The A chord on guitar is very common. It’s one of those chords that pops up again and again, in all styles of music. In this free lesson you will learn:
- How to play the A chord on guitar correctly
- The best A chord for beginner guitarists to use
- The 2 Most Important Tips For Mastering An A Chord on Guitar
- 2 bonus tricks you can use to make your A chords sound better
Mastering The A Chord On Guitar
The full name of the A chord is “A Major”, but most people simply call it “A”. In it’s full form the A chord on guitar looks like this:
(If you don't understand the above image please read our article "How To Read Guitar Chordboxes In 60 Seconds". It will make everything clear!)
Playing an A chord on guitar is relatively straightforward (compared to some other chords, such as F), but it still presents a big challenge to the absolute guitar beginner.
So what can you do to quickly learn how to play the A chord on guitar?
2 Important Tips For Playing The A Chord On Guitar
- Compress your fingers together as much as possible – try to form them into 1 ‘block’ that you can fret as a single movement.
- It is essential that you play with your fingertips (the very ends of your fingers – just below your fingernails). Do not use the ‘pads’ of your fingers (where your fingerprints are). Your fingertips need to make contact with the fretboard at a 90-degree angle.
Easy ways to play the A chord on guitar
I tell my new students to play an easier version of A, just to get them started. This very easy chord is called “Asus2” and it looks like this:
This is a fabulous version of A to learn and it acts as an excellent stepping stone towards playing the full A chord.
The Best Easy Versions Of This Chord
Another way to play the A chord
Another alternative version of the A chord on guitar is “A7”. This is a relatively easy chord to play and has an interesting (and much stronger) sound than Asus2.
This chord works particularly well for rock, blues and jazz.
2 bonus tips to use when playing A chords
Remember that regardless of what version of A chord you play, you should only play strings 1-5. String 6 should not be played! Let’s have a quick refresher on string numbers:
Don’t ever be tempted to play Am (pronounced “A minor”) or Am7 (pronounced “A minor 7”) instead of the A chords above. A minor has a very different sound to A!
The most common types of A chord.
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The most common barred A chords
(This is more for intermediate and advanced guitarists, so don’t worry if you can’t play these yet!)
Find Out What You Should Learn Next With Our Guitar Map
If you want to understand where you’re up to in your guitar journey you should take a look at our Guitar Map. It will show you what you ‘should’ know by now (and also what you need to learn next to move forward as a guitarist).
Most people find that the Guitar Map shows them how everything fits together and best of all, it will help you identify gaps in your knowledge that are holding you back.
(There is often just one piece of information that holds people back, 1 key insight that they need to know so they can continue moving forward and improving in their guitar journey.)
We made the Guitar Map so people like you can quickly identify what you don’t know, that you need to know next. We hope that makes sense!?
NOTE: The Guitar Map is now included in our free special report: 'The 7 Steps To Guitar Mastery'.
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