I may be chased down, hunted, and burned at the stake by some guitar tutors stuck in their ways for saying this but sometimes… Chords are overrated.
…Especially if you play melodic music such as fingerpicking.
Yes, we all need a few chords in our locker but my word, I get annoyed by teachers who just push chords on a student like Tuco from Breaking Bad pushing the drugs of Walter White (we can call them “chord pushers”) or those mad books with 1000s of chords in them.
The thing is, you really don’t need a massive number of chords to be able to play beautiful music.
Some people think, “well chords are not all that much hard work”, but for beginners they can be.
First, you need to learn the shape, play it with absolute clarity and precision, and learn how to change chords smoothly…
If you fail with any of these, this new chord shape can become a bit of a hindrance rather than an asset.
Therefore, you should be selective about learning new chords and ask, “do I really need it?”
Anyway, I love chords and I love what we can do with them but apart from not learning too many shapes, there is something else very interesting…
This excites me quite a bit.
It’s partial chords.
These are the chord shapes that usually only require two fingers but will help you to create some stunning and lush sounding music on the guitar.
There are a huge variety of partial chords you can play which can really open your playing up to new possibilities.
One of the cool things about them is that they are not too tricky to play (they use just two fingers after all), they are easier to change to and from than “normal” chords, and the harmonic and melodic possibilities are endless.
Take a listen to the piece below to hear just one example in action.
The example on the above page is one of the new lessons for the Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy for the month of April.
During April we are going deep on fingerpicking, so if you’re a fingerpicker, you’ll love what’s coming your way.
Take a listen and let it inspire you and help you realise that chords are not the be-all and end-all – it’s the lovely things you do with them that truly count.
Hope you have a fun day…
P.S. By the way, if you join the Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy before the deadline tomorrow night, you will not only get my Guitarists Get Theory book posted to you for free, but you will also get my Fearless Fingerstyle book delivered to you too.
It’s a fingerpicking book that will help you discover a variety of partial chord shapes so you can run up and down the fretboard with more ease than ever before while playing beautiful music.
Some of these partial chord shapes include the rock-inspired “double stop” technique, the classical-inspired “duad” partial chord, the two-finger piece you can hear at the above link, as well as folk-inspired hammer-on, mini bass runs, and more…
P.P.S. This post was originally taken from Dan Thorpe’s private email list. To get blog posts like this sent to you which are full of great tips to make fingerpicking, strumming, and learning guitar more enjoyable (especially if you are over 40) join Dan’s list. It’s 100% free, HERE.