Chord Transistions Revisited (Guitar Lesson)

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Mark Lincoln

Chord Transistions Revisited

In this lesson, Mark once again covers the subject of chord transitions. This time around, he focuses on barre chords and includes several helpful exercises.

Taught by Mark Lincoln in Basic Guitar with Mark Lincoln seriesLength: 23:25Difficulty: 2.5 of 5
Chapter 1: (05:54) Lesson Introduction and Exercise 1 Review
Please review and warm-up the hands before moving on. You may find the following helpful:
- Stretch the wrists.
- Play the major and minor open chords.
- Warm up your strumming muscles by relaxing the wrists and letting the pick flow over the strings.
- Play the E major chord in the “new” way and play the type 1 barre chords.
- Play the A major chord in the “new” way and play the type 2 barre chords.
- Practice the “slanting A” technique.
- Practice the type 1 minor barre chords.
- Practice the type 2 minor barre chords.
- Play all of the type 1 mini-barre chords.
- Play all of the type 2 mini-barre chords.
- Review and practice quantitative and qualitative techniques.
- Review last week’s exercises.
Ready?

In last week’s lesson, we focused on using interim chords as a manner of transitioning into other chords and smoothing out the quality of our sound. I would like to continue this lesson with the same theme: polishing the sound that we are producing with our guitar playing. Obviously, one of the prerequisites of playing more smoothly is having a good handle on the chords that you are playing, so please continue to practice the review section as a warm-up.

We didn’t get too deep into using barre chords as transition chords, so let’s start there today. Don’t forget! Type 1 barre chords look like this:

F
E_1_
B_1_
G_2_
D_3_
A_3_
E_1_

Type 2 barre chords look like this:

Bb
E_1_
B_3_
G_3_
D_3_
A_1_
E_x_

In our first exercises, we’ll use the chords Am (5th), G (3rd), and F, which are all type 1 barre chords:

Am
E_5_
B_5_
G_5_
D_7_
A_7_
E_5_

G
E_3_
B_3_
G_4_
D_5_
A_5_
E_3_

Exercise 1
We’ll start out by using one of the strums from last week or down downupdownupdown or "down, down-up-down-up-down" on the Am and F chords and a single downstroke on the G chord. Remember that the downupdownupdown strum is a continuous strum much like the snap strum and should be played fluidly. Play Am, G, F, G, Am and watch me in the video for help if you need it. Don’t forget the importance of “sticking” your chords and making solid finger placements on the fretboard. If you need to play this exercise at half the demonstrated tempo, then do so before you play it at full speed.
Chapter 2: (02:12) Exercise 2 Exercise 2
Play the exercise listed above. This time however, slide into the chords. Avoid lifting your fingers from the fretboard except when changing from the minor to major chords and back. This shouldn’t be too challenging as you are simply remaining in the type 1 barre chords, but if this is giving you problems, it may be an indicator that you need to work more on your type 1 barre chords.
Chapter 3: (02:47) Exercise 3 - Eyes Closed Exercise 3
Play the two exercises listed above with your eyes closed. Make sure that you’ve practiced the finger glue technique and have a good feel and mental picture of each chord. If you need to peek periodically, that’s okay, but try to play the exercise as much as possible without looking. The ultimate goal of playing with your eyes shut is to get a distinct feel for playing and forming chords so that you will be able to focus on the strum hand.
Chapter 4: (03:40) Exercise 4 Now we’re going to change things up a little bit. In this exercise, we’re going to substitute the G chord played with a barre with an open G chord:

G major
E_3_
B_0_
G_0_
D_0_
A_2_
E_3__

Play the this exercise exactly like Exercise 3, but substitute an open G chord for the barred G. Pay attention to how your hand might need to twist in order to accommodate the change in chords and the different hand positioning between barre and open chords.

Now we’re going to try something new. Let's alternate between type 1 and type 2 barre chords. In this exercise, we’re going to use the Am (5th fr.), C (3rd fr.) an F chord. Here’s C on the 3rd fret:

C (3rd fr.)
E_3_
B_5_
G_5_
D_5_
A_3_
E_x_

Play the three chords using the strum down downup or "down, down-up" on the Am (5th fr.) and the F chord and a single downstroke on the C chord. Pay attention to how your chord hand might need to adjust to the two different types of barre chords. You may want to practice going between the Am and the C chord and between the F and the C in order to get a handle on making quicker changes between type 1 and 2 barre chords. Once you feel more comfortable with these changes, try to put the exercise together. Remember that the ultimate goal here is to “stick” the middle chord so that it becomes a quick transition to the next chord in the progression.
Chapter 5: (04:20) Spicing it Up Practice Exercise 4 with the alternate chords Mark introduced in the lesson. It is very important to stay versatile and agile!

