Chapter 1: (01:23) Intro Music
Sit back and enjoy Jim's performance of "The Entertainer" by Scott Joplin.
Chapter 2: (06:59) Review and G Chord
-Review important left hand concepts discussed in the previous lesson.
-Review the fingering for the C chord.
-Learn the G major and D major chords.
-Learn simplified versions of the G, C, and D chords.
-Discover how these chords relate to one another and how they function within a specific key.
-Apply music theory concepts and new chord shapes to practical, musical exercises.
Visualizing Chord Shapes
When learning any new chord shape, it is important to be able to visualize its basic fretboard shape. In later lessons, the same shape may be used to play a new chord in a different fretboard position. For example, at 01:08, Jim demonstrates how the basic visual shape of the C chord can be converted into a movable, "barre" chord. (This concept will be covered in detail in a future lesson.)
Review of the C Chord
The C chord involves three fretted notes and two open strings. Both the third and first strings are played open. Remember that the open sixth string is not strummed as part of this chord. The fretted notes are played by the third, second, and first fingers. Study the chord diagram provided under the "Supplemental Content" tab for a review of where these fingers should be placed on the fretboard.
As you advance as a guitarist and learn new chords, periodically review the left hand guidelines discussed in the previous lesson to ensure that you do not develop any bad habits. These guidelines are listed below.
Left Hand Guidelines
1. Position the finger as close to the fretwire as possible without being directly over top of it. Otherwise, you will most likely produce a note that rattles or buzzes.
2. Press the string down just hard enough to produce a clear tone. Pressing too hard will result in unnecessary left hand fatigue.
3. Keep the left hand in a natural, relaxed position at all times. Do not squeeze the neck!
4. Keep the thumb perpendicular to the neck. Do not curl the thumb or bring it up over the top of the neck. Also, Do not turn the thumb so that it runs parallel to the back of the neck. This greatly limits the range of motion of each finger.
There are some exceptions to this rule that will be discussed later in the series.
5. Keep all left hand joints slightly bent. Do not flatten any of the knuckles.
6. Keep the left hand fingernails as short as possible.
7. Fret the strings with the very tips of the fingers. Arching the wrist outwards will help accomplish this goal. Utilizing this technique will prevent you from bumping any of the adjacent strings. Making contact with adjacent strings will prevent them from ringing clearly.
8. Keep the wrist slightly bent.
9. Keep the palm parallel to the bottom of the neck. Do not tilt the wrist from side to side. This will limit the range of motion for each of the fingers.
Checking Left Hand Accuracy
Once you have formed a chord with the appropriate left hand fingering, you must check the accuracy of your technique. Pick each of the notes in the chord individually to ensure that they are ringing with a strong, clear tone. Then, strum the notes simultaneously as a chord. You should not hear any buzzing or muted notes.
Once you have mastered the left hand component of the C Chord, it's time to add the right hand into the mix. In most guitar music, the right hand plays the role of time keeper. The right hand keeps the rhythm steady by strumming in a specified rhythm. Do not neglect the importance of rhythm and the right hand!
The following information pertaining to rhythm is taken from lesson 1 of Matt Brown's Phase 2 Reading Music and Rhythm series.
-Rhythm is the single most important aspect of music. If you can't play something perfectly in time, then you can't play it. As a result, you should spend the majority of your practice time perfecting rhythm. This task can be accomplished in a variety of different ways. The important rule to remember is to practice with a metronome as much as possible. Playing along with recordings is also great practice.
-Rhythmic skills are essential to playing with a group of other musicians. As a guitarist, you can't simply say: "I'll just play along with the drummer. After all, the drummer is responsible for the rhythm." This is a horrible mindset to have. YOU must be responsible for rhythmic perfection at all times. That way, if the drummer is playing incorrectly, you can address the issue as needed.
Strumming Exercise Directions
1. Form the C chord with the left hand.
2. Set your metronome to a relatively slow tempo such as 70 beats per minute.
3. Strum the C chord in a steady quarter note rhythm. Each strum should perfectly coincide with the click of the metronome.
4. Tap your foot along with the metronome. This will help you internalize the pulse. In turn, your rhythm will become more accurate.
5. Count the beat out loud while strumming the chord. Count "1, 2, 3, 4" for each measure.
G Major Chord
A. Root Notes
Almost every chord in Western music has a "root" note. The root is the note that names the chord. For example, the root note of a G major chord is G. Interval relationships within the chord are based on this root note. There are three G notes within the G major chord that Jim demonstrates in the lesson video. These notes are located on the sixth, third, and first strings.
B. Left Hand Fingering
This chord voicing features three fretted notes and three open strings. The third finger frets the root note G at the 3rd fret of the sixth string. The note B is fretted by the second finger at the 2nd fret of the fifth string. On the first string, another G note is fretted by the pinkie finger at the 3rd fret. Remember to keep the third and second fingers arched. This will prevent you from accidentally muting the open fourth string. The pinkie finger must be curled tightly into the fretboard in order to keep the second and third fingers arched. Study Jim's left hand technique. Imitate his technique with your left hand fingers.
