Learning to play easy chords on the guitar is one of the best ways to accelerate your progress and build confidence.

The barrier that is mentioned by many of my students and members is how long it takes to change from one chord shape to the next.

Often the chord shape requires a massive stretch, consequently the rhythm pattern is broken while the guitarist struggles with the offending shape.

One of the ways I’m able to rapidly move from one chord shape to the next is because of the shortcuts I’ve developed that allow me to minimize the distance I need to travel on the fingerboard.

4 Shortcuts to Difficult Chord Shapes

1. Learn the mathematical formulas for spelling chords – Each chord has it’s own unique note combination, the trick is to think in terms of note combinations rather than physical shapes on the fretboard.

2. Every chord can be played within a five fret span – Contrary to popular guitar methods where guitar players have to move all over the fingerboard chasing impossible shapes, once you know the note combinations and the position of the notes on the fingerboard you will be able to design your own shapes for each specific musical situation.

3. Learn the basic chord types – Before you get tangled up in complex harmonies, learn to sound and note structure of the Major, Minor, Augmented and Diminished chords, these are your basic sounds.

Major = 1-3-5

Minor = 1-b3-5

Augmented = 1-3-#5

Diminished = 1-b3-b5

4. Remember to reduce the shape down to the essential notes – I’ve what I think is the best tip for last!

Guitar players who are unaware of the note combinations that make up each chord overlook the fact that all difficult shapes can be made “guitar friendly” by omitting note duplication.

For example a standard “G” major played in the open position contains the following notes:

6th string, 3rd fret = G / 5th string, 2nd fret = B / 4th string open = D / 3rd string open = G / 2nd string open = B / 1st string, 3rd fret = G.

Notice the note duplication, three “G” notes, two “B” notes and one “D”.

Since a “G” major chord consists of the notes G, B & D this same “G” major could be satisfactorily played by using the 2nd, 3rd and 4th strings open.

That’s right, you don’t even have to use any left hand fingers to play this chord, you can’t get much easier than that!

Use these tips and you can boost the speed and ease of playing chords on the guitar.

Source by Mike P Hayes