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Changing Chords
Topic: For Beginners Subtopic: General Level: Beginner Number of Readers: 72775

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Changing Chords

When you play a song, you won't be strumming the same chord over and over. You'll be changing chords while you play. Changing chords quickly is one of the first big steps in learning to play the guitar. Once you know a few chords, and are able to switch between them quickly, you are well on your way. Did you know that if you know the chords A Major, D major and E major, you can play hundreds of songs based on _only_ these chords? It's true.

For this lesson we'll be concentrating on these three chords. Consider the following:

A Major		D Major		E Major
xo---o		xxo---		o---oo
......		......		...1..
..123.		...1.2		.23...
......		....3.		......
......		......		......

Arrange your fingers in the first shape. Then arrange your fingers in the second shape. Then arrange your fingers in the third shape. Did this take you a long time? You probably had to place every finger individually every time you changed chords. That's okay, it takes practice. What you're aiming for is to be able to lift all your fingers of the first shape, and then bring all at once to form another shape. This comes with practice.

You can practice it now. Just keep alternating between two shapes. Once you can switch between those two fairly well, try switching between other shapes. Do this all the time with all the chords you know, and eventually it will become easy.

Now we're going to introduce some strumming into the scheme of things.

Form the A Major shape, and perform 2 downstrokes
Form the D Major shape, and perform 2 downstrokes
Form the A Major shape, and perform 6 downstrokes
Form the D Major shape, and perform 2 downstrokes
Form the E Major shape, and perform 4 downstrokes
Repeat if you want to.

Congratulations, you've played your first song. :) Now what you're going to want to do is practice switching chords so that there will be no pause between the 2 downstrokes of A Major, and the two downstrokes of D Major, and so on. It's this pause that becomes the enemy of so many beginners. Practice changing shapes on the fretboard, and eventually this pause will disappear.

As you've seen from this example, all a song really is a succession of chords. In the next lesson, I'll show you how to communicate these successions of chords, so that you can learn some songs, using the chords you know.

Things to remember from this lesson:

1. When playing songs, you'll have to change chords.
2. Switching chords will be slow at first, but with practice it becomes second nature.
3. Songs are successions of chords.



