For a start, it depends – does the song take you down a lot of new ground or just cover one area of your playing? This is entirely dependent on your ear. What I’ve learned from my players is that they will always try to learn as many chords as possible – some learn 4 chords, others 3 chords, many will learn 6, and so on, so I suggest taking it in turns.
Once you’ve got a good idea of what you’re trying to learn, go through it step by step with the same key as the song. Try to do this a total of 40 times. The result is a chart containing a summary of the chords and their notes. The chart can be used as a reference and also as a guide in your progression/practice routine (the notes on the chart aren’t an exact transcription/interpretation of each chord’s notes, just the key signatures of the songs and its key signature). A very good song will have around 400 chords, and you will have to work out how to keep learning new chords without wasting time. By the time you reach the end, you should be happy with each chord.
There are a few general guideline for learning guitar chords –
1. Be ready for all possible fretboard changes
2. Practice by looking at the chart, moving from one chord to the next on the fretboard by using the fingers you want to play those songs with.
3. Remember, you only learn chords when you play them in a song.
4. Work out a routine where you don’t play any notes on a regular basis.
5. Use one piece of music a week and try to play the new guitar chord, playing 5 or 6 measures out of the song to get a good feel for it.
6. Be patient, it’ll get easier. You’ll have more time to practice.
Learning these chords will take time. It can get boring – remember that it will be in the song that you play these chords. If you start to feel impatient, then work on the chart and try to make it more fun – play less notes, change intervals when you find them, etc. Don’t be afraid to play these too fast – learning an instrument can be a challenge, but if you learn something slowly then you’re more likely to enjoy it.
All songs are different, and the process takes time for each one. Once you’ve finished it, be patient and keep
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