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#428721 - 09/04/17 06:50 AM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Learning how to Chang Chords
Islansoul Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 05/15/15
Posts: 564
Loc: St. Petersburg , FL
So I play the ukulele and I really enjoy playing it, but I still struggle with going from one chord to the next. For example, when I try to switch from a C chord to a G chord I feel like there is a short pause between going from C chord to the G chord. However, when I listen to the ukulele Real Track, it seems to have an effortless quality to them. What you guys do to help improve your chord changes?
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#428730 - 09/04/17 09:17 AM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: Learning how to Chang Chords [Re: Islansoul]
BlueAttitude Offline
Expert

Registered: 11/30/07
Posts: 827
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Practice.

It's all about muscle memory, your hand has to know how to form the chord shape instantly and without you thinking about it, and that takes practice.

Here is an exercise:

To use your example of the C to the G change. I would get a metronome going at a very slow tempo, play the C for 4 beats, play the G for 4 beats, go back to the C, etc. Do this over and over again until you are comfortable making the change at that tempo, might take a few days.

Then, increase the speed of the metronome and start again.

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#428737 - 09/04/17 10:14 AM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: Learning how to Chang Chords [Re: Islansoul]
MarioD Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 9986
Loc: Hamlin NY
Dave's advice is the only thing that works. In other words, there are no short cuts. For some of my students it took a week or two to transition from one guitar chord to another. Don't rush it, practice slowly at first.

I always tell my students if you can play it slow I can get you to play it fast but if you can't play it slow there is nothing that I can do.

I have a student with a touch of Downs Syndrome. He played a part perfectly at 50 BPM and he said that was as fast as he could go. I got him up to 250 BPM before he made his first mistake. If you get it perfectly at a slow tempo then you can play it faster.
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#428774 - 09/04/17 05:25 PM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: Learning how to Chang Chords [Re: Islansoul]
lambada Offline
Expert

Registered: 12/18/06
Posts: 870
Loc: Hong Kong
Absolutely. Practice. I spent a month as a kid mastering bar chords. Just focus on that one thing - changing chords. Also a critical shortcut is to practice with a metronome (wish I had) and get it right slowly first. (Why do we never do this!). You can also practice in your head. Visualize the chord changing in your head. All helps with that hand to brain thingy.

I always tell people, who always hate doing it, to sing something in their head first before trying to play it. It has to be in your brain to work...
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#428789 - 09/04/17 07:56 PM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: Learning how to Chang Chords [Re: Islansoul]
edshaw Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 10/09/16
Posts: 199
Loc: Colorado
The object is not to change chords as fast as humanly possible. The object is to make the chord change in sync with the drummer.
Einstein claimed to have created time; for the rest of us, though, the best advice might be to go with the flow. Try stealing some time from the previous bar.
It works for me, and I am slowness.
I had a friend once who played with a philharmonic.
He was damn good, but not so fast. Sometimes he would simply skip the last note of a tricky change, you know, let other violinists take it. That way, he was ready when the time came. I don't think anyone was the wiser, of they were, did they care.
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#429509 - 09/12/17 03:33 AM [Woodshedding - Learning to Play!] Re: Learning how to Chang Chords [Re: edshaw]
BlueAttitude Offline
Expert

Registered: 11/30/07
Posts: 827
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: edshaw
The object is not to change chords as fast as humanly possible.

Who said it was?

Originally Posted By: edshaw
The object is to make the chord change in sync with the drummer.

Yes. And the way to accomplish that is to practice with a metronome. Slowly at first, at whatever tempo you need to make the chord change cleanly but still be in perfect time.
Then, gradually increase the tempo until finally you can make the chord change cleanly at the tempo of the song. Might take a few days, might take longer for a beginner.
It is the only method that works in my experience, and I've been playing for 45 years or so and taught many people to play.
A good guitarist should be able to make the chord changes cleanly, at the proper tempo and stay in time, without having to cheat (steal beats from the previous bar).

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