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Lyle Ronglien >> Beginning Guitar II - The Basics >>

Beginning Guitar II - Lesson 5

More Open Chord Study

Lyle: Welcome! Let's start by checking your tuning with me:

check your tuning

Lyle: During the last couple of lessons you learned 5 major chords, followed by 3 minor chords, all played in the "open position". In this lesson you'll get extra practice playing all of the chords in several different chord progressions.

Lyle: One of the hardest things the beginning guitarist faces is the problem of switching between chords. It takes a little extra practice, which is why we are here!

Lyle: Let's review the chords. Check out the A and Am chords:

A and Am

A and Am

Lyle: Sometimes the beginner plays the A chord using the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd fingers. I find it tough to squeeze those three fingers in so I use my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th fingers to make the open A chord. This way also makes it quick and easy to switch to Am!

Lyle: Try this rhythm pattern to practice these two chords with. You should select the LOOP button on the TAB file so you can play right along with me:

exercise 1 - A to Am

A to Am

Lyle: Notice that I'm counting out loud with the rhythm pattern. This is a very important technique you should practice doing. Try tapping your foot and counting to 4 while you play the rhythm pattern. Here's a video example:

tap your foot and count

Lyle: Can you do it? Tap your foot, count out loud and strum, that's harder than chewing gum and walking for sure!

Lyle: Let's review the D and Dm chords:

D and Dm

Lyle: These two chords are not as easy to switch back and forth like the A to Am. You'll have to adjust your fingerings.

D and Dm

Lyle: Now practice switching between these two chords with this rhythm pattern. Keep tapping your foot and counting out loud while practicing this:

exercise 2 - D to Dm

D to Dm

Lyle: Remember to select the LOOP button in the TAB playback window so you can practice playing along with me.

Lyle: Next is the E and Em chords. These two are easy to switch between:

E and Em

E and Em

Lyle: These two chords are the biggest and deepest sounding of all the chords you can play on the guitar. Now practice the rhythm pattern between the two chords. Make sure each note rings clearly so you can hear the difference between the two.

exercise 3 - E to Em

E to Em

Lyle: The last two chords to review are the G and C chords:

G and C

G and C

idiot812: I find that to be one of the hardest switches to make, well, pretty much anything into the C.

Lyle: These two are harder to switch between because your fingers have to move all over the place. Try this rhythm pattern exercise:

exercise 4 - G to C

G to C

jeff: Is it ok to use the 2,3,4 fingers for g instead of 1,2,3 fingers? I find it easier to go to C from there.

Lyle: Yes, here's a TAB file displaying this alternate fingering for the G chord:

Alternate fingering for the G chord

Lyle: This way your third and second fingers stay in the same "shape/position" and only have to shift over a string.

Alternate fingering for the G chord 2

Lyle: Now that you have reviewed the 8 chords, it's time you try playing them in what's called a "chord progression". Here's the first progression to work on:

progression 1

progression 1

michelle: Lyle, what can we do other than practice to switch chords faster?

progression 1

Lyle: Go slow and see if you can switch chords without looking at your fingers, imagine yourself playing. Just move them into position. If they don't land in the exact spot, just wiggle them a little into place.

michelle: Thanks I'll try that.

Lyle: These exercises will help you. If you can play them right along with me you're doing great! It may take a little time, just keep playing, just keep playing.

Lyle: Select the LOOP button in the TAB player window to jam along with me on these progressions.

Lyle: After you have mastered progression 1, you'll add E and Em to the end to make this new exercise:

progression 2

progression 2

progression 2

Chris: Just taking your suggestion on not looking at the fingers on the left hand is making it easier already. I was over thinking everything

Lyle: !!! Great!!!

idiot812: Yeah, that surprisingly does help......I take it my fingers can memorize better than me?

Chris: Missing every other chord but who cares. I feel like I am moving forward

michelle: It sure does work.

Lyle: It's a thing called "muscle memory". Just visualize them much like a basketball player visualizes throwing free throws. You train your brain to do all the work for you. You create a form of automation.

Lyle: Now try this progression that uses all the chords:

progression 3

progression 3

progression 3

Lyle: Remember, you can LOOP any of the TAB files to play along with me for these exercises. Count out loud and learn to tap your foot too, all at the same time.

Lyle: Here's a looping jam track for Progression 3 that doesn't have my voice in it counting along. See if you can keep up with it:

Progression 3 Jam Track

Lyle: Your goal for this lesson is to be able to play progression 3 several times through without stopping, and hopefully tapping your foot and counting along the way.

Lyle: That's all for this lesson and series. Time to move on to the next series of lessons which will teach you even more! There is always more music to learn, which is one of the great things about learning to play an instrument, there's a never ending journey of things to learn! If you have any questions about these lessons or you might like to have a custom lesson made just for you to download, email me at . Thanks and happy pickin'!

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