Use the left hand guidelines listed above when fretting this chord. Also, work through the left hand accuracy check-up to ensure that all notes are ringing clearly. Finally, apply the strumming exercise listed under the C chord to the G chord.
Chapter 3: (04:34) Proper Fingering and Changing Between C and G
When switching back and forth between the C chord and the G chord, the third and second fingers do not have to move very far. Recognizing these types of finger movements will help immensely as you begin to practice chord changes.
Alternate Left Hand Fingering for G Major
An alternate fingering can be used to play the G major chord. Within this fingering, the open strings remain the same. However, the fretted notes are played by different left hand fingers. The root note on the sixth string is fretted by the second finger. The first finger frets the note on the fifth string. Finally, the third finger or the pinkie finger frets the note on the first string.
The fingering option used for the G chord is usually dependent upon the other chords used in the progression. For example, the first fingering that Jim demonstrated is much more practical within the context of a progression that includes the C chord. Further down the road, you will encounter some chord progressions in which the alternate fingering for the G chord is the most practical. For now though, do not deviate from the initial fingering that Jim demonstrates in the lesson. Check out lesson 9 from Mark Brennan's Phase 1 series for more information on this topic.
C to G Exercise
Tablature and notation to all lesson exercises can be found under the "Supplemental Content" tab.
Begin the exercise with a C major chord. Strum this chord for a measure in a steady quarter note rhythm. Then, change to the G chord and repeat the process. Continue to switch back and forth between these two chords. At first, you will most likely have to leave a pause between chord changes as you adjust your left hand fingering. However, the primary goal of this exercise is to eliminate the pause between chords. As you continue to practice the exercise, this pause will become shorter. Strive for even rhythm and smooth chord changes. Once you can seamlessly change between these chords, play the exercise along with a metronome. Set the metronome to a relatively slow tempo to begin with, such as 60 beats per minute. Remember to tap your foot along with the metronome to internalize the pulse. Also, count the beat out loud.
Musical Road Signs
A repeat sign occurs at the end of the fourth measure. Once you reach the end of this measure, repeat the exercise from the beginning.
For extra practice, play the exercise along with Jim at 03:50 in the lesson video.
Chapter 4: (11:48) Playing Tips and the D Chord
D Major Chord
In comparison to the C and G chords, many beginners find the D chord to be slightly less challenging. The left hand fingers do not need to stretch nearly as far. The first finger plays the note A at the 2nd fret of the third string. A root note is fretted by the third finger at the 3rd fret of the second string. Finally, F# is played by the second finger at the 2nd fret of the first string. The open fourth string (D) is played open. The fifth and sixth strings are omitted from this chord. Consequently, right hand accuracy becomes very important when playing D major.
When first learning this chord, place the first and second fingers in position first. Then, without moving these fingers, place the third finger on the fretboard. You must develop some independence between the second and third fingers in order to master the D chord. This comes with patience and daily practice. If you experience pain or cramping in your fingers at any point, immediately take a break. Return to your practice session once your fingers have recovered.
At this point, Jim has demonstrated how to play three chords: G, C, and D. For every major key, three primary chords define the harmonic relationships within the key. G, C, and D are the primary chords for the key of G major. The music theory behind this concept will be discussed in a future lesson.
Listen as Jim plays these chords in the following order: G, C, D, G. You've probably heard this familiar chord progression in countless popular songs over the years.
G, C, D Exercise
Follow the guidelines listed under the C to G Exercise as you play through this new exercise. Focus your attention on creating smooth chord changes and keeping the rhythm steady. You will mostly experience the greatest difficulty when changing from C to D and from D to G. If this is the case, spend extra time drilling these chord changes.
When you feel ready, play the exercise along with Jim in the lesson video. At 08:24, he plays the exercise at a moderate tempo. He performs the exercise in half notes at 08:36.
Chapter 5: (03:49) Playing the Chords Together
Within this exercise, Jim incorporates a basic melody into the chord progression that you learned in the previous scene. Your role is to accompany Jim with the chord progression from Scene 4 while he plays the melody line. Strum the chords in a steady half note rhythm. Each chord is strummed twice per measure.
When playing with another musician, rhythm is the most important aspect to focus on. You might not nail the left hand fingering for a chord on the first strum. However, you must keep the right hand moving in a steady rhythm. Simply correct your left hand technique in time for the second strum. Your primary goal should be staying with Jim at all times. If you have a problem keeping up with the initial tempo that he plays, fast forward to 02:28. Jim plays through the exercise at a much slower tempo at this point in the scene.
Chapter 6: (10:45) Chord Troubleshooting
In this scene, Jim demonstrates how to play abbreviated versions of the chords discussed in the previous scenes. If you are struggling with the exercises presented in these scenes, try playing through them with the new voicings presented in this scene. Once you have mastered the exercises with the easier voicings, go back and play them with the full versions of each chord. You will most likely find these exercises a little bit easier once you have worked through this process.
Open the "Supplemental Content" tab for fretboard diagrams of the chords discussed in this scene.
Simplified G Chord
This voicing for G major utilizes the three treble strings only. Use the third finger to fret the root note on the first string. The third and second strings are played open.