Exercise 5
Yes, you knew it was coming! Play the last exercise with your eyes closed. Even if you’re not hitting the chords accurately every time, playing the exercises with your eyes closed will give you a different feel for playing chords and hopefully a “sixth” sense of forming and playing chords.
Chapter 6: (04:31) Transistions and Power Using transition chords can help to build momentum in a song and give your chord progression a punch! Take these three chords for example: Cadd9, D and A.

C add 9
E_0_
B_3_
G_0_
D_2_
A_3_
E_x_

D major
E_2_
B_3_
G_2_
D_0_
A_x_
E_x_

A major
E_0_
B_2_
G_2_
D_2_
A_0_
E_x_

We’ll use the D chord in this progression as our transition chord and use it as sort of a slingshot toward a power punch! We’ll use the strum down downupdown or "down, down-up-down" on the C chord, and then just a single down stroke on the D and A chords.

Exercise 6
Play the chords above in the same fashion that I do in the video while following the strum pattern as above. Do you feel how using the D in between the C and A chords can help you build momentum and rock just a little bit harder? Remember to “stick” the D chord and keep in time.

Exercise 7
Try the exercise above using different types of qualitative changes. For example, try playing the same progression while palm muting. Or, try adding or subtracting notes or playing different derivatives of the chords. Use the material that we’ve covered over the last several weeks and enhance the exercise as you see fit.

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Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.


DKStrummerDKStrummer replied

Good lessons Mark, and thank you. You seem to be in different tuning than I am - I'm in standard tuning. no matter. I like your style of playing!

mgapmgap replied

Nice lesson Mark, had some problems in the beginning sticking the chords because of the different types used(open, type 1 and type 2). After going through the lesson a couple of times my hand and wrist are very sore and tired, but in a good way. Every day it gets better, Thanks Mark

YucatanEdYucatanEd replied

Wow. This lesson has got to be the hardest one so far. At least for me. Switching between type-1 barre to open G then type-1 barre to type-2 barre. Yikes. Must have watched this lesson ten times so far. Challenging in a good way. My fingers will learn. Oh yes. They will.

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hey Ed great to hear from you as usual! I can't help but wonder (for myself as well) if some of those "more" challenging routines are more rewarding in the end when you finaslly say "yeah, I got it!" Know what I mean? mark

alshyalshy replied

more of the same please, good stuff as usual Mark thanks

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Thanx Alshy great to hear from you as usual! Mark

ablazich323ablazich323 replied

good lesson as always, and with this lesson being all about barre chords, my left hand is getting sore

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Hey Blaz great to hear from you and to know as well that you are such a dedicated player. Keep on rockin' my friend! Mark

avaricvmavaricvm replied

Hi from FRANCE! It's a pleasure to learn with you! Keep on with your "humour"

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Bonjour Avaric! Merci beaucoup for your great feedback and glad you are enjoying the lessons! Je suis tres heureux a parlez avec vous, bon chance! Mark

mercenarymercenary replied

i love your intros! very funny

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Thanks Merc I appreciate it! Mark

nessanessa replied

Another great lesson - thanks Mark!

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Thanks Nessie Nessabeth Nesssaaa!

nmoundnmound replied

mostly simple, yet catchy...i like it. another nice lesson Mark!

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied

Thanks Mound I appreciate the positive feedback! Mark

Basic Guitar with Mark Lincoln

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Learning the basics of the guitar, the building blocks if you will, is an extremely important step in learning and mastering the guitar. This series is all about the basics.



Guitar BasicsLesson 1

Guitar Basics

This lesson is all about the basics. Mark explains guitar parts, holding the guitar, and more.

Length: 13:12 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Tuning, Gear, and ChordsLesson 2

Tuning, Gear, and Chords

Mark begins by discussing equipment every guitarist should own. Then, he introduces chords and proper tuning methods.

Length: 17:28 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Chords and StrummingLesson 3

Chords and Strumming

Mark finishes his discussion of the "open" chords. He applies these chords to basic rhythm and strumming concepts.

Length: 17:33 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Minor Chords and MoreLesson 4

Minor Chords and More

Mark reviews the major chords and introduces the minor chords. He also covers strumming techniques in greater depth.

Length: 25:48 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Expanding ChordsLesson 5

Expanding Chords

Mark introduces a few more minor chords. He also provides a monster chord exercise.

Length: 16:36 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Strumming ExercisesLesson 6

Strumming Exercises

Mark Lincoln continues his discussion of chords and strumming. He introduces several new exercises in this lesson.

Length: 19:30 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Music Theory and Barre ChordsLesson 7

Music Theory and Barre Chords

Mark covers several topics in this lesson. He explains scales and barre chords. He also demonstrates how to find notes on the fretboard.

