Subject: (playing tip) hit chords fast and accurately without “trying”
“Help! I can’t change chords fast enough. What do I do?”
I’ve been getting some form of this question a lot lately. So I figured I’d answer it here in case you’re experiencing it too.
The truth is, there’s really only 1 thing you need to do to overcome this…
And once you make this simple change, you won’t have to focus on getting faster ever again — because it’ll happen rather naturally.
Alright, so what’s this magical change?
All you have to do is:
Slow your playing down to a speed where you have enough time to get your fingers into position.
That’s it. It doesn’t matter if you have to set a metronome to a quarter of normal speed… or if it’s so slow it feels robotic.
Just get it slow enough that you can change the chords without being behind the metronome.
(Side note: if you like playing along with music on youtube, and you use the Google Chrome browser… you can download a chrome extension called “Video Speed Controller”. Then, when you play a youtube video, you’ll see a little bar in the top left corner of the video that lets you slow it down, or speed it up.)
Once you’re at a slow enough speed, stay there until you can change between the chords accurately and confidently.
Then you’ll be able to speed up without having to try speeding up — your fingers will naturally be able to move faster since you took the time to practice accuracy.
It’s like when you learned how to tie your shoes.
When we first learn how to tie our shoes, we may take over a minute to fumble around with the strings and get them tied.
But as we practice that accuracy, we naturally get faster. Nobody has to try and speed up their shoe-tying. But without thinking about it, we get to a point where we’re tying shoes in a few seconds.
The lesson is:
If you wanna play a whole lot faster (and more accurately), you may have to take a little while and play a whole lot slower.
And that’s okay! Because while you’re spending time practicing slowly, and excelling because of it…
Someone else is stuck playing at the same speed indefinitely, never really getting any better… because every time they try to speed up, their accuracy crumbles.
Soon, that person will be looking at you, thinking, “what’s their secret?”
Anyways, hope that helps!