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finger movement on chords


(@tim-shull)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 82
Topic starter  

i have noticed when i play a D chord i wil place my finger 1-2-3 not place them all at once at the same time on the strings. also on a G i will go 2-3-4 i seem to move fairly fast smooth. also on a C i will place them 3-2-1 and the same on the F. is this wrong??.. E-A i will place the all at once on the strings... any thoughts?

Cash is cool


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(@bournio)
Active Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 10
 

It's not wrong as such, some people might not like it, but it may change as your fingers get faster! Sometimes it woks to play open stringfs whilst changing notes, and this is also frowned upon by some people but hey, I won't tell anyone :P


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(@coloradofenderbender)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1120
 

Tim:

Its common to place one finger down before another, when you are a beginner or early intermediate. It gets much closer to all the fingers hitting the fretboard at the same time, the longer you play. How long have you been playing?


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(@tim-shull)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 82
Topic starter  

been playing 2 years, i move pretty fast and smooth i just noticed that place them in order 1-4 or 4-1 most of the time.sometimes i just sit and try to place them down all at once and it's like iam a 2yr old trying to learn motor skills..

Cash is cool


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(@denny)
Reputable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 452
 

Tim,
I think you'll find that the finger placement will come along on it's own with practice. As the songs get more chords in them, and the tempo increases, you'll have to "stick" them. That's the magic of practice. That's why a journal is a good idea. When we see progress, it drives us (IMHO) to keep advancing.


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(@tim-shull)
Trusted Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 82
Topic starter  

"stick" i'll remember that. thanks for info guys i will just keep plugin away

Cash is cool


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(@alangreen)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5366
 

Tim:

Its common to place one finger down before another, when you are a beginner or early intermediate. It gets much closer to all the fingers hitting the fretboard at the same time, the longer you play. How long have you been playing?

I get my fingers down separately for some chords and I've been playing 32 years

Best,

A :-)

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


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(@nexion)
Honorable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 536
 

I do this on chords that I'm not as familiar with. It wasn't really a problem until I noticed that I couldn't put my third finger down until my first and second fingers were down, I couldn't fret the chord out of order. Which can be a problem if you screw up your first fingers, instead of screwing up a note in the chord you will screw up the entire chord! :x

"That’s what takes place when a song is written: You see something that isn’t there. Then you use your instrument to find it."
- John Frusciante


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(@velsing)
Eminent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 34
 

Hey man, its freaky - As I was about to open this post of yours, I was thinking of posting exactly the same question, since I was practicing this last night.

Anyway, I have exactly the same problem as you, except in my case, it really is a problem since my fingers don't seem to move fast enough. So, with the little practice i was doing, i seemed to be getting some results.

What I did was this:
Finger a chord, then lift the fingers slightly off the fretboard while keeping exactly the same position, then bring them down all together. This should be easy enough.

The next thing I did after this was to try to change from one chord to another VERY slowly, but before planting the fingers down, making sure they are all in position.

As I said, I seemed to be makin slight progress with this, but I only practiced it for about ten minutes last night. Also, I'm a newbie, so take everything i say with a pinch of salt :). It may or may not work for you - just a suggestion to try.


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(@greybeard)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5899
 

I wrote an article about the method that I use:

https://www.guitarnoise.com/article.php?id=561

Hope it helps.

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in any dictionary?
Greybeard's Pages
My Articles & Reviews on GN


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(@demoetc)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 2168
 

Great article Greybeard.

I do something similar to that and to what Velsing mentioned when I find certain chord changes a little sloppy. I take the 'problem' chords and just go back and forth between them really, really slowly, letting my fingers 'rehearse' the move so they're all moving in slow motion from their original position to the next position, all at the same time. It's sort of like watching or thinking of a slow motion dance, with the four fingers taking the place of arms and legs. Just back and forth very slowly. I don't even strum the chords at this point and just focus on how (and where) the first finger is going, how and where the second finger is going, etc.

And as was mentioned, there are still chords that I plant one finger down on first, especially barre chords where I'll slam the barring finger down first so I'll get some sound at least, but that's usually when I'm trying to play a song or keep up with a metronome or backing track. When I have time later, I go back to slow-motion and work out the movement.

Ideally, as GB mentioned, you have a mental image of the next chord you want to play and so by the time you need to change to it, your fingers already have their 'targets' set.


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(@chris-c)
Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 3460
 

I agree with everything DemoEtc said, about starting very slowly and very accurately.

NoteBoat here once pointed out that Practice doesn't make Perfect - that's misleading advice. What it does is make things more Permanent. So if you do something wrong or badly over and over you are just entrenching your mistakes or bad habits.

I expect everybody does it slightly differently, but my order looks something like this:

  • . Practice the position very carefully and slowly first (Velsing's lifting on and off is great at this stage).

    . Practice a simple change to a chord that shares one or more of the finger positions (so you can use it as an anchor while you just move the others). 'Anchors' can include fingers that stay in the same spot, or can just slide up and down the same string. Some changes also involve moving a partial or complete finger pattern, which can make it easier. Slowly increase the speed.

    . Move on to making more difficult changes.

  • I also find that if I need (for instance) 100 practices to get it solid, then it pays to spread them over several days or weeks. If you try to force the issue too quickly you reach a point where you make no more progress without a break. In fact you can start going backwards again. So having several things on the go, and not being too pressured about one seems to work best.

    There's also a progression in how I think about the chords:

  • . Slow and deliberate finger placement.

    . Visualising. Thinking about the shape before I change, as in Greybeard's article.

    . Thinking "D", and the hands just go there without needing to think about what D looks like.

    . Thinking more in intervals or musical spaces. Thinking "I'd like the music to go up by a certain amount here", and the hands just pick the right chord for the job in that key.

    . The last stage seems to be when you can daydream about something else and the hands just keep moving to the rights spots, because they've become so familiar with the patterns.

  • But each stage can take weeks, months or years. So it's good to be relaxed about it and not to try and force the pace, or get frustrated when it seems too slow. It's never as quick as we'd like, for any player. :)


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    (@frank2121)
    Reputable Member
    Joined: 16 years ago
    Posts: 269
     

    good instructions chris


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