Saturday, 2 March 2013

Confession #7 - Use Pivot Chords!

While you are developing your muscle memory, chord changes can be frustrating.  One trick for making some of them easier, is to look for common notes in the chords.  If there are any, it may be possible to play the first chord, keep one finger in place and switch to the next chord.  Having that one finger holding still gives you a reference point around which to finger the next chord.

In Confession #5 Use a Metronome!, I introduced the following I-vi-IV-V7 chord progression in the
key of G:


Now let’s look at the fretboard diagrams for each pair of chords:

When switching from G to Em, you can leave finger 1 on the 2nd fret of the fifth string.

When switching from Em to C, you can leave finger 2 on the 2nd fret of the fourth string.

When switching from C to D7, you can leave finger 1 on the 1st fret of the second string.

This concept is known as pivot chords (i.e. one finger can pivot around a common note when switching between chords).  Look for pivot opportunities when you are learning a new progression.

Next Week's Confession - Learn the Major Scale!

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