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One Minute Changes (Guitar Lesson BC-115) Guitar for beginners Stage 1

November 6, 2019

Hello, Justin here. Welcome now to your first “1 Minute Changes”. Now, this is a little exercise I developed a long time ago when I was teaching in a primary school
and I couldn’t get the kids to practice guitar. So I made up a little exercise that was kind of a competition to see who could make the most chord changes
in one minute and what was really weird was
that they all practiced loads, really enjoyed it and got really good at doing their chord changes. So, I kinda took the idea and applied it
to some older people and found that it worked for them as well and then most…nearly…. …or in fact all of my beginner students
over the last few years have used this technique to get their chord changes faster
because it’s kinda the hardest thing. If you thought maybe, you know,
having a slight pain in your fingers playing these chords was a little bit of a hard uphill battle,
now the changing between the chords, is really gonna cause you a bit of problems
because that’s actually the… …probably the hardest step when you first start
playing the guitar is getting those chord changes.
It’s not that hard, it just takes practice. So you gotta stick with it. Now, what I’m gonna show you is a really,
really kinda tried and tested method for getting your chord changes faster. So, what we’re gonna do is,
we’re gonna pick a pair of chords. We might do first, say, D and A. First, as a first one.
It doesn’t really matter which ones you choose but let’s say D and A chord. And we’re gonna try and make
as many changes between D and A as we can in one minute. So you need some sort of timer device, right? I use the little countdown timer on my iPhone
but you could use things like egg timer or anything else that’s got a countdown timer. I’m sure there are countdown liners…
countdown liners …countdown TIMERS online if you have a look around,
if you did a google search I’m sure you’d find one. So, maybe using something like that and the idea would literally be
that you have a look at your clock or your watch and you go: “Right here, OK, it’s starting…now! (plays) 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12…” …and you just keep going for a whole minute,
trying to make as many possible changes as you can in that time. And when you have arrived at the end of that minute
and you know how many you’ve done, in your practice schedule, you write the number of changes
that you made in the little box. And this is really good now for your motivation because you get to watch yourself improve. Every time you’re practicing you got a target ’cause you know: “Last time I practiced,
well, I got like seven changes in a minute. OK, I’m definitely gonna beat that this time.
Alright, let’s go for eight!” You know, it’s a really good idea
to write it down in your practice schedule and then compete with yourself.
And a lot of it’s kinda mental. You gotta be pushing yourself,
really trying to make it faster, trying everytime. Have the mindset that you’re going really,
really as quick as possible. Now, you can’t make the chords kinda rubbish, right? If the fingers are on the wrong strings,
you know, then it’s kinda not right – or the wrong frets – but if the chord’s not perfect, that’s OK ’cause this exercise is about trying to get your fingers
to move quickly. That’s the point of it. So, if it’s like it’s not quite perfect, that’s OK. You can still count it. Now, counting it: how to count it. There’s been quite a lot of debate about this. I actually intended when I wrote this exercise
in the first time I taught it online that one cycle would be counted as one. So if you went D to A and then back to D, that would be one. And everytime you got back to D you’d count. So you go: (plays) 1,2,3,4,etc. Now, a lot of people kind of misconstrued that little bit
and they thought it was: (plays) 1,2,3,4,5,6… Now, to tell the truth, it doesn’t really matter
which one you choose to use. If you wanna do one whole cycle as counting one
or if you wanna do…you know, count it each time you change chords at all then that’s OK.
It’s up to you. As long as you keep using the same system it’s fine. Now, even though I originally said
one complete cycle is one, I think, probably it’s a bit easier just everytime you change chords
to make your count. So you’re going: (plays) 1,2,3,4,5,6… So that’s probably not a bad way to do it. I reckon that might be slightly better
but it doesn’t really matter. Now , what’s your target? Well, when you first start trying to do
these 1 Minute Changes, you’ll probably find that you get between six and eight or nine,
that’d be pretty damn good actually, eight or nine would be the high end
of how many changes people get in their first 1 Minute Changes. So, have a little go at picking
each one of the combinations now, so it’ll be D and A, D and E and A and E and take each one for one minute, see how many
you can get, write it in you practice routine. The target is 30 complete changes
or if you’re counting everytime you change chords you’re aiming for 60 which is one chord change a second. Now when you get to that sort of speed
you should be able to play your songs fairly comfortably. So, that’s the reason for that. It’s really speed, speed. Trying to get those fingers
moving faster, that’s the whole picture, dudes, and so lots and lots of work on this
and it will lead to good things. I promise you. So, get into that. Practice hard
and I’ll see you for another lesson very soon. There’s one more thing I wanna tell you about which is how to join me
when we’ve gotta play something together and I’ll do that usually by counting in. So normally I’ll just count you a “3,4” and then
we would start together on count 1. That’s the normal way of doing things. Sometimes count a whole bar,
like “1,2,3,4” and then we start. I think that’s a little bit long-winded,
especially in this sort of situation. So, often I’ll just count like – I’ll go: “3,4” (plays)
and then we’d start playing at the same time. So, just watch out for that “3,4” count-along. OK, let’s check out what’s in your practice routine.


