UGH!! I remember how frustrating this was (and sometimes still is). Here’s the story…
You’ve finally got your chords down.
They’re sounding great.
No muted strings.
Just crystal clear musical beauty.
One big problem….
It takes FOREVER TO CHANGE FROM ONE CHORD TO ANOTHER!
How can you possibly play an actual SONG if it takes (what seems like) an eternity to change chords.
How do those musicians do it?
First – I gotta give a shout out. This question has troubled my students, but it wasn’t until someone posted a comment that really got me to address this issue (thanks for the comment John!).
So here are two things that you can do that should instantly improve your chord changes:
Never Stop Strumming
Whenever you’re strumming, and about to change chords… KEEP STRUMMING. Do NOT stop strumming. Ever. Even if your left hand hasn’t fully formed the chord.
You see… by continuously strumming you will subconsciously force your left hand to make faster changes. It may not be perfect at first, but it will help.
It will be a little weird, and probably kind of hard (almost like patting your head and rubbing your belly at the same time). It’s going to be a bit awkward, but you gotta try.
This tactic will also make your music sound more continuous (and less choppy) which actually sounds better.
No more awkward pauses.
Stop Looking At Your Left Hand
Are you watching your left hand when you make chord changes? If so: STOP.
Take some of the focus off of your left hand so you can begin to make the changes by touch/feel and muscle memory (rather than visually). This is also easier said than done, but again, it will help.
I’ll give you an example.
If I ask you to play a G chord, chances are you are watching your hand form that chord. You’re watching each finger get to the correct string. Once everything’s set… you strum. This takes FOREVER.
If you ask me to play a G chord, my hand just does it. Without really thinking about it. It just makes that weird “G Chord Shape” (same with a C, D, Bm, E, Am, etc). Obviously, this has to do with practice. But it also has to do with muscle memory.
When you’re playing songs and must make quick chord changes, you don’t have time to think about each individual finger. You really don’t have time to think at all. That’s why the muscle memory of the chord shapes is SO IMPORTANT.
That’s it! If you have any other tips, I’d love to hear them. Shoot me an e-mail or drop a comment below and let me know. Also, if this was helpful… make sure you drop ME your e-mail here to get more hacks/updates/tips.