Questions
Question posted by Mike on 1999-12-27
when playing an E chord, I find it easier to switch my 2nd and 3rd finger positioning. Should I continue to do this, or should I stick to the recommended way
There are 10 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by kate on 2000-02-07
when I change chords the guitar makes the sound of my fingers leaving those strings and you can clearly hear it as if i am srtumming something else in between. is this the norm or am i doing something to make this more noticable?
There are 11 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by kekie on 2000-04-30
why does it hurt when im doing chords such as b and bminor am i doing them wrong or are my hands too small??
There are 7 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by buzzer on 2000-06-13
when im going from cord to cord there is a noise how do i fix it
There are 8 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by Jimmy Dean on 2000-06-23
I have trouble squeezing all my fingers into the second fret for A major. Suggestions?
There are 13 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by Unknown on 2000-07-21
unzip pants...change chords...get it?
There are 16 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by Unknown on 2000-07-21
why does it hurt to stick my tongue in a plug outlet???
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Question posted by Unknown on 2000-07-21
why does it hurt to stick my tongue in a plug outlet???
There are 2 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by Unknown on 2000-07-21
why does it hurt to stick my tongue in a plug outlet???
There are 1 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by Unknown on 2000-07-21
why does it hurt to stick my tongue in a plug outlet???
There are 0 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by Unknown on 2000-07-21
why does it hurt to stick my tongue in a plug outlet???
There are 4 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by Unknown on 2000-07-21
why does it hurt to stick my tongue in a plug outlet???
There are 0 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by Unknown on 2000-07-21
why does it hurt to stick my tongue in a plug outlet???
There are 0 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by Unknown on 2000-07-21
why does it hurt to stick my tongue in a plug outlet???
There are 0 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by Unknown on 2000-07-21
why does it hurt to stick my tongue in a plug outlet???
There are 1 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by Unknown on 2000-07-21
why does it hurt to stick my tongue in a plug outlet???
There are 0 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by Unknown on 2000-07-21
why does it hurt to stick my tongue in a plug outlet???
There are 0 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by Unknown on 2000-07-21
why does it hurt to stick my tongue in a plug outlet???
There are 0 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by Unknown on 2000-07-21
why does it hurt to stick my tongue in a plug outlet???
There are 0 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by Unknown on 2000-07-21
why does it hurt to stick my tongue in a plug outlet???
There are 1 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by Unknown on 2000-07-21
why does it hurt to stick my tongue in a plug outlet???
There are 1 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by Unknown on 2000-07-21
why does it hurt to stick my tongue in a plug outlet???
There are 0 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by Unknown on 2000-07-21
why does it hurt to stick my tongue in a plug outlet???
There are 0 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by Unknown on 2000-07-21
why does it hurt to stick my tongue in a plug outlet???
There are 1 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by Unknown on 2000-07-21
why does it hurt to stick my tongue in a plug outlet???
There are 0 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by Unknown on 2000-07-21
why does it hurt to stick my tongue in a plug outlet???
There are 1 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by Jess on 2000-08-26
i have trouble playing the F chord, where your first finger have to be on the first two chords, at the same time. I cant play it right. What am i doing wrong?
There are 5 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by Rick on 2000-09-02
I have trouble barring chords is there a way that will help me learn faster or more effeciently?
There are 8 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by adam on 2000-09-05
what are some of the songs that can be played utilizing only A, D, and E chords.
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Question posted by loko on 2000-09-14
Hey. Any tips on how to practice the switch from the G chord to the C chord?
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Question posted by marietta on 2000-09-23
when i try to play the chords, my fingers won't stretch far enough, or else the chord just sounds really weird. Could anyone give me any good methods of training my fingers to stretch that far, please?
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Question posted by ryan on 2000-10-15
what song did i play?
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Question posted by mohamed on 2000-10-24
I find very difficult when I change the position of my left hand(changing accords) how to do easely?
There are 2 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by Cedric-James on 2000-10-28
hey can someone gimme like a list of some good songs to play that aren't to hard for the acoustic-electric guitar? preferably some babe-magnet sweet songs!
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Question posted by Frank on 2000-12-04
is power chords a good way to start playing alternative songs?
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Question posted by osmanullrazi on 2001-01-02
how can i find the easier way to practice chords using the tumb with the accoustic guitar?
There are 1 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by Sara on 2001-01-06
Does it matter which fingers you play chords with or are the finger placing there for a reason???(i am finding it easier to use the fingers were they feel best!)
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Question posted by chacha on 2001-01-13
why is unknown an idiot?!
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Question posted by victoria on 2001-01-14
may be because he is a learner! and he needs to know this kind of stuff...and has not friends to ask!
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Question posted by yoyo on 2001-01-19
what song is it?
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Question posted by Bubbles on 2001-01-23
I just cut a rotten fart, what should I do ?
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Question posted by Kristoff on 2001-01-30
OK on A major you can hold down the three strings with one finger, sould i do this or not?
There are 4 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by Eric on 2001-04-01
What causes a harmonic, and why can they only be played over certain frets?
There are 2 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by John on 2001-04-05
Hey.. im having alot of trouble with bar chords, I cant hold down all the notes properly, any suggestions?? Please Respond.....
There are 0 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by John on 2001-04-05
Hey.. im having alot of trouble with bar chords, I cant hold down all the notes properly, any suggestions?? Please Respond.....