  • Reply IR330AX February 6, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    If you are watching lesson after lesson, check how the view count is falling down with each video. It's so sad that so many people gave up that early …

  • Reply j mckee February 17, 2017 at 4:15 am

    oh my poor fingers they feel numb I will donate so helpful and very clear on instructions…. Thanks Justin

  • Reply Bass Boosted Sounds February 17, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    one of the best teacher out there on youtube 🙂
    even tho. my fingers hurts im confident to learn guitar .

  • Reply Nodendra Yadav February 20, 2017 at 2:49 am

    The first day:
    D-A 6 cycles
    D-E 5 cycles
    A-E 7 cycles
    After 2 weeks' practice:
    D-A 30 cycles
    D-E 30 cycles
    A-E 32 cycles
    And my fingers are sore as hell.

  • Reply selsab February 20, 2017 at 11:57 pm

    i just got my first guitar and i did this challenge and i got 42 changes on my first run. then again i also play the ukulele so maybe that helped

  • Reply Shej Siva February 27, 2017 at 10:52 am

    this Is like 8 years old but its still the most helpful guide for guitar no joke. thanks man for this

  • Reply Graeme P March 1, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    first time at it and this is so helpful, thank you Justin..

  • Reply Sito Corleone March 4, 2017 at 5:46 am

    Gracias Justin, bendiciones. 😀

  • Reply renia christine March 11, 2017 at 5:45 am

    haha when he said 8 or 9 would be a high score, i tried it and got 17 on my first try, but i do play violin, so moving your fingers fast isnt that new to me. Its just the positions i find hard!

  • Reply Rudolfs Celms March 20, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    Dude, you are awesome, thank you ! Greetings from Latvia!

  • Reply christopher dsouza March 27, 2017 at 10:59 am

    I can't thank you enough. This is the kind of lessons i have been looking for and i hope that i will be able to play. wish me luck

  • Reply giacomo mazzarella April 15, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    i got 13 first try

  • Reply Praise The Lion Of Judah April 17, 2017 at 10:57 am

    Rally useful exercise I went from 13 (D/A), 10 (A/E), 10 (D/E) to 38 (D/A), 32 (A/E), 34 (D/E) in only 3 days of practice. Practicing this really does help – I got those numbers on my 6th attempt over 3 days. Good luck

  • Reply OnetrueGirl April 18, 2017 at 10:33 pm

    This video has really been helping me!! thank you for getting straight to teaching, I'm a beginning player and I write a lot of poems. I got inspired by your videos to keep advancing my skill level! Thank you <3

  • Reply liv lmao May 2, 2017 at 2:44 am

    Here are my numbers from my very first time doing these (my plan is to find this comment every month as a way to monitor my progress):

    A-D: 17 (Cycles-8.5)
    A-E: 17 (Cycles-8.5)
    D-E: 15 (Cycles-7.5)

  • Reply Fermanagh prepper May 2, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    my daughter started 2 play guitar 2 weeks ago with tutor so I went on YouTube and came across these vids both of us are now hooked thank u lad

  • Reply Cloneus May 27, 2017 at 9:22 am

    17 first try!! 😀 Thanks Sensei!

  • Reply San June 1, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    currently at: 38, 36, 46. aaaah!

  • Reply Avinash t June 14, 2017 at 2:21 pm


  • Reply Nimisha Banerjee July 3, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    question?….while changing from A to D do i need to strum exactly as shown in the diagram like first four strings for D and first five strings for A or does it not really matter? thankyou

  • Reply Odhran Rame July 25, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    I done 4 rounds per change so for A-D on round one I got 21, round two I got 28, round three I got 36 and on round four I got 40, it's just so great to see yourself improve and it's crazy to see how much you can improve in such a short amount of time

  • Reply ibrahim noor July 27, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    is it necessary to curl your index finger at the last joint (DIP joint) while playing the A chord? my finger kind of gets straight there.

