Are You Tired Of “Cowboy Chords”? Read Here

Author: Tommaso Zillio

Are you tired of playing always the same old chords over and over? Would you like to know more (and nicer sounding) chords but you are afraid it will take too much time and effort to learn them? I can make things easier for you. Keep reading.

Many players spend all their musical life knowing only few chords. If these few chords allow them to express themselves, that is good of course… but how do you know if the chords you know actually allow you to express what you want to express? It’s my experience that when I show a few “non-standard” chords to my students, then they get immediately interested in learning them, no exception. For this reason, it seems to me that players who say that they are happy with the few chords they know are not in fact that satisfied with what they can do harmony-wise.

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Before I hear the cry of protest, note that I’m NOT advocating learning all the NAMES of the chords: in fact I’d really prefer you know the SOUND of chords. Sure, knowing the names of chords is useful if you want to communicate with others, but don’t gorge yourself trying to learn everything about flat 9ths and sharp 11ths.

Not only this, but there is also another problem. Chords do not really work alone: they work in progressions. In order to compose a meaningful song you need more than one chord and they need to work together well. You need more than just “knowing chords”: you need to know how they can fit together.

The WRONG solution to this problem (and sadly the one that most people follow) is to get a book with lots of chords diagrams and plunge through it. Again, chords do not work alone: even if you find the “perfect” chord, then you are left with the problem of finding other chords that will work with it… and this is even more frustrating! (been there, done that). Also, in my experience it is really difficult to remember these chords if the only thing you do with them is to play them once or twice before you pass to the next diagram.

In the video below I explain how to create a whole SET of original chords that work well together. The system I explain is easy and can be used to find chords that match your “perfect chord”, if you have one… or you can just use it to create completely original chords from scratch. There is practically no formal theory involved, as you will see.

Like most guitar exercise, what I explain in the video will work for you only if you implement it as part of your daily practice. You just need few minutes a day for few week for this exercise… but if you’re anything like me you will WANT to spend more time on it because you are discovering new sounds and having ideas for new songs.

Another related benefit that you will get from practicing this way is that you will get to know your fretboard much better than before. Of course this is easier if you already know your notes on the fretboard. In case you don’t, just let me know and I will record my next video on the system I used to learn the notes on my guitar in little time and with little effort. In the meantime, enjoy your non-standard chords!

About The Author:

Tommaso Zillio is a professional guitarist and guitar teacher. Visit Tommaso’s site to know more about music theory for guitar.

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Tommaso Zillio - professional guitarist and guitar teacher
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