Maintain Chord Shapes In The Air

Posted by Matt on 4th April 2018


  To improve chord changes, several lessons recommend forming the chord shape before pressing down, or for practice, lifting the formed chord off the strings, holding, and then pressing back down.  This has been a big help to me.  

  On some chords though (like Dm), as I lift my fingers away from the strings and lose the leverage of pressing down on the strings, my chord shape changes.  I can't maintain the full extent of the stretch without my fingers pressing against the strings.  Are there any tips for exercises for improving this?

 For many chords (including barre chords), I'm able to form and hold the exact shape.  For these chords, the speed and accuracy of my chord change have improved.  For the chords where I struggle to maintain the shape in the air, my chord changes aren't as clean.  Using the Dm chord as an example, I notice that I put my 3rd finger down slightly before my 1st and 2nd fingers because doing so gives me leverage for the stretch.  I'm not for sure what to practice to improve this.

  Thanks for any advice.


By Matt

By Andy on 5th April 2018 at 09:30

You've done the right thing with the lifting of the shape, but that will only take you so far.

'Spider exercises' are great for this

As is learning the major scale, which improves technique and theory/ note knowledge at the same time!

By Matt on 5th April 2018 at 17:17

Thanks Andy.  I have been doing those finger exercises every day.  I will continue on and hope for further improvement.  Thanks for all of your lessons and this specific advice.


By Michael on 3rd July 2019 at 11:09

When I took in the best possible technique, it took no time at all to learn. You have to apply more pressure with your thumb and finger. Next, you have to apply pressure to the body of your guitar with your strumming arm. This makes a switch and applies more weight to the Barre chord. help with assignment | AssignmentLand

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