I’ve been struggling recently with counting during the OMC exercises and was never 100% sure that my final count was accurate. Also I was struggling with breaking that 30cpm barrier on some chords. Then I decided to try using the metronome. For my difficult changes I set it to 31bpm, for 30 changes including one beat for the first chord of the exercise, and only counted the times I missed the beat which was much easier to track. If I missed 5 beats out of 31bpm I did 25 changes. This has changed my life. Once I hit the goal that I set with a particular OMC I just moved up the metronome and set a new goal. I have changes between A, D, and E up to 60, the minor chords in the low 40s, and will soon have C and G changes into the 30s (just started learning those chords). Not to mention that this has helped refresh my internal rhythm. It is highly likely that Justin may have taught this method in one of the early lessons when he introduced the OMCs and I just repressed that memory until recently. If anyone else has used this method or has tips on how to improve it please let me know.
Fantastic idea! I’m going to try that! Thanks!
It’s super that you have been able to start using the metronome at such an early stage in your guitar journey. It took me much longer and it was a real break through. Great stuff.
Wow! This suggestion breathed new life into my OMC practice!!!
Before, I was counting, but not entirely sure I was nailing the chords clearly, because I felt like the goal was to do them as fast as I could. This method frees my brain from counting and allows it to concentrate on scrutinizing the quality of the sound I’m making.
I decided to let the bpm do my counting with the metronome…rather than counting the changes I don’t hit properly and subtracting them.
Tonight, I ran through all of the changes at 30 bpm, setting the timer on the metronome with 4 extra seconds so I could begin at 1 minute. Then, if I hit all of the changes clearly, I know I got 30 proper changes. As I went through all the changes, I found that I could do them all at 30 without mistakes. So, I recorded them all on my practice tracker on the app at 30, no matter how many I had recorded before, and now, I’ll increase the bpm by one next time, and only increase by one going forward if I can do them all without mistakes, and keep at them until I reach 60
Thank you so much for the tip! I feel like this will really make a difference!
That is awesome! Ok, now I want to pick up my guitar and practice some more.
I used a metronome for this exercise from the start and it worked great. As a drummer I am very attached to my metronome - for a time it was the most used app on my phone. Rushing to make the changes as fast as possible can result in sloppy technique being made permanent (as Justin says, Practice makes Permanent not perfect).
One tip would be to spend most practice time at a bpm below your maximum. This allows more perfect finger motions to be encoded in your muscle memory. This seems counterintuitive but it it is proven advice for drumming practice that speed comes from practicing slowly.
I completely agree. When I start a new chord change exercise I do so at 20-25bpm, or 15 if it’s a particularly tricky one, and only bump it up once I’ve really got the motion down, usually within 2-3 practice sessions. If it’s an easier chord change, or one that I pick up pretty quickly, I’ll run another minute at a higher bpm as a challenge.
Clearly getting a decent number of changes per minute is important, but remember that in the long run you also want accurate, clean chords.
The other thing to bear in mind is that you only need to change chords as quickly as a particular song requires. If a song has a difficult change, concentrate your practice efforts on that. Then not only will you have achieved a quick change between chord x and chord y, but you’ll have learned a song too!
What I’m trying to say here is don’t get too hung up on trying to achieve some ridiculously high number of changes per minute. When friends come round they want to hear you play songs, not 99 changes per minute between A and D.
Oh yeah, I’m with you. There’s no reason (for me) to shoot for 100 changes per minute, unless someone really wants to I guess or a song is just that technically advanced. For me I cap it at 60 changes a minute since that is what I learned in the first OMC lesson with A and D. Once I get a change up to 45 per minute then I move on to the next lesson or module. I’ll still keep working at it until I hit 60 just so I know I’ve really got it down.
I started using the metronome because before I was so focused on speed, which is important, but was losing count and definitely losing the quality of the chord which ultimately was the whole point, fast and accurate. I completely agree that it also depends on the song. It’s amazing to know that if there’s a chord change in one song that I want to play and begin working on it, once I’ve got it down then there’s a whole slew of songs that have just opened up just because of that one chord change.
And that is only the first of many light bulb moments that you’ll come across on your guitar learning road.
Hi! I’m very new here, just this week, and while my fingers are still killing me, they are getting better. On the OMC, I remembered Justin saying something about " just relax", so I’m trying closing my eyes, and just feel my way. I start looking to make sure I’m in the right spot, but when I close my eyes, I relax and it seems to go better. I’m not always perfect, but I don’t worry about that too much, yet.