Problems with chord recognition? We got you covered! Here's some helpful tips you can try to improve the acceptance rate of chords.
Make sure you play the right strings
- Check that your fingers are on the right frets and on the right strings. It's easy to make mistakes there even when you're an advanced player.
- If the chord diagram shows "X" on some string, don't play it. Chances are the note on that open string doesn't fit the chord. You can avoid strumming that string, or use your fingers (or thumb) to mute the unwanted strings by touching them lightly
Make sure you strum the strings
- Check your fretting technique, so each note is clear. Pick each note in the chord one at a time to ensure they all make a clear sound. It's difficult to hear the difference between playing a chord correctly vs incorrectly if you're strumming the whole chord.
- Check that your strumming is even across all the strings. Many people play the thicker strings hard and the thinner strings quietly or not at all. When you get the thinner strings to ring out, your chords sound more balanced. It's good to practice strumming with even pressure all the way through. You can even exaggerate the thinner strings to get the idea.
- The high E string is often not heard if the strum is not clear enough. You can avoid this by making sure you strum the thinnest strings with extra attention and using a pick.
- If a note is buzzing, adjust the position of the finger. Playing too far away from the fret requires more power, so always aim to play as close as you can.
Make sure the strings make sound
- Yousician tells you if a string is not heard when strumming chords. If you see a string marked red, pause the song to double check that the chord shape is correct and that all of the strings of the chord ring clearly when you play. You can check this by going through the chord string by string to ensure you don't accidentally mute any string that should be ringing.
- If you are muting a string with another finger, try to adjust your wrist or thumb position. For many chords (especially cowboy chords), you should be playing right up on your fingertips to avoid touching other strings. You should try to have your hand arched, not lying flat on the fretboard. Tip: long fingernails on your fretting hand get in the way and stop you from holding chords properly – you should keep them nice and short.
Check your set up
- Make sure your instrument is comfy to play. It should fit your hands and body (not too big or small), and the strings shouldn't feel too stiff or be set too high above the frets. Most local musical instrument shops are able to offer you advice on the right size and style of instrument for you. They can also perform a setup with finger-friendly strings (usually "light-gauge" or low-tension strings), set nice and close to the frets. A good setup can make a world of difference!
- Check that you have tuned your instrument with the in-app tuner. Ensure you are at a suitable distance from your microphone (not too close so it overloads).
Lower the background music
- If you have the volume level of the device set high this can affect recognition. Try lowering the volume. You can also connect headphones to your device.
Check this video for chord playing tips and troubleshooting.