Tag: chord changes Archives - Jim Bowley

August 11, 2014

The Obstacle Course Approach to Changing Chords

obstacle course approach to changing chordsStrumming and changing chords is at the heart of all guitar playing.  And experienced players make it look so easy. 

But changing chords in rhythm is one of the most difficult things for beginner guitarists to do.

After all, there are multiple “moving parts” in every chord change. Fingers move in various combinations with different strings and different placements to figure out. The thumb changes its position. The wrist relaxes or bends.

It’s easy to see why a rookie guitar player would struggle with this: there’s an awful lot to process! 

And we’re only talking about the left hand. :)

While I employ a few different strategies for helping my beginners through the technical difficulties of playing chords, one of the simplest methods to deal with chord changes is more a matter of attitude than technical ability. (more…)

May 25, 2013

“Hop and Drop”: Use Common Shapes for Easier Chord Changes

chord changes hop and drop

Beginner guitarists face a major hurdle trying to make smooth and comfortable chord changes.

To that end, I’ve developed a few helpful “common” strategies that are outlined in this epic lesson. The first two strategies – common finger and common string – are often easiest to apply. The third strategy, however, usually presents a few coordination issues.

But learning to use the common shape strategy will make life much easier for your average guitar rookie. In a nutshell, we want to recognize the fingers that are configured – or “shaped” – the same way between two chords and maintain that shape as we switch.

[Note: Although I’m presenting this as a beginner lesson, it’s actually a foundation concept that is practiced across all skill levels. (more…)

Jim Bowley is a professional guitarist, teacher and blogger. A native of Baltimore, he has over 30 years of playing experience and an advanced degree in Music Education from Towson University. Jim lives in Bel Air, MD where he maintains a thriving private lesson studio and performs with his band, Remains of Radio.

© 2012 Jim Bowley All rights reserved.
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