Simplified C Chord
Once again, the simplified version of the C chord utilizes the three treble strings. The first finger frets the root note at the 1st fret of the second string. The third and first strings are played open.
Simplified D Chord
The left hand fingering for the D chord remains the same. However, the right hand strums only the three treble strings. The open fourth string is no longer included in the chord.
Exercise 2 - Simplified Version
At 02:55, practice Exercise 2 along with Jim. This time around, use the simplified chord voicings that Jim just demonstrated.
Also, go back to Scene 5 and play through Exercise 3 using these new chord voicings.
Questions and Comments
If you have any questions about the materials presented in this lesson, feel free to write in to Jim. You can either send him an email or leave a question in the "Comments" section of this lesson. You can also leave a question or comment for him on the JamPlay Forum. For additional help, check out the Phase 1 lessons taught by other teachers. These lessons may give you a fresh perspective on playing chords.
Video Subtitles / Captions
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Hi I'm Jim Deeming.
Instructor for JamPlay.com.
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Welcome to the next lesson in phase one.
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Today we are going to review what we just talked about and then we're going to add a couple more chords
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and talk about what a key is which is how chords relate together and get a little bit closer to being able to play a song.
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First let's review what you did with the C chord in the last lesson.
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Remember we talked about getting a picture of the chord in your mind.
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The C chord is the one that looks like this.
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Your fingers are curled up, spread out.
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First finger in the first fret, second in the second fret, third in the third fret and the strings are: two, four and five.
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C chord looks like that.
Sounds like this.
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We don't play the sixth string at this point on this chord and then we refer to this as the C chord.
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The chord shape is going to become important later on when we start playing bar chords
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because this shape is one that will slide up the neck as a shape behind the bar chords. We'll get to that later.
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For right now fingers one, two and three.
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Check to make sure that everybody's ringing clearly with no buzzing, that we're not killing any of our open strings underneath and if you need to
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go back and review some of the trouble shooting tips that we talked about in terms of keeping those open and clear.
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If your hand is starting to hurt when you're doing this back off a little bit, make sure that you're not squeezing too hard
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or trying to hold it too long without moving your hands.
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That can certainly cause cramping and discomfort and there is no need for that.
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Let's go ahead and review that C chord together, strum it a few times.
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We're going to count it out, hope you're tapping your foot.
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One, two, three, four. ( x 5)
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Regardless of what kind of pick you are using or if you're not using one at all.
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Right now we are focusing on strumming all five strings and getting them clear.
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We're going to talk more about right hand technique in a little while.
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We are more worried right now about left hand chord shapes and left hand technique.
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That's your C chord.
It's one of your best friends.
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We're going to add another one though.
Next is the G chord.
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It is called that because the root note is the G and that comes from this note right here on the bottom and actually this one on the top.
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So the G chord has lots of G notes in it.
Here's another one in the middle.
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So there's three occurrences of the root note in this chord.
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Here is what the rest of it looks like.
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That might look a little tough and it's going to feel a little strange when you do it but to review and point it out in detail here is what we are doing.
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Third finger in the third fret like you would expect, on the sixth string.
Second finger in the second fret, on the fifth string
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and then the pinky is curled up pretty tight and hitting the third fret on the first string.
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This is a chord that uses all six strings.
It makes a very big bluegrass ringing sound.
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It's a powerful sounding chord and in fact you almost, later on, you will be working to control how much that chord is ringing.
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For right now, same as with the C chord review what you need to do to keep these from buzzing
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and let the open strings ring through like they should.
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Remember to fret your notes slightly close to the fret in front of where you are at.
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For example: in the third fret this third finger is not in the middle it's a little bit forward closer to the fret.
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Same with the second a little bit forward and then the pinky which you may not see underneath what I'm doing under here.
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It's in the front half of the third fret and pressing that one down.
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Again, don't go too hard on this if it's uncomfortable relax a little bit.
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Focus on getting your fingers in the right position first and then apply the pressure.
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Don't wear your fingers out and try to create one day calluses it doesn't work.
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Here is your G chord.
All six strings.
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Strum it through.
There's a nice ringing sound to it.
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If you're having trouble let's break it down.
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Some of the things that might be going on: this is a tight curl on your pinky, that may feel awkward for you
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or you might feel like with that kind of a curl you might not feel like you have enough pushing power to fret that note.
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That will just come with time.
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One of the things you might try though to get into this chord.
Try wrapping that pinky first and roll up from here.
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Opposite of what I showed you when I was demonstrating the chord.
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Lay your pinky down and now start to stretch your hand over and get those other two.
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It may be that the way you approach a chord might help you stretch into position until your hand gets used to it
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and you get some more strength and more calluses.
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Or try it the other way.
One, two and three.
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I think most people will find that's a harder way to go into this chord.
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If you anchor that pinky first that's the finger that least wants to do what you are asking it to do.
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This is a really tight one hundred and eighty degree turn right here and that can give you a little bit of trouble.
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Then of course as we talked about before
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you are not pushing too hard, you haven't flattened out your fingers, this one is not killing the one underneath it, make it nice and clear don't lay
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down on it and kill the one underneath it and then this guy needs to leave an open underneath it without killing it.
