Changing chords: Using anchor and sliding fingers 2

When you are playing rhythm guitar your chord changes need to be smooth, accurate and quick! There are many ways of achieving this but a good place to start is looking at where your fingers are in relation to where they need to be for the next chord. There will be times when one or more of your fingers can stay in the same place or can slide up or down the string they are on.

Lets start be having a look at common chord changes where you can actually leave a finger down (called anchor fingers) when changing between the chords. I have highlighted the finger that can be left in place in red.


Anchor fingers

Practice each of these changes separately. Remember to keep the finger highlighted in red anchored to the fretboard and use it as a reference point for getting the other fingers in place. This will make it easier to find the chords without looking. Don’t worry about speed at this point. The aim with these exercises is accuracy.

Now lets have a look at some common chord changes where a finger stays on the same string but just moves up or down a fret. You can keep the finger in blue on the string and just slide it along in the direction required. This will also give you a reference point on the guitar for changing your chords without looking and make your changes much smoother.

Slide fingers

Remember to practice each of these changes slowly, concentrating on the finger that stays on the string. You can keep your finger in contact with the string and just slide it in the direction needed for the next chord.

Every time you are playing chords, look closely at the fingers you are using and check if any fingers can either be left in place or can just slide along a string. Eventually it will become second nature and your chord changing will become much more smooth and accurate!

There is a pdf version of the chord diagrams above available for download so you can practice these changes away from your computer.



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