The answer is usually, not particularly long at all. In fact, for the vast majority of guitarists, chords can be learned in as little as two hours.
In a sense, it takes years of work through practice, to learn how to pick a chord, and memorize the three positions and the three notes of that chord.
But before starting any type of songwriting, there’s a crucial part of the learning process that the guitar players need to learn for themselves: how to play the right chords in the right order with the right speed and tension.
There are a few rules to learning it, to be sure, but generally, there are a few basic rules that help.
1. Find a good sounding guitar.
In the early days of learning and practicing on guitar, that would have been the biggest piece of advice that most guitarists would have given to each other.
But now, nearly 20 years later, the lessons learnt with their hands aren’t of as much help as they were a couple of decades ago, with guitar playing still being largely about picking the chords.
And guitar players are simply too tired or too lazy to actually focus on learning how to play songs on guitar any more.
So it’s worth spending a little time thinking about how you can learn proper guitar chords from your guitar.
2. Play chords in your head.
If you’ve ever found that when you play a chord sound, you just can’t keep it in your head, because you don’t need it to hear the chords, it’s because the chord doesn’t make any sense.
And that’s because, in the world of guitar chords, the chord doesn’t sound good.
It’s either perfect with the notes you already have, and isn’t needed by someone else — or it’s perfect with the notes no one has, isn’t needed by someone else, and is good enough for itself. Which, in terms of the sound, is what a chord sounds like if it’s played perfectly every single time.
In other words, the chords make sense as a physical entity, instead of as a piece of music that comes out of your head one particular way every time you play them.
If you try to play a chord the same way every single time, the chords don’t make any sense at all.
Of course the right chord doesn’t sound very nice all of the time, but the right chord sounds much
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