The least-movement principal

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THE LEAST MOVEMENT PRINCIPAL

This is a sound principal that can be applied to all of your learning efforts on the guitar. Simply stated the Least-Movement Principal means:

When moving from one chord to another, each finger should take the shortest path. In other words only move your fingers as much as you absolutely have to.

The diagrams below show how this principal applies to the chord changes in this lesson. You should get in a habit of taking a little time to study new chord changes and find the shortest path for each finger involved in the change. As you'll see, there isn't any magic to it, it's mostly just a logic thing.

FOCUS ON 1 OR 2 COMMON FINGERS

In this lesson the common finger is the 1st finger because it stays on the 3rd string throughout all 3 chords. Looking at the A and the D chords, the 1st finger is in the 2nd fret. When moving to the E chord from either the A or D, all you have to do is slide the 1st finger back to the 1st fret.

THE SHORTEST PATH

Look at the 2nd finger in the A chord diagram. It is in the 2nd fret on the 4th string. When you change from the A to the D chord, the 2nd finger travels straight down to the 1st string in the same fret (2nd fret). Make the path your 2nd finger travels as direct as possible. So, by keeping your 1st finger in the same place and moving your 2nd finger straight down to the 1st string, the chord change from A to D is almost complete. The only other move is to slide your 3rd finger up into the 3rd fret on the 2nd string.

Look at each chord change you encounter in the future in this way. Doing so will tremendously speed up your learning process. You'll find that there are many common chord forms, that is fingering combinations. Because of that, there will be many chord changes where you will have already learned the basic movements necessary to make that chord change. Remember, "The more you learn, the easier it is to learn more!"

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