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Changing Chords
 

Changing Chords

Changing chords takes a lot of practice at first, because the new chord must be found from scratch as quickly as possible. To make this easier, it is important for the fingers to take the shortest route possible from the one chord to the other, while maintaining the general position of the left hand. First, try the G7 chord a few times by itself so as to become familiar with it.

The G7 chord

The G7 chord

Notice that the G7 chord uses all six strings.

The next stage is to play a C chord, change to the G7, then back to the C. Here are the points to watch:

  • Notice that the first finger only has to move a short distance, from the second string to the first. In the same way the second and third fingers also only have to move a distance of one string, from the fourth and fifth to the fifth and sixth.
  • Try the movement several times with just the left hand. Then, when you feel reasonably familiar with the movement, play the chords with the right-hand thumb as before, remembering that the C chord uses only five strings.
  • Notice how the G7 chord seems to need to resolve to the C chord. We’ll discuss this further at a later point—for now just try to hear the relationship.

After those changes are coming smoothly, try adding the F chord to complete the group most closely related to the C chord. Practice them in the order C, F, G7, C.

Notice that the first finger covers two strings. The technique of covering more than one string with the first finger is known as “barring,” as explained below. For now, simply turn the finger sideways so that the pad can cover the two strings.

The F chord

The F chord


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