SMG Guitar Lesson #20: Beginner Exercises Part 2 of 3

Changing chords quickly is one of the most challenging aspects of guitar playing if you’re a beginner. One of the bad habits that I refer to in this video is “Building Chords From Scratch”. This is a huge “no-no” and, without proper guidance, can set your progress back years, if not stifle it completely! Instead, it’s better learn how to break down the various movements your individual fingers make one-by-one, and slowly program your motor skills so that your movements are smooth and effortless. Fortunately, we only fret with four fingers, so there are only so many combinations of finger movements you can familiarize yourself with before everything else starts to feel natural. I refer to these movements as;

  •  The “Hop”
  •  The “Swap”
  •  Rotation
  •  The Doubled Finger
  •  The Bar and Release
  •  The “Squeeze” (or Compression and Decompression)

 The aim of these exercises is, through repetition, to become more familiar with all the possible types of finger movements and combos, so that, not only will you slowly build the fundamental habits of great guitar playing, but you’ll also be able to apply these subtle techniques to help you learn virtually anything with more ease and less frustration.

Here’s the first exercise, demonstrated towards the end of the video, entails “swapping” and “hopping”:

This second exercise demonstrates the swap, hop, and squeeze:

For more great beginner exercises, you can download my e-book, complete with audio examples, directly from my website;

Also remember, there’s no quick fix, no silver bullet, and absolutely no substitute for practicing your guitar for hours on end.

I’ll see you in the next lesson!

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