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Get your finger perpendicular as much as possible to the fret board and then all you can do from here is just practice it and keep trying.
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Again, do not do it until it hurts.
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Take a break once and a while, stretch your hand out and then come into it again.
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Now we are going to cover quite a bit and what seems like a lot in this lesson.
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Feel free at anytime to stop the tape, back up and go over this again.
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That's one of the great things about the way JamPlay works is that you can stop when you need to and take a break or review something
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and I encourage you to do that.
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Now just for review let's go back to the C chord.
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We've still got that one ringing nice and clear and then the G chord.
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I hope you see something on your own between those two chords.
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Watch this transition again.
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There is a very specific reason why I taught you to fret the notes on a G chord in this shape.
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There's other ways you can do it.
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The way I was taught when I was really small was this way.
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That also works and in fact I use it. I will show you during the course of my lessons several different ways to fret each chord and I do use them all.
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There's usually one that is the most common one or the one I use the most.
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If you're playing a long jam session
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and your hands are getting tired one of the ways you can prevent cramps is to switch around how you're fretting these notes.
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It's all legal.
There's no hard and fast rules here.
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The rule is don't kill strings and don't hurt your hand so whichever one is more comfortable for you is going to be the one that you settle on
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but watch this again.
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We came from a C chord and we need to pull off a transition here relatively smoothly and quickly
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and going from that C chord to this new G chord, there's not a lot of movement there.
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I pay attention to which fingers are moving to where and what's the minimum amount they can possibly move to get the job done.
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If you notice all you're doing from the C chord, these two fingers stay in precisely the same shape, they stay in the same fret,
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they both just lift up and move down a string.
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Pay attention to that because that's actually something that's saving you time, saving you effort
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and it also helps you remember where you're going next.
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This is a pretty smooth transition.
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All we're doing is this. That's the biggest part of the job.
Two of the notes are done. This one comes up, this one goes down.
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That's a nice transition between those two chords and then you probably can tell they're related.
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These chords are in the same key and we'll talk more about that in a little bit.
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Here you go.
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This will be a place where I encourage you to stop the tape and take a little time doing exactly this.
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Strum four times on a C.
Then a G four times.
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At first you will need to pause a little bit and find your fingers and that's ok
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but what your goal is here is to have that right hand stay on the same rhythm.
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You're going to be tapping your foot and you're going to be counting and there's going to be no pause between those chords.
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That's success. That's what we're going for.
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Again, focus on the fact that there's not a lot of movement here.
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The shapes are new to you. The calluses are new to you but what's going on down here is a relatively minimal amount of movement.
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Teach your mind to think that way.
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This is not hard it is just new and that you fix with practice.
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What I'd like you to do now is practice off the tape and do it exactly like this or do it with me if you'd like.
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We're going to count four strums on each chord and switch back and forth.
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It goes like this.
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One, two, three, four.
One, two, three, four.
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One, two, three, four.
One, two, three, four.
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One, two, three, four.
One, two, three, four.
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Again, the goal is this hand becomes a metronome it's doing the same pace and it's not waiting for lefty over here to get the chord change done.
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When you've got that done or you're really close come back and undo the pause button and we'll move on.
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Ok. I hope your C and G chord are coming along nicely by now.
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However, if they are not I want you to hang with this lesson a little bit longer because near to the end I will be going through what I'll call a
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trouble shooting section and we'll also take a look at some simpler versions of the chords.
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This will be a good idea for maybe younger players with smaller hands if you need to start in smaller bites than what we're dealing with now,
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I will show you that before the end of this lesson so hang in there if you are having trouble
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If you've got this smooth and going good, great, because we're going to throw another chord at you right now.
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What we've done is we've got two so far and they are related but we really need one more because most songs are made up out of three chords
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and the truth so we need one more and what we're going to do is we are going to add the D chord and it looks like this.
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It sounds like that.
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This is the smallest chord we've learned actually in terms of numbers of strings.
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In this one I am only playing the four strings that are the highest or the smallest.
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One, two, three, four.
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You could get away with the fifth string but ringing all together it almost doesn't make sense for what we're doing right now, we'll get to that later.
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Four strings and pay attention to the shape.
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Again, if this helps you get completely away from the guitar, get your fingers in that shape and just learn to think like this.
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You should be able to put a D shape on a spoon if you want to.
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It's a picture to get in your mind and now I'll break it down for you in detail of who's playing where.
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On the third string, second fret is the first finger.
Now I told you we were going to break that rule before very long didn't I?
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First finger plays in the first fret, second in the second and third and so on and we're already breaking that rule.
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First finger has to go here because the second finger is also in the second fret.
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They are just on different strings.
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This is on the third string, this is on the first string.
Both in the second fret.
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Then the third finger is back in his home position on the third fret, on the second string.
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You can see on the chord chart what this looks like and this is the picture that you'll get used to seeing in your mind when you want a D chord.
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Now let's talk about where those root notes are, this open string that we're ringing is the D string, that's the fourth string.
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So that's the root note.
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Then there's another D right here, that's what your third fingers playing.
