The Single Best Chord Tip I've Ever Used

I want to give you the single best tip I know of for getting better with playing chord shapes on the guitar. Especially for developing the ability to perfect the fretting hand application of the fingerings and then being able to move your chord fingering shape anywhere on the guitar fingerboard... 

Moving chords around the neck effortlessly is the main element that becomes the biggest issue for most guitar players. 

Most practicing guitarists can certainly understand how to create a fingering. But, it's moving that fingering to other locations around the guitar, and also switching from one chord fingering over to another effortlessly, that can cause a lot of frustration for the practicing player...


The key to getting better at playing chords all over the neck has a lot to do with training your hands to make solid chord changes, (without you having to focus on the precise details of everything that's happening with your hand on the guitar neck).

When a player starts placing too much conscious effort on what the hand has to do when switching from one chord over to another - that's when things can go wrong.

A while ago, I gave you guys a system to develop your basic fingering in a YouTube video I titled, "Master Any Chord on the Guitar (the On /Off Switch)." That lesson will help you get the fingering down for a chord pattern, but the next step is moving that chord pattern all over and all across the entire guitar neck.

A lot of guitar teachers out there will just tell you that all you need to do is to learn a song, and study switching one chord - over to other chords in the song that you're practicing. And, yeah sure... doing that over time will help you get better at the use of the chord within that song. But, that practice, won't do very much for getting the chord you want to perfect up to a really high level all over the guitars fingerboard.

You need more than what a song can offer you. The next stage of chord study pushes you further to get your chord patterns up to a level where you can perform them anyplace on the guitar neck.

Learning a chord within a song tends to work the chord only from within one key signature and only within generally one position on the fingerboard. If you're doing serious chord practice, your goal needs to be mastering that chord shape all along and across the guitar neck in every possible fret-board location.

Take a chord pattern and learn to fret it out in the middle of the neck. Our example chord shape (of the fingering pattern we're going to use for this lesson) looks like this...


Start by having your hand at ease, and make the shape (shown above) slowly and perfectly in the middle of the fingerboard. Remember to use the tips of each of the fingers. Keep your hand, wrist and arm relaxed and support the pressure of the fingertips with the pad of the thumb in around the middle of the back of the neck.

Test each fretted note by picking or plucking your way across the chord. And, if you have notes that seem to be flubbed out, re-balance your fingers, your hand, your wrist, and your arm until the chord becomes as clear sounding as you can possibly get it.

Next, practice moving the chord shape all around the guitar fingerboard. And, when I say all around I really do mean, all around. Once the chord is able to be well fretted, (no matter where you place it), the next step is to turn on a metronome.

Use the steady beat of time to start your practice of playing the chord shape in time moving fret by fret along and across the fingerboard. Play the chord everywhere.

This chord is a fairly popular pattern. Especially off of the 5th and 4th strings. When this shape is performed off of the 5th string, it is a voicing for a "Major 7," and if it was moved to be played off of the 4th string, it becomes a "Dominant 7th." And, when played off of the 6th string, the shape becomes a "Maj.7 sus4" chord.

Practice performing these chord patterns everywhere along and across the neck. Then, use this system with every new chord that you need to perfect on the guitar.

Developing this type of chord drill will help you truly nail down chord patterns on the neck. But, as you've noticed, the chord pattern needs to be engaged all along and across the neck as one fluid moving shape. And, it needs to be developed off of every string set that would be possible.

Not all chords will be able to be practiced off of the; 6th, 5th and 4th strings. Some chords, will be limited to only the 6th and 5th. Yet some of the smaller 3-note chords can be engaged off of even more string groups.

So, put this study to work, be sure to turn on your metronome and always strive for the highest chord clarity as possible. The results of this study are absolutely going to make a difference for you when it comes to perfecting your chord patterns on the fingerboard.

Well, hey, thanks for joining me, If you'd like to Find Out What You Should Learn Next on Guitar - take a look at the courses over on my website at

My step-by-step; Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced courses will cover what you need to know, along with how to be able to move forward with your playing and with practice you can eventually become the best guitar player that you can be.

I've worked on these courses since 1992 and I feel that all together they're the best guitar program you'll ever find. The courses will help you learn to identify what's required to get you up to the next level of guitar playing, in a very organized way, that makes sense.

So, I look forward to helping you further at ...Until next time - take care, practice long, and we'll catch up again on the next video. Bye for now!



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