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Pivot And Guide Fingers – Is This The Best Way To Change Chords?

Pivot And Guide Fingers

One way to help you change chords easily, in the beginning, is to pay attention to something we call pivot fingers and guide fingers.

A pivot finger is a finger that stays in the same place when other fingers move to change from one chord to another.

An example of a pivot finger can be seen in the transition from an A-minor chord to a C chord. You leave the first two fingers down on the fretboard and move over the third finger to the fifth string to make a C chord. Now, the first and second fingers stay still and the third finger is the one that moves. The first and second fingers are called pivot fingers.

A guide finger is a finger that stays on the same string. It slides to another fret, or note when you’re changing chords.

An example of this would be when you’re going from a D7 to a G chord. The third finger on your first string (second fret of the D7) slides up to the third fret to help make the G chord. Then the other two fingers move over to the sixth and the fifth strings.

Soon I’m going to give you some actual examples and show you a framework for practicing the guide fingers and the pivot fingers.

Ultimately, what you want to do is get to where all the fingers go to where they’re supposed to go without really thinking. Guide fingers and pivot fingers are kind of like using training wheels when learning to ride a bike. At first, they’re helpful, but eventually, you just have to go for it.

To play chord changes quickly and smoothly, all the fingers just need to move and go to the right notes at the right time and land together.


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  1. Hello again,
    I gave some thoughts on how to improve your singing and was wondering about the outcome? It would be nice to know, what I shared with you was actually helpful? It certainly improved my confidence at singing, especially when I knew all the words to a full song.

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