The “Press Down” Chord Exercises

The most important thing to remember when playing chords is that each note in a chord must be pressed down as a unit, not separately.

Here I will give you a couple of exercises that will help you establish the habit of pressing down each chord as a unit.

Exercise 1

  1. First, press down a C chord.
  2. Next, lift your fingers off the strings about a half-inch as a unit,
    keeping the chord formation.
  3. Then press your fingers back down onto the strings, firmly and quickly,
    keeping the formation.
  4. Strum the chord. If any of your fingers miss the proper position in
    the chord, correct them and repeat the drill.

When you feel comfortable with the C chord, do the same exercise with
the A, G, E, and D chord positions.

Exercise 2

Now we’ll practice the press down exercise while changing chords.

  1. Start with C, lift, and press down the A chord.
  2. Release, then press down the G chord.
  3. Release, then press down the E chord.
  4. Release, then press down the D chord.

Keep it slow and practice any mistakes as you go along.

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