what chords to learn first

5 Ways to Play the A Chord on Guitar

what chords to learn first
A chord on guitar

The A chord is one of the chords every guitar player will have to know. One of the most commonly used chords is the A chord on guitar.

In this Lesson you will learn:

  • 5 ways to play the A chord on guitar.
  • How to play the A chord on guitar properly.
  • What notes are in the A chord.
  • Bonus Video

Mastering the A chord on Guitar 

A chord is the generic or slang name for the A Major chord. Most musicians call it the A chord. Here is a look of what it looks like.

 

A chord on guitar
A chord on guitar

Click this link to learn how to read a chord diagram.

The A chord on guitar is a simple chord to master. The hardest thing about playing the open A chord and that may seem odd, is getting all your fingers into the second fret box at the same time. Check out some ways to make playing the A chord easier for you.

Tips to Make Playing the A chord on Guitar Easier

  1. Keep your fingers together, and move them all in unison.
  2. Make sure you use the tips of your fingers. If there was a dot on your finger tip, you should not be able to see it when its on the string.

Check out the video link at the end of this page to play the A chord on guitar in a song called Turn the Page.

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Easy Ways to Play the A chord on Guitar

If you find it hard in the beginning to play an A chord. Don’t give up! Keep practicing to play it. But another A chord is the Asus2 chord. It involves only two fingers, which makes playing this A chord on guitar much easier. Look at how its played.

Easier A chord on guitar
A chord on guitar

As you can see only two fingers are needed to play the Asus2 chord. Just raise your third finger off of the second string. Now you have an easier A chord on guitar. Below is direction for playing the Asus2.

  • Put your 1st finger on the 4th string, the D string at the 2nd fret.
  • Put your 2nd finger on the 3rd string, the G string, at the second fret.
  • Start the strum from the 5th string. Which is the A string.

Another Way to Play the A chord is the A7 Chord on Guitar

The A7 Which is an A dominant seventh chord. Is another easy A chord on guitar. This chord is played a lot in the blues. It is also found in Rock songs, like Day Tripper by the Beatles. You can here it in Jazz too. The A7 is a popular chord. Here is how it looks:

A chord on guitar
A7 chord

This is where your fingers go on the fingerboard of the guitar.

  • Put your 2nd finger on the 4th string, the D string, at the 2nd fret.
  • Put your 3rd finger on the 2nd string, the B string, at the 2nd fret.
  • Strum from the 5th string.

When Playing the A Chord on Guitar here are Two Tips to Follow

  1. No matter which of these forms of A chords you are playing you only play these strings. 5-1, Remember the 1 string is the thinnest string and goes down to the 6th string the thickest string. So you want to play (5,4,3,2,1).
  2. Never strum the 6th string when playing the open A chord on guitar, the A7 or the Asus2.

Another A Chord on Guitar is the A Major Barre Chord

This is a little more tricky for beginner guitar players to master. It could take weeks maybe months to play it without any dead notes. The reason being a beginner guitar player has not built up finger dexterity and strength. Still here is how it looks:

A chord on guitar
A Barre chord

If you have problems holding the strings down on this chord. Try strengthening your fingers. Click the link for the finger strengthening technique exercise.

Here is where to place your fingers to play the A Maj barre chord.

  • Put your 1st finger across all the strings at the 5th fret.
  • Then put your 2nd finger on the 3rd string, the G string, at the 6th fret.
  • Next Place your 3rd finger on the 5th string, the A string, at the 7th fret.
  • Finally put your 4th  finger on the 4th string, the D, at the 7th fret.

How to Master the A chord on Guitar (Barre Chord)

This A chord on guitar is called the 6 string root chord. Why? because the root is on the 6th string and it is a Barre chord. “Barre” because you are using your first finger like a barre across all the strings. Here are some tips to make this chord easier to play.

Guitar Tips

  1.  When using your first finger to barre across all the strings don’t keep your finger flat on the strings.
  2. Use the outer part of your finger. Lay the bone part of your finger across the strings.
  3. Your finger should be a little bent.
  4. Keep your thumb low against the back of the guitar neck.
  5. Use force on your thumb and fingers to hold the strings down.

If you need more tips check out this video on 6th string root chords.

What are the Notes in an A chord on Guitar 

The A Chord on guitar is short for the A Major chord. The A Major chord consists of the 1, or root note, the 3rd note and the 5th note of the Major scale in the key of A. Thus the notes of the A chord on guitar are an A, C#, and E. The pound sign # is the symbol for Sharp.

An Easier Barre Shape A Chord on Guitar

If a full blown Barre chord seems hard right now for you, no worries. Try this what I call Mini barre chord. It makes it a lot easier to play. Here’s what the “mini Barre” A chord on guitar looks like:

A Chord
A chord

Don’t worry about the 6th string when you play this chord. It is still an a chord on guitar when you play it from the 5th string down. Here is where you want to put your fingers.

  • Barre strings 1 and 2 with your first finger, at the 5th fret.
  • Put your 2nd finger on the 3rd string, at the 6th fret.
  • Put your 3rd finger on the 4th sting, at the 7th fret.
  • Start the strum at the 5th string.

 


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