Tip: One Finger Chord Primer Part 3

Welcome back to the one finger chord guitar primer. Last time, we introduced the single, foundation shape you need to start playing chords on the guitar. Please refer to the Guitar Noise newsletter archives for that lesson. I’ll summarize the lesson here: press the first finger of your left hand onto strings 2, 3, and 4 of your guitar. Do this on fret 2. Then, pluck those same strings with your right hand.

You can slide this single shape to any fret. Just be sure your finger is on strings 2 through 4, no matter what fret you’re on. In this lesson, we’re going to play a chord progression that slides our single shape to different frets. Before I try to explain it in words, have a look at the video here.

A necessary note about viewing this file: you can play it with QuickTime, but not with Windows Media Player. There’s another player, which I recommend over both those two. It’s free and it takes up much less space on your hard drive: videolan.org.

After you get the VideoLan player, download and watch the aforementioned file MovingShape.mov. Then, play around with the shape: change the rhythm, use different frets, pluck a single string at a time instead of all three. Use your imagination. The important thing is NOT to be musical at this stage, but to create ideas, and to have fun doing so. By doing this, it’ll be much easier for you to build onto the foundation shape.

Let me know if you have any trouble with the lesson, including downloading or accessing the .mov file. I also want to hear about your success with this chord primer, and suggestions for improvement. Send mail here: [email protected] Remove the no spam bit.

Next time, we may continue with the one finger idea, but moved to strings 1 to 3.

Thanks for reading.

Copyright © 2008 Darrin Koltow

This first appeared in the Guitar Noise News – December 16, 2007 newsletter. Reprinted with permission.