When you first embark on a journey of mastering the guitar, there is a never ending list of skills you will need to learn. Some things you need to do include learning guitar scales, using a guitar tuner, tuning your guitar and of course learning guitar chords. That being said, learning how to change from one guitar chord to another can prove to be one of the trickier skills to get a hold of even at a later stage.
However, with adequate effort and practise, it will be something that you will master soon enough. If you happen to be at an advanced level in guitar playing, it does not hurt to learn some more tips on how to perform faster chord changes. This will come in handy as you provide a flawless performance on your part when recording.
Learning the chords
You have to first be familiar and confident of the chords you need to play, in order to make smoother and speedier chord changes. You will need to learn how to position your fingers on all the necessary strings to form a desired guitar chord; you should be able to do that with your eyes closed.
Until you feel confident with each of the guitar chords and their possible variations, it is unlikely you will be able to perform smooth transitions between them. Days or even weeks before your recording, revise each guitar chord individually and practise until you become more confident at playing a particular guitar chord before moving on to another one.
Playing clean chords
It is pertinent that you make the habit of playing clean chords all the time, as they make all the difference to how well you transit from one chord to another. You can do so by picking each string individually as this helps you know if all the notes within that chord is played correctly. Oftentimes, you have to keep your guitar in tune if you wish to achieve clean chords all the time. If you want to tune your guitar quickly, you can consider using an online guitar tuner.
On the other hand, there are a few interesting alternatives to help tune your guitar. Firstly, it is the use of harmonics. Harmonics are unique chime or bell-like sounds you can make on your guitar. The loudest and easiest to play harmonics are located above the fifth, seventh and twelfth frets. If you already know the process of using harmonics, do remind yourself to place your finger directly above those frets and press lightly (never all the way down) before plucking it.
One of the key techniques to performing a successful chord change is to coordinate your hands well. One of the common mistakes that only beginners make is to stop everything when they need to do a change of chords. In order to improve your left and right hand coordination, you should continue strumming as you change from one chord to the next. This may need some getting used to, but if you apply this technique every time you practise or revise, it will become second nature and eventually you do not even need to think about it. Not long after, you can expect to see a big difference in terms of improvement.
Moving fingers in pairs
The last tip to help speed up your chord changes pertain to the movement of your fingers in pairs. This technique is really useful and can improve your guitar playing at any level to no end. However, keep in mind that it is one of the most challenging skills to master, but it is definitely worth it nevertheless. With plenty of practise and perseverance, you will need to try out many different types of chord changes till it incorporates into your natural style of playing the guitar.
To improve your finger strength, you can practise hammering-on techniques that require you to stab a finger onto the fret board. Once a note sounds, hold it down with some strength and never too gently. When you are satisfied with making one note sound good, try two to three fingers that form the shape of a chord you are weak on.
To sum up the important points, you should:
• Improve the coordination between your left and right hand
• Master the technique of moving your fingers from the left hand in pairs
• Play clean chords all the time
• Learn all the necessary chords needed for a song
• Ensure your guitar stays in tune throughout the recording
If you manage to fulfil all the above requirements, you will soon notice a great improvement in your chord changes as well as the quality of your playing. When recording, it is vital that you play as perfectly as possible as the process can easily capture mistakes and flaws.
At The Band Booth, we are committed to provide quality recording services as an elite recording studio in Melbourne, and always ensure that our clients’ recordings are of the highest quality.