Should You Learn Guitar Chords In Each Key?

Posted by Nick Niesen on October 26th, 2010

When first starting to learn guitar chords, one of the most difficult tasks to master is to get your fingers to do what you want them to do. Independence does not come easily. This is why most beginning guitar players focus on and learn the most commonly used guitar chords and scales and proceed to use those handful of chords for the rest of their life.

Most guitarists do not experiment with different areas of the guitar or try adding or subtracting a note or two to the original chord so as to give some hint of originality or a personal style, that is why a lot of guitar music around today is so uninspiring and un-original.

Once guitar players get a few licks and tricks under their belt they become lazy. When you consider the combinations that are available from just one chord in one position on the neck, it is absolutely mind boggling, let alone the hundreds of other positions and variations available. Just by experimenting with one chord shape at a different starting place on the fretboard can take your mind and fingers to uncharted areas you could not have conceived of before.

Here are a few reasons why you might want to consider breaking out of old patterns and learning guitar chords in a new key.

1. Inspiration can come immediately from taking one of your most prized over used chords and moving it over one fret to a new key. You probably will have to re-arrange your fingers to accommodate the new shape, but persevere with it, this new chord is no harder than any chord you have learnt so far. Now try moving all of the chords to this new key. Now you have just doubled your fretboard knowledge.

2. Play through those chords and just listen to the sound those new ?shapes? are making in the new position. You are breathing new life into your tired, worn out, over used chords. Remember that discovering new, original ideas and sounds is part of why guitar playing can be so much fun in the first place.

3. If you have a song that you know quite well, transpose those chords to another key. What you will find is that the song can have a different feel and take on a whole new life of its own.

Learning new guitar chords doesn?t have to be a chore, if you decided to learn just one new chord per month, you will be in front of most of the guitar players on the planet. Most people who learn to play guitar, usually play for a lifetime. I have never met any guitar player that played for a year or two then declared they didn?t like playing the guitar and just stopped. It is an ongoing pursuit, a skill to be mastered over the course of a lifetime, something to be enjoyed.

I know that you enjoy the chords that you are already playing, but if you break out of the same old guitar chords and scales that you play all the time, I promise you, you can rediscover all the amazing feelings of why you started to play guitar all over again. So I ask you ? do you think it might be a good idea for you to learn guitar chords in each key?


Nick Niesen

About the Author

Nick Niesen
Joined: April 29th, 2015
Articles Posted: 33,847

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