When I practice a chord and /or chord changes, I can do it thousands of times (over days and weeks) and still not get my fingers in the exact same place each time. I am 50+ years old and was wondering if this is a hindrance on my ability to create muscle memory for these sorts of things ? One time it's right on and the next a finger is causing buzzing , or I can feel it's not right.

Any help is appreciated.

1 Answer 1


One of the problems is that we more mature people have far more on/in our minds/brains than younger guys, who appear to learn more quickly and retain it. Not always true! Everyone learns at different rates, so if you take longer, don't worry. In 20 years time, if you still go wrong, it's time to change instrument. I'm being jocular! Keep at it, obviously, but a couple of hints - which have featured in other answers. Choose your practice times carefully, if you're tired after a day's work, it's not good. Try playing chord shapes by hammering-on. This makes your fingers all arrive together on the fingerboard. Granted, not easy, but effective practice. Change without looking. Try to move fingers as little as possible, as in don't wave them around between chords, and leave a finger on if you don't need to take it off. Finally, as always here, get a teacher, if only for a couple of lessons. A good, experienced one will have seen all your problems in others, and have solutions.

  • 1
    Also, consider that "muscle memory" may not mean "precisely the same every time."
    – Yorik
    Feb 23, 2016 at 19:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.