Instructor: Dwight H.
From big bands to rock ensembles, and even R&B groups, Dwight has played with them all. He's been teaching guitar for over 10 years. When teaching, he draws from his experience on stage, injecting the knowledge of what it takes to be a gigging musician into every lesson.

A Chord On Guitar (Easy Lesson with Pictures)


A Chord Guitar A Chord #1 A Chord #2 A Barre Chord

The A Major guitar chord is a staple of the instrument -- and of many popular musical genres you'll be tackling on your way to guitar mastery. You'll be encountering this chord again and again, so today, we're going to be showing you the most common way to play it, a few variations that will allow you to play the chord in different positions on the fretboard, and some tips that will help these chords sound their best.

How to Play A Chord on Guitar

The most common version of the A Major you'll come across is in open position near the top of the guitar, like this:

A Chord on Guitar

  • Place your 1st finger on the 4th string/2nd fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 3rd string/2nd fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 2nd string/2nd fret
  • Play strings 1 and 5 open
  • Mute string 6

It's a simple configuration, but with all your notes being bunched together on the 2nd fret like that, you'll have to work hard at compressing your fingers to fit the tight space. What can help, however, is mastering the art of playing chords with your fingertips.

This will allow you to come down at a 90-degree angle, touching the strings only at the point you need and not obstructing your other fingers as you play.

A Chord Guitar Variant #1

Now, this isn't the only way to play an A Major chord. If you decide you want to mix things up in open position at the top of the fretboard, you can try this more complicated variant of the chord:

A Chord on Guitar #1

  • Use your 1st finger to cover strings 2, 3, and 4 on the 2nd fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 5th string/4th fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 6th string/5th fret
  • Place your 4th finger on the 1st string/5th fret

This is a big stretch, obviously, so if you have smaller hands you might not be able to pull it off.

A Chord Guitar Variant #2

You might instead try this variation near the 4th fret:

A Chord on Guitar #2

  • Place your 1st finger on the 5th string/4th fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 6th string/5th fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 3rd string/6th fret
  • Place your 4th finger on the 4th string/7th fret
  • Play string 1 open
  • Mute string 2

A Barre Chord Guitar

Finally, we can't forget the bar chord version of A Major, on the 5th fret:

A Chord on Guitar Barre

  • Use your 1st to cover the strings at the 5th fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 3rd string/6th fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 5th string/7th fret
  • Place your 4th finger on the 4th string/7th fret

Keep Practicing

There are even more variations of A Major that you can learn, and each will give you the ability to play the chord in a slightly different position on the fretboard. This will come in handy when moving around playing more complicated tunes. Good luck, and as always, happy practicing!

Next Lesson:

Ab Guitar Chord

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