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Author Topic: Any tips on how to improve my chord progression speed?  (Read 2853 times)
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Tonedef
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« on: February 07, 2011, 10:59:51 am »

I've now got all the major chords under my belt, as well as a few minor ones, and I can fret them correctly from memory without having to look at a diagram.

HAU-EVER, it takes me forever to change from one to the other. Like two seconds or longer for the harder changes. Ive been practising the different permutations endlessly, ie A-C-A-C, A-D-A-D, A-E-A-E etc and my progress is way too slow for my liking.

Halp!

Ive identified the fingerings that are common between different chords, but somehow I feel that relying on them shouldnt be the outcome- each chord should be mastered on its own regardless of what it has in common with others. DOUBLE HALP!
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Tonedef
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« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2011, 11:16:02 am »

Oh, and I'll be damned if I can do it in one movement too. At the moment its like a granny parallel-parking. Sad
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« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2011, 11:20:35 am »

Well done on your progress Wink

The only cure to this is more practice, unfortunately.  But...

...try and find some easy songs that you can play along to (or sing) which use those open-chord progressions.

Here's one to get you going which is not too fast and where the chord changes are pretty much always on the first beat of each bar (the "1" of "1-2-3-4").


Crowded House - Better Be Home Soon

C - Am - Em - G --> Verse

C - C7 - F - G - C -->  Chorus

Bb - D - G
Bb - A7 - D  --> Bridge


The chorus and bridge especially will challenge a beginner because of the barred F and Bb chords (if you choose to play them that way) and the odd 7th chord.

There are a few variations on terms of how people play the song, so check out the tabs at

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/tabs/crowded_house_tabs.htm



You'll find that practicing full songs like these, getting each change nice and fluid, is more interesting and productive than simply going through chord changes all by themselves.  

Other than that, there are lots of I-IV-V type songs to choose from, which you can even practice in different keys.  Common I-IV-V changes in different keys:

C-F-G  (key of C)
A-D-E  (key of A)
D-G-A  (key of D)
E-A-B  (key of E)
F-Bb-C  (key of F)
G-C-D  (key of G)


Playing through changes in the above order (or variations of them) will be a useful exercise and will be actual changes which you'll use regularly for songs.
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« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2011, 11:21:02 am »

just practise, thats all, it feels like forever in the beginning but when your hands suddenly realise what they're suppose to be doing it goes alot faster and you learn new chords very quickly.
You can play songs like Bad Moon Rising wich has easier versions using only the easier chords, wich makes it more fun than just doing the chordhops. But note, I suck, never went for classes or anything, I just download tabs, learn them (if I'm able), play them, get over them and look for something new and more challenging Tongue

Oh, and I'll be damned if I can do it in one movement too. At the moment its like a granny parallel-parking. Sad

hahaha, had that a couple of days ago with exchanging Bm and F# chords for Hotel California  Embarrassed Tongue
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RuanR
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« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2011, 11:22:33 am »



practice practice practice...

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« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2011, 11:31:14 am »

hahaha, had that a couple of days ago with exchanging Bm and F# chords for Hotel California  Embarrassed Tongue

That should be a relatively easy change considering you can keep the first finger barre in the same place and just shift fingers 2,3 and 4 in the same shape:


Bm - X24432
F# - 244322
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« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2011, 11:33:33 am »

Thanks for the input, guys. Ive been trying to play Free Falling with capo on third fret an' all, its so bloody easy D-G---G-D-A but its so bloody hard! Sob.

The SUCK must now fokof out of my left hand, its not paying rent. >:-(
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« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2011, 11:46:09 am »

ah, thanx, my chart has got different shapes but already got it, so now I know 2 ways of doing that part  Cheesy
on my chart it was:
Bm-XX4432
F#-XX4322
and it sounded right so I just practised it 'till I got it
Still a noob Embarrassed
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« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2011, 11:49:01 am »


Ive identified the fingerings that are common between different chords, ...


I'll add in another vote for practice, but also, use the anchor finger between chords (that's what I assume you're talking about ). It makes chord changes faster.

Take a look here http://www.justinguitar.com/en/BC-115-1MinuteChanges.php

...and here - http://www.justinguitar.com/en/BC-114-AnchorFingers.php (example of anchor fingers)
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Tonedef
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« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2011, 11:52:25 am »

Yeah thats exactly what I meant. Good stuff, I was worried that I might be cultivating a horrendous habit.
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« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2011, 11:57:22 am »

ah, thanx, my chart has got different shapes but already got it, so now I know 2 ways of doing that part  Cheesy
on my chart it was:
Bm-XX4432
F#-XX4322
and it sounded right so I just practised it 'till I got it
Still a noob Embarrassed

If you look carefully, the shapes on your chart are the same as the ones I posted, they are simply omitting some of the lower notes:

- They've left out the extra B in the Bm chord, played on the 5th (A) string.
- They've left out the extra F# and C# notes in the F# chord, played on the 6th (low E) and 5th (A) strings.

The reason you can get away with that and still retain the same chord is because the notes they've left out are doubles of notes that you're already fretting with your other fingers.

This is one good reason to learn the notes on your fingerboard: it really starts to open up how the chords are actually made up.

Try my suggestion of using the 1st finger barre across the second fret, keeping it the for both chords.  I'm pretty sure it will make the world of difference Wink
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« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2011, 12:09:29 pm »

ah, thanx, my chart has got different shapes but already got it, so now I know 2 ways of doing that part  Cheesy
on my chart it was:
Bm-XX4432
F#-XX4322
and it sounded right so I just practised it 'till I got it
Still a noob Embarrassed

If you look carefully, the shapes on your chart are the same as the ones I posted, they are simply omitting some of the lower notes:

- They've left out the extra B in the Bm chord, played on the 5th (A) string.
- They've left out the extra F# and C# notes in the F# chord, played on the 6th (low E) and 5th (A) strings.

The reason you can get away with that and still retain the same chord is because the notes they've left out are doubles of notes that you're already fretting with your other fingers.

This is one good reason to learn the notes on your fingerboard: it really starts to open up how the chords are actually made up.

Try my suggestion of using the 1st finger barre across the second fret, keeping it the for both chords.  I'm pretty sure it will make the world of difference Wink


Yeah, I noticed after trying them out like in your post, the barchords just seem thicker (repeting of notes) and its much easier using the barre than the way I saw it on the chart.
Thanx again, will take better note (haha) of such things from now on Smiley
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« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2011, 01:24:22 pm »

The SUCK must now fokof out of my left hand, its not paying rent. >:-(

Wait untill you find the SUCK in your right hand. That one takes some good practising too Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2011, 01:33:49 pm »

My right hand has less suck in it though. Discovered over the weekend that I somehow learned to pick the exact string I'm fretting first time without looking down. Was well chuffed, until lefty spoiled the fun Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2011, 01:50:18 pm »

Actually having said that. My biggest problem right now, and I MEAN HUGE, is getting both hands to work with each other quickly. Its one thing being able to change chords SUPER fast with your left hand, and another to attack every string faster than the road runner with the right. But getting both LEFT and RIGHT to synchronise and play fast is not fun. If anyone has methods to improve this, that would actually be appreciated :-)
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