Once you learn to get all your strings ringing with the barre chords, the next step is being able to change to them smoothly (or as smooth as possible for a while, which will get better over time).

Learning to change to barre chords takes time

Learning to change to barre chords takes time

The trick here is to have your left hand always be able to form the exact barre shape in an instant. This means having your middle, ring, and pinky align correctly beside your first finger without even thinking about it. This "automatic alignment" is called muscle memory. There really aren't any shortcuts to it, the shape basically has to get programmed into your hand, so you can instinctively form the shape whenever you need to...

There are of course, better ways to practice it, to speed things up. I've found that the following works well with most people. Read more

Learning to play the guitar involves learning to play chords on the guitar. How many chords should you learn? As much as you need to achieve your goals. Usually, the more you play, the more you'll want to learn. I usually recommend you start out with the beginner guitar chords, and work your way up from there.

Learn those chords!

Learn those chords!

Once you start playing songs, you'll need to learn a whole bunch of chords anyways, it's all part of the learning process. This is why we created our free guitar chords library, containing the chord chart and fingering to over 1,000 chords. Now will you need to memorize all of those chords? No way! But the chord library provides a great reference for you, when you don't know the fingering to a chord, looking for the intervals of a chord, or the you need to play to arpeggiate it.

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Walking up or down into a chord is a really nice way of making a transition from one chord to another. The technique is also called a walking bass line.

It is used in country, bluegrass and jazz very often, but you can use it in other genres as well. At the most basic level, you can use it to add a bit of extra something to your chord progression and to liven your strumming patterns.

When we walk into a chord, we'll always be playing a baseline, so we'll be plucking the lower strings of the guitar. This can, of course, mean the low E string, the A string, or even the D string at times, depending on which chords we're working with.

Let's have a simple example to demonstrate walking between chords on the guitar. Here are the tabs and the audio clip of a simple chord progression with a walking bassline. Note that this is a I-vi-IV-V chord progression in the key of G in 4/4 time:

Walking into chords

Walking into chords

As I mentioned, we basically plucked a few notes of the key we're in, to lead into the next chord. But which notes do we need to pluck and why? Let's have a look at the details:

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