Tips to Help You Master Open Position Chords

Tips to Help You Master Open Position Chords

When you first learn the guitar, open position chords are some of the first chords that you'll learn. A lot of beginner guitar players struggle with these chords. Here are some tips to make it easier for you to play them.


Play Slowly

Try not to think of guitar playing as a race, you want to play each chord slowly. You will only increase your speed once you can play chords slowly. If you try to play too fast, you will end up with sloppy playing that doesn't sound good, so slow down your playing until you can do it correctly. This is one of the top tips for learning open position chords. Make sure that you can do something slowly before you speed it up.

 

Use The Correct Fingers

Many beginner guitar players try to use different fingerings for the chord they are learning, which is not a good idea. You want to try to use the exact fingering required to play the chord. The reason for this is that the standard fingering makes it easier for you to change chords. Unless you have some sort of impairment that requires you to use different fingers, I would learn the chords with the recommended fingering. You will find it much easier to learn chords when you use the right fingering.


Use The Finger Tips

You should be playing the chords with your fingertips. Look at the angle of your hand on the fretboard. Your hand needs to be comfortable on the back of the neck. You should curl your fingers up until you can reach the chord.

 

Watch the spacing in between the strings. If your fingers are leaning on an adjacent string, you will get string buzzing. You can eliminate this buzzing if you arch your finger and use only your fingertips. You don't want to be laying parts of your finger down on any other strings. You only want to play the strings that are required for the chord.

Tips to Help You Master Open Position Chords

Practice Without Playing

Practice changing your chords without strumming them. This technique helps to build your muscle memory.  For example, finger G, followed by C, followed by D. You want to place your fingers in the right position for each chord. Practice moving back and forth between the three chords, just using your fretting hand.

 

This technique helps to train the fingers. Try doing this with your eyes closed. Once you can move to the next position with your eyes closed, you're probably getting used to fingering that chord. As you get used to moving the chords around, you can start strumming a chord progression.


Don't Break Your Strumming Pattern

As you play through a chord progression, you don't want to break your strumming pattern. Make sure you keep a nice relaxed and even rhythm as you play the chord progression so that it sounds musical and the sound doesn't stop dead. One common mistake guitar players make when they are first starting out is that they stop between chords. Try to keep the strumming going as much as possible.

 

If you stop between chords, it means you don't know the fingering as well as you should. Try practicing moving the chords back and forth without strumming for a little while so you can get used to the fingerings, and get it into your muscle memory. Once that starts to feel easier, try adding the strumming back in.

Tips to Help You Master Open Position Chords


Master a Few Chords First

Don't be in a rush to learn a lot of chords. It takes time to master chords, so just work on a few at a time. I recommend mastering G, C, D, E, A, Am, Em, and Dm, first. They are some of the easier chords. Once you master these, you can move on to the other ones.


Play Songs

Find a simple song that has the chords you are learning and try strumming along with the song. You don't necessarily have to get the strumming pattern exact. To start with try changing chords to the beat of the song. This will help you learn the individual chords and it also teaches you timing as well as the correct rhythm. Make sure the song is a simple one. If you try to do something that is too advanced, you're only going to get frustrated.

 

Once you can master a simple song, try one that's a little bit harder. Your guitar teacher will be able to help you in this area. They can suggest songs that you can learn based on the chords you already know.

Tips to Help You Master Open Position Chords

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Conclusion

These tips should help you master open position chords. Take your time while you're learning them and make sure you use the correct fingers. Try playing them all along with songs, and don't try to overwhelm yourself with too many chords at first. With consistent and dedicated practice, you'll master the open position chords in no time at all.