Tips To Making Successful Chord Changes

By Zach Payton


Tired of struggling to make successful chord changes? Today we’re going to talk about a few things that will help your progress, on how to make your chord changes more fluently. First thing, let’s decide on which progression we’re going to use. Let’s choose G major, C major, D major.



Now we need to memorize the progression. Once you have the chords memorized, we need to make sure every string is ringing. Here’s an exercise that will help.


 GCD 2

When you pick each note in this exercise, if one of the notes doesn’t ring out, start the exercise over again but this time focus on making the note that isn’t ringing and don’t worry about the other notes ringing out. This will cause you to zoom in and nail that one note. Once you’ve fixed this problem zoom back out and try to get every note to ring out. Also, I must capitalize on when you go to play this exercise don’t simply just play the one note that isn’t ringing. You still will be trying to play the whole chord, but you will be just focusing on the note that isn’t ringing. Once you’ve been able to get the chords to ring out cleanly, move on to the next exercise.

  Here’s an exercise I like to give my students. 

 GCD 3

What you’re going to do with exercise is as soon as you play each chord you’re going relax your fingers and you will notice your fingers naturally will go away from the fretboard. Then you will get fingers ready for the next chord, if you find yourself still not being able to change to the next chord fast enough, add more rests between each chord. With having rests, in between each chord, this will give your brain more time to process and get ready for the next chord change. 

Next part, let’s move on to our right hand. What you’re going to go is focus on keeping your shoulder relaxed, make sure your resting point is the pick resting on the low e string, you’ll notice a slight bend in the e string that is perfectly fine because soon as you start the down stroke, the pick naturally will slice right throw the strings. 

The last part, what you’re going to do when comes to practicing all of this, is make sure to practice all of these items separately and make sure to practice these exercises with a metronome, also without one too, when you practice without metronome you’ll notice you will be able to figure out what’s holding you up because sometimes the metronome can be distracting.

So to conclude this article, if you take some of these items we talked about today, I guarantee you will start to feel more confident in your ability to play chords. Zach Payton is a guitar teacher out of Lewiston Idaho that helps students get results.