#1
Ok, I've been playing for a week and a half, and I've been learning simple riffs, quite a few of them. I got a Led Zeppelin Mothership Album Tab book today, which has the tabs for every song on that album.

Anyway, it decided I'd start with Zep's earlier work, so I tried to learn Communication Breakdown.

Basically, it's got this repeating riff, which goes do do do do do (9x) then 3 chords, then repeat. The second chord is different and the first and third are the same.

I tried and tried, and for the life of me, I can't switch chord shapes anywhere near fast enough! My fingers stumble across the fretboard to switch postion for the middle chord, then I go to slow!

Is this bad? I have real trouble switching chord shapes quickly. Is there anything I can do to make this better?
#3
slow down and practice at a speed where you can get the part very clean and slowly speed up. dont go so fast. take it slow and build up speed and its just a lot of practice too.
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#4
Yeah you just have to play it over and over. I have had trouble with this in the past, but once I played something a ton of times, just all the time for a while, it clicked and started to feel natural.
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#5
its not bad, its completely normal.

The only thing you can do is practice changing the chords, dont worry about if youre going too slow, infact go slow, and make sure each chord properly rings out. Try and focus on your fingers and how they move and try to keep their movement to a minimum. youll notice for a lot of chord changes you only need to move one or two fingers, ie. for my favourite change Am -> C you need only move your ring finger.

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#6
I've played for about a year and a half now mate, and i still struggle switching chord shapes because i couldn't be bothered to learn chords to start out with, it's only recently i've gotten into properly trying to play things with real chords(not just power chords).

Anyway, most beginners start with a chord book, and just play certain chords. I know of one guy who suggests on his website that whilst you're practicing for your first few months, you should maybe spend a minute changing from one chord shape to another and just strumming continuously as you do that, sure it may be dull, but in the long run, it'll help you. Just practice changing from shape to shape, and learning their names, and it should help you pick it up.

After a week and a half playing, no-one's expecting you to be insanely good at playing, or changing chords fast, just try and get used to it. If you really MUST learn the song by x amount of time, how about rather than practicing the longest part of the riff, you just focus on the finger changing with your left hand(provided your a righty) and just change the hand shape from the first part, to the second, then back for the third chord, and just try that for a while until you pick it up.
#7
okay it`s a open E 9 times then switches between A5 and D5 both power chords, both on the 5th fret, theres not much hand movement at all, forget about the open E and just practice the chord change. your hand and fingers maintain the same shape and just move them up and down to the relevant strings

e----------
B----------
G-----------------7
D---------7------7
A---------7------5
E---------5------

A5 is shown 1st and then D5.
#8
I remember switches like that were pretty hard for me when I first started. Eventually however, your hands will become familiar with that shape and be able to hold it nicely, and switch quickly. Get this one down pat, as it's a pretty common one. Soon enough it'll just be second nature to you.
Quote by Perp8tualMotion
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#9
Chords switches will always be hard when your a beginner because you lack the finger strength. Just keep practicing, and it will become easier. We all went through it.

And, I know a lot of metal players who sucks at chords changes because they are so used to the two finger power chord.
Last edited by DIMEBAGLIVEDON at Aug 12, 2009,
#10
ill put it in a longer than necessary way but one which i thought was pretty interesting and helpful when i was beginning

its been a while since ive read anything on it so i might get the terminology wrong so correct me if you spot a mistake.

basically theres something called muscle memory which is the shapes your muscles are comfortable in making. its cause of this that practising slowly is the best way to start getting better at playing faster - your muscles will get more used to certain patterns and will be able to adjust to them faster in future
so practise it slowly and then slowly increase speed as you get comfortable and it should come fairly quickly.
#11
Quote by ibanezgod1973
okay it`s a open E 9 times then switches between A5 and D5 both power chords, both on the 5th fret, theres not much hand movement at all, forget about the open E and just practice the chord change. your hand and fingers maintain the same shape and just move them up and down to the relevant strings

e----------
B----------
G-----------------7
D---------7------7
A---------7------5
E---------5------

A5 is shown 1st and then D5.


No it's not like that. You got a crappy tab. The chords go

-----------
--7--5-7-
--7--6-7-
--7--7-7-
-----------
-----------

and the second guiar does that but with the added barred bass notes.
The switch is quite easy; all your fingers are already in position you just lift your ring finger barre on the 777. Aight ^^
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#12
You've only been playing a week and a half.

It takes time.

I remember when I first started playing about 8 months ago, the power chord changes in "rock you like a hurricane" gave me fits.

It just takes practice. There's no magic bullet.

One thing I would say is, try and learn the shortcuts to chord changes. Many times you only have to move one or two fingers as opposed to moving your whole hand to switch chords.
#13
What, you can't play properly after a week? Quit.

Or stop being impatient. Keep practicing and things will start to come. Remember, you'll never be done learning to play the guitar.
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#15
when page first recorded the the song he played it slow, then had it played back at higher speed.
#16
Don't get ahead of yourself. Just practice, practice, practice.
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#18
You'll get it. Practice practice practice. And remember, not all tab books are right. if it doesn't sound right to you, then figure out something else. Chances are, the tabs you can find in the archives here on UG are better than most tab books.

Again, practice, practice, practice. When your fingers are about to fall off... well, give them a break and then practice some more after it's better. It's never easy, but you'll get it.
#19
Totally agree. I think that the approach to learning songs is all wrong. I think a beginner needs to start with theory and going from the basic stuff on up. I did the same thing you were doing for a bit, didn't help. Quit after a few months. Got back into it, got an electric, started learning theory, and within a year, I was getting huge compliments.
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#21
Quote by a7xplayer
Pretty much what everyone is saying. Practice it.

had the same problem when i started playing 2 months ago- takes some time
#23
Take it slow. Speed it up as you get comfortable with it. Muscle memory will take over. That's th eonly way to learn this sort of thing.
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#24
Quote by bornfidelity
No it's not like that. You got a crappy tab. The chords go

-----------
--7--5-7-
--7--6-7-
--7--7-7-
-----------
-----------

and the second guiar does that but with the added barred bass notes.
The switch is quite easy; all your fingers are already in position you just lift your ring finger barre on the 777. Aight ^^


actually worked out by ear and i was trying to show the chord shapes in it`s simplistic form not how to play it just wanted him to see easy changes since he`s a newbie and i post to help not to confuse, if he want`s me to teach him it`s £27 per hour
#25
what i do to practice chords i just do D,C,G and just sample thorugh them and try to change quickly after a while you can do it really fast and other chords are easy and you can do this with any chords