This southern rock anthem, "Free Bird" by Lynrd Skynrd is a great beginner song because it is in the key of G, and because it is slow. One challenge however, is that most of the chords last only 2 beats, so there is a lot of chord changing going on. (Note: If you have trouble changing chords, the best thing you can do is to get a copy of , which is specially designed to show beginners how to master chord changes.).
G to D:
We will leave out the 2nd finger from the G chord. It is usually used on the 5th string, but that note is not necessary. Leaving it out will free us up to have the first finger ready for its note on the upcoming D chord. While you are playing the G chord, keep the 1st finger hovering over the 3rd string, 2nd fret. And keep it relaxed!
D to Em :
Usually, we would finger the Em with 2 & 3, or 1 & 2, but I am using 3 & 4 here just to make a point about changing to the upcoming F chord. Using 3 & 4 has some advantages that some people may find worthwhile. It depends on your exact level of development. Try it, and if you like it do it that way, if it is more trouble than it is worth, don't use it, but remember the logic of it for future use in other situations.
The logic of using 3 & 4 for the Em chord is that those two fingers can stay on the string and just slide up when it comes time to switch to the F chord. Then, the bar can just come down, along with 2. This is easier for some people just getting used to switching to the dreaded F bar chord! For those more experienced, it is just as easy to switch from one of the other fingers. Choose what works best for you.
Em to F:
Make sure your 2nd finger is relaxed and low to the string, as well as the 1st finger, which should already be extended over the first fret, ready to go down. With these fingers positioned like this, slide 3 & 4 up one fret from their position on the Em chord, placing the bar and 2nd finger as you do. Hello, F bar chord!
F to C
C to D
Copyright ©1999 Jamie Andreas. All Rights Reserved.