Fast Track to Chords: See It, Play It
Visualization helps to master chords—even when you are not playing.
By Nick Stoubis
It all starts in your mind. Visualization can be a very powerful tool in learning how to play the guitar. In three simple steps, you’ll be grabbing chords faster than you could have imagined.
Imagine the chord and answer the following:
- How many strings are strummed?
- How many notes are fretted?
- Where is each note fretted?
- Which finger is used to fret each note?
Play mind guitar: Practice without touching your guitar. Play all the chords you know mentally. Build them, finger by finger, then strum in your mind. Do it the way you would on the guitar, except imagine playing them perfectly every time.
Mentally switch between chords: Chord transitions need to be smooth in order to play songs. Think about two chords that you struggle moving between.
- Imagine build each chord and slowly transitioning from one to the next. Then, speed up the change and repeat that thought.
- Think about similar chords and what makes them similar. Is it the proximity of the strings or the shape of the chord itself?
- Focus on the finger(s) that remain pressed down on a string and just act as a pivot point for the rest of your fingers as they jump to a new chord.
Get into the habit of thinking before placing your fingers on the fretboard and you’ll be finding and switching between chords faster than you could imagine.