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Again, we have snuck in two occurrences of the root note.
The D note in the D chord.
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So here we go, it sounds like this.
03:09.154 --> 03:19.208
Again, there may be some stretches going on between your fingers that you are not used to doing
03:19.208 --> 03:26.057
and what I find and what most beginning students find is that usually the trouble involves these two fingers right here.
03:26.057 --> 03:33.928
Whether you're trying to ask this one to play down and this one to play up or trying to get them to spread a little bit.
03:33.928 --> 03:40.499
These just aren't real nimble fingers, so again, let's fret it one note at a time.
03:40.499 --> 03:47.372
Get those two down first just like we learned it and then this might feel uncomfortable right here
03:47.372 --> 03:52.155
but this finger is trying to push past this joint right here and get that D down.
03:52.155 --> 03:57.403
If that doesn't help you go the other way.
03:57.403 --> 04:04.276
Get this one first and maybe this one next a little two finger version and then make your stretch.
04:04.276 --> 04:08.432
Look how that turns your wrist by the way.
Roll up over the top of that.
04:08.432 --> 04:16.466
I encourage you to try that on any chord that you are having trouble with rather than trying to grab the whole thing all at once do it one finger at
04:16.466 --> 04:26.262
once and usually from either one to three or try it in reverse and see if that doesn't help you get into the chord.
04:26.262 --> 04:32.949
Here we are. This is actually one of the easier chords to do.
04:32.949 --> 04:37.314
Probably because it's smaller and involving fewer strings and I think
04:37.314 --> 04:44.396
because of the natural curvature of your hand because they're all in a similar location here and the curve stays about the same.
04:44.396 --> 04:49.829
Usually I don't find many people having too much trouble fretting these without buzzing.
04:49.829 --> 04:58.026
If there is going to be a problem it will most likely be the third finger laying down on top of this note and killing it.
04:58.026 --> 05:04.248
You just need to get that curve, get it perpendicular and again, don't press too hard.
05:04.248 --> 05:05.827
Don't press until this hurts.
05:05.827 --> 05:11.005
If it's hurting either on your fingertips or if you're cramping, stop.
05:11.005 --> 05:15.811
You're not going to learn anything and it's not going to help you play through pain or discomfort.
05:15.811 --> 05:22.266
Now let's talk about why we learned this chord next.
05:22.266 --> 05:32.204
We started with C, then we learned the G, now we're learning the D.
05:32.204 --> 05:40.052
I'm going to play them for you in a little different order and I want you to listen for the beginning of what might start to sound like music to you.
05:40.052 --> 05:50.547
Start with a G chord, C, D and then back to G again.
05:50.547 --> 05:55.539
I hope that makes some musical sense to you.
It sounds like we took a little trip and ended up back at home.
05:55.539 --> 06:01.553
G, C, D, G.
06:01.553 --> 06:06.615
What we have done is we just played the three major chords in the key of G
06:06.615 --> 06:15.252
and that's why we started with these chords because they are in the first position, lots of open strings, they are relatively easy and they go together.
06:15.252 --> 06:32.968
Remember with each chord it changes how many strings you are playing with that right hand so let me give you a tip to help you remember that.
06:32.968 --> 06:39.725
Starting with G you are playing them all starting with that G note on the G chord
06:39.725 --> 06:45.135
and that's something you want to make stick in your mind also, that's a G note.
06:45.135 --> 06:50.197
When you see that shape and you see that third finger right there your mind needs to say G.
06:50.197 --> 06:54.608
That's a G chord, it's one of your best friends so make a lot of money with that chord.
06:54.608 --> 06:57.278
Then C is next.
06:57.278 --> 07:02.433
We went the other way now and dropped these two, this guy went to a C note by the way.
07:02.433 --> 07:10.235
This is the A string. A, B, C.
07:10.235 --> 07:20.776
By the way we were talking about this is a six string chord well this is now a five string chord and then you remember what the D is.
07:20.776 --> 07:22.378
D is only a four string chord.
07:22.378 --> 07:29.622
What you can tell your right hand to worry about is the first chord, play them all.
07:29.622 --> 07:37.331
Second chord only play five and on the last chord only play four.
07:37.331 --> 07:44.413
Right in order.
Base note here, base note here, base note here.
07:44.413 --> 07:51.657
Spend some time thinking about that because what we are trying to do is make this hands job as easy as possible
07:51.657 --> 07:54.165
so that you can focus over here for a while.
07:54.165 --> 08:11.510
Alright now it's time to take some time working on the transition between those chords and connecting it with playing the right amount of strings.
08:11.510 --> 08:14.946
One, two, three, four.
08:14.946 --> 08:24.048
One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four.
08:24.048 --> 08:36.284
One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four.
08:36.284 --> 08:38.792
If that's too fast for you do it at half speed.
08:38.792 --> 08:45.177
One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four.
08:45.177 --> 08:51.398
One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four.
08:51.398 --> 08:59.153
Now take some time, work on those transitions and always remember to watch for where your fingers are moving from and to.
08:59.153 --> 09:05.329
Remember for the first transition these two drop down.
