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Chord practice and chord changes

Question by Landon Koon
(Montgomery, Texas)

Hello, This is Landon Koon. I had a quick question on practicing chords and changing them. When ever you practice your chords whether it is basic open chords, or a large variety of all your chords you know, are you supposed to practice every possible chord change and progression with every chord you know or not. I would appreciate if you could just enlighten me on this and what to do for chord practice. And also I hear that just practicing chord changes for a few minutes a day will still be counted as good practice.


It's probably unrealistic to expect to practice every single chord change combination with the chords you know.

However, beginners will find it easier to create a good number of chord changing exercises with those 5 open chord positions.

When you move on to learning barre chords, again, you should be able to create a good number of barre chord exercises to challenge yourself with more awkward finger movements and develop that muscle memory.

So it's less about playing every possible chord progression combination (which would simply take up too much of your practice time), and more about making sure your fingers are getting a challenging, varied workout.

As your chord library expands, you'll naturally start to write chord progressions based more on creating actual songs than exercises. This is fine, because you will naturally come across chord changes that require a bit more time and work, so there will be physical challenges along the way.

Let's say you learned a new chord type - diminished chords - it's far more important, in my opinion, to use your practice time to experiment with how this chord type works in a progression than simply changing between this chord and every other chord you know.

Beyond the basic open and barre chords, start experimenting with progressions you like the sound of and let the physical aspect of changing between those chords come naturally from that.

Just make sure you experiment with different voicings of the same chord rather than relying on the same barre chord or open chord forms, not just for more challenging chord changes, but more importantly to make your progressions flow more naturally.

That reminds me - I am long overdue to upload a lesson on chord harmony and lead voicing. This will cover the process of selecting chord voicings based on an intrinsic harmony through the progression.

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