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ripock
07-14-2017, 02:11 PM
I've been going back to some basics and I have been practicing transitioning between chords. Is there a consensus for how quickly we should be able to transition, on an average? I know there are a lot of relativists out there who are going to say I need to be quick enough for the song I'm playing. However I am not playing songs; I am practicing in vacuo.

Therefore, setting aside all nuances and provisos, how quickly would you guys say is quick enough? For example, should I be able to play a new chord every quarter note (assuming the tempo isn't something silly like 300 bpm). Every half note?

Pueo
07-14-2017, 02:37 PM
Obviously there are lots of variables here, but in general you must be able to change smoothly in the space of a quarter note. I can think of two songs I play right off the top of my head that changing chords for three or four of the beats in some measures (4/4 time) are needed.
There is also a song I play that needs chord changes in the space of an eighth note.
Just practice, it will happen.
There are also a couple of songs I play that have seemingly all the time in the world to make changes and yet somehow it is not enough time! :D
That dang Fmaj7 is still hard for me to land successfully and I have been playing many years.
Killer Queen has a couple of measures with chord changes every beat. An enjoyable challenge, very satisfying when you get it right.

peanuts56
07-14-2017, 03:58 PM
I've been working a lot with a metronome for anything challenging. It has really helped me become more accurate and to play by reflex. In my previous musical life as a trumpeter I studied with a very well known teacher named Carmine Caruso. Carmine had a reputation for fixing brass players with chop issues. Carmine had students begin every note by tapping your foot and subdividing the final beat into 16th notes prior to starting the note. It taught the player to play by reflex and to not overthink. It helped avoid paralysis by analysis. The amazing thing about Carmine and his success as a brass teacher was that he was not a brass player. He was a saxophonist. I try to incorporate his philosophy into my ukulele practice.

UkeNukem
08-01-2017, 07:39 AM
Having played guitar for decades and Uke for years I tell folks what I do when working out a new or difficult change.

First, I am not a supporter of the "one finger at a time" method. That is just practicing a slow and inefficient way of switching chords that will limit your speed. Instead, try this...

Finger the first chord, making sure that every note rings. Carefully LOOK at and FEEL your finger positions and work on repeating the EXACT position each time. Strum the chord.

Next, PICTURE in you mind the next chord shape before you lift your fingers from the first. Then SLOWLY lift all fingers at once and move them but mentally targeting where they need to be in the next chord. Place ALL the fingers in the next chord AT THE SAME TIME. I call this "Nailing" the chord (which you should try to do with all chords anyway). Ever seen an experienced carpenter nail? They only hit it once.

When you have "Nailed" the next chord strum it making sure (like the first) that all notes ring out and there is no buzzing. Again, fix this chord by sight and feel to help your muscle memory (especially feel).

Now do this in the reverse, going back and forth SLOWLY while mentally willing each finger along the best path from its place in each chord.

It might seem crazy but if you do it this way it gets easier quicker than you might think.

After working on the two (or more) chords you are ready to work on the tune. Use a metronome if you like.

1) Play slow and steady until the change is smooth and you hit the target chord on time.
2) You need to start switching before you the chord arrives in time. Remember to "Nail" each chord.
3) When you can switch smoothly, increase the tempo and practice more.

What you are doing is separating learning to switch between two chords and then placing that switch in a larger song.

Congratulate yourself for your diligent effort and dedication and remember to take a break every 45 minutes.

Olarte
08-04-2017, 05:51 AM
I use two basic principles.

Alter fingerlings if they make the next chord easier for instance I sometimes use mypinkyfor an open chord. So I can transition to other chords easier.

Also use the concept of a rubber stamp. What I mean by that is that do not build the cord note by note rather build kind of like their rubberstamp in the air and then put all the fingers down at the same time this leads to quick cord changes and it becomes more easier for muscle memory issue. I learned this from classical guitar. Once you perfect this it will just be simply be a matter Of changing the rubberstamp to the correct one at any time

Muscle memory takes over you see a g and your fingers make the shape over the strings than rubber stamp it. Try it with a simple progresión and see if it works for you. Give it some time.

One exception if the same finger is on the same note for the next chord just leave it in place and build the rest of the rubber stamp then stamp the chord on the strings....

UkeNukem
08-08-2017, 09:15 AM
"Also use the concept of a rubber stamp. What I mean by that is that do not build the cord note by note rather build kind of like their rubberstamp in the air and then put all the fingers down at the same time this leads to quick cord changes and it becomes more easier for muscle memory issue. I learned this from classical guitar. Once you perfect this it will just be simply be a matter Of changing the rubberstamp to the correct one at any time"

This is a better analogy than my "nailing" the chord.

dhbailey
08-09-2017, 11:36 PM
I found out early on in learning to play guitar that the more I concentrated on how the fingers move from chord to chord it was easier to make the transitions. Also watching which fingers move with other fingers and which move independently helps. I like the concept of a "rubber stamp" in the air which is then pressed down on the strings -- I watch my students, when they begin to play chords and work on the transitions, try to place each finger in sequence rather than all at once which is what's needed. I patiently work with them to get them to stop thinking about each finger independently and to focus on the finger groupings and getting them to all move at once to the new configuration for the next chord. That's important for any chordal instrument like guitar or ukulele or mandolin (when playing chop chords instead of single note melodies). It usually takes two or three weeks of lessons and daily practice before they get the concept in their head, but once it's there it's easy to add new chords to what they're learning.

Olarte
08-10-2017, 09:22 AM
Nah just as good. ;)


"Also use the concept of a rubber stamp. What I mean by that is that do not build the cord note by note rather build kind of like their rubberstamp in the air and then put all the fingers down at the same time this leads to quick cord changes and it becomes more easier for muscle memory issue. I learned this from classical guitar. Once you perfect this it will just be simply be a matter Of changing the rubberstamp to the correct one at any time"

This is a better analogy than my "nailing" the chord.