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  1. #1
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    Default Switching Between Chords

    Okay, dumb question probably, but need suggestions. Been at this guitar thing a couple yrs. now and made great improvement, so much I feel I'm intermediate, but maybe not if I can't quite master this: When I switch from a C chord to a D chord there is a momentary mute as my fingers form the D chord, is there a secret or am I just not fast enough on this transition?

  2. #2
    Premium Member BradArmpitt's Avatar
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    Are your fingers coming up too far off the neck while changing, maybe? Are you stopping your strum when forming the D chord? I assume your fingers are trying to lay down one at a time when forming the chord? When chords don't have shared anchor fingers, it slows things down because you have to lift all of your fingers. That D shape (or any of the shapes, really) has to be formed while in the air when switching. All you can do is keep practicing the change back and forth slowly, laying your fingers down as a UNIT each time, and then keep building up speed. It's all finger memory.

    That being said, I can offer you an easier way that works *most* of the time. When switching from a D, I use a Cadd9 as a substitute for the C a LOT because it's so much easier. Sounds pretty cool, too. I learned it from Rush.

    x-2-3-x-3-3 or you can omit the 5th like this: x-2-3-x-3-x

    When changing from D to Cadd9, the 3rd finger stays anchored on the 3rd fret of the B string, so you don't have to lift that finger at all. Just pivot it around a bit as your other two fingers reach toward the upper strings of the C. Once you get that change down, and it won't take long at all, it's just as easy to go from the Cadd9 to the D.

    Like I said, though, it doesn't always sound right. It depends on the context. But if you try it, I think you'll find it much easier. In fact, learning this chord eventually helped me perfect my D to G change, too.

    Changing to a Bm has always been my Kryptonite. I still have a little stutter whenever I try to play it.
    Last edited by BradArmpitt; 01-18-2017 at 08:04 AM.

  3. #3
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    B7 was my Kryptonite. After 2 months of practicing daily my fingers finally have figured out where to go.

  4. #4
    Premium Member BradArmpitt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poolie727 View Post
    B7 was my Kryptonite. After 2 months of practicing daily my fingers finally have figured out where to go.
    Great job, poolie. The B7 is a stinker, too. B strings and B chords are the bane of my existence. lol

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BradArmpitt View Post
    Are your fingers coming up too far off the neck while changing, maybe? Are you stopping your strum when forming the D chord? I assume your fingers are trying to lay down one at a time when forming the chord? When chords don't have shared anchor fingers, it slows things down because you have to lift all of your fingers. That D shape (or any of the shapes, really) has to be formed while in the air when switching. All you can do is keep practicing the change back and forth slowly, laying your fingers down as a UNIT each time, and then keep building up speed. It's all finger memory.

    That being said, I can offer you an easier way that works *most* of the time. When switching from a D, I use a Cadd9 as a substitute for the C a LOT because it's so much easier. Sounds pretty cool, too. I learned it from Rush.

    x-2-3-x-3-3 or you can omit the 5th like this: x-2-3-x-3-x

    When changing from D to Cadd9, the 3rd finger stays anchored on the 3rd fret of the B string, so you don't have to lift that finger at all. Just pivot it around a bit as your other two fingers reach toward the upper strings of the C. Once you get that change down, and it won't take long at all, it's just as easy to go from the Cadd9 to the D.

    Like I said, though, it doesn't always sound right. It depends on the context. But if you try it, I think you'll find it much easier. In fact, learning this chord eventually helped me perfect my D to G change, too.

    Changing to a Bm has always been my Kryptonite. I still have a little stutter whenever I try to play it.
    I think you are correct, I am not coming down with the D shape as a unit! I can do the Cadd9 thing easily (and have used it) but as you said it doesn't always sound right. Thanks for the help!

  6. #6
    Premium Member slope's Avatar
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    Changing to a Bm has always been my Kryptonite. I still have a little stutter whenever I try to play it.
    Those E or Am shapes I find easy - A shaped B/E/D a little tricky unless I cheat and use my ringfinger to bar D + G + B string, and don't pluck or pick hi E.

    If you play your Am minor chord pretending your index finger is amiss and uses finger 2-3-4, then you can slide those fingers two frets up while your index bar 1st fret. Boom. There is your Bm chord.
    If you still struggle try to use that fingersetting for all Am and E chords in open position for week. Next weekend you will find it is natural for you to use that fingering and Bm will be a breeze. Or just play Bm at the seventh fret.

    B7 in first position was hard for me too, what I did was noticing what chords was usually played before B7 in the songs I knew. I found that most of the time I was either playing E or F# just in front of the B7. So I spend a few nights practicing switching from E to B7, then F# to B7. Over and over. Then I switched it up and dropped my hand between the chord changes, or swapped those E+F# for other random chords just so I could practice the fingering.
    Now I find myself using B7 a lot, substituting the for me harder B chord with a B7. Don't know if that is correct in the ear of musicians or trained professionals but for my ears it does sounds good and it more often then not gives an added........subtle surprise in lack of a better word.
    Last edited by slope; 02-06-2017 at 09:45 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by slope View Post
    B7 in first position was hard for me too, what I did was noticing what chords was usually played before B7 in the songs I knew. I found that most of the time I was either playing E or F# just in front of the B7. So I spend a few nights practicing switching from E to B7, then F# to B7. Over and over. Then I switched it up and dropped my hand between the chord changes, or swapped those E+F# for other random chords just so I could practice the fingering.
    This is the key part for any new guitarist learning to shape new chords...you have to simply grind out the muscle memory for each chord, and each possible chord-to-chord transition.

    Over and over and over again

    I like to do it while watching hockey on TV, for example. Pick a few chord transitions, and just repeat. After a while, the transition become smoother and more accurate, and usable in practice.

 

 

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