One of the big problems with the way the guitar is taught is this…
Most guitar teachers put too much emphasis on chords with their beginner students.
“Chords, chords, chords,” is often the order of the day!
Of course, chords are an integral part of guitar playing…
…But if you’re a new guitarist or you’re struggling, there are other things you should be doing, as well as learning chords.
One of these things includes learning simple riffs and melodies.
As you learn these riffs and melodies, you can work on a couple of chords and working on both at the same time is a good idea.
…But one of the other problems many guitar teachers have is that they only teach beginner students to play the big, full, tricky versions of chords.
For instance, if you struggle with chords such as C, G, D, and the dreaded six-string version of F, there is something else you should try…
That is, simplifying the chords.
Yes, you can turn those big awkward shapes into simpler-to-play four-string versions.
In fact, I’ve done this a lot with students over the years and the idea was inspired by when I taught the ukulele.
The ukulele has only four strings.
Therefore, most chord shapes are simpler to play on the ukulele than on the guitar.
One thing I’ve found is that those who start on the ukulele and then learn guitar don’t have as many issues with chords as those who start only by learning the guitar.
That’s because those four-string ukulele chords are a good “gateway” to being able to play the bigger, fuller chords on the guitar.
As a guitarist, you can be inspired by the ukulele and perfect the four-string versions of any chord on guitar.
…And then build up to the richer-sounding six-string versions of the chords at a later date.
It’s something worth thinking about if you struggle with chords.
Here’s something else quite exciting too…
When you play the four-string versions of chords, it frees you up to do more fun stuff.
That’s because when you strip back a chord into a four-string version, you might lose some of the richness of the chord (due to fewer bass strings being played)…
…but you free up more fingers.
This means you have more options to play and jam exciting embellishments which will add a new string to your guitar-playing bow and build your confidence.
All this can help you make more progress at a faster rate on the guitar.
Speaking of which, in a new Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy lesson, which I’ll be releasing on January 1st, I cover this in detail.
It’s quite an exciting lesson for beginners and intermediates alike.
Anyway, to find out more about the Dan Thorpe Acoustic Academy, head to the link below:
Have a great practice day.
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.