How To Use Anchor Fingers

In this lesson, we’ll learn about anchor fingers, a little secret to faster chord changes. If you're following my Beginner Course, I expect you to know the D and A chords!

 

OK, SO WHAT’S AN ANCHOR FINGER? 

When you change between two chords and keep a finger on the same fret or string, we call that finger an anchor finger. 

Anchor fingers make chord changes fast and efficient! It's not always possible to 'anchor fingers,' but you should do it when it is. It really helps you speed up your playing. 

Now, let's give it a go and see how an anchor finger can help you change from the D to the A chord. 

 

CHANGING FROM THE D CHORD TO THE A CHORD

Follow these steps in order. To begin with, go as slow as you need. 

  1. Place your fingers on the strings to form a D chord. You won’t strum the chord for this exercise, so there’s no need to press down on the strings. 

  2. Once your fingers are in position, raise your 2nd and 3rd fingers off the strings. This leaves your 1st finger anchored in the 2nd fret. 

  3. Now slide your 1st finger back slightly within the fret, keeping your finger on the string the whole time. 

  4. Now, replace your 2nd and 3rd fingers in position to form an A chord. Repeat this process by going back and forth between the D and the A chord.

 

KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER 

Keep your 1st finger touching the string throughout the chord change. Focus on getting your fingers in the right position each time. Over time this exercise will help you build up speed when changing chords. 

Once you’ve mastered chord changes using an anchor finger, let’s move on to the next lesson!