  • Reply Oi Rijal July 29, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    thanks justin 🙂 really helps

  • Reply Gerard Scott July 30, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    Yip….Justin has got to be one of the best….and seems like such a sound guy too

  • Reply FluffyRawan August 5, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    What about looking at the the fretboard to get the chords right? I can't do chords right without looking. Is that normal?

  • Reply Martin Larocque August 9, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    what are the easy songs to play with just A E D chords

  • Reply Thomas Noner August 17, 2017 at 5:49 am

    Subtitle in German woulde be nice. Great lessons, love it.

  • Reply SwarleyND - August 24, 2017 at 3:14 am

    12 on my first!
    I hope to get better in this lmao

  • Reply Gayatri Mandhane August 28, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    u r really nice teacher i must say i like u a lot u teach awesome

  • Reply AhamBrahmasmi September 9, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    God Bless you man ! I was struggling with learning guitar by my own and sort of gave up…but your website came like a blessing. Now i am in Beginners course and i hope to learn guitar by my Birthday next year. I will surely donate to you once i learn basic stuffs on my Birthday next year in March. 🙂
    PS: – I typed this with my sore fingers 😛

  • Reply Jonny Plays September 26, 2017 at 8:50 pm

    i got more than one chord per second

  • Reply Ahsan Ayyaz September 30, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    my ring finger keeps touching the lower string, i am arching it as much as i can, what should i do to resolve this problem.

  • Reply Cody Paris October 12, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    I have 10 at least woohoo above average

  • Reply Sunny Castillo October 22, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!! changed my life!

  • Reply Micael Tafari November 3, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    I strum really fast while I'm changing the chords should I worry about it ?

  • Reply Fr. Sunday Ikpe November 22, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    Just the best teacher ever

  • Reply Diskonnected November 23, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    OK idk wtf is happening but I learned all three chords and can change relatively well in under 30 minutes…

  • Reply Gathering No Moss December 2, 2017 at 12:32 am

    WTF I though I had the 3 chords down clean, then was practicing the changes – not bad. Then I went back to play each chord and listen to each string and I'm getting dead notes again. It's a curse having big fingers – I tell you. Going to start from scratch again tomorrow when the throbbing in my fingers has died down (but I am getting a callous on my index after just a day and a half, so that's promising)

  • Reply Ciccio Coppola December 22, 2017 at 11:48 pm

    Does it matter if you strum the wrong strings between chord changes?

  • Reply Maria December 23, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    Cooling my fingers on the screen. Only me? Okay

  • Reply Michal Ben-Haim January 5, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    This is amazing. Thank you so much

  • Reply FluffyRawan January 18, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    mastered changing from E to A, but sounds like thats not everything SOBBING وااااااااااااااااااع

  • Reply Fit Londoners March 6, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    i love your teaching x

  • Reply Joe Bower March 12, 2018 at 10:08 pm

    I'm just picking this up again after a year or so, I'm sure there was a way of muting that he showed us before but I can't find it and its driving me mad hearing the strings that keep getting played (for example the bottom string of in an A-C chord change),

  • Reply Roberto Santos March 16, 2018 at 2:32 am

    Sorry to ask but do we look at the guitar while we do it or try not to look and play the chords?

  • Reply Niamh Gunn April 14, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    I played guitar when I was younger and got good but stopped playing it. I started off today not really remembering much, and now I can play a lot of chords again and am happy with my changes Thanks so much!

  • Reply Shubham Dubey April 19, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    All hail to this great tutor!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Reply shiva Abhinay challa April 24, 2018 at 11:58 am

    Best ever lessons i saw. U r the best teacher too…. Thank you. 😍

  • Reply Teresa Perez April 24, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    I got a guitar for 13th b day, and you are a great teacher. I was looking on YouTube for some videos and all the cords where to hard:( I was getting ready to give up, but these videos helped so much. Thx so much <333>

  • Reply Anne Perrottet April 25, 2018 at 3:13 pm

    Great teacher. Do you teach piano as well?

  • Reply Fernando Sosa April 27, 2018 at 1:28 am

    This exercise is amazing! I got 23 changes (from the one, one, one, one type) on my first try, and I'm now at 44. Thank you!

  • Reply Chris B June 14, 2018 at 2:01 am

    i got 12 (24 if you do each chord play) on my second try! it's really helpful man!

  • Reply Ed Soto July 7, 2018 at 2:08 am

    Thanks just, your pointers are real good…appreciate big time….