Length: 21:45 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
E Shape Barre ChordsLesson 8

E Shape Barre Chords

Mark Lincoln covers E shaped barre chords in greater depth. Mark refers to these chords as "Type 1" barre chords.

Length: 15:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
A Shape Barre ChordsLesson 9

A Shape Barre Chords

Mark covers the A Shape / Type 2 barre chords in greater depth.

Length: 17:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Minor Barre ChordsLesson 10

Minor Barre Chords

Mark introduces minor barre chords that utilize the shape of the "open" Em chord.

Length: 13:10 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
A Minor Shape Barre ChordsLesson 11

A Minor Shape Barre Chords

Mark introduces minor barre chords based on the shape of the "open" Am chord. He refers to these chords as "Type 2 Minor" barre chords.

Length: 12:36 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Mini Barre ChordLesson 12

Mini Barre Chord

Mark demonstrates abbreviated versions of the "Type 1" and "Type 2" barre chords. He calls these "mini barre" chords.

Length: 17:43 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
A Shape Mini BarreLesson 13

A Shape Mini Barre

Mark teaches the "mini barre" version of the A major shaped barre chord. He also explains dissonance.

Length: 20:29 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Minor Mini Barre ChordsLesson 14

Minor Mini Barre Chords

Mark Lincoln applies mini-barre chord concepts to minor chords.

Length: 12:28 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Guitar TechniqueLesson 15

Guitar Technique

Mark Lincoln explains essential components of guitar technique.

Length: 15:59 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Guitar DynamicsLesson 16

Guitar Dynamics

Mark Lincoln explains how dynamics can enhance your playing. He covers topics such as volume, tempo, rests, and more.

Length: 27:48 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Transistion StrumsLesson 17

Transistion Strums

Mark Lincoln explains more about guitar technique. This time around he introduces "transition strums" and continues his discussion of liquid chords.

Length: 26:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Harmonic TechniqueLesson 18

Harmonic Technique

Mark Lincoln explains what harmonics are and how they are played.

Length: 15:31 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Expanding Liquid ChordsLesson 19

Expanding Liquid Chords

Mark Lincoln expands on the concept of liquid chords. He explains new chord variations and how they can be changed in mid-strum.

Length: 16:21 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Spicing up ChordsLesson 20

Spicing up Chords

Mark demonstrates how chord progressions can be spiced up by adding hammer-ons and pull-offs.

Length: 12:21 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Chord FingeringLesson 21

Chord Fingering

Mark explains how chord fingerings must be altered when applying "liquid chord" concepts. He also provides a few new "liquid chord" exercises.

Length: 11:10 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Precision StrummingLesson 22

Precision Strumming

Mark returns to the land of chords. This time around, he provides an exercise that contains four variations on the A chord.

Length: 14:28 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
D to D in Six StepsLesson 23

D to D in Six Steps

Mark provides a chord progression that shifts from one D chord to another in six steps.

Length: 15:20 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Chord Voicings and ConstructionLesson 24

Chord Voicings and Construction

Mark delves deeper into chord construction and alternate chord voicings.

Length: 13:36 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Quantitative and Qualitative ChangesLesson 25

Quantitative and Qualitative Changes

Mark tests your guitar knowledge with a pop quiz. Then, he discusses quantitative and qualitative changes.

Length: 22:54 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Quantitative and Qualitative ReviewLesson 26

Quantitative and Qualitative Review

In the 26th installment of his basic guitar series, Mark reviews the quantitative and qualitative changes he presented in lesson 25.

Length: 17:34 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Rhythm and GuitarLesson 27

Rhythm and Guitar

Mark provides exercises designed to make you a better rhythm player.

Length: 0:00 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Expanded Rhythm ExerciseLesson 28

Expanded Rhythm Exercise

Mark Lincoln expands on the rhythm exercise from lesson 27. This time around he incorporates several C based chords.

Length: 14:31 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Hand StructureLesson 29

Hand Structure

Mark discusses proper playing technique. He provides a few exercises that facilitate right hand mechanics.

Length: 17:02 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Cadd9 and Dsus2Lesson 30

Cadd9 and Dsus2

Mark provides an exercise that features two new chords - Cadd9 and Dsus2.

Length: 0:00 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Finger Glue and Flexibility Lesson 31

Finger Glue and Flexibility

In the 31st lesson, Mark discusses his "finger glue" technique. This technique improves speed and accuracy.

Length: 21:31 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Reviewing Chord ChangesLesson 32

Reviewing Chord Changes

Mark takes a step back in lesson 32 to explain how to make quick and accurate chord changes.

