Certain common chord movements are so fundamental that they are the building blocks of many different pieces of music in all kinds of different styles. This is great news, because if you become fluent with these there are hundreds of songs you’ll be able to play relatively easily. You will also get good at hearing and recognising the chord patterns in songs you want to be able to play by ear. Training with these audios in the ways listed will mean that when it comes to playing a song that uses this pattern, you’ll be able to play it in no time at all. Don’t be concerned if to start with, you find it hard to sync up the chord change with the music that you’re hearing. It’s normal to get out of sync at the beginning, but because it’s a repeating pattern, you will be able to get back in sync again just by pausing and waiting for it to go back to the beginning. Counting through each chord out loud without playing the guitar is a good way to get your ear to know what should be happening when, and then it’s easier to add the guitar back in. Your first level of skill development is to hit the chords on beat one and get the right chord at the right time.
Here are some audios you can play along to. If you’re working on getting the chord changes going, start off with one or two one minute changes between each pair of chords, and work towards playing each chord once on beat one of the bar. (Reminder-here, each bar lasts for four beats, or a count of four). Use the first set of audios labelled ‘Training’ and you’ll hear one guitar strum on beat one, and just drums marking the remaining beats. Try to keep up with the chord changes moving to faster tracks as your chords get a bit quicker. You can start adding in a second strum or a complete strumming pattern (and don’t worry if you don’t know any yet, you will soon) when your chord changes speed up. It’s a good idea to start on the training audios, as it can be hard to pick out the guitar and the beat AND play along when you’re starting out. Soon, though, it will feel much easier and you can play along with the band tracks underneath that have more instruments in them.
If you are struggling to know which chord is which, try counting each chord out loud. This is a great way to learn fast!
Training audios: Just click on the text link below to open the audio file, and play along.
When you are comfortable changing chords and following the sequence of chords, you can apply them to these different musical styles below. Initially if you don’t practice the training audios first it can be hard to follow the chord change, so do habituate yourself using the audios above first.
2. Medium, reggae feel, strums on beats 2 and 4