Chords and Work Ethic
This was the video that started my adventure in internet guitar teaching. It was made on a whim, using a system of chords that’s been around for a long time. I learned it from a great Philly area jazz guitarist named Joseph Federico, and he learned it from his teacher, Dennis Sandole, the “godfather” of Philly jazz guitar teachers.
The unspoken subtext here is that it may only take 6 minutes to watch the video, but it’ll almost certainly take a couple years to really digest its contents.
One of the hardest things about learning the guitar is letting go of expectations: “I should be learning faster” is a common one. I’ve found that the most productive stance to take involves just practicing consistently, and doing your very best without any thought of where you expect it to get you, or when. Just make this exercise part of your daily routine for awhile. Once you’ve practiced it a couple dozen times, it’ll only take a couple minutes to walk through it. Try to make the chords sound clearly, one strum per chord. When you’re first learning the chord positions, use the pause button and time line on your Youtube viewer to accurately see and hear the chords.
If you have a real problem area, then isolate it down to two positions, and go back and forth between them. Try to avoid the pitfall of concentrating on the things you do well and ignoring the things that you do badly.
As you get a handle on several comfortable chord positions, try to find sheet music for one or two tunes you like, then teach yourself to play rhythm chords using the positions in the exercise. As you get comfortable, you can go on to my other two chord videos, for which I’ll provide links soon.