Length: 22:14 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
SlidingLesson 33

Sliding

Mark explains how to use the slide technique between chords.

Length: 19:24 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Keeping Time While PlayingLesson 34

Keeping Time While Playing

Mark reviews qualitative and quantitative changes. He explains how to keep time while performing these changes.

Length: 21:17 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
A Minor ProgressionLesson 35

A Minor Progression

Mark discusses qualitative and quantitative changes within an A minor progression.

Length: 19:56 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Chord TransistionsLesson 36

Chord Transistions

Mark Lincoln discusses several techniques that can be used when transitioning between chords.

Length: 21:43 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Chord Transistions RevisitedLesson 37

Chord Transistions Revisited

In this lesson, Mark once again covers the subject of chord transitions. This time around, he focuses on barre chords and includes several helpful exercises.

Length: 23:25 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Playing Individual NotesLesson 38

Playing Individual Notes

In lesson 38, Mark discusses how playing single notes rather than chords can spice up your playing.

Length: 22:56 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Rocking OutLesson 39

Rocking Out

Lesson 39 is all about rocking out. Mark discusses some tips to take your playing to the next level.

Length: 18:08 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Slash ChordsLesson 40

Slash Chords

Lesson 40 takes a deeper look at slash chords. Mark discusses why they're called slash chords, and how they are formed.

Length: 14:42 Difficulty: 2.0 FREE
Strumming from the WristLesson 41

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In lesson 41, Mark reviews the warm-up section and provides new tips on playing adequately from the wrist.

Length: 22:09 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Raising the BarreLesson 42

Raising the Barre

Mark builds further on barre chord techniques and liquid chords.

Length: 17:24 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Building on Your Chord KnowledgeLesson 43

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In lesson 43, Mark discusses additional skills related to learning and playing chords, specifically "liquification" of chords.

Length: 20:42 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Experiment With PlayingLesson 44

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Length: 17:20 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
DiversifyingLesson 45

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In this lesson, Mark once again talks about changing up chord derivatives to create a more unique sound.

Length: 20:56 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Shaping the HandsLesson 46

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In lesson 46, Mark explains how to maximize your options by maintaining chord shapes while playing.

Length: 21:44 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Precision StrummingLesson 47

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Today, Mark takes in depth look at strumming.

Length: 23:57 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Shine Like the SunLesson 48

Shine Like the Sun

Mark Lincoln teaches an original song entitled "Shine Like the Sun."

Length: 18:59 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Changing Chords : Accuracy and SpeedLesson 49

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Mark teaches some useful information on how to mix postures, "finger glue," and techniques to make your chord changes speedy and more effective.

Length: 30:56 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Play Along with Mulitple Chord Voicings Lesson 50

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In this lesson, Mark guides you through the world of alternate chord voicings. He teaches several shapes and shows how they can be used to enhance your playing.

Length: 23:06 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Understanding Liquified ChordsLesson 51

Understanding Liquified Chords

Mark brings us a very appealing aspect to better understand the guitar. With his explanation of "liquified" chords, mark will explain how to move up and down the guitar to create different chord voicing.

Length: 25:32 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Mark Lincoln

About Mark Lincoln View Full Biography Mark Lincoln was born in S. California but was raised near Portland Oregon in a town called Beaverton. When he was twelve years old, he began his journey into the realm of the creative by composing poetry and was later published in a journal called "In Dappled Sunlight." He wrote for four years until his older sister blessed him with his first guitar, an old beat-up nylon stringed classical guitar. Mark played that guitar for five years, continuing to compose his own lyrics and starting the process of matching his own words with chords that he was learning on the guitar. He learned to play chords from his friends and from music books that he both bought and borrowed. Mark cited his four biggest influences, at that point at least, as The Who, Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, The Rolling Stones.

Mark cites his most current influences as Radiohead, U2, older music by REM, and Peter Gabriel amongst others. He performs with two acoustic guitars, one being a six-string M-36 Martin with a three-pieced back for increased bass response, and a Guild Twelve-string which is his most recent acquisition. Mark is fond of saying that the twelve-string guitar is better because you get two guitars for the price of one, but he still plays his Martin equally as much and with the same passion.

Mark ended up in Fort Collins Colorado where he currently lives, works as a Marriage and Family Therapist, and continues to write, teach and perform music. He currently performs with a group called "Black Nelson" as well as with a number of other seasoned professional musicians including his cousin David, a virtuoso lead-guitar player. Mark has performed in many of the smaller venues in Denver and Boulder, as well as some of the larger ones including the Fox Theatre, The Boulder Theatre, Herman's Hideaway, and also at The Soiled Dove where he opened for Jefferson Starship as a soloist. Some of Mark's originals are also available for your listening pleasure on MySpace.

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