Builing chords - finger at a time vs drop all

Guitar Tricks Forum > Introduction Forum > Builing chords - finger at a time vs drop all

rsienrukos

Registered User

Joined: 01/26/22

Posts: 2

Hi, Beginner here. I'm up to the "Metronome Song" in the beginner lessons with Anders. C chord is the toughest. I can get there, but I place 1 finger at a time and this method takes just too long to keep up. Will the "1 finger at a time" motion just go away as I practice each day? Or must I just rip the bandaid off and start taking a shot a dropping all fingers at once? Em is easy and I can drop right on and it feels great. Can't wait until I can do this with D, Am and C.

#1

Hi, Beginner here. I'm up to the "Metronome Song" in the beginner lessons with Anders. C chord is the toughest. I can get there, but I place 1 finger at a time and this method takes just too long to keep up. Will the "1 finger at a time" motion just go away as I practice each day? Or must I just rip the bandaid off and start taking a shot a dropping all fingers at once? Em is easy and I can drop right on and it feels great. Can't wait until I can do this with D, Am and C.

aliasmaximus

Hippie at Heart

Joined: 02/22/22

Posts: 249

Hi, my name is Nicolai. I'm obviously not Anders, but as a physician I think that I can offer you some useful info. First of all, that's an interesting question that's worth discussing. Try to think about this problem from a psychological and neurological perspective. Each time you perform a new motor task that your brain is not familiar with, it starts rerouting signals and reassigning neurons in order to learn the task; learn it so well that you can eventually perform it without having to consciously think about it. This is a process that is commonly, and unfortunately, referred to as "muscle memory" (muscles don't have the capacity for storage of memories of any kind, but that's another matter).

What do you suppose is the more efficient and effective means of building muscle memory - anchoring one finger correctly on the fretboard and then accurately placing the other fingers into position one by one... or blindly stabbing at the strings with all of your fingers misaligned? Doing the latter doesn't give your brain much useful information with which to memorize the task. In fact, it just confuses your brain.

Just as important are the psychological factors involved in learning. Doing just one portion of a complex motor skill correctly is, consciously or unconsciously, a small win. It's not the grand prize but it's still a win. Stabbing and missing, stabbing and missing is frustrating, demoralizing, and ultimately self-defeating because each of those failed attempts get counted by you (consciously and unconsciously) as a total loss, pure and simple. String enough failures together and you hava a recipie for quitting.

Finally, it wasn't too long ago that I was in your shoes, groping for a C chord. Because it made more sense to me, I chose the "one finger at a time" technique, And I mean literally one finger at a time. I first practiced just dropping the index finger correctly onto the B string first fret, over and over without worrying about the other fingers. Once I could do that consistently and easily I started adding fingers, one at a time. Rinse and repeat. Eventually I was able to do this faster and faster until it just blended together into one reliable and correctly executed movement. But that took time and repetition.... and a whole lot of small wins.

Hope that helps.

Nicolai

"Whatever you are, be a good one" - Abraham Lincoln

#2

Hi, my name is Nicolai. I'm obviously not Anders, but as a physician I think that I can offer you some useful info. First of all, that's an interesting question that's worth discussing. Try to think about this problem from a psychological and neurological perspective. Each time you perform a new motor task that your brain is not familiar with, it starts rerouting signals and reassigning neurons in order to learn the task; learn it so well that you can eventually perform it without having to consciously think about it. This is a process that is commonly, and unfortunately, referred to as "muscle memory" (muscles don't have the capacity for storage of memories of any kind, but that's another matter).

What do you suppose is the more efficient and effective means of building muscle memory - anchoring one finger correctly on the fretboard and then accurately placing the other fingers into position one by one... or blindly stabbing at the strings with all of your fingers misaligned? Doing the latter doesn't give your brain much useful information with which to memorize the task. In fact, it just confuses your brain.

Just as important are the psychological factors involved in learning. Doing just one portion of a complex motor skill correctly is, consciously or unconsciously, a small win. It's not the grand prize but it's still a win. Stabbing and missing, stabbing and missing is frustrating, demoralizing, and ultimately self-defeating because each of those failed attempts get counted by you (consciously and unconsciously) as a total loss, pure and simple. String enough failures together and you hava a recipie for quitting.

