Three Chord Guitar Lessons - How To Change The Chords On Guitar



One of the major problems that beginner guitar players have is changing from one chord to the next. There is a right way and a wrong way to change chords and this article will show you how to plan chord changes so that they become easy and automatic. The great thing about three chord songs is that you can practice these chord changes and get them perfect.

The right way to change chords is using a minimal movement principal. The first big mistake that beginners make is that when a chord change is coming up they remove their left hand from the fret board before deciding where their fingers need to go for the next chord. You must not compartmentalise your chord changes in this way. What you need to do is plan how your fingers move from one chord to the next in such a way that your fingers hardly seem to move at all. If you watch the professional guitarist you will see that they are playing all sorts of chords and changes and yet hardly seem to be moving their fingers at all

Example 1 – Chords Em to A

If you play the Chord of Em fingered with the first and second fingers of your left hand then they only need to move down one position on the fretboard to make 66% of the chord of A. You then just add the third finger to the second string to complete the chord change. This ubiquitous chord change should be planned and practised over and over again. Practice it first looking at how you can move from the first chord to the second with the least amount of movement. Then do the same thing without looking at your hand. After a few minutes you should find that this chord change will become automatic and very easy. What you must not do is take your fingers off the fret board to then place them for the second chord. Plan the finger movement from the outset.

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Example 2 – Chords G to C

This chord change demonstrates a second way of achieving the minimum amount of movement between chord. Many people finger the chord of G with the 1st, 2nd and 4th finger. This is fine if your next chord is going to be Em. But if you are moving to the chord of C or F then you are making extra work for your fingers. You should learn the second version of the G chord using the 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers. As you will see – this allows you to easily move fingers 2 and 3 down one position to the fifth and fourth strings. You then can add finger one to complete the chord of C. There is another adaptation of this C chord shape giving a 4 finger C chord version but I will write about that another day. The main thing for beginner guitar students is to think about how to fret the chords so that you can permit the minimum amount of movement between chord changes. You will be able to play guitar fast and easily by approaching chord changes in this way.

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