I can finally nearly air change to an F!

Hey everyone…first post here!

I started the beginner course on Dec 29 and am now on the blues module which I would have enjoyed thoroughly had I not been travelling the past few weeks and away from my relatively decent squier strat; making do with an extra cheap temp strat and adjusting to an F310 as well which was lying around here gathering dust.

I may have hit a milestone- After nearly 8 weeks since I started the F chord module and my pinky and ring fingers ALWAYS lagging to form the shape, I have managed to get them to (nearly) air change from pretty much any common chord I have encountered so far in beginner songs. I say nearly as I still manage to miss a beat :frowning:, but the fact that those two fingers are not lagging anymore gives me hope that I could perhaps have it perfect in a month.

At least the trip wasn’t a total loss (after some 5 days down with probable covid or flu as well).

I would love to know how you managed to overcome hurdles in your journey!


Well done barre chords are certainly hard at the start…I was not using them regularly (and well) in my songs until many years into my journey. Air changes will - in general - naturally come.

Tips from? it’s harder and takes much longer to play guitar than all those courses online suggest. So don’t measure your progress in weeks but in months (it would be tempting to say years but in all honesty you make good progress in months). When learning something new ALWAYS do it slowly to start with and then speed it up. It can be tempting to almost have something right and then speed things up. Do it slow and right then it gets a lot easier. Even the hardest songs are possible if you break it down into chunks and learn slowly.

Thanks for the tips! Yeah measuring in months will probably be better and yes I do ensure to do stuff slowly and correctly the first time round. It is indeed a journey of many years… wish I had started sooner but that’s life.

Off topic but I am noticing barring is easier for me on the acoustic than the electric which is easier for strumming with the lighter gauge probably.

Try using the barre further down the neck on the electric and you’ll find it easier. It is after all an E shaped barre chord and the chord you are playing is dictated by the note on the 6th string of the fret you play it at… so play that barre position at the fifth fret and you’ll be playing a A chord, at the seventh fret a B chord etc.

The F chord still remains the hardest E-shape bare chord to me (E-shape = exactlyt the same as F, but further down the neck).

The more comfy you get with that chord, the more likely you’ll find the E-shape bar chord intermediate module easier :slight_smile: Or at least, that’s how I experienced it :stuck_out_tongue:

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I find that if one or more of my fingers is always lagging, I can sometimes improve things by doing some specific practice, and leading with those fingers.

So in your case, you could do some perfect changes and 1 minute changes, focusing on putting down your 3rd and 4th fingers down on the strings before your other fingers.

This may slow down the changes at first, but it has helped me in the long run…seems to wake up those fingers, and they move faster.

I also like to practice leading the chord change with each of the different fingers in the chord e.g. do 4 changes leading with the 4th finger, then 4 changes leading with the 3rd, and so on.

Seems to help me move my fingers all at once.

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Actually this is what I did to coax them to move with the others! Changing at a snail’s pace initially just for them to land first. Did the same for D and it’s miles better than when I started.

If only while learning a new chord we could start off with moving them all at once… that would probably be some kind of battle with learning the new shape. The problem seems to be that muscle memory is established with them moving out of sync like when we start out learning the chord and then we have to retrain to move in parallel.

Yes indeed I am actually much better with the other e shaped barres. Justin mentioned in the later modules that it could be the nut making it hard and after a setup could turn out well. I myself see this with the yamaha F310 where all notes ring out perfectly well compared to my strat… seems to be very well setup.

I was really pushing the barre cords for a while and got to that “ah-ha!” Stage of thinking I can start do this in an actual song close to speed.

Then I went off to do other things that didn’t involve barre cords for several weeks. D’oh! Lost a lot of ground.

Keep practicing the barre cords far beyond this feeling, get it cemented in. Don’t be like me!:sob:

@Jamolay Oh that’s a shame. How is it now?

And nope I’m not stopping anytime soon. Hallelujah was the first song with an F that I could play and is my go to song now to practice these common changes. There’s something about the chord progression in it that let’s me play it for hours.
Will add californication and losing my religion once I am back home to really cement the change and then work on refining it further.

Wow, now that really is quick. 3 months to get to module13 and barre chords as well.

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Well, you’re ahead of me. I’m struggling with the C chord. Same thing, my 2nd and 3rd finger lag. I’m usually late or I manage to mute every string somehow, or that’s how it sounds anyway.

As @Tbushell said, I do chord perfect but lead with different fingers and lay them down in different order. Say 3, 2, 1 or 2, 3, 1 or 1, 3, 2. I’m also working on Wish You Were Here and there’s a G to C to D and a G to D to C progression so I work on changing from G to C to D and back again a lot. It’s helping. Some days I’m just getting the fingers down as I strum, others not so much but it is getting better.

And it’s always better when just practicing than when I’m playing a song. That’s pure anxiety and overthinking. The longer I play the song, the better it gets. Gotta learn to relax and not stress so much over missing a change. I’m not on stage.

Been super self motivated and in love with the sounds and chord transitions to the point that I sometimes take a sick day from work to practice :sweat_smile: I still remember the moment I barely managed to change a chord, I was like huh this is superb.

It was the same for me on C as well as D, even G (the rock G), so yes it will come. I always had to specifically sit and train for each of these chords just like I did for F. One thing I did and that may help you is to split the movement into two, practicing moving just the two lagging fingers first and then work on combining the movement, going back to splitting and combine again. And then it finally clicks… all in one session for me, with breaks of course.
F took a couple days though. Practiced very very slowly just moving 3 and 4 as a pair with finger 2 and then starting to drop in the barre.

Edit: Some songs that really helped me:
Wish you were here is the absolute best song for these chord changes! There is a point in the song with the wrong chord played in the app which I had reported in the app which threw me off a couple times.
Zombie also managed to greatly decrease my D to Em change time iirc :smiley:
Paradise by Coldplay also helped dial in the changes for me as the changes happen early and also have a push in a few of them.

Hopefully the last edit: These are the beginner versions on the songs app.

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I’ll give that a try, just moving the lagging fingers and then put it all back together. I’ve found the best way to learn anything is to break it down to the basic elements, get those right and then put them together. Chords, strumming, riffs, whatever. Too easy to get frustrated trying to do too much all at once.

Playing along with WYWH does force the cord changes and even if I mess them up, I’m learning to correct my fingering an the fly and keep playing. It will click at some point.

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That’s still amazing that you can do all those lessons in 3 months. You must be naturally talented to do all this in such a shot space of time, and play songs as well.

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