#1
I know to practice, and I do a lot, but are there any exercises I could try out that might help? It's mostly the inaccuracy of my pinky and ring finger messing me up, but I'm a little sluggish in general as well.

Thanks.
#2
honestly man...practice. i hate to say it like that, but that's all it is. try and strum each chord 8 times switch, then after a while 6 times switch, keep going down till it gets to one time switch.
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#3
id try going from say, an A barre to a Dm Barre and go up a half step each time. if you get what i mean. then work on different transitions. look up some jazz chords, those are a workout lol.
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#4
I can't do barre chords yet, but that would be a good idea if I could, lol.

I usually just cycle through a couple of these repetitively.
Last edited by i_don't_know at Dec 22, 2008,
#5
Mostly practice. But it can also help if you focus on planting your fingers on the lower strings first, so as you can strum slightly before you're done shaping the chord. But after a few weeks of practice it shouldn't be an issue with those basic chords anyway.
#6
Those chords are good to know, but if you're going for speed, barre chords are pretty much unparralleled. And TK1 is right, jazz chords for dexterity and subsequent speed. My guitarist will say things like "I don't know how to play this" then nail the Selkies solo perfectly, but is completely paralyzed by jazz chords.
#7
There's no such thing as "jazz chords" - chords are chords. Barre chords are a specific technique which is why they have a different name, but at the end of the day the only thing you need to do to get better at chords is practice, it takes time to get good at even the sinmplest things.
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#8
To speed up your chord changes practice strumming chords twice and then change. Once you get used to this you can speed it up. Another tip is try not to move your fingers too much between changes or lift them too high from the fretboard between changes.

An E to an E minor is an easy change so keeping that in mind try to make other changes feel that easy. Practice hard on the changes you find difficult and soon you will find them easy to do. It is a bit like learning to drive a car. The first thing you learn is the technique and once you have that down you can get alot more feel into what you are playing as the technique is almost automatic.

Another tip is find music to play that is fairly fast and start off slow and speed it up.

Hope that helps

#9
First I try to build up a solid muscile memory of each chord. Without that, it's hard to be able to quickly transition to that chord. While watching TV, I'd hold the same chord for as long as I could, shake it off, then do it again. Do that enough and pretty soon your hand will "snap" to that chord. Once I felt comfortable enough with a couple chords that I could quickly find them, then I started working on transitioning between them. Like I did with learning the chords, I learned to do the transitions usually while I was just watching TV. While sitting there, I'd just keep transitioning back and forth, as fast as I could do it without screwing up. After a couple nights of it, I would then strum each 4 times slowly and transition inbetween. The reason that I did these types of excercises while watching TV, was so that I didn't get bored with them. Sitting in a room just holding a chord is hardly a productive use of time, so I spent my "practice" time working on whatever lesson I had that week, but while you're doing something like watching TV, you might as well have a guitar in your hand and keep holding a chord.

One trick that made it easier for me was to find an anchor point between the two chords. For example, when transitioning between the G and the D, my ring finger was the "anchor" because it stayed at the same position. Other times, the "anchor" may move a fret or two, but still gives you that tactile feel of not being lifted, which helps you find your way. And with others, you just flat out need to find the right spot, and those are the ones that take longer to practice.

But ultimately, no matter your method, practice really is what it takes, and at the beginning that's frustrating because everything is hard. I think it took me 3 weeks of holding the "G" chord every night before I really felt halfway comfortable with it, and probably another 2 weeks for the "C" chord, and to transition between the two comfortably took even longer. Fortunately, you don't have to get comfortable with it to be good enough to start practicing whatever song you're working on, so long as you're willing to accept the fact that you'll keep screwing it up frequently.