Struggling to get the hang of playing chords and making your chord changes fluid and clean are very common problems that all beginning guitarists face. Most beginners simply try harder or play more songs or, out of frustration, give up. There is a much better way to learn chords that will not only make your playing more secure and clean, it will help you learn chords and chord changes much faster. Below is my 4 step system for learning chords.
Finger the chord you're learning or having trouble with. Now, without losing the shape that your fingers are in, slowly lift the hand off of the frets. Hold it there for 2 seconds. Now slowly place it back on the fret board. The key here is SLOW. Make sure each finger lands exactly where it is should every time you place them back on the strings. If you find yourself making mistakes, you're going too fast. Repeat this until it feels completely natural. DO NOT move on until it feels natural.
Step two is very similar to step one. Finger the chord you're working on. Now lift your hand off the strings and relax your hand so that you're no longer holding the shape of the chord. Now slowly make the shape of the chord again and place your fingers back onto the strings without making any mistakes. This is the first step toward being able to change chords. Repeat this until it feels completely natural. DO NOT move on until it feels natural.
Step three requires two chords. If you haven't learned two chords yet, go back to step one and learn another chord. In this step, you're going to start at one chord (let's say G, for example) and move to another chord (let's say C). Finger the G chord. Now lift your fingers off and switch to the C chord but before you play the C chord, make the shape of the C chord and hold your hand above the frets for about 1-2 seconds, making sure the shape is correct and all the fingers are in the right place. Now place your fingers on the C chord. Move back to the G chord in the same manner. Repeat this until it feels completely natural. DO NOT move on until it feels natural.
Step four is simply to change between chords without hesitation and without mistakes. If you're making mistakes, move back to step 3.
Using this 4 step method will speed the process of learning chords and chord changes considerably, allow you to play chords and songs with fluidity and ease, and make your playing much more enjoyable.
About the Author:Nicholas Anderson is a guitar teacher located in Olympia, WA. Check out his website at www.OlympiaGuitarLessons.com.