ßamßamßam
would love a sandwich
Join date: Sep 2012
20 IQ
#1
Hi everybody! I'm looking for some advice on solid chord switching exercises that might be a little bit more outside the box than just beating my head against the wall (ie, a dull, lifeless, repetitive, failed attempts til I stop failing style of practice).

To give you an idea of where I'm at in terms of ability, I can confidently perform any song that doesn't stray too far from A, C, D, E, F, G, etc. My most recent improvements have been getting very close to being almost as comfortable with Bm, and C#m as I am with those others, and I've got my sights on B7, too, but that still needs work. I really try to avoid bar chords and play 99% of my group's songs below the first 5 frets, using the classic shapes. I play my Fs without using the low-F (1st fret E string).

I was feeling pretty good about my ability recently, although I joke when we're out performing that "she's the talent"(@ my gf/singer) and "I'm just a hobbyist" to other actual musicians. Musicians being people that know wtf they are doing, use correct form/posture, etc. They usually say something like, "No, man - you rocked it up there", but that's just being polite. Anyways, we were going to add 'Wouldn't It Be Nice' by The Beach Boys into our song list, and everything was going decently when I hit Ebm. That chord kicked my ass. Just looking at it scared me, and my attempts at actually playing it and switching to it were laughable.

I have a tendency to write really verbose posts and belabor simple questions with personal backstory, but here it is:

What/where are some good exercises someone at my general skill level could do to improve his chord game?

Thanks for any advice/suggestions. As always I am immensely grateful that you guys/gals take time out of your day to help a stranger improve.
adamgur96
Not caring no more
Join date: Apr 2011
668 IQ
#2
This is a great exercise:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HdAdGYwgY4

Also, the problams you describe seem (to me) to come because you don't know how to build chords, you should learn that, it'll help you alot.

Can you play barre chords?
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ßamßamßam
would love a sandwich
Join date: Sep 2012
20 IQ
#3
Quote by adamgur96
Also, the problams you describe seem (to me) to come because you don't know how to build chords, you should learn that, it'll help you alot.

Can you play barre chords?


Yes, but I can't switch them as effectively as the beginner level C, D, G, Em stuff. When you say building chords, are you describing an approach based around I guess what would be called "fretboard knowledge", ie starting at a root note and adding supporting notes based on chord/key? I definitely can't readily do that with anything beyond major/minor scales, and even there I am very amateur.

I definitely spent way too long being content with what I knew to play some basic songs. For a long time, guitar was nothing more than something I'd randomly pick up and play for fun, and I did get pretty good at what I knew, but I never pushed myself to improve in a professional sense, and now I really want to! I'm gonna check out that video. Thanks for posting

Edit: Just watched the video dude and I'm digging that. Although there's nothing profound about the exercise, it is in fact something that will absolutely get me more comfortable switching to awkward chords! Thanks a ton, dude!
Last edited by ßamßamßam at Sep 30, 2012,
adamgur96
Not caring no more
Join date: Apr 2011
668 IQ
#4
Quote by ßamßamßam
Yes, but I can't switch them as effectively as the beginner level C, D, G, Em stuff. When you say building chords, are you describing an approach based around I guess what would be called "fretboard knowledge", ie starting at a root note and adding supporting notes based on chord/key? I definitely can't readily do that with anything beyond major/minor scales, and even there I am very amateur.


Yes learning all the notes on the fretboard will help alot, but when i'm talking about building chords i mean you need to know what makes a chord major or minor, what's the difference between a sus2 and an add9 chord, etc.
That way, if someone says to you "play an F#madd9" for example, instead of crying and not knowing what to do, you'll know that you need (F#, A, C#, G#) to play it, and even if you don't know a shape to that, you could figure it out.


Quote by ßamßamßam
Edit: Just watched the video dude and I'm digging that. Although there's nothing profound about the exercise, it is in fact something that will absolutely get me more comfortable switching to awkward chords! Thanks a ton, dude!



Great! That exercise helped me alot when i was a beginner, i still do it as a worm up.

Good luck!
I Have An Avant Garde Fetish....
Quote by Gantz92
Im in no way an amateur. I masturbate in public all the time.
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Quote by Obsceneairwaves
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ßamßamßam
would love a sandwich
Join date: Sep 2012
20 IQ
#5
Quote by adamgur96
if someone says to you "play an F#madd9" for example, instead of crying and not knowing what to do, you'll know that you need (F#, A, C#, G#) to play it, and even if you don't know a shape to that, you could figure it out.


haha, yeah I got you. I admittedly spend most of our practices weeping in confusion.

After searching around a bit, I'm getting that Learn and Master Guitar program and I think that's gonna help me bridge the gap between my ability and understanding of theory/scales, etc.
rdawgMII
Registered User
Join date: Jun 2012
10 IQ
#6
Quote by ßamßamßam
haha, yeah I got you. I admittedly spend most of our practices weeping in confusion.

