I know how infuriating it can be if your guitar chords buzz because pretty much all of your playing will suffer.
Below is a simple five-step plan of what to do if they do buzz.
- Choose one chord you are struggling with.
- Place a capo in a suitable position (where your chords feel like they aren’t too much of stretch – e.g. fret 5).
- Pluck all the strings in the chord, making sure each note is clear and doesn’t buzz.
- Remove your fingers and then fret the chord again.
- Check the notes so you can play each chord five times in a row, perfectly with no buzzing.
If the chord buzzes at all for any of the five attempts, start again from zero.
The reason why I say to remove your fingers after plucking each note in the chord is to “reset” your fingers.
Most guitarists can play the chord okay after a while, but when they go back to the chord, it often just buzzes again.
“Grrrr!!” – I hear you.
This exercise will help you spot what is going wrong in the chord faster, so…
You can fix it quicker and then build up the muscle memory where you find the correct position, the first time.
I tried this exercise with Andy recently.
He is a student of mine who struggled with this longer than he would have liked, and it worked a treat.
Some of you will be past this stage with basic chords, but a surprising number of guitarists still struggle with this.
The good news is, once you can do the above, I guarantee you will be on your way to having the chord nailed.
Yes, it can take time, so be patient and methodical.
It goes without saying by now, you need to get in a good position, (ideally in the “classical with a strap” position), relax the muscles, breathe deeply, and…
Ensure you use good technique so the fingers are on their tips, curled, and close to the frets, etc…
For more help with mastering the basics (and going much further), check out my book Fingerstyle 101 below…
Enjoy your day!
P.S. Always keep working on fixing those chords, keep improving your technique, and stay absolutely determined to succeed on the guitar.
You will get there!
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.