Hey guys,

I'm relatively new to rhythm guitar, and I was wondering what one would normally do with the right hand when the left hand is in the middle of changing to a different chord - Do you strum all open strings, or muted strings for that split second? Or do you just try to shift your left hand fast enough in time?

I can see using the latter method for certain chords, but for some I just find it hard to imagine, especially with 16th note rhythms! The major chord with roots on 3rd, 1st, and 6th strings for instance (the non-open chord that uses all 6 strings), but I'm sure there are much more awkward ones.

Do people just try to avoid such combinations, and reserve awkward fingerings for specific slow moments?

Thanks for the help!
Last edited by werther at Oct 19, 2009,
You just need to switch chords fast unfortunately. It can take up to half a year of playing to be able to switch between all the main chords smoothly, so don't worry. Just keep practicing the chord transitions.
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Last edited by falconthefirst at Oct 19, 2009,
i play alotta acoustic rythem and depending on the song try and change chord between strums or mute slightly...but it all depends on style of music u play. Take Hetfield and Metallica, they are strumming non stop with chords so its near impossible to mute strings every time you need to change, but with slower bands, take chilli peppers jst as an example, with the type of "rhythm" Frusciante plays he mutes and gets a jerk rhythem. For awkwardness play drive by Incubus...damn annoying to learn but a nice song for gigging with
Well id have thought you would have realised that aimlessly strumming away while changing chords is never going to work for the tempo and structure of a song. I know youre a beginner but its kinda obvious , isnt it? Unless youre directed to strum the open string(s) then you dont play. Easy. Tab is fairly idiot proof like that. Some people find that "ghost strums" i.e. you move your hand as if to strum but dont hit the strings helps them keep rhythm but its a matter of personal choice.

Basically if youre having a hard time keeping up with your left hand then there is one solution: practice. Until you start sweating, your fingers bleed and youre patience becomes shorter that a Gnat's penis. Good luck!
Got it. Just needed to hear it from other people hehe. Thanks for the fast replies!