How To Learn A New Chord In 5 Minutes Flat!
Posted: November 28th, 2013 by Ashley Saunders
I’m going to attempt to show you how to learn a new chord in 5 minutes flat! Whether this works for you will be down to your determination, persistence and focus.
In order to maximise the time, you will need to do some preparation. Let’s start!
Firstly, we need to find a new chord. This could be from a song you’re currently learning, it could however be from a chord book or some other educational music books or it could be a chord someone has shown you recently.
Once you have your chord, we still have a little work to do. If it was me, I’d add this new chord to my chord dictionary.
How To Start A Chord Dictionary:
#1: Print at least 12 of Chord Box Sheets [1 per note: C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B]
#2: Write a Note letter on the top of each page
#3: Write out all the chords you know per each Note
#4: Store All sheets in Chromatic Order in a Folder!
#5: Keep adding new chords as often as possible
Second step to prepare properly is to find a quiet spot which will remain free for your five minutes. Before you start your time, check your email, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and whatever else you check every few minutes! Get that out the way! Check your phone as well! Try and do everything that will distract you, in order to get it out of your system. Good?!
Finally, you need to find an egg timer, clock or watch which you can set a count-down (or count-up), so you will be notified when the time is up. If this device can bleep, holla, make a sound when each minute has past, then you’ll need to set it up to do so (I’ll be giving you 5 one minute exercises!).
So that’s the prep done. On the good stuff!
Learning The New Chord!
Now for the real fun! Here’s a blow by blow, minute by minute plan of what to do.
Minute 1: Try It
For the first minute just try the chord, have a go with some different fingering, if possible. Don’t worry about it feeling comfortable, just try every way possible. You might think that there is only one way in which to play it, but have a think about other possible fingerings – but don’t take too long – you’ve only got a minute!
Minute 2: Sound
So you’ve tried a whole bunch of different fingerings. Try to settle on the one which feels comfortable, easy to move to and from and uses the least amount of fingers.
Now is the time to work on getting every note crystal clear and sounding perfect.
Minute 3: Feel
Work on your feel. Keep playing the chord; throw around a few different rhythm and styles. For example, try a simple Bossa Nova grove over it. Try off beats! How about 8th notes? You’ve got a million and one options here!
You’re trying to get to the point where it feels like you’ve played it a millions times and have been playing it for years! All in the space of five minutes!
Minute 4: One Touch
If you’ve read my blog a lot, you will have seen this come up a few times. I personally feel this is one of the most effective and efficient ways to learn new chords.
For those who haven’t. One touch is where you try to get the chord right the first time you hit the strings. That means no looking, no slight re-arranging of fingers in one touch. This step will test you; it will also make sure that you have done the first three steps properly.
If you get to this point and can’t get to the chord within a try or two, then you probably lost your focus during in the first three steps and wasted that time. Maybe time to restart?!
Minute 5: Pattern
Pick a chord which you know nearby, any one! Now try a simple rhythm pattern over the two chords. Start with your old favourite for a bar and then follow it with another bar of the new chord.
The Final Whistle!
When you get to the final (or only) beep, you can delight yourself in the fact that you’ve just learnt a new guitar chord. And if you followed my steps above, you’ve done a great job at doing the hard work.
Sadly, it’s not all over there, you’ll need to rinse and repeat a few times over the next week or so for it to really stick and become part of your playing. After that it should be well embedded into your playing and you’ll be use the new chord lots!