About Module 1: A & D Chords + Play Your First Song!

Learn how to play the A and D chords and my trademark trick for fast chord changes! Plus, play your first song on the guitar! All lessons here.

:rotating_light: Don’t post specific questions here but in the topics below. They correspond with each lesson in this module!

how do guitar chords get their name


Hello all, first of all, a million thanks to Justin for doing this! It is an incredible system. I am not a musician, but I am a teacher. Speaking of this, there is a decision at about this module that people need to make. One can opt to proceed faster in order to avoid boredom but I would suggest slowing down actually and spending time to get those cord changes within the context of a song right. Seven weeks after starting (practicing 20-40 minutes daily, sometimes more, only skipped 4 days total over those 7 weeks), I am working that via Dire Straits’ Walk of Life with many cord changes between A, D, and E. I can barely ever get the whole thing clean (meaning perfect changes and each note being clean). What I am able to do is to stay on rhythm and go through the song without show-stopping errors on 1/2-1/3 of occasions (meaning no butchered cord change). Normally there are 2-3 minor errors such as a muted string or the like in every attempt. So this clearly takes time to get right but I suppose that pain early is a good thing later :slight_smile:


Hello Barbara. This is my first time commenting. I played guitar for many years growing up, but I abandoned it in the past several years and am here to return to playing by reviewing all the fundamentals systematically. My understanding of why guitar chords are named the way they are is this: there are 7 main notes in music, which can each be called in two different ways depending on the country you are in or the “music language” that your music school uses. The notes can be called either: Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Si, or they can be called: C, D, E, F, G, A, B. Guitar chords are referred to by the names of their “corresponding notes” in this second way of naming notes (although they can also be named based on the first way of naming notes). Basically each guitar chord corresponds to a musical note, and gets its name from it. I don’t know the deeper musical theory reasons why there are precisely 7 main notes or exactly how each note is related to each corresponding chord. I hope that makes sense, and anyone please correct me if I’m wrong or provide further explanation if you can. If anyone read this thank you for your patience with my long winded comment, and have a nice day :smile:

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Completely new guitar student here, and finding these chords remarkably difficult to play cleanly. As I experiment with finger and hand placement I came up with a few questions.

  1. Wrt wrist bend, presumably this should be minimized for comfort/health reasons. How would you describe the acceptable range of wrist bend?
  2. Wrt thumb/finger alignment, as your fingers move up and down the frets for various chords (say string 1-3 vs 4-6, or even minimally between the D and A chords) does the thumb remain “anchored” on the neck or does it “float” to stay in relative alignment with the fingers? Or is there some other dynamic at play?
  3. Is there a preferred forearm angle (wrt the floor, or maybe the neck)?