Finally, it wasn't too long ago that I was in your shoes, groping for a C chord. Because it made more sense to me, I chose the "one finger at a time" technique, And I mean literally one finger at a time. I first practiced just dropping the index finger correctly onto the B string first fret, over and over without worrying about the other fingers. Once I could do that consistently and easily I started adding fingers, one at a time. Rinse and repeat. Eventually I was able to do this faster and faster until it just blended together into one reliable and correctly executed movement. But that took time and repetition.... and a whole lot of small wins.

Hope that helps.

Nicolai

"Whatever you are, be a good one" - Abraham Lincoln

DraconusJLM

Full Access

Joined: 06/21/21

Posts: 359

Keep at it.

Eventually you'll be able to drop all fingers pretty much at the same time, even on chords like B7 (or Cm7b5 if you decide chords such as that are useful)

I wish this forum had a "block user" feature. Possibly I'm not the only one......

#3

Keep at it.

Eventually you'll be able to drop all fingers pretty much at the same time, even on chords like B7 (or Cm7b5 if you decide chords such as that are useful)

I wish this forum had a "block user" feature. Possibly I'm not the only one......

rsienrukos

Registered User

Joined: 01/26/22

Posts: 2

Hi Nicolai! I loved your response and hoped that would be the response I would see (and its great that its coming from a doctor). I agree - stabbing at the frets will fail. I will continue on this path and time my progress using the metronome. I started with dropping my ring ringer and adding middle then index (so 3 finger drops). I'm now trying to drop the middle finger and dropping index and ring at the same time and that seems to be working. Anyway, I am sticking with it!

Sorry I mispelled the word "building" in this post.

#4

Hi Nicolai! I loved your response and hoped that would be the response I would see (and its great that its coming from a doctor). I agree - stabbing at the frets will fail. I will continue on this path and time my progress using the metronome. I started with dropping my ring ringer and adding middle then index (so 3 finger drops). I'm now trying to drop the middle finger and dropping index and ring at the same time and that seems to be working. Anyway, I am sticking with it!

Sorry I mispelled the word "building" in this post.

mjgodin

Full Access

Joined: 11/23/19

Posts: 365

Originally Posted by: rsienrukos

Hi, Beginner here. I'm up to the "Metronome Song" in the beginner lessons with Anders. C chord is the toughest. I can get there, but I place 1 finger at a time and this method takes just too long to keep up. Will the "1 finger at a time" motion just go away as I practice each day? Or must I just rip the bandaid off and start taking a shot a dropping all fingers at once? Em is easy and I can drop right on and it feels great. Can't wait until I can do this with D, Am and C.

Hello and welcome,

One of the tips I had read and heard from the instructors is to minimize the amount of finger acrobatics as possible. In other words, when chords share the same notes you only have to move one or two fingers at a time anyway. I took a look at that lesson and the good news for you is Am to C does exactly that. Coming from Am keep your index finger on the first fret B string. Your middle finger should be on the 2nd fret of the D string. Your ring finger should be on the 2nd fret G string. Keeping index and middle right where they are just lift up and bring the ring finger to 3rd fret of the A string. There is your base C note of the chord. Practice just moving that finger back and forth until it's burned into muscle memory (sorry Nicolai, I'm in laymans mode here. lol). You don't even have to strum at first. Watch how Anders does it in the video of the lesson. He only moves his middle finger slightly closer to the fret but doesn't pick up the first two fingers. Try to incorporate this strategy into all of your chord transitions, though keep in mind there will be times this method won't apply as you change positions on the fretboard but don't worry about that for now.

And yes practice will make things a lot easier. Just keep it slow and steady for now and you will see the progress later on and don't focus on keeping up with the instructor. There is a way to slow the video playback down, but I usually don't even play with the lesson or backing track until I got something down at least to a resonable level on my own before trying to play along and even then I can never match the speed and tonality of the instructors.

Good Luck with your lessons,

Moe

(Cm7b5 ) geesh Draconus just reading that would make a beginner run and hide

Why don't guitars come with an instruction manual ?

Oh yeah, that's what GuitarTricks is for..

#5

Originally Posted by: rsienrukos

Hi, Beginner here. I'm up to the "Metronome Song" in the beginner lessons with Anders. C chord is the toughest. I can get there, but I place 1 finger at a time and this method takes just too long to keep up. Will the "1 finger at a time" motion just go away as I practice each day? Or must I just rip the bandaid off and start taking a shot a dropping all fingers at once? Em is easy and I can drop right on and it feels great. Can't wait until I can do this with D, Am and C.

