The Power of Muscle Memory for Guitar

One of the secrets to playing better guitar is committing the fundamentals to memory. It takes time for your fingers to feel comfortable on the fretboard and to form the shapes of a chord. However, once you have this muscle memory down, it will become so much easier to play the music you love!

My suggestion is to start with the major, minor and 7th chords. Learn how to play them in the open position and don't worry about barre chords when you are a beginning guitarist. I believe there are 21 chords you really need to know. Start with one and once you become familiar with the finger positioning, try play the next chord. A simple example is four down-strums of G Major to E Minor. Try and play each chord as clean as possible and go back and forth between playing these two chords.

Once you are comfortable with two chords, move on to adding a third, and so on. The power is in the muscle memory and you want to reach a point where you can quickly move between all of these 21 chords without even thinking about how to form the chords.

The concept of muscle memory can also be used for almost anything else on the guitar - scales, riffs and licks, strumming patterns, etc. Anything you plan on doing repeatedly may be a good candidate. Learn the fundamentals, using muscle memory, to build a strong foundation that will help you on your guitar journey.

What aspects of playing guitar have you committed to muscle memory? Is there other advice you have for guitarists who want a strong musical foundation? Please share your feedback with us below!

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