  • Reply Van Anh nguyen tran August 20, 2018 at 3:26 pm

    you have no idea how helpful your videos are, such a good teacher

  • Reply Mrlegitbeans August 21, 2018 at 3:32 am

    First attempt D-A 16 cycles. Shit's hard as hell

  • Reply Liam Montgomery August 27, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    Very good. Easy to follow.

  • Reply Vociferous Rich September 8, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    i really struggle with the A chord because i have sausage fingers.

  • Reply Remix1385 October 1, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    Thanks for the lesson videos, very interesting for me as I'm just beginning to play guitar (like 1 week). I tried this exercise for the first time today and noted the results in an excel spreadsheet, 10 A-D cycles/min (20 chords), 9 D-E and 11 A-E, l just need to do it 3 times faster lol ! Lots of training incoming !

  • Reply Anjel Maharjan October 3, 2018 at 1:06 pm

    An hour practicing the quick switch between those 3 chords! My fingers hurt

  • Reply rgerber November 9, 2018 at 6:57 pm

    it doesn't matter if fingers are not placed perfect he said.
    I made 597 changes and broke my ankles and 3 elbows (hitting nearby people). Laying in Hospital, but I'm still changing!

  • Reply FreddaRL November 24, 2018 at 10:09 pm

    I'm gonna document my learning journey here. I'll do this weekly I guess
    Day #1 – 24th of November 2018 (average of 3 attempts each):
    D – A = 33

    D – E = 43

    E – A = 35

  • Reply Atlas December 5, 2018 at 2:08 am

    Damn I really thought I was hot shit when I got 12 changes in one minute but then I heard we have to target 30, and that knocked me down a couple hundred notches for sure holy shit.

  • Reply Tony Jouls December 11, 2018 at 8:02 pm

    Hey, newcomer here, should I mute 5th string somehow while changing A to D?

  • Reply Grey Flame December 20, 2018 at 3:31 am

    This is honestly the most helpful tutorial I've tried yet. i just got myself a guitar and i already feel like I'm learning faster than when i tried using apps and other junk with my old room mates guitar.

  • Reply Trey Macaluso February 16, 2019 at 4:52 am

    This reminds me of an old British Infantry Rifleman exercise that started around WWI called the Mad Minute. If I recall correctly, they had to hit a 200m target as many times as possible in a minute with a Lee Enfield bolt action rifle, and British Infantrymen were legendary for their speed with those rifles because of it. They said a line of British soldiers with those rifles sounded like machine gun fire. Just a cool historical fun fact, for anyone who digs that.

    Anyway, I really appreciate your lessons. I just got to this one, I've been going through slowly but surely over the last couple of weeks. I really appreciate what you do, the quality of your lessons is great and I'm grateful that you provide them for free, because cost is a barrier for me right now. Music has been a great outlet for me.

  • Reply Hana Mcavoy February 16, 2019 at 4:26 pm

    I got 18 cycles AE on my first try hope ill get better

  • Reply Napoleon IV February 23, 2019 at 3:51 pm

    First try (Day 3 of guitar):
    D-A: 4 cycles
    D-E: 5 cycles
    E-A: 6 cycles
    I made sure to only count them if they sounded well enough.

  • Reply Gabriel Rivera March 7, 2019 at 12:48 am

    I’m just starting my guitar journey ! I hope I get as good as you ugh

  • Reply flykicks94 March 10, 2019 at 1:17 am

    I’ll make it on god bro

  • Reply Zack Rose March 20, 2019 at 5:53 pm

    You’re a blessing

  • Reply Sam Daniele March 22, 2019 at 7:46 am

    I'm doing ok. Only issue I'm having is leaving that gap between the palm and the neck (u know the one where he says pretend there's a rod or something there that gives u an electric shock. ) I see a lot of people claiming night score but I'm standing its tremendously harder for me like this

  • Reply Joceline Ellis March 26, 2019 at 6:02 am

    20 changes

  • Reply Amanda March 28, 2019 at 5:48 pm

    wow i got 40 transitions (20 cycles) on the first try! learning piano is actually so useful to learn other instruments

  • Reply Nathan Manzano April 3, 2019 at 4:21 am

    Are the chords same for electric guitar and acoustic? I’m learning electric guitar and I’m confused

  • Reply Once you JIMIN You can't JIMOUT April 9, 2019 at 5:03 am

    Wow. That's all I can say. Thank you so much😆🤗 You're a great teacher I'll keep looking forward on your videos. I respect you dude.