After searching around a bit, I'm getting that Learn and Master Guitar program and I think that's gonna help me bridge the gap between my ability and understanding of theory/scales, etc.


I bought the Learn and Master Guitar program about five years ago. Honestly, I would not recommend buying it. It does include helpful information on basic theory and chord construction, but you can find everything it offers elsewhere. If I was you I would browse the stickies in the Musician's Talk forum instead, and I think you would actually learn more.
ßamßamßam
would love a sandwich
Join date: Sep 2012
20 IQ
#7
Quote by rdawgMII
I bought the Learn and Master Guitar program about five years ago. Honestly, I would not recommend buying it. It does include helpful information on basic theory and chord construction, but you can find everything it offers elsewhere. If I was you I would browse the stickies in the Musician's Talk forum instead, and I think you would actually learn more.


Well, too late for me! I've watched everything up to where I'm at which is the Barre Chord section(and actually I'm still going, I'm about 4 hours deep already and I'm addicted to the knowledge! haha). I don't doubt for a second what you say, but for me personally, I'm happy with it so far. It's streamlined and doesn't feel as "messy" in my mind as jumping around videos/threads.

If money is an issue and someone has enough attention span and motivation, I would also suggest the route you mentioned. I definitely don't plan on using it like a Bible as I advance, but it is giving me concisely organized step-by-step methods to going from point A to point B. My humorous eureka moment so far was with the suspended chords. If you told me play Xsus - I could play it, but it never clicked to me about the pinky usage and how they are following a basic pattern. It's turning out to be the training wheels I needed to bridge this blatant gap between what I can play and what I know about what I'm playing.

Once it brings me up to speed on what I feel like I'm looking for, I'll just feel more confident about reading what other musicians have discussed without needing them to put it into noob-speak for me. I've always felt embarrassed when someone sees me play and asks me something theoretical about it, or why I do it one way or another, and the worst of all... I've been invited to come jam with people/bands during open mics after I've performed, and I just have to shy away and tell them I simply just don't know enough and that I'd be making a fool of myself. At one I attend on occasion I'm usually the only guy with an acoustic there, most everyone else being full electric doing rock/blues with a full band. I've been told that I'm "a good acoustic guitar player", and it would really make me feel decent if when they ask me to come up that all they need to tell me is a key, etc, and I can start adding some cool finger style stuff to what they are doing. Outside of my "professional" aspirations with my own project, I'd just really love to be able to hang/keep-up with musicians purely just to jam. I love music so much, and I'm always so jealous of people that can just get together and lose themselves in an impromptu collabo. Performing pre-written songs in a methodical way is cool and all, but just straight JAMMING is where I think the most fun lies.

Anyways, I'm longwinded as usual, but thanks for posting dude.
rdawgMII
Registered User
Join date: Jun 2012
10 IQ
#8
Quote by ßamßamßam
Well, too late for me! I've watched everything up to where I'm at which is the Barre Chord section(and actually I'm still going, I'm about 4 hours deep already and I'm addicted to the knowledge! haha). I don't doubt for a second what you say, but for me personally, I'm happy with it so far. It's streamlined and doesn't feel as "messy" in my mind as jumping around videos/threads.

If money is an issue and someone has enough attention span and motivation, I would also suggest the route you mentioned. I definitely don't plan on using it like a Bible as I advance, but it is giving me concisely organized step-by-step methods to going from point A to point B. My humorous eureka moment so far was with the suspended chords. If you told me play Xsus - I could play it, but it never clicked to me about the pinky usage and how they are following a basic pattern. It's turning out to be the training wheels I needed to bridge this blatant gap between what I can play and what I know about what I'm playing.

Once it brings me up to speed on what I feel like I'm looking for, I'll just feel more confident about reading what other musicians have discussed without needing them to put it into noob-speak for me. I've always felt embarrassed when someone sees me play and asks me something theoretical about it, or why I do it one way or another, and the worst of all... I've been invited to come jam with people/bands during open mics after I've performed, and I just have to shy away and tell them I simply just don't know enough and that I'd be making a fool of myself. At one I attend on occasion I'm usually the only guy with an acoustic there, most everyone else being full electric doing rock/blues with a full band. I've been told that I'm "a good acoustic guitar player", and it would really make me feel decent if when they ask me to come up that all they need to tell me is a key, etc, and I can start adding some cool finger style stuff to what they are doing. Outside of my "professional" aspirations with my own project, I'd just really love to be able to hang/keep-up with musicians purely just to jam. I love music so much, and I'm always so jealous of people that can just get together and lose themselves in an impromptu collabo. Performing pre-written songs in a methodical way is cool and all, but just straight JAMMING is where I think the most fun lies.

Anyways, I'm longwinded as usual, but thanks for posting dude.


It does provide a neat and tidy package for all the information, and that can be helpful in itself. If that aids in your learning process, than it's probably worth it. Have fun and good luck!