the pause after the “boom” and before the “chick”. Like I said this is not the way the “proper” way music instructors want you to learn but it helps. In time after practicing you’ll master your chords and timing and won’t even have to think about it, is like breathing or walking…then will come lead and that is like learning to speak a new language (and not a western civilization language, more like Chinese or something).

Oldhat

Oldhat


#9

Oldhat,
For what it’s worth, I don’t think it’s a no-no to land fingers as you need them. I encourage it and it seems to help many people learn to trust their fingers. For example, on a C chord, once the root is planted the other fingers just kind of naturally fall into place once it’s been done a few times.
More good stuff!


#10

Good tips, Old hat. I think visualizing is very helpful also. Sometimes, if I have problems going to sleep, I’ll try to visualize my guitar (and picking hand) and try to walk myself through a song very slowly note by note. I pay special attention to pick direction, slides, hammer-on’s and pull offs. I also think about which fingers that I’m using on my left hand. It’s very hard and slow to do, and I don’t get very far, but it’s a good mental exercise. Sometimes, I’ll get to a point where I’ll encounter a lick( that I play normally just fine) and realize that I don’t even know how to play it!


#11

— Begin quote from “KGM”

Good tips, Old hat. I think visualizing is very helpful also. Sometimes, if I have problems going to sleep, I’ll try to visualize my guitar (and picking hand) and try to walk myself through a song very slowly note by note.

— End quote

Visualizing the guitar helps me get to sleep also vs counting sheep…I am either identifying notes or working on my scale patterns in my head…I likewise don’t get very far before I nod off.