#1
I am a beginner who is trying to learn chords, regular and barre and how to switch between them. I keep hearing and reading about the term "muscle memory". How long does it take before you develop this skill? I have been playing chords for a few months and I know I am not there yet. I can get my ring and middle finger to kind of move together but not three or four fingers. Aside from practice, what can I do to speed up this process.

Many thanks!
-Mike
#2
It's just practice practice practice.
That's really all you can do. Muscle memory is basically memory, but for your muscles, hence the name.
Once you practice it (correctly) then you will eventually get the hang of it.
Just keep on practising!
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#3
^summed up quite well

Make sure you practice slow enough to get the movements correct, instead of jumping in at the fullest speed. If you jump in fast you might get some really bad habits when you play.



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#4
i find it helps a lot to work through a progression if you picture the next chord you're moving on to in advance, will give you the confidence to let your hand do the work
#5
They are correct in what they are all saying, I use a technique called one minute changes where you take two chords (for example G & C) then you see how many times you can change between the two in a minute, making sure you get all the strings ringing out that are supposed to be played, then every time you do it see if you can beat your previous score!!
I get the method from a guy called Justin Sandercoe and you can check out his website @ www.justinguitar.com
He is brilliant, the website is free, he works off a donation method that if you can afford to donate then do so but if you can't, to help someone else out. He also has a beginners course that you can follow on there that will help you tremendously!
Hope this helps, Jason
#6
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It's just practice practice practice. That's really all you can do.
Says the guy who has pinky issues... LOL
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Wasn't there a thread about this like yesterday?
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#7
Quote by Widefingers
I am a beginner who is trying to learn chords, regular and barre and how to switch between them. I keep hearing and reading about the term "muscle memory". How long does it take before you develop this skill? I have been playing chords for a few months and I know I am not there yet. I can get my ring and middle finger to kind of move together but not three or four fingers. Aside from practice, what can I do to speed up this process.

Many thanks!

You will get much faster results if you have an efficient practice routine which focuses on your weak spots and how to fix them.

It's hard to tell you exactly what to suggest without knowing where you are at in your playing and more importantly KNOWLEDGE..... but basically you have to get a good understanding of how your hands and muscle memory work.... in order to know what type of exercises will best suit you!

If you are doing a lot of chord work......... I recommend checking out pebber browns technique videos. Learn all the basic Spider exercises... anything that involves stretching and moving the fingers in awkward positions that don't seem natural should be great for chord work.

I combined Pebbers spider exercises with hand stretching and finger independance exercises from Greg Irwin, and ran them through a punishing routine for a couple of months, and that gave big results.

So watch my vids in my signature, and check out all my subscriptions to get an idea (especially Pebber brown and Greg Irwin for chord work).
Last edited by Jonashred at May 27, 2011,
#8
Quote by BigJase
They are correct in what they are all saying, I use a technique called one minute changes where you take two chords (for example G & C) then you see how many times you can change between the two in a minute, making sure you get all the strings ringing out that are supposed to be played, then every time you do it see if you can beat your previous score!!
I get the method from a guy called Justin Sandercoe and you can check out his website @ www.justinguitar.com
He is brilliant, the website is free, he works off a donation method that if you can afford to donate then do so but if you can't, to help someone else out. He also has a beginners course that you can follow on there that will help you tremendously!
Hope this helps, Jason


Thanks. I am familiar with Justin and I like his lessons. Sometimes I am torn between doing things that I know would improve my technical skills and just having some fun. I find Justin to be very good for helping someone improve technically but I tend to like Marty Schwartz better because his lessons are more enjoyable (for me)
-Mike
Last edited by Widefingers at May 27, 2011,
#9
Muscle memory is basically a side effect of practice. It's where your brain gets so used to making your muscles do certain motions, it can do them automatically with very little intervention.

To achieve that, start by deliberately playing a lick/chord progression/whatever slowly and accurately (meaning no dead or wrong notes, muting only the strings you'll want to mute) and slowly build up the speed. Your brain should get used to the slow motions fairly quickly, and working up the speed after getting it down completely is the easier part.

Practicing may not always be fun, but remember that even the biggest names had to start small.
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Last edited by PsiGuy60 at May 27, 2011,
#10
Basically what you do is "program" your fingers to do exactly what you want.

You play slowly enough that you can make the chord change as smoothly as possible, and repeat that until it's totally automatic. The main thing is to practise slowly enough that you don't make any mistakes, or your hands will just learn to do it wrong every time.

These vids might be helpful for your chord changes -
www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DcjDp5Iexw
www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNhhyrnINIU
#11
Quote by Widefingers
Sometimes I am torn between doing things that I know would improve my technical skills and just having some fun.


While everything said here is true, don't forget that even though you have to push yourself to get results, playing guitar should be enjoyable. That said, sometimes you need to practice a lot to get enjoyable results, and that shouldn't be neglected either.
#12
Something that helped with me.

When I was playing a song with a chord such as F, To get my finger muscles stronger, I would play it as a bar chord instead of the simple chord.

Thus helping me to increase my muscle strength and I prefer the sound of a full bar chord of F to the other way to play it ( I know their are a few differant ways to play each chord, but when I say ' the other way to play it ' I mean the way most people learn, I think :
1----
1----
-2---
--3--
-----
-----

Not sure... Thanks