This one lets go and this one goes down.
09:05.329 --> 09:12.156
So if you look far enough back here you don't see movement at all it just looks like these little guys are hiding but they've dropped down.
09:12.156 --> 09:14.106
Very little movement there.
09:14.106 --> 09:23.556
The D is a little bit more of a change but this guy is staying in his zone here, dropping down to there.
09:23.556 --> 09:28.641
That may be something for you to try.
09:28.641 --> 09:32.565
Just go back and forth between those two.
09:32.565 --> 09:46.566
This is a principle for you to use really when you're learning any new technique, new song, especially when you get into a new arrangement.
09:46.566 --> 09:52.255
You're trying to learn something that's difficult maybe it's a big run, maybe it's a chord transition.
09:52.255 --> 09:58.547
Don't fall into the trap of trying to learn a whole song or the whole version all at once.
09:58.547 --> 10:10.203
If you identify a spot that's giving you trouble slow down and just break it down into a little loop of the troubled area and work back and forth.
10:10.203 --> 10:17.842
I'm going to talk to you about something more than once in phase one and that's something called muscle memory.
10:17.842 --> 10:22.486
What you're trying to do right now is teach your fingers how to ride a bicycle.
10:22.486 --> 10:26.247
You need to get to the point to where when I think G chord
10:26.247 --> 10:32.447
and my mind knows what that picture looks like my fingers know how to get there without stopping and thinking.
10:32.447 --> 10:40.852
That's not as far away as you think but it is several repetitions away so practice in between these transitions.
10:40.852 --> 10:48.305
It's teaching your muscles where your fingers should go so that your muscles can do it in theory without your brain.
10:48.305 --> 10:59.404
Muscles have memory of their own they know where to go so that your brain can send the command not the instruction manual.
10:59.404 --> 11:02.957
It's a lot faster that way when your fingers know where to go.
11:02.957 --> 11:08.390
So take a little time.
One, two, three, four.
11:08.390 --> 11:18.142
One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four.
11:18.142 --> 11:25.943
Any of those transitions that give you trouble in that little loop work back and forth between those two.
11:25.943 --> 11:30.401
Or maybe it's here.
11:30.401 --> 11:42.661
You're learning what the shapes look like, your muscles are learning the road map between those two chords until it's automatic.
11:42.661 --> 11:47.235
Take some time to do that now and we'll come back and do something fun with this.
00:00.000 --> 00:18.796
Ok, now you've got three chords in the key of G starting with G, C, D and G.
00:18.796 --> 00:21.969
I hope the transitions are coming along nicely for you.
00:21.969 --> 00:28.401
Now what I'd like you to try is I'm going to play a little something here and I'd like you to strum with it.
00:28.401 --> 00:42.866
We're going to have some G strums, C strums, then we'll go to the D chord and to make it more interesting
00:42.866 --> 00:51.806
I'm going to do something a little bit more rhythmic with also a bit of a melody to it so that it sounds a little more like music.
00:51.806 --> 00:57.123
The idea here if it's more fun for you to practice this you'll get more repetitions in
00:57.123 --> 01:02.347
and a little farther down the road in getting that muscle memory trained in both your hands.
01:02.347 --> 01:33.252
So what I'm about to do in this tempo:
One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four and it will sound like this.
01:33.252 --> 01:46.881
What I'd like you to do while I'm playing that is go One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four. One, two, ready go!
01:46.881 --> 02:05.410
02:05.410 --> 02:17.809
How'd that go for you?
02:17.809 --> 02:21.434
We can do it again and maybe I'll go a little bit slower for you this time
02:21.434 --> 02:24.917
and you can rewind back and forth for the one that's at the right tempo for you.
02:24.917 --> 02:53.337
Let's slow it down a little bit. One, two, three, four.
One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four.
02:53.337 --> 03:03.832
Ok. Meanwhile you've been doing full strums, working on transitions on your left hand,
03:03.832 --> 03:17.578
telling your right hand that here we do six strings, drop one out and do five, drop one out and do four and then all of them again.
03:17.578 --> 03:20.619
There's your first song.
03:20.619 --> 03:25.310
I honestly have no idea what it's called. I just made it up here with Jeff behind the camera.
03:25.310 --> 03:32.856
The idea is you should be able to start thinking that chords do go with other things.
03:32.856 --> 03:37.964
It's important to be on time, on rhythm and play with somebody else.
03:37.964 --> 03:41.795
I really think that's an excellent building block to work on.
03:41.795 --> 03:45.626
Spend some time on this part of the video and see how you do.
03:45.626 --> 03:49.225
If you're having trouble stay tuned because I've got more for you.
00:00.000 --> 00:10.751
00:10.751 --> 00:21.748
By now you've got three chords, a little bit of a pretend song to practice with me on and maybe you've gotten this far in the lesson and you're
00:21.748 --> 00:29.666
about to toss your guitar in the fireplace because this is hard, it hurts, it doesn't feel natural and maybe it's just going slower than you would like.
00:29.666 --> 00:32.592
Alright let's talk about that for a second.
00:32.592 --> 00:34.867
Remember what we've said.
