The best way to memorize chords on guitar

Video How to Memorize Guitar Chords In this lesson, we’ll look at some of the strategies we can use to memorize guitar chords in the best way. Remember that everyone learns in slightly different ways, so if you feel like modifying this method then do so. This method builds on other tips and lessons we have on memorizing chords, and you should check them out as well. One of the most frustrating aspects of learning guitar is memorizing chords, so this method will give you a fresh start.

What does it take to memorize guitar chords?


Tests have found that it takes at least 20 repetitions of any task for the brain to begin the memory process. This means that just repeating something 5-10 times will not be enough to improve your skills or recall information later. Knowing that it takes at least 20 repetitions to start memorizing chords will help ensure we’re practicing effectively. If you practice something just once, there’s very little chance you’ll actually improve your skills and memory. On the other hand, if you repeat the exercise 20-50 times and do so for several days in a row, you will clearly see an improvement and increase in skill.

Key Tip #1: When practicing anything, repeat it at least 20 times before continuing

Our five senses are so closely linked to our memory – remember the last vacation you had at the beach – you can feel the warm sunshine, smell the salty air and Can you hear the waves crashing? You are more likely to remember an experience in detail if you use more of your senses. Again we can use this when memorizing guitar chords. Instead of just playing the chords without thinking much, we need to actually ‘experience’ them. Listen carefully to each sound, feel the strings and keys under your fingers, look at the patterns your fingers create on the guitar. If you really pay attention to detail, you will improve your ability to memorize chords. Also, if you just play the chords without thinking much, there won’t be enough ‘associations’ from your senses to help with memorization.

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Key tip #2: The more senses you focus on when you practice, the more your brain will remember it

The last tip that we can consider when thinking about memory is something called mnemonic skills. Simple mnemonics are tricks that we can use to aid in memorization. A detailed memorization lesson for memorizing chords has been prepared, so check it out for more information.

Key Tip #3: Use a mnemonic device whenever possible to aid memorization

Read: how to remember guitar chords The best method to memorize guitar chordsNow that you understand what it takes to memorize chords, let’s take a look at the simple step-by-step method to memorize them as quickly and easily as possible.

Step 1: Choose four chords to memorize

Read more: How to get the depth attack If you have our flash card pack, just pick out four cards at random. Picking chords at random will prevent you from choosing what already feels familiar to you and will help you memorize chords you wouldn’t normally try. It also means that you can repeat this method over and over and continuously learn new chords.

Step 2: Study the chords

Often beginners skip this step – that’s a big reason why so many beginners have a hard time actually memorizing the chords! So don’t skip it! The reason why we study each chord is to create ‘associations’ to help your brain remember them. Below are flash cards for D Major. Look at all the information on the card for a moment before reading on.As you can see, there is quite a bit of information about this one chord. Here is a quick list of points you should think about when looking at this card:

  • Chords using only four strings – D, G, B, E
  • The notes used are D, F#, A
  • A major chord is a major chord
  • Only the first three fingers are used
  • Finger pattern forming a triangle on the keyboard
  • Guitar TAB layout for chords (shown to the left of the card) creates a pattern 0 2 3 2
  • The lowest note is the low D string

Can you see how all this information helps you memorize chords? The better you understand the chord before you actually try to play it, the easier it will be to memorize it. Simply knowing where to place your fingers isn’t enough, you need to really understand what’s going on so your brain can remember it faster.

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Step 3: Visualize playing the chords

Some people may read and think ‘just play the chords!’, but remember that every time you add these steps and involve more of your senses, you improve your memorization. Visualizing the shapes you create on the keyboard and imagining playing them will actually help you play them! At first, it might feel weird to imagine playing the chords, but it really has an impact on how well you memorize the chords. Read more: how to make a podzol in minecraft Then imagine you switch hands from the first chord to the second and so on until you repeat the four chords twice.

Step 4: Play progress more than 20 times

You can now pick up the guitar and slowly move from one chord to the next. Notice how you didn’t touch the guitar until step 4? That’s why this method is so effective – it uses all the tricks available to memorizing chords instead of just trying to play them. At this point, it’s important that you take your time and really focus on each chord. Remember to think about all your senses while playing as it will aid in memorization. Play each chord four times before moving on to the next. Repeat the process at least 20 times.

Step 5: Take a break

It’s important that you give your brain time for the chords to sink in. Practicing them too much in the beginning won’t do you any good. Simply resting for a few minutes or going for a brisk walk is enough to refresh your mind. Don’t be fooled into thinking that an hour of continuous practice will help you memorize the chords. You should stick to short and intense training sessions rather than long and boring workouts. If you really focus on the first four steps, you will feel like you need a break at this point.

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Step 6: Repeat

Rewrite the chord development you just practiced so you can come back to it later. Plan to practice the steps for that progress every day for the next week. At this point, you can now start over at step 1 and pick out four new chords. Repeat the process with new chords. Do this a few times until you feel like you can’t concentrate 100% on the task. Once you feel your focus fade away, it’s time to stop and move on. Don’t overdo it as it will actually take you longer to memorize the chords.

Why is this method effective for memorizing chords?

This method is effective in helping you memorize chords because it requires you to actually think about the chords, not just play them. Too many beginners think that just playing the chords is enough to memorize them. When you spend time thinking about chords and studying them, you’ll really find that you can recall information more easily and play them faster. Try this method the next time you want to learn some new chords and you’ll know how effective it can be. If you don’t have our guitar card pack yet, consider purchasing one as it contains 50 basic chords specially selected for beginners. It’s a great starting point when used with this method. Follow the tips and steps above and you’ll memorize chords in less time and understand more about each chord. Read more: how to become a commentator for scientific journals

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