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Why Changing Chords Can Be So Hard

Warren Hunt (5730) · [archive]
Style: Theory/Reference · Level: Beginner · Tempo: 120
Pages: 1

A student of mine who has been with me for about 6 weeks is having a lot of problems changing chords, despite an hour of practice a day (or so he promises me).

That got me thinking of a way to encourage him and provide him with a logical answer at the same time.

Here's what I told him and a few other students who were having similar problems.

"We all know the human brain is the best super computer ever made right. You teach someone a couple of chords and the brain learns it just about then and there and can remember them weeks later. Muscles on the other hand are dumb and learn by practice and the more you do a task the more they remember it. It's called "muscle memory". Muscles can not remember a one off chord change a week later like the brain".

It all comes down to motor skills in the end. We all took time to walk, talk and ride a bike etc, so why would playing an instrument be any different. Do not be discouraged. Keep practicing, make sure its quality practice and make sure you enjoy what your doing. If you loose the joy of playing stop and have a rest and go back when you feel like it.

Remember even Eric Clapton, Keith Richards and Jimi Hendrix all started where you have. Eric Clapton almost gave up the guitar to be a stained glass maker due to frustration in the beginning.