00:34.867 --> 00:40.277
This is new to your hand, the stretching is new and your calluses are not quite there yet.
00:40.277 --> 00:49.008
Maybe if you're a smaller player and you feel like this is a great big neck and it's hard to reach around it, this is a lot at once and I understand that.
00:49.008 --> 00:56.113
Time will improve this, the basics are all right here, what you need to know
00:56.113 --> 01:04.239
but if it's just so much that your practices are having to be really short because it's too quick or you get tired out or frustrated.
01:04.239 --> 01:05.493
Whatever the case may be.
01:05.493 --> 01:11.832
Let's take a look at a little bit of a shortcut that we can take now and ease up a little bit.
01:11.832 --> 01:17.010
Let's start with that big bad G chord.
All six strings.
01:17.010 --> 01:20.051
That is a mouthful.
01:20.051 --> 01:29.780
That is a big chord and if that stretch particularly this one right here is giving you a bad time, let's back off and turn that into a little chord.
01:29.780 --> 01:31.707
That looks like this.
01:31.707 --> 01:39.788
We'll play with the third finger back where it belongs on the third fret and that's all we're going to do and we're only going to play three strings.
01:39.788 --> 01:45.917
This is a little baby G chord alright.
01:45.917 --> 01:49.656
What we've done is we've taken the work load off of the left hand
01:49.656 --> 01:53.649
and we've told the right hand listen you better only hit three strings
01:53.649 --> 01:57.922
because if you start wandering around you aren't going to like what we get.
01:57.922 --> 02:01.753
So three strings only and one finger over here only.
02:01.753 --> 02:08.231
That's your baby G chord and guess what?
We have a baby C chord we can put with this.
02:08.231 --> 02:14.523
It's also only one finger, it's a C note by the way.
This was a G note, here's our C note.
02:14.523 --> 02:27.363
Three strings only for your baby C chord and if your right hand stays in bounds over here and only plays three strings it sounds pretty good.
02:27.363 --> 02:34.097
If the right hand wanders it's a little bad.
So three strings only.
02:34.097 --> 02:40.645
Then with the D chord, I'm sorry, there's not a lot we can do with that but you can drop it to a two fingered version.
02:40.645 --> 02:48.144
That's really tiny but this chord is not usually one that gives people trouble.
02:48.144 --> 02:51.906
So let's try three string version of all of those.
02:51.906 --> 02:58.361
This is our G.
02:58.361 --> 03:07.122
Our C, one finger on the first fret on the second string.
Take a look at the chord chart.
03:07.122 --> 03:10.001
Our little baby C chord.
03:10.001 --> 03:12.579
Then the D. Let's go ahead and get them all.
03:12.579 --> 03:22.586
It's not too bad. They are recognizable, you can still tell it's the key to G and you can do that with the song that I played for you earlier.
03:22.586 --> 03:29.807
Same thing works, go back and play the song with just these and get these transitions down.
03:29.807 --> 03:39.234
Now if that's too much of a small step for you or that helps and you want to go a little farther then we can add more.
03:39.234 --> 03:45.118
You could try adding those two.
03:45.118 --> 03:51.225
Remember the big G chord looks like this so maybe that ring finger is the one giving you trouble, start here.
03:51.225 --> 03:54.614
Leave this one out of the picture.
No big string on the bottom.
03:54.614 --> 03:58.678
Ok, that works.
03:58.678 --> 04:00.326
That's a G chord.
04:00.326 --> 04:05.644
What we're trying to do right now is ease your left hand into this if it's too much at once.
04:05.644 --> 04:08.689
There's a nice four string version of the C chord.
04:08.689 --> 04:14.471
Remember the full one looks like this.
Let's leave that ring finger out because it's the trouble maker.
04:21.390 --> 04:29.307
So now we've got four and five string versions of everything and it looks like this.
04:29.307 --> 04:37.295
Four strings on our C.
04:37.295 --> 04:43.448
Now the D, it's easy.
04:43.448 --> 04:48.161
Then back to five strings.
04:48.161 --> 04:56.636
Now go back for all of them and get that ring finger back on the job when you're ready.
04:56.636 --> 05:08.292
I'll say it one more time.
Don't play until it hurts.
05:08.292 --> 05:14.561
It takes time for your calluses to develop and people get a lot of questions about what these things really are
05:14.561 --> 05:21.713
because my calluses right now you can see from the playing I'm doing.
05:21.713 --> 05:24.337
You can see indentations in the tips of my fingers.
05:24.337 --> 05:29.445
It's not painful and it's not uncomfortable but they don't have to look nasty either.
05:29.445 --> 05:36.016
A couple hours after I'm done playing your finger reshapes itself and they're done.
05:36.016 --> 05:38.454
Mine don't tend to be dry.
05:38.454 --> 05:46.371
Calluses don't have to be dry, flaky, nasty looking things it's just basically a toughened up portion of your skin that can handle this.
05:46.371 --> 05:51.897
If you're playing a nylon string guitar this should go a little bit faster for you.
05:51.897 --> 05:56.054
It doesn't quite require the calluses that these do for two reasons.