  • Reply Deep Sukhwani April 10, 2019 at 4:38 pm

    First first attempt:
    Counting Each Chord (D-1, A-2, D-3, A-4 and so on…)
    D-A — 14
    D-E — 18
    A-E — 16

    So much fun 😁😁😁

  • Reply Tia Mthembu May 16, 2019 at 5:42 pm

    Thank you soo much…guitar has never been easy thanks to you😍😍😍…love from South Africa

  • Reply FxnWaySheGoes May 16, 2019 at 11:20 pm

    64 D to A. Counting each individual change. Decent. Could sound better however

  • Reply Nearell May 19, 2019 at 9:13 pm

    My first try for posterity:

    D to A = 20 chords (10 cycles)
    A to E = 18 chords (9 cycles)
    D to E = 18 chords (9 cycles)

    They didn’t sound that great but I’m actually proud of myself lol

  • Reply Ish Bhuiyan May 28, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    A little tip from one beginner to another, I managed to hit 40 a couple of days into starting the guitar, (for the A and D chords.) The index and ring finger can stay on the same strings, you just gotta train the middle finger to move from the fourth string to the first string and slide the ring down one fret. Literally works like a charm, I hope to be able to hit 60 soon and move on to the next lesson.

  • Reply choochoochooseyou May 29, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    What a fantastic exercise, Justin. I was speeding up by the end of the first minute.

  • Reply taius20 June 1, 2019 at 10:14 pm

    21 changes between d and a on my first go. spent the last hour going through the first videos in this series, they're brilliant.

  • Reply Ryan James June 7, 2019 at 9:22 am

    D-A 44
    D-E 30
    E-A 26

  • Reply Jolie heron June 26, 2019 at 5:16 pm

    I can't be more grateful than this lesson 😭💙❤️

  • Reply Mai Al mehairi July 4, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    i did 9 rounds in a minute LMAO

  • Reply Nawal Ansari July 6, 2019 at 6:37 am

    Guys, if you are finding it too hard to get the chords to sound right, maybe get your guitar action checked. I was struggling with maybe 6-7 changes per minute and after lowering the action, I'm at 30-40 changes in a minute. And this is 2 days after action lowering.

    Please, check your guitar action. High action makes guitar harder and less pleasurable to learn!

  • Reply Ryan christian Pastolero July 13, 2019 at 2:20 am

    This one really help me but i can't donate .. sorry po.

  • Reply AJ G July 16, 2019 at 3:16 am

    A tip for the timer is to use the voice recorder app on your phone. You record yourself playing, then play it back and count. That way you aren't thinking about counting while practicing.

  • Reply Timo July 30, 2019 at 5:35 pm

    1 minute changes everything

  • Reply Reuben Wheeler July 30, 2019 at 10:23 pm

    When he gets 12 in five seconds and you get 18 in the minute

  • Reply FierceFIRE August 23, 2019 at 4:37 pm

    People in the comment section are like: I got 30 changes on my first try! While I'm over here with my 8 changes struggling. That's to be expected on day 2 right?

  • Reply PoLISh JeRRY August 26, 2019 at 4:32 pm

    I Was like, I SUCK i won't be able to get 7
    And Then I Actually Got 29

  • Reply Hype Mood August 28, 2019 at 1:57 pm

    Hi im 30+ ,did i late for learning guitar?

  • Reply Josh Parsons September 1, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    So basically I cant go on to the next lesson for 2 whole years because that is how long it will take for me to get a chord change every second

  • Reply Enzo Valentino September 5, 2019 at 11:40 pm

    I got 10 full cycles in my first try. That's from E to D to A and repeat.

    I got 5 on my second try and then 7 on my third.

    This is pretty fun

  • Reply Pelu Carol Theodor September 10, 2019 at 8:43 pm

    Done 24 changes the first time. Guess it's alright for a beginner.

  • Reply Corrie Crazy September 20, 2019 at 5:17 pm

    This is a great exercise! May I suggest that you say the chord names out loud as you play them? It really helps to cement them into your memory.

  • Reply shadow assasin October 1, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    Where is g chord? I'm just a new subcriber but i already love the way you teach much easier😅

  • Reply L Manning October 3, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    Perfect! Tks

  • Reply マイルス October 26, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    There is just one problem.. I have no clue how many I did. I can't do two things at once. I either count, or I play chords. Counting without playing cords means I'm doing absolutely nothing, so all I can do is play chords without counting.. >,<

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