Have you ever had trouble learning and memorizing new chords when learning a song? Playing new music is fun, but getting bogged down trying to get new chord fingerings memorized and under your fingers is not—unless you know the right way to memorize chord fingerings quickly.
Today’s lesson will show you a way to quickly learn and more importantly retain new chord fingerings so that you can learn new chords and songs in the shortest time possible. This chord memorization method will make it easy for you to learn, practice and play new songs.
Most guitarists start learning a new song start at the beginning of the sheet music or chord chart and try to start playing the song immediately. While this may seem like a good way to get started, it is not very efficient and many times the guitarist will not stick with the song until they can play it.
Before you begin to try to play the song, look at the chord chart and make a list of all the chords in the song—it is important that you do this before you pick up your guitar. List them on a sheet of paper. Go all the way through the song and list all the chords out once.
For example, let’s say that our song has the following chords in it:
If you already know some of these chords (and I mean knowing them well enough to play them quickly without having to look at a chord diagram of them.) Let’s say that you know the Em, G, C and Am from our list of chords. This leaves us with the following guitar chord fingerings we need to memorize:
Here’s how to get thos two chords memorized quickly and easily. Starting with the D/F# chord, do the following:
- Place your fingers in the chord shape using a diagram of the chord
- Strum the chord
- Squeeze the chord with your fret hand—firmly but not too tightly
- Release your grip on the chord
- Take your fret hand completely off the guitar neck
- Repeat with just the D/F# chord for a minimum of two to three minutes
Now, go practice something else for a few minutes, then come back and repeat the above process again with the same chord. If you are able to, repeat the steps again at least two more times later on in the same day with the same chord. When you learn new chords, it is very important to learn just one or two at a time. If you try to memorize several in one day, it will most likely be very difficult for you to effectively remember the fingerings for most of them. You might “sort of” remember some of them but won’t really know any of them very well.
The key to learning how to remember guitar chords is to focus on one chord at a time and place your hand in the chord fingering using the above method. This method helps you memorize guitar chords by allowing your mind to focus on just one chord shape and lets your fret hand muscles learn and remember where your fingers need to go.
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