Watch the Workarounds online guitar lesson by Rich Maloof from Acoustic Guitar For Beginners

Even the most accomplished players have a few tricks to help them get through difficult spots. While you're building your skill set, consider workarounds you can use to get through a song. Sometimes, you have to fake it to make it!
- Sometimes a chord is tucked between two other chords. Especially in a progression with a descending bass line, that middle chord (in some instances called a passing chord) doesn't have to be fully shaped. You may be able to get away with just plucking its bass note.
- Use chord substitutions. For instance, when you see 9 chords (A9, E9), you can play dominant 7 instead (A7, E7).
- Look at the chord grid instead of the chord name.
- Trust your ears, not your eyes. If you come upon a really difficult part, listen back to the original recording you're trying to replicate. Does that part really have to be mastered to strum your way through the song? Or does it pass by quickly, allowing for some quick cheat?
Not to beat a dead horse here, but if you keep a steady rhythm going, you can get away with just about anything.