There are 4 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by guitar suk on 2001-04-07
i am a retard who is having trouble with chords . jees stop whining and play the more yah do it the better yah get dont be gay all yah rooks
There are 3 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by Confused on 2001-05-05
A few questions back someone named Bubbles said he or she just cut a rotten fart, what does this mean and how does it relate to guitar ?
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Question posted by LEE FARRAN on 2001-05-14
Hi my name is lee farran and i love to wank over my guitar so is it always good to tell your mother these things?
There are 1 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by JOHN PROCTOR on 2001-05-14
Hi my name is john proctor and i have an anger problem, Last week i attacked a little puff with a hammer and nearly killed him. please help me. P.s is this a problem website?
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Question posted by Richard Brooks on 2001-05-14
will you marry me stacie mizon?!?!?! Love Richard
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Question posted by I AM GAY on 2001-05-14
I AM GAY
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Question posted by I AM GAY on 2001-05-14
I AM GAY
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Question posted by I AM GAY on 2001-05-14
I AM GAY
There are 1 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by ghani on 2001-05-19
1. what kinds of chords that fit much with the pentatonic scale ? ( with the exmaple please ). thank you
There are 0 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by chacha on 2001-05-29
Im really stupid, what should I do ?
There are 5 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by John on 2001-06-07
i find it hard fitting 3 fingers in one fret, whats that about, and my fingers arent even that big.
There are 4 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by Lardass on 2001-06-24
I have piles, big ones, what works good for this condition ?
There are 0 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by ja on 2001-07-16
sometimes when i stroke the chords i get a bad buzzing sound, what am i doing wrong and how do i fix it?
There are 2 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by Shell on 2001-09-16
hi! Can someone please tell me why there are like 3 different F major chords and stuff?? like do people actually learn all of those chords, for each and every single major, minor, seventh and stuff?????? please please help me soon!!!! and email me at da_shellsta@hotmail.com
There are 0 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by dweazel on 2001-09-22
Like there are 3 different F chords for like people like you who like have a numbskull and like cant quite get the drift, like know what I mean ?
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Question posted by jean on 2002-02-15
how can I play jazz and get the claimbed up and down?
There are 0 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by E-GUY on 2002-03-20
How Long will it take for me to play the guitar fluently, if i started 2 days ago, even though i have a good teacher, so I can get daily guitar lessons?
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Question posted by Hiten on 2002-06-06
why oh why, delila?
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Question posted by Leanardroi@yahoo.com on 2002-06-28
what do you mean by: "Hold notes" "staccato notes" "accented note" "triplet" "[]- defines Rhythm Figure #" "<>- play rhythm figure #" and "u d - up & dn rt hand picking attacks" in guitar tablature?
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Question posted by kimi on 2002-07-02
ok i understand reading tabs. but say theres like a chord at the top of it...does that mean i play the chord and then the fret part at the same time? i just dont get it, but dont make fun...i just started. and i havent had a lesson yet but so far, ur sites helped me...i just dont get that.
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Question posted by lucy on 2002-08-10
can anyone get me a link to a site or something that has beginner tab songs?
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Question posted by **** on 2002-09-22
heaps of songs i know use the chord G/B. But what is it?!
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Question posted by jane doe on 2002-11-05
i dont know how to plAY a guitar! i dont know any chords!!! dose any one know a good site that will got slow? and show me them all?? thanx you can e-mail me anti_angel1125@yahoo.com
There are 1 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by zane on 2002-11-08
i get a buzzing sound from the strings , maybe because i am not giving the rigt pressure while playing chords . plz advice me
There are 1 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by Al on 2002-11-25
I have super sensitve fingers and they are constantly bleeding. i have been playing for a while, and I have xtra light strings and have tried almost everything--AND DONT U DARE SUGGEST GIVING UP ON PLAYING! I AM TOTALLY IN LOVE W/ GUITAR! any ideas? if it matters, i have an acoustic guitar email me your answers. RUNice1220@AOL.com
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Question posted by Mini-me on 2003-01-16
can you translate "chord" in french?
There are 1 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by ardalan on 2003-08-11
again hi,pleas give me not all but the most of chords. pleas i nead ur help...
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Question posted by Dan on 2003-12-28
A Major to rough getting all 3 strings with the three fingers .. i gripped them all one finger . that is how that one is .that was my first lesson .my A is clean .the 3 finger A does not fit the brain I have say no way . then going forward to the next cord D I had to see a human do it . then i leared it . I may try A with the 3 but why ? ok E the 6th string. bink bink .. I grabed different guitar only after that it worked . 3 cords tells you first if you can play . I hope it get better after this .. 2 weeks trying .I learned a new word Mangina playing a guitar.It is a mangina thing. Some one should make a mangina song . with flat e cords. could that be done??
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Question posted by Unknown on 2004-01-02
What is a rolling capo? Someone suggested it to help with bar chords.
There are 1 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by Joey Hill on 2004-05-20
Where do I figure out how to read cords
There are 0 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by Laura on 2005-02-26
when you are playing a song through quickly, do you play then open strings whilst in between changing chords?
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Question posted by Robert on 2005-03-17
How do i learn to bar chords?
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Question posted by RcAg on 2005-05-08
I can play bar chords clearly but when i try to changed to and from them some of the strings mute. Tips please?!
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Question posted by decszxdssd_jkvikfu6 on 2005-12-05
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Question posted by david on 2006-02-23
hi i play my g chord with four fingers i think it sounds a better fuller chord is this right
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Question posted by Emmanuel on 2006-06-22
im kind of an intermediate player but is that song Blowing in the wind by bob dylan it sounds like it
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