E Chord Anchors & Tricks

Let's learn how to move faster between the A, D, and E chords! :)

View the full lesson at E Chord Anchors & Tricks | JustinGuitar

it’s tricky at first but once you get the flow to sliding you can start to build that muscle memory. Looking forward to getting to those chord changes and seeing just how many I can end up doing


Hello @tobal18 welcome to the Community.
Glad that it is helping and I’m sure the changes will some on fine.
Cheers :smiley:
| Richard_close2u | JustinGuitar Official Guide & Moderator

what is the order for the change of chords? Is it D TO A AND A TO E?

Hello and welcome.

Nothing is set in stone, you can use any order you like. You just need to get used to using that anchor finger which can be a life changer when it comes to chord changes. Also don’t forget E to D.

Good luck on your journey

Hello @Shreyaa_kashyap and welcome to the Community.

It matters little.
2 + 3 = 5
3 + 2 = 5

Hope that helps.
Cheers :smiley:
| Richard_close2u | JustinGuitar Official Guide

Just curious, only on module 5 and I completely understand why Justin teaches the anchor finger to beginners but I was wondering as you progress through the journey does there come a point where you should start to make air changes for all fingers or is it a case that remains a useful technique for quick changes.


It’s still with me. I think it just becomes part of your playing without you having to think about it eventually.

The anchored fingers will help your fingers find their way around the fret board.

Sure there are changes that require all change, but the anchors help with the positioning and navigation.

Justin’s course is planned out well that way, new skills are introduced slowly and build upon previous lessons….

I started using the anchor technique taught by Justin and it served me very well. Now with the A - D - E change I only use the anchor technique rarely. I started playing the A as a mini barre chord with my index finger about a year ago (after using the anchor technique for many years).

There’s one song in particular where the anchor technique still works well for me, in almost all other songs I play the A different now.

Your experience may vary. I encourage you to use the anchor technique at the start, it really really helped me

I still use them after all these years and I’m not ashamed of it :smiley:

A few days ago I decided to do the lesson on Space Oddity (it will keep me busy for a long time), and using anchor fingers is very handy in the Am - Am/G - D7/F# sequence.

I use an anchor finger when changing between Am and C and between C and F, too, and between root 5 minor, major 7 and minor 7 barre chords as well. If that makes me somehow less “pro” or anything, so be it.

I use the anchor but I’ve started reducing pressure on my anchor finger. It became really hard to play the A chord and get the 3rd string to ring out with the groove that developed in my finger. I now try to lift my anchor finger and slide it along the string with very little pressure. I’ve also intuitively learned to role the tip of my anchor finger just a bit to fret the string with a “fresh” part of my finger.

Thanks to all for your input

Some further thoughts from me

@liaty I agree you need something as a beginner to work out where your fingers are. When you play along with the App and you are watching for the chord changes you can not also be looking where your fretting fingers are, so you do need some help. I know that this is ahead of me, only on Module 5 but trying to make some changes in the air so all the fingers come down at the same time, strangely this is nearly there for G Chord, yes I know it is in Module 6 but needed it for some of my five songs and it comes to me naturally, my fingers seem to know where to go from the last time I tried to place the guitar more than 50 years ago, a bit of muscle memory I think.

@tony There are some songs where they make thing easy using anchor fingers, Mavericks Dance the night away, being one which is just alternation A and D chords, wonderful for a beginner.
I am aware that there is different fingering for some chords, but I think that is too far down the line for me at my present stage

@Jozsef As you point out there are other chords where the anchor figure can come into play.

@danmcmartin I know what you mean, just started to develop groves in my fingers as well but they now hurt less.

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How long does it generally take to get good at chord changes? I’ve been practicing chord changes for a few weeks now and I’m still really slow and very inaccurate when I am playing songs. I can do 30 chord changes a minute but they are usually bad chord changes, especially while playing songs. How long does it generally take to get good on chord changes?

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That varies tremendously from person to person.

In my case, I spent months and years working on it, and never got to the point where I could actually play songs…even with individual lessons.

In retrospect, I was playing with way too much muscle tension, and a poor sense of rhythm. Took lessons from several teachers, but none of them seemed able to help.

Until JustinGuitar, that is. By diligently following Justin’s practice routines, and doing the Perfect Chords and One Minute Changes exercises almost daily, I was able to get up to 60 changes a minute in 3 - 4 weeks on the D, A, and E chords, IIRC.

Are you following Justin’s practice plan diligently? Practicing almost every day for 20 minutes?


There’s not a really simple answer there I’m afraid Danny, it’s different for everyone and will certainly depend on how much you’re practicing.

A daily routine / session of 20 to 30 minutes as laid out by Justin really will yield benefits. Above all though do stick with it and continue to play songs (along with the one minute changes exercises!) and it will come. Oh yeah, and always have fun!

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