When do you start moving your left hand fingers?


Simon Hudson
Full Access
Joined: 02/13/21
Posts: 2

Hi,

I wonder if you could help me with a question about learning the guitar. Sorry if the terminology is unclear. When do you start moving you fingers to the next chord? For example:

Two bars of 4/4 the first bar is the E chord and the second is Am. The strumming pattern is a simple down on each beat so the count would be:

1 2 3 4 / 1 2 3 4[br]D D D D / D D D D[br]

At what point would you start moving your fingers from the E chord shape to the Am shape?

Once you start moving your fingers in place for the Am chord the following will occur to the strings that are currently ringing out.

The Low E to mute when you place your fingers and thumb in the Am shape.

The B on the A string to stop ringing out as you lift your fingers

The E on the D string to stop ringing out as you lift your fingers (before refretting it with a different fingure if you use the standard fingure placements)

The G# on the G string would also stop ringing out for the same reason.

The open B string would stop ringing out as soon as you fret it with the C in Am (assuming you don’t fret it hard enough to cause a hammer on effect)

The high E string would just remain ringing out throughout the process until you strum the notes on the first beat of the second bar.

So do you start moving them immediately after the downbeat? Or do you look to move your fingers as late as possible, letting the E chord (in this example) ring out for as much of a full count as possible?

Thanks for the help.


# 1
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 7,785
Originally Posted by: Simon Hudson

When do you start moving you fingers to the next chord?[/quote][p]As soon as it is necessary for you to get to the next chord on time.

This can vary with your skill level or the musical context.

If you are a beginner, then it's might be necessary for you to stop strumming on beat 2 or 3 in order to get your fingers in place to play the next different chord on the down beat of the next measure.

If you have the skill & dexterity, then you can play right up until the last 1/8th note of the measure & confidently get your hands to the next chord.

If the music has a fast tempo or complex chord changes then you might need a little more maneuvering time regardless of skill level!

[quote=Simon Hudson]

Once you start moving your fingers in place for the Am chord the following will occur to the strings that are currently ringing out.

[p]Some of that muting can (and should) be done with your picking-strumming hand. Don't lift your frettting hand completely off the strings. They should almost always be in contact with the strings to stop unwanted sound from happening.

Some players get away with open strings ringing (even all the open strings!) if it's a strummy acoustic piece. This happens sometimes with quick chord change transitions. The last 1/8th note is just all open strings that ring while the player changes chord shapes.

Hope that helps!


Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

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# 2
Simon Hudson
Full Access
Joined: 02/13/21
Posts: 2

That's brilliant. Thank you for your help.


# 3
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 7,785
Originally Posted by: Simon Hudson

That's brilliant. Thank you for your help.

You're welcome. Glad it helped.


Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory
# 4