Stage 2: One Minute Changes
As we did last time for One Minute Changes, but with some new chords to speed up!
So you should always remember to:
"Practice what you can't do, don't practice what you can"
So if you find one of these changes easy, then substitute it for a change that you find hard. The following changes all have something about them that I think is good to practice, so this is a suggested list to start you off. Eventually, you should just work on the ones that you find hardest!
1. Am to E - Try to move the shape as a block without placing one finger at a time.
2. Am to Dm - Work on getting the 3rd finger up near the fret.
3. A to Dm - Anchor the 3rd finger; just slide between the 2nd and 3rd fret.
4. E to D - More work on the anchoring.
5. Em to D - Notice how much easier it was when we had an anchor!
Choosing Which Changes To Work On
In an ideal world you would do every chord change possible for every chord that you know, but once you get to, say, eight chords (which we will very soon) it would take a long time to do all 28 possible changes (thanks to Francisco for working that out).
It's strange, but you'll probably find that by only working on some chord changes, they all improve. I'm not 100% sure why that is, but my guess is that as you develop your muscle control all the changes get easier.
And, by only working for five minutes you will have time to work on other stuff in your routine which
is important too, so don't be tempted to work on all your changes at once unless you have loads of time and can get all your other practice done too!
Most people find changes involving Dm to be the hardest, so don't worry if you're finding it tricky. They will sort themselves out with time; it's only because Dm has a different kind of stretch for your hand mechanics to get used to, making it particularly difficult.
By the way, if you are questioning the effectiveness of the One-Minute Changes idea, have a look on the forum, as there are lots of people who have noticed a significant improvement by sticking at it. And you can too.
You should also be aware that sometimes progress happens in jumps. You'll be stuck on say two changes a minute, and really be struggling, finding it hard and frustrating, and then suddenly you'll jump to 30 changes. What happened? Very often it is tension and anxiety that slow us down, so often when people get fed up and give up trying—and subsequently actually relax—they get heaps better all of a sudden. The moral of the story I guess is to try and stay as relaxed as possible. Take a few deep breaths before you start and stay focused, but not tense (I know it's easier said than done!).
Next, I am going to introduce an old and very dear friend of mine who I have spent countless hours with and has helped me a LOT with my own guitar playing!