Hello and welcome,

One of the tips I had read and heard from the instructors is to minimize the amount of finger acrobatics as possible. In other words, when chords share the same notes you only have to move one or two fingers at a time anyway. I took a look at that lesson and the good news for you is Am to C does exactly that. Coming from Am keep your index finger on the first fret B string. Your middle finger should be on the 2nd fret of the D string. Your ring finger should be on the 2nd fret G string. Keeping index and middle right where they are just lift up and bring the ring finger to 3rd fret of the A string. There is your base C note of the chord. Practice just moving that finger back and forth until it's burned into muscle memory (sorry Nicolai, I'm in laymans mode here. lol). You don't even have to strum at first. Watch how Anders does it in the video of the lesson. He only moves his middle finger slightly closer to the fret but doesn't pick up the first two fingers. Try to incorporate this strategy into all of your chord transitions, though keep in mind there will be times this method won't apply as you change positions on the fretboard but don't worry about that for now.

And yes practice will make things a lot easier. Just keep it slow and steady for now and you will see the progress later on and don't focus on keeping up with the instructor. There is a way to slow the video playback down, but I usually don't even play with the lesson or backing track until I got something down at least to a resonable level on my own before trying to play along and even then I can never match the speed and tonality of the instructors.

Good Luck with your lessons,

Moe

(Cm7b5 ) geesh Draconus just reading that would make a beginner run and hide

Why don't guitars come with an instruction manual ?

Oh yeah, that's what GuitarTricks is for..

aliasmaximus

Hippie at Heart

Joined: 02/22/22

Posts: 249

Originally Posted by: mjgodin

(Cm7b5 ) geesh Draconus just reading that would make a beginner run and hide

I literally had to get out pencil and paper to work out the voicings for that one.... but only after I'd found a good hiding place ;)

"Whatever you are, be a good one" - Abraham Lincoln

#6

Originally Posted by: mjgodin

(Cm7b5 ) geesh Draconus just reading that would make a beginner run and hide

I literally had to get out pencil and paper to work out the voicings for that one.... but only after I'd found a good hiding place ;)

"Whatever you are, be a good one" - Abraham Lincoln

DraconusJLM

Full Access

Joined: 06/21/21

Posts: 359

Originally Posted by: aliasmaximus
Originally Posted by: mjgodin

(Cm7b5 ) geesh Draconus just reading that would make a beginner run and hide

I literally had to get out pencil and paper to work out the voicings for that one.... but only after I'd found a good hiding place ;)

I blame a mate who introduced me to playing swing... Wierd chords, voicings, multiple muted strings, the same shape with four or five different names depending on what key you're playing in (or what seems a close match after the third key change).

And now I'm trying to fathom out why the augmented 4th degree of a scale sounds so seriously discordant... I'm convinced there's a mathematical explanation for it.... Maybe I'll post it as a question to Zen Master S, the resident font of all knowledge

I wish this forum had a "block user" feature. Possibly I'm not the only one......

#7

Originally Posted by: aliasmaximus
Originally Posted by: mjgodin

(Cm7b5 ) geesh Draconus just reading that would make a beginner run and hide

I literally had to get out pencil and paper to work out the voicings for that one.... but only after I'd found a good hiding place ;)

I blame a mate who introduced me to playing swing... Wierd chords, voicings, multiple muted strings, the same shape with four or five different names depending on what key you're playing in (or what seems a close match after the third key change).

And now I'm trying to fathom out why the augmented 4th degree of a scale sounds so seriously discordant... I'm convinced there's a mathematical explanation for it.... Maybe I'll post it as a question to Zen Master S, the resident font of all knowledge

I wish this forum had a "block user" feature. Possibly I'm not the only one......

aliasmaximus

Hippie at Heart

Joined: 02/22/22

Posts: 249

Originally Posted by: DraconusJLM

.... Maybe I'll post it as a question to Zen Master S, the resident font of all knowledge

Great line, Daconus. I hope he sees it!

"Whatever you are, be a good one" - Abraham Lincoln

#8

Originally Posted by: DraconusJLM

.... Maybe I'll post it as a question to Zen Master S, the resident font of all knowledge

Great line, Daconus. I hope he sees it!

"Whatever you are, be a good one" - Abraham Lincoln