How to Change Chord Shapes Quickly

This is a lesson on how to change chord shapes quickly. There’s lot of things you can do to improve your speed – sometimes you just have to change your approach.

This lesson is going to use G, C, and D as an example. It’s not that hard to improve on your chords. One thing you can do is practice your scales – this lesson won’t be getting into that, but that’s a helpful suggestion.

It’s more about making the chord changes efficient. What you can practice is keep the strumming out of it for a bit and just practice going back and forth between chords.

When you start adding the strumming, start with a down strum. In other words, start strumming from the top of the chord down. So when you practice changing chords with your left hand, place your fingers down on the top strings first. This will give  you more time to move the rest of your fingers into position.

Start slowly – always starting from the top of the chord (the lowest sounding strings).

Then you can start to speed it up. Make sure you get it nice and smooth. Then start adding different strums to that to keep it interesting. But always practice your chords first before you strum them.

Watch on Youtube

 

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One Response to “How to Change Chord Shapes Quickly”

  1. John c October 29, 2013 at 5:33 am #

    Another good one Colin. I sometimes (when needed) play G with my pinky on the high G, ring finger on low G and middle finger on B (2nd fret 5th string). Then To go to C chord I’ve got my index finger ready to plant on 2nd string C.

    So to go from C to D, I keep my index finger right there and plant my middle and ring as if to play D7, BUT use my pinky on 3rd fret 2nd string to play the D, of course keeping my first, middle and third finger in D7 position. ( you don’t have to worry about your index finger on that 2nd string because your pinky is on that string for the D) Also makes it easy to go quickly and smoothly from D to D7 if the song needs that change.

    I learned this, but only after knowing my traditional open chord shapes, and it works well only for certain songs--you have to know what’s the best attack for particular chord changes, e.g., going from G to G7 is easier this way, or C to G7 (Jambalaya ).

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