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WoodyRATM

New guitar player

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yo, i'm moderatly new to guitar. i bought a cheapish squire yesterday to fully learn how to play.

i can play barre chords (i think its what they're called - the chord that every band and their uncle tends to use. . . )

but when it comes to proper chords im pretty poor. I have a book that come with the guitar that has the chord diagrams etc, but im stuggling to get my fingers to "move as one" with chord changes.

does anyone have any advice on getting smoother transistions?

note: ive played bass for the past 3/4 years.

cheers for any help at all

Woods

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Afraid there's only one route, and that issss boring old practice. It'a just a different kettle of fish from bass... you'll get it in the end.

ah well. hopefully it'l come :)

does anyone have an idea of any songs that would be good to learn with?

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I started with Sweet Home Alabama if that helps... Bob Dylan's also pretty cool, because it's not so hard and then you notice results faster. It'll keep you positive.

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ah well. hopefully it'l come :)

does anyone have an idea of any songs that would be good to learn with?

  • Rocking In The Free World
  • Highway To Hell
  • The Passenger

...are all good songs to start with, as they are all based of the top end of the neck. That way you can concentrate on the chord changes without wondering where you should be on the neck!

You've played bass though, so you should have good "geographical" sense anyway.

Don't get to hung up on trying to form the chord in a one-r to start with, just concentrate on getting a clear tone from the first chord, then think strategically about how your fingers can form the next chord and so forth.

And Practice, Practice, Practice - do it silently as well, while your watching telly, you don't even need to strum.

It'll come - I promise.

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I used to just practice changing between chords, not really playing a particular song.

Incidentally if anyone's got any similar tips for the keyboard/piano...

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Might sound daft but I remember years ago my epiphany was realising that sometimes you don't have to move all your fingers. Going from chord to chord, you can often leave one or two where they are for the new chord. That really helps your changes to flow better, giving you a more fluid style. Just find a nice chord sequence (eg C, Am, F, G) and do it overandaoverandoverandoverandover...

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Might sound daft but I remember years ago my epiphany was realising that sometimes you don't have to move all your fingers. Going from chord to chord, you can often leave one or two where they are for the new chord. That really helps your changes to flow better, giving you a more fluid style. Just find a nice chord sequence (eg C, Am, F, G) and do it overandaoverandoverandoverandover...

Perfectly put...kind of what I was trying to say - strategic chord changes ;)

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Might sound daft but I remember years ago my epiphany was realising that sometimes you don't have to move all your fingers. Going from chord to chord, you can often leave one or two where they are for the new chord. That really helps your changes to flow better, giving you a more fluid style. Just find a nice chord sequence (eg C, Am, F, G) and do it overandaoverandoverandoverandover...

I also found this useful when learning:

if you do find you have to move all your fingers, find one with a short distance to travel and move it first. That'll hopefully "anchor" your position so the rest can be moved more easily/accurately. As you practice (and there's no getting round it, hours of boring practice are in store for you) you'll find the time decreasing between moving the anchor finger and the rest following.

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If you are using a plectrum whilst picking, start with learning alternative, its a bit weird to get used too but you might as well get into good habbits from the start.

Don't waste your pinky, use it a lot from the start and you'll have a world of benefits a few years down the line.

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I used to just practice changing between chords, not really playing a particular song.

Incidentally if anyone's got any similar tips for the keyboard/piano...

Learn your major/minor chords shapes first and pratice moving between these. Then introduce the left hand doing octave stretch bass notes.

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Learn your major/minor chords shapes first and pratice moving between these. Then introduce the left hand doing octave stretch bass notes.

For a moment there I forgot what I asked and thought you were talking about guitars still. The last bit of that makes much more sense now I've remembered I asked for piano advice.

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Best advice I have is to learn by playing things slowly - painfully slowly. Why? There are obvious advantages: it develops your awareness of what you're trying to to, It helps you focus on the fingering/timing of the chord shape or phrase, which makes accuracy more important than speed/ tone etc. There's a physiological element to this which isn't musical - it's about developing muscles/ co-ordination and programming muscle memory.

You'll find that it's so much easier to play chords/make changes/ play tricky passages at tempo if you practice them slowly.

I think this takes a little discipline too, as there's a bit here about delaying gratification: we always want to try to push the boat out and play faster than we're ready to play something, which is always counter-productive. Good practice habits pay off massivley when it's time to perform! (Another hint - singing or humming what your trying to do helps connect body and mind and is another tool for placing awareness back to what your practicing.)

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