05:56.054 --> 06:01.046
One is the strings are not as abrasive and second of all the strings are softer.
06:01.046 --> 06:03.530
It's easier to fret a note without buzzing
06:03.530 --> 06:10.310
and you end up finding out that it requires a lot less mashing your finger into the string to make a good sound.
06:10.310 --> 06:14.304
If you're playing with a steel string plan on this taking some time.
06:14.304 --> 06:17.972
Don't be impatient with it and do not play until it hurts.
06:17.972 --> 06:24.265
If you play until it hurts what tends to happen is your technique will actually get worse.
06:24.265 --> 06:30.557
You stop learning good things and you start learning bad habits that you'll have to undo later so I really don't encourage that.
06:30.557 --> 06:38.568
In terms of dealing with your hands cramping that's obviously a muscle strength and stamina issue.
06:38.568 --> 06:47.577
We talked about this in an earlier lesson but pay attention to your thumb position as you're fretting these chords.
06:47.577 --> 06:54.217
You'll notice as I play my thumb waves up here a lot and I get away with that
06:54.217 --> 07:02.623
because I have the hand strength to do it and my fingers relatively know how to fret strings without too much buzzing going on.
07:02.623 --> 07:09.797
So I can get away with that.
Plus it's nice to be able to reach over the top and fret a bass note that way.
07:09.797 --> 07:11.585
I do it on purpose.
07:11.585 --> 07:13.466
However, when you're learning
07:13.466 --> 07:21.825
or if you're taking strict traditional classical style they will ask you to drop your thumb down like it's on a button behind the fret
07:21.825 --> 07:28.233
and one of the advantages of that is that it opens your hand up, it points your fingers straight into the fret board
07:28.233 --> 07:35.524
and it actually puts your muscles in a little bit different position so you can switch back and forth .
07:35.524 --> 07:43.395
If you're starting to cramp trying to do this drop that thumb, try some of your repetitions in a little bit different position.
07:43.395 --> 07:50.580
In my opinion that's not confusing because you will use different hand positions anyway.
07:50.580 --> 07:55.433
Just like I talked about earlier you will use different ways of fretting a chord.
07:55.433 --> 08:00.425
One day you might play a G like this another day you might play a G like this.
08:00.425 --> 08:05.046
As I said, you're not breaking any rules that is using what works.
08:05.046 --> 08:09.736
Sometimes what works is what sounds right.
08:09.736 --> 08:14.287
Sometimes what works is when you get tired and you have to move to keep playing.
08:14.287 --> 08:23.482
That also works it's the same notes and the same jobs getting done so don't be afraid to experiment a little bit with positioning your hands.
08:23.482 --> 08:33.071
I think probably the biggest mistake beginners are inclined to make is because playing guitar is hard work and you've got to try really hard so
08:33.071 --> 08:39.990
what you do is you get tense and you push too hard or you squeeze too hard and that will hurt in a fairly short order.
08:39.990 --> 08:47.188
So if you're having hand cramps go back through the next time you practice and consciously focus on relaxing.
08:47.188 --> 08:59.564
Take a little loop through our circle of chords, maybe make one trip and when you get back home to the G chord take your fingers completely off
08:59.564 --> 09:04.626
the guitar and stretch them out a little bit, give them a break and then go again.
09:04.626 --> 09:06.855
That actually has two advantages.
09:06.855 --> 09:17.837
One is it gives your fingers a rest and second of all it forces your fingers to start thinking, I came from clear down here and I have to get to a G chord.
09:17.837 --> 09:21.901
Did I know where to go?
How good is that picture in my mind?
09:21.901 --> 09:27.404
How good is the muscle memory to find that chord when you've come from completely somewhere else?
09:27.404 --> 09:33.998
It's got two advantages and that's a nice exercise to work on and it'll probably minimize the cramps you're having.
09:33.998 --> 09:38.595
If your cramps are really bad, what works for me and your mileage may vary
09:38.595 --> 09:46.791
but one thing I like to do before or after I practice just take my hands and stick them in the hottest water possible they can stand.
09:46.791 --> 09:55.684
Which really has the effect of nothing more than warming up and loosening up your muscles and tendons and that can help to.
09:55.684 --> 10:03.416
Experiment with that but most of all caution, caution, caution be careful you are not overdoing this.
10:03.416 --> 10:06.203
Don't stress about this.
10:06.203 --> 10:10.637
Guitar playing is supposed to be fun and relaxing even when you're learning something.
10:10.637 --> 10:16.047
If you're in pain back off and take a deep breath and try to enjoy it.
10:16.047 --> 10:25.149
Ok. I hope the troubleshooting section helps you a little bit if it does not one of the things I like about JamPlay
10:25.149 --> 10:32.396
is that you can write in to me or one of the other instructors and say " I'm still frustrated, I'm still having problems
10:32.396 --> 10:37.318
and describe what the problem is that you're having and we can answer it on the forum or even in another video.
10:37.318 --> 10:39.222
Let me know how you're doing.
10:39.222 --> 10:43.518
Work on those transitions and I hope to see you again on the next lesson.
10:43.518 --> 10:44.586
Thank you very much.