The Best Way to Memorize Guitar Chords

A lot of people these days are eager to take guitar lessons. This is because being able to play the guitar can be a great skill to show off in various occasions, and it is an instrument that’s not difficult to play. However, guitar playing requires quick mind-body coordination, thus you need to hone your muscle memory in order to start playing on your own.

But how exactly can you do that, given that there are a lot of guitar chords to memorize? Well, if you happen to be taking guitar lessons and would want to speed up your ability to play the instrument, then here are a few tips experts recommend:

  1. Play each chord twenty times on repeat.

When in piano you are taught to play the notes, in guitar you are taught to play the chords. Chords consist of different notes played together as one, and they are read in the form of letters (C, D, E, F, G, A, and B). Hence, in order to play the guitar, you must be able to strike these chords and switch from one chord to another without pausing.

If you are just starting out, you may want to acquaint yourself with the chords first, and play each of them for at least twenty times. Studies show that the brain only starts to memorize a certain action when it is done repeatedly for at least twenty times, and the same thing applies to playing guitar chords.

  1. The rule of four.

Once you are acquainted with the guitar chords, the next thing to do is to pick four of them to play simultaneously. You don’t necessarily have to use a song with four chords right away (although it becomes much easier when you are familiar with the song you are trying to play), since the purpose of this exercise is for your brain to get used to switching from one chord to another without pausing.

If you observe guitarists, you will see that it has become natural for them to change chords when playing a song without taking any stop, and this is due to the fact that they have already memorized the chords by heart. They have also memorized the song’s melody already, thus shifting chords has become easy for them.

  1. Visualize the chords.

It also helps to speed up memorizing the chords when you can visualize how they look like. In this regard, you may want to see if your fingers form shapes or patterns when playing a chord. By developing patterns, it also becomes easier for your brain to position your fingers on the guitar as you play.

Some schools make use of guitar flash cards, and it would better if you use these especially during the start of your guitar lessons.

  1. Dedicate time practicing the chords.

Aside from taking up guitar lessons, it would also help a lot if you spend time to play the guitar on your own every day. Allotting at least one hour for guitar practice can speed up your ability to memorize chords, as they become part of your daily routine.

  1. Don’t forget to rest.

Lastly, when memorizing guitar chords, it is also important that you give your brain some time to rest. The brain also needs time to cool off, and during this period it absorbs all the lessons it has received. Once your brain has recharged, it now recognizes the chords that you’ve been trying to memorize, and the more natural you become in playing these chords later on.


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