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When it comes to guitar, chords are one of the most important things you need know and to be able to play. Having a good repertoire of chords and being able to change between them smoothly is essential for aspiring guitar players no matter what genre of music you are into. Unfortunately most teachers give you a chord chart as a reference sheet but never actually teach you how to practice your chords or effectively memorise them. In this article we are going to explore an exciting new way to practice chords that will make practice fun and quickly improve your ability to memorise and change between different chords. Before you know it the chords you are struggling with will sound more and more like the songs and music you are trying to play.

When it comes to learning chords, most teachers give you a chord chart and tell you to memorise your chords. You’ll have to figure out where to put your fingers, then play each chord two or three times before moving onto the next one. After a few weeks you might have memorised most of your chords and have some of them sound okay, but trying to put them together is difficult and none of your songs sound like real music. This is because you don’t practice memorising the chords efficiently nor do you practice changing between chords.

How To Memorize Chords Efficiently

By far the best way to memorise chords is with what I call the Strum/Mute/Lift Technique. It is a 4 step process which will help you get a high number of repetitions in a short period of time. To do this follow these easy steps

  • 1
    Put your fingers on the right frets needed to play the chords
  • 2
    Strum the chord
  • 3
    Mute the strings with your picking hand
  • 4
    Lift your fingers up 2 cm above the fretboard while maintaining the shape of the chord
  • 5
    Put your fingers back down and repeat the process, making any adjustments before your strum
  • 6
    Repeat this 20 times.
Practicing this way will allow you to get maximum repetitions in a short period of time which is essential to developing good technique. If you can practice each chord for 2 minutes or 20 repetitions several times a week you will quickly develop great sounding chords and good control of your fingers.

How To Change Chords Efficiently

A common problem that most people make when practicing their guitar chords is just following the order they appear in your chord chart. Look at the chart below.