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littlerunaway

C major chord

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so I have somewhat dumb question. unlike E or A chords for example where the fingers are close together, there are chords like C (again, just an example) where the fingers are kind of spread out. I'm having trouble with these. I mean, playing the chords is fine, but changing between chords quickly is what I'm having trouble with. I can't move my fingers into position all at once, I end up doing it one finger at a time which takes too long.

are there any tips/tricks/practice methods that can help me?

I've practice some chord changes, between Dmajor and Cmajor for example, but it doesn't seem to improve.

I'm a girl btw, so maybe my shorter fingers have some part in the problem, but I can't really change those...

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The solution, although not always appreciated, is to practice, repeat, practice and repeat some more.

I have some songs with some chords in them that flat out tie my fingers in knots.

The ONLY way I can get them down is to play it and play it again...............and again.

After a bit my fingers teach themsleves how to get where they need to be. It may be all at once

or it may actually be one at a time depending on how the chord is placed in the song. It ends up being

that you don't even think about it. It just happens.

As for having short fingers, If you go to your local butcher and find the sausages, look over in the corner.

Those fat short stubby ones are my fingers. I have adjusted by having my guitars set up for my particular

hands and style and have purchased guitars with somewhat slimmer necks which makes it a bit easier for me.

Also, I have seen some very short fingers play some very amazing music. Once again, it just takes time and practice.

As usual, I know that probably doesn't help, my advice is always worth what is paid for it, but the only things I can think of are practice practice practice and adjusting/buying a guitar that fits our hands.

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One thing that I've found useful is that with some chord changes, one (or more) fingers do not need to change position.

For example, changing from C to Am (or the reverse) the index finger does not move. Be aware of this, keep that finger down, and that finger acts as the stabilizing anchor/pivot to find the new chord with the other fingers. It is mental just as much as it is physical.

Sometimes when every finger has to move, there might be one finger that only moves a little bit. In that case, concentrate on moving that finger (say, to the string right next door with no fret change up or down). Being aware of what this finger is about to do, prepares your mind and fingers to do this single finger movement, and that anchors the chord (and your mind) and can 'lead' the other fingers to the new position.

In the same way, sometimes it could be that one finger stays on the same string but moves up or down one or two frets. Think about this before practicing the chord change, and start to practice the chord change, focusing on moving that finger first, followed by the rest. With practice, this will smooth itself out and become automatic and not noticeable to anyone, including you.

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Littlerunaway,

Every new guitar player goes through what you are going through. One suggestion is don't look at your fingers when changing chords. Visualize where your finger should go for every chord. In no time you will be changing chords with ease. Keep practising and you will do fine.

Mike

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Take heart, you are at the barrier we have all faced where the brain is concentrating too hard on mechanical shapes and finger positioning. It needs to break through mechanics and feel the musical flow.

My suggestion is that in addition to what Carol and Gasbag say you should try to anticipate the sound as well as the shape of the next chord and, importantly, making the change on the beat. I know thinking about the sound and beat as well as finger positioning sounds impossible now but once you begin to make the right sound on an even beat (however slow this is) then you will be making music. This will not only give you confidence but also teach the brain and fingers to connect much faster.

It will also help if you can make the chord shapes with as light a touch as possible so I suggest you check that your strings are not too high off the fret board. When I struggled through the same barrier about a year ago I did not realise that my guitar was not helping me. Life got a lot easier when the action was lowered to 2.3mm under the Low E and 1.8mm under the High E at the 12th fret. The reduction was only 0.5mm but it made a big difference. I also put lighter strings on the guitar.

As a rough guide I measure the action with business cards, my target was 7 under the Low E and 5 under the High E – obviously this depends on card thickness!

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thanx guys. I understand that I have to practice, practice, practice and then practice some more. I just get kind of frustrated sometimes (I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels that way sometimes).in the beginning I had a little bit of trouble with Cmajor chord itself. the 5th string, which required some finger stretching, just didn't sound right. but I got over that. it's a simple enough chord so i feel I shouldn't be having this much trouble with the changes (I'm practicing the "knocking on heaven's door" chords so C and G are giving me a hard time).

I won't even start with the barre chords...

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As many have already stated this is something everyone has been through, so take heart.

Playing guitar is largely "muscle memory" and it is important to do things more correctly than quickly in the beginning. Form your chords slowly and correctly, soon enough the positions will come naturally enough. Perhaps switch between the the C and G chords alternately until your feeling like they are coming easily.

Speed will come naturally when the "muscle memory" takes, but if you memorize "mistakes" by trying to move too quickly too soon you might end up frustrating yourself.

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Good advice from everyone here ;) Zanadudes' point about "muscle memory" i think is important to remember, this just takes practice and repetition...

also bear in mind, playing the Guitar would be boring if it was too easy :D be positive and give it time.........

Paul.......

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I can't move my fingers into position all at once, I end up doing it one finger at a time which takes too long.

are there any tips/tricks/practice methods that can help me?

I'm not a huge fan of Pebber Brown but I found his technique incredibly useful when I was first trying to learn chords. At around 3:50 in the video he will show you how "grabbing the chord in the air" will allow you to do the changes much faster than "walking" one finger at a time to the next chord.

YMMV

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I'm not a huge fan of Pebber Brown but I found his technique incredibly useful when I was first trying to learn chords. At around 3:50 in the video he will show you how "grabbing the chord in the air" will allow you to do the changes much faster than "walking" one finger at a time to the next chord.

YMMV

that guy is probably one of the best teachers ive seen..so what if he's rough..he doesnt sugar coat anything...justt straight forward teaching

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