Shape Connect Method
First up: chords are the consequence of correct travel. To end at our destinations [chords], we program the exact transitions between chords. Be exact. Don’t train mistakes.
Chord changes are the action in between fretted chords. When this traveling happens successfully, chords happen.
Making the Connections
We need to make chord connections, in time [synchronized], with the strumming hand. We link fretting changes to the downs/ups of strumming.
To program the motion of a change over space, in time, we use slow motion, when necessary. Also, exercises like ‘taking away the strum’ ensure that you have the switch. We map the space.
Important: even if connections are happening completely, we keep strumming. We don’t let the steering wheel [fretting hand] stop the motor. We keep resetting the chord…making adjustments.
We use chord puzzles to direct finger traffic. Chord puzzles indicate changes from one chord to the next. Here’s one:
- The big numbers are frets.
- The small ‘superscript’ numbers are fingers.
- All new fretted tones in the second chord have a gray box around them. These include lift and land and add/subs.
- Any fret number in a gray box in the 2nd chord [1 fret or greater], without a line, means Add. This means that an inactive finger is being added. To change back, we subtract it [take it away = 0 fret]. We can add a mute as well. We won’t use a gray box for open strings in the new chord.
- A horizontal line means that a finger stays [even though it can lift to a touch – or completely off of the string – while other fingers may be moving].
- Diagonal lines mean that a finger is moving from one chord to the next. Am-Bm is the only guide/slide chord in this module and we use diagonal lines for this as well.
For puzzles with the same chord on each side of a middle chord, this means that we are making the change with 2 different fingerings [not using both within the same 2 chord progression]. We practice the first fingering until we get it, then try the other.
Let’s get started with Track One.