#1
I've been playing guitar on and off for about 5 years. I love playing, I love listening to it. Guitar is truly my favorite thing in the world, but i just can't seem to teach myself how to play chords. I have a chart that shows me what they are but i just cant manage to motivate my fingers into moving fast enough. Are there any songs or finger excersizes that can help me too learn??!!!!
#2
Just force the chord changes. Pick 2 Chords you want to learn, then strum slow and steady, just downstrokes on the beat. Change between these chords you are holding every 4 strums. Keep up the strumming no matter what, even if you have to think where to put the fingers or hit muted or wrong fretted strings.

It will sound like shit at first, but you have to play through that. Eventually your fretting hand will try to keep up with your strumming. At least that's what works for me.
#3
Hello, I'm confused. You say you have been playing on and off for five years surely you must be able to play some chords. 5 years is a long time. What chords are you having specific trobule with?
#4
Quote by hellybelly
Hello, I'm confused. You say you have been playing on and off for five years surely you must be able to play some chords. 5 years is a long time. What chords are you having specific trobule with?

BB King has been playing longer than most people have been alive and he doesn't play chords.

It's just about practicing relentlessly. There's no magic trick to doing chords.
Hi, I'm Peter
#5
You should memorise all the easy basic chords first. Don't try to play any rhythm, just memorise the shapes so that your fretting hand remembers, what to play when you see "Am" for example. Once you get that down, you can start adding some right hand strumming.
#6
Quote by Stratwizard
You should memorise all the easy basic chords first. Don't try to play any rhythm, just memorise the shapes so that your fretting hand remembers, what to play when you see "Am" for example. Once you get that down, you can start adding some right hand strumming.


memorizing chords is so stupid. theres over 1000 different chords. its just too many. besides, as soon as you change your tuning, all those chords you memorized are no longer the chords you memorized.

Instead memorize what a chord is. what makes a minor chord minor? what makes a major chord major? what makes a diminished chord diminished? etc etc... once you know these things you know every chord. more importantly you will gain insight in how they go together and how you can manipulate them to get he sound you want.

when it comes to playing them, its just practice practice practice.
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#7
Quote by Dirk Gently
BB King has been playing longer than most people have been alive and he doesn't play chords.

I guarantee you he knows them, even if he doesn't play them often.
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#8
Quote by Dirk Gently
BB King has been playing longer than most people have been alive and he doesn't play chords.

It's just about practicing relentlessly. There's no magic trick to doing chords.


By his own admission BB king can play chords he says he just cannot play them that well.
#9
Take it slow. Practice transitions over and over until your fingers get used to it. Try to find a fingering that has a common fret so you can leave a finger down. For instance, G to D:

e|-3--2
B|-3--3
G|-0--2
D|-0--0
A|-X---
E|-3---


I play the G with my middle finger, ring finger and pinky with my ring on the D on the B string and I just leave it there to move to the D chord and use my index and middle finger for the A and F#. I use my ring finger as a point of reference.
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#10
Quote by satanicgurrl
memorizing chords is so stupid. theres over 1000 different chords. its just too many. besides, as soon as you change your tuning, all those chords you memorized are no longer the chords you memorized.

Instead memorize what a chord is. what makes a minor chord minor? what makes a major chord major? what makes a diminished chord diminished? etc etc... once you know these things you know every chord. more importantly you will gain insight in how they go together and how you can manipulate them to get he sound you want.

when it comes to playing them, its just practice practice practice.


Yeah, that's the theoretical part of it, which of course should go hand in hand with the practical part. I don't agree with you about memorising, though. Learning the basic shapes for chords helps a lot when you have to start comping someone. Besides learning the shape for a maj7 chord, for instance, lets you play all the maj7 chords - you don't have to memorise 1000 different chords. You know the shape and then move it up and down the fretboard. Playing with different tunings is after all a very marginal situation.

I'm not trying to suggest here that one should ignore the theory behind the chords, though. It's an essential part of it but memorising the chord shapes doesn't rule it out.
#11
woops. dont get me wrong man. patterns yes. chords no.


basically its like, would you rather sit down and memorize the major scale for every note in one position, or would you rather sit down and learn the major pattern, and apply it all up and down the neck. Personally, id rather just remember Whole:Whole:Half:Whole:Whole:Whole:Half
"I can see that we speak the wrong notes."

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Crate EL-10G
#12
When i was learning how to play guitar chords, the best tip i ever got was to use the rule of minimum movement. For example, when changing from chord to chord think about what fingers actually move the most and what fingers dont move or hardly move at all.
eg, Amin to a Cmaj only require two fingers to move, the index finger stays where it is.
Well thats an easy example but you get the idea
#13
I'd say learn about 3 open chords, practice going from one to the other and then just make a small progression with them. I mean, it could just be random too, but keep switching from one to the other.

I used to do this with the open G major chord, D Major and Open E Major chords, and it worked wonders. Just take it real slow then speed up.
#14
Well, you said "easy". Not sure if that is do-able :-)
Like blueicebox said learn 3 open chords and go from one to the other. I developed a system with G/C/D. I started slow - downstokes every two beats with a rest between beats.
G/C/D
G/D/C
D/C/G
D/G/C
C/G/D
C/D/G

Then I got bored with the rhythm and mixed it up - up strokes, 16th notes, etc. Also, to get the correct strings stroked i would do arpeggios. Mix it up your own way and have fun. Then I proceeded to use A/E/D the same way. Now im on to 5th, 7th and minor's. Progress will be slow and be sure to take a day off from chords once in a while - you'll come back stronger.

hope that helps.
Tom
#15
Quote by hellybelly
By his own admission BB king can play chords he says he just cannot play them that well.

yeah maybe when he started out he could but by now he probably can
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#16
hey man honestly, the best way to remember chords is by incorporating them into songs. For example some of the basic chords that every guitarist should know are C, D, E, F, G, Am and Bm. A song like wish you were here incorporates G,D,C and Am. That one song knocked out four chords right there. the you basically see the E and Am are the same shape just one string up/down(depends on what you see as the bottom) Then to learn the last two just play like a C-F-G progression over and over again(known as the I-IV-V progression) and B minor is a nice chord to incorporate itno any progression you like as lonng as it sounds good to you. the Bm shape is also a useful shape you can remember to make many more minor chords. Basically it's all in the application
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#17
I had this problem up until only this week, I started taking a piano class in school and it has taught me a lot of new chords and a lot about chord theory. I would recommend buying like a $80 key board and a beginners book (Or get something online) and since the piano has such a simple layout as a guitarist you will learn it very quickly and pick up a lot of new chords. I didn't understand Triads at all until I started playing piano.