At first glance, you might think the A# Major guitar chord, pronounced A Sharp, is one you can gloss over in your guitar studies. A more careful examination, however, will show you that A# shows up more than you think, and you'd do well to add this important combination of notes to your repertoire.
It might not always be front and center, but A# Major rears its head in jazzy-rock tunes like Steely Dan's Boston Rag; here are a few ways you can tackle the chord when you encounter it in a song.
For many players, the barre chord version of A# Major is the easiest to remember and the most straightforward to play. If you know your major barre chord shape, you can just fret on the 6th fret and get your fingers into position. If you don't know the shape, however, it is as follows:
There's also a lesser-known barre version of A# Major you can play on the 1st fret:
And a "barre-like" variation you can try out on the 3rd fret:
Executing a proper barre isn't something all guitarists can do (or want to do in every instance). If pulling off the barre chord is tricky, or you want to add some variety to how you play A# Major, you can head to the 5th fret to try this variation:
All the remaining "full" versions of the A# Major chord will require high levels of dexterity and careful muting to ensure you're only playing the correct strings:
With your high-fret chord variations especially, try to be precise with your fingering to ensure a great sound from your guitar. As you learn these different ways to play A# Major, you'll start to get a sense of which variants will sound best in different songs or scenarios.
Keep your ears open, fingers stretched, and, as always, happy practicing!
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