Tips For Perfecting Your Strum And Chord Changes

2 Week ‘Kick Start’ Beginner Guitar Course
– with Mark McKenzie Part 11

“How to Get Perfect Strumming And Smooth Chord Changes”

If you’re like most beginners at this stage, you’re probably struggling with your chord changes. And you’re probably wondering how on Earth you’ll ever get fast enough to make them sound smooth. Right?

Well, I’ve got an amazing secret for you that’s gonna make your changes silky smooth… and the best part? You don’t need to have lightning fast hands to do it.

I call this technique the ‘In Breath’. Watch the video to find out more.



  1. manfred

    Hi Mark, today “[m 72 years and and februry 17 getting a eye operation that make it difficultlyto start with the lessons J will start first of may.Thanks for understanding manfred

  2. jim

    good lesson mark should I let the high E string ring on the A chord

    1. Mark McKenzie

      No, you should definitely try NOT to play that string in the A chord. Thanks Jim

  3. camille

    I love your guitar lesson there great

  4. tufan

    how to download guitar chord?

    1. Jon Coursey Post author

      Hi Tufan, do you mean the free chord book we offer? I should open up in your browser with a option to download it. If you don’t see any download button, try right clicking the download button and selecting ‘save link as’. Then select where you want to download it to on your computer.

  5. Shinoy joshi

    Hi Mark ,thanks for your wonderful lessons.My problem is that I lose grip on plectrum while strumming.

    1. Mark McKenzie

      That’s completely normal! Keep at it and you’ll soon find that the pick gets easier to grip. Also, in case you missed it – here’s the link to my holding a pick lesson:

  6. Nishu Chandra

    is there any more that applies to this?

    1. Mark McKenzie

      Hi Nishu. If you’re referring to the concept of ‘leaving early to arrive on time’ when changing chords then no, there isn’t any thing else that applies. As you practice this more you’ll find that you won’t have to leave so early and you’ll gain more control over when you make your move. Sometimes you’ll want to leave early for the effect it produces, while other times you’ll want fast changes where you leave at the last split second. All these subtleties come with repetition and programming it into the subconscious. Now that you know this concept, you’ll be consciously practicing it every time you play. Eventually, you won’t think about the technique any more, but rather you’ll just ‘feel’ it without thinking.

  7. derek williams

    Hi Mark, I am going along steady and can change from chord to chord ok but I don’t think I could sing at the same time as playing

    1. Mark McKenzie

      Hi Derek, just keep working that tick tock strumming pattern until it becomes second nature (click here if you need a refresher on the ‘tick tock method’). It can take hours, so put on your favorite albums each day and strum along with them. Tip: it doesn’t matter if your strum isn’t exactly what’s on the track, just that you are practicing the tick tock rhythm. You’re programming this into your subconscious. Take your time, and you’ll soon find you can do it without thinking – then add the singing. Good luck mate.

      1. Randy Slack

        Hey mark thanks for everything so for it seems to BE really helping me over all keep them coming ! PS Wish you had more song videos on you tube like house of the rising sun or turn the page thanks again !

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *