Now that we’ve explored finger independence, let’s look at an example of a guitarist who
has clearly mastered this, British fusion legend, Allan Holdsworth. Check out the video
below for an example of his staggering chordal work and look at how effortlessly he
switches between difficult chord shapes.
Now, don’t feel bad, he has huge hands, and can stretch them farther than most, but if you
study the video (with the sound off if jazz isn’t your thing), you’ll see that Allan is
exceptionally fluid and in complete control of his left hand. There’s no tension between
chord switches and his fingers just glide to the next note. That’s the goal here, fluidity
Here’s another example of fast moving chords and finger independence, this time from the
classical guitar literature. Check out the playing in this clip:
This is an example etude (Opus 31, no. 20) by Fernando Sor, a guitarist/composer who lived
from 1778-1839. He was a monster player and wrote great exercises. This one is
specifically to work on changing chords rapidly. I’ll pull out a few chords for Fig. 7 so
you have some real music to chew on.