Real Guitar Adventure for Grownups

Proactivity And Difficult Guitar Chords

in Guitar Chords | 4 comments

Video Transcript And Relevant Links:

​Hey there, you probably noticed that some chords are just more difficult than others to learn and you've probably already found out that B chord is one of those along with chords like F and some like C minor and B minor as well.  Well, I found a solution actually quite a while after I started playing that has really helped me and it helped a lot of my students. The key word here is proactivity. That's a big word for me but it's really a simple idea. There are many things in terms of playing guitar that you want to prepare ahead of time for. Basically, proactivity means to look ahead and do something to prepare for something coming up.

​In the case of guitar like chords, you want to start playing chords that are difficult before you actually need them, before you actually have to use them in a song or something. When you have to use something right away and you struggle together and it's difficult that you're building up a tension in your hands and you even developed some bad habits which is a mistake. You kind of have to undo that over time.

The best solution is to practice the chords a little at a time. So for example, with a B chord, you might want to add that to your repertoire of practicing for several weeks at a time. That means that you would do some simple exercises with the B chord. Maybe that's a warm-up for your practice session or a little later and do that over time and then get to  little more complex exercises. Don't try and do a whole bunch of the difficult chords at one time that'll just overwhelmed you but pick something and then work on it for a time.

Now I know a mistake I used to also make. I was thinking "Oh, I'll pick this", "I'll get it". And then move on pick something else and get it. And it doesn't quite work that way.

I often would work on something​ I get some improvement but I never quite get to where I imagined I'd like to be. So finally, I'd give up and move on and say "Well, I failed there" but that's not really the process.  What really happens is you pick something, you work on it, you get better at it.  You
say "Oh I got enough better at that for now in that progress". You move on to something else. You use it maybe in a song or two. Certainly made some progress and then in a month or two later come back again refine it and get a little better.

As you do that, you're actually getting better at other things that are in the cycle just by using them in a connected way and that's kind of like how you learn any kind of language. Music is a language. I encourage you to try to do a little more methodically.

Now the best way to do this is to work on it regularly and for that it helps to have some kind of system. I built this into the DNA of my Real Guitar Success program. But a good guitar teacher - this is how they work. They basically have a plan and they break things down and give it to you a little at a time, make some progress, feel some sense of success, move on, come back at it later and refine it. Kind of take it up to the next level. So I encourage you if you don't have either a good teacher or a system that you're working through to consider that if you want to move up more rapidly with your guitar playing.

That's it for today, thanks for joining me I'm Tomas Michaud from Real Guitar Success.  If you like this video please give me a thumbs up and maybe some comments. I look forward to seeing you again soon.


Bye for now.

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Tomas Michaud

Tomas Michaud

Author - Tomas Michaud at Real Guitar Success
Tomas Michaud is an American born guitarist and music educator with a French Canadian heritage. He first developed the Starland Guitar System in 1982 when his 9 year old daughter asked him to teach her guitar. Since then he’s founded the Starland School of Music in the SF Bay Area, and RealguitarSuccess.com.

When he's not making guitar instruction videos or creating more music to record (currently 7 CDs including Beauty and Fire) he's riding his bike along the beach with his dog Marco Polo or traveling to interesting places with his lovely wife Pui.
Tomas Michaud

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    4 Comments

  1. Thanks Tomas, good advice…better to work on the finger gymnastics of difficult chords before trying to play them within a song
    moving from one chord to another is where i have difficulty, unless the chord shape is simpler and the neck distance on the guitar
    from one chord to another is closer in….hope to hear from you soon…………..Frank

    frank

    January 19, 2019

  2. Your advice is so very helpful. Thankyou.

    Suzy

    January 24, 2019

    • You’re welcome Suzy. -Tomas

      Tomas Michaud

      January 25, 2019

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