How To Use Anchor Fingers

Any time you’re changing between two chords and you can keep a finger on the same fret or at least on the same string, this is called an anchor finger. Anchor fingers make changing chords a lot easier and smoother! They only work for certain chord changes, but it’s a good idea to use them when you can.

Dropping The Anchor – D to A

Place your fingers on the strings to form a D chord. You don’t have to press down on the strings as you won’t be strumming for this exercise, so that should help alleviate some of the finger pain you must already be dealing with.

Once your fingers are in place, take off your 2nd and 3rd fingers, leaving your 1st finger anchored in that 2nd fret. Next, slide your 1st finger back slightly within the fret, again, NOT lifting the finger off of the string, and then replace your 2nd and 3rd fingers in position to form an A chord.

Repeat this process going back and forth between the D and the A chord. For the duration of the exercise, your 1st finger should remain in contact with the string! Go as slowly as you need to for now. Over time, this exercise will also help you build up your speed when changing chords. For now, focus on getting the fingers in the right place each time.