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1 Minute Changes

The Beginner's Course

Once you know how to play your chords, the big challenge is to get the change from one chord to another clear and fast enough so you can play a song without stopping between chords. You should be able to do this well before you start trying to play strumming patterns, or your songs will always sound disjointed and kind of silly!

The concept is simple: time yourself for one minute and see how many changes between two chords you can do in that time. This works better than any other method I have ever heard of for developing your chord change skills. It's really quite astounding how well this trick works. I started teaching it as a game for kids, but have since applied it to anyone learning guitar, it is one of the key lessons in the whole beginner's course, so check it out, use it regularly and it will really help you on your way.

The big trick is to really focus on a particular chord change for one minute, using either a stopwatch or a countdown timer. I use the countdown timer on my phone, but any one will do, some kitchen timers are great. If I'm feeling super lazy I use "Siri" on my iPhone so I don't even have to touch it! All you have to say is "Hey Siri, set me a one minute countdown timer" and it should start!

Watch The Video Lesson

1 Minute Changes

There are three One-Minute Changes to practise at this stage, you will practice each pair of chords for one minute each:

D to A - Your 1st finger will stay in the 2nd fret but you might have to move it a little within the fret.

D to E - Make sure the 1st finger is in the right place before you put the rest of the fingers down.

A to E - Don't put your first finger too close to the 2nd fret when moving to the A chord; for this chord finger 1 can't be right next to the fret.


Use the practice schedule (we'll look at this more in BC-119) and write down how many times you make the change each session. You will find that being able to watch your progress will really help keep you motivated. Count ‘1' for each change; so D–A–D–A = four changes.

You will find this will make a HUGE difference if you stick to doing it every day, I see great results with this all the time with private students and I know you will see a fast improvement too!

Tracking Changes In My App
If you want to get into tracking your One Minute Changes, you'll find that my Beginner Song Course App has One Minute Changes built in so you can watch your progress and there are Changes Tracks too which are backing tracks where you just bounce between 2 chords but at a set tempo which is also great practice! Available on Apple iOS and Android!


Once you have done a bit of work on that we should have a bit of a look at the most basic rhythm so we can start strumming some tunes! So on we go to: BC-116 • 4:4 all down rhythm

One Minute Changes

The One Minute Changes App (for iOS)

Those of you doing my Beginner Course that have an Apple device (iPhone, iPod, iPad) will enjoy this FREE app which will help you track all your One Minute Changes stats :)

Click here for more info and App store link

Beginner products you may like from
Justinguitar Beginner's Course DVD set
Justinguitar Beginners Songbook
Justinguitar Beginners Songbook
Beginners Course Book
Practical Music Theory

I have five great beginners products that will help you make the most of this course and you'll find them all at The Official JustinGuitar Store. If you want to really support the site then please buy direct from us. :)

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Lesson ID: BC-115