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The purpose of this lesson is

to train your brain to send clear, concise finger weight and
focused finger movement signals to your fret hand

so that glitches, fumbles, or hesitations are not a factor in determining any other aspect of your playing.

This lesson you will teach you how to be aware of:

  • Keeping The Weight;
  • Adding Or Removing;
  • Keeping The Weight + Focusing Vertically;
  • Keeping The Weight + Focusing Diagonally;
  • Keeping The Weight Before Removing;
  • Keeping The Weight Before Focusing Vertically;
  • Keeping Some Weight While Focusing Horizontally, and;
  • Phantom Movement

Learning to be aware of these principles is the first step towards acquiring the physical technique required to master playing chords on the guitar.


You must understand how to read chord diagrams that include fret hand fingering information in order to understand this lesson.

Finger Weight

“Pushing on” or “applying pressure to” the strings with your fingers are not thoughtful ways to describe fretting notes.  Think of fretting notes as allowing weight on or giving weight to your fingers. 

The weight of your fingers is mostly determined by their angle to the fretboard.

The angle of your fingers is determined by the position of your hand. Therefore, you can manipulate the weight being given to each finger by being sensitive to the angle of your hand/fingers to the fretboard. Pushing harder is not the solution to muted or buzzing strings.

Keeping The Weight

For this lesson, just define a chord as a collection of “string/fret locations”. Any number of these locations can change when moving from one chord to the next – one of them to all of them. Sometimes, the common string/fret locations can be played with the same finger. In these cases there is no reason to move this finger when changing between the chords. This is called “Keeping The Weight”. This is used in conjunction with other fingering activities such as “Adding Or Removing”.

Adding Or Removing

The simplest finger activity when changing chords is to add and/or remove one or more fingers while you Keep The Weight with one or more fingers.

Keeping The Weight + Add or Remove Example 1


keep the weight with both fingers 1 & 2 and add finger 3

Keeping The Weight + Add or Remove Example 2


keep the weight with both fingers 2 & 3 and remove finger 1

Keeping The Weight + Add or Remove Example 3


keep the weight with finger 2 and remove finger 3 while adding finger 1

Explore more examples of Keeping The Weight + Adding & Removing

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