How to Play the A Chord on Guitar: 3 Easy Ways

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

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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:

A Major


(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.

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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:

Understanding Guitar 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.

A chords

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!)

A barred chords

Here are some other cool-sounding A chords
A Chord On Guitar

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