The A major guitar chord is a pretty important chord to master. You will certainly make use of this particular chord in a great many songs, and thus perfecting it is vital to be able to play your favorite songs on the instrument.
In this post, I will illustrate a few ways to play the A major chord in case you're a beginner. Furthermore, you will discover more challenging voicings of the A major guitar chord at the end of the post, along with the barre chord version.
We need to get started with some easy music theory about the A major guitar chord.
Chords are comprised of 3 notes, meaning you need to play three notes in order to form the A major chord. All these notes are derived specifically from the A major scale.
You'll discover a number of chord charts in this post. The numbers within the dots will indicate which finger on your fretting hand goes where:
- The 1st finger will be your index finger
- The 2nd finger will be your middle finger
- The 3rd finger will be the ring finger
- The 4th finger is your little finger
For anybody who is not used to deciphering chord charts yet, learn them first.
How To play the A chord on guitar
Here are several ways to play the A major chord on the guitar.
Quick tip: a smart way to master a brand new guitar chord is to utilize the chord-on/chord-off method. You just play the chord, strum the strings, let it go, and repeat.
Play each variation loads, and you will learn them soon.
Easiest A major chord for beginner guitarists
Here is the most simplified way to hold down the A major guitar chord. As you will observe from the chord chart directly below, you only need 2 fingers to form this chord shape.
Easy A major chord fingering
This is how to fret the A major chord:
- Place your 1st finger on string 3 at fret 2.
- Put your 2nd finger below it on string 2 at fret 2.
- The high E string is played open.
- The lowest 3 strings are not played.
Now strum the chord, and ensure all of the notes ring out clearly.
Congrats, you can play an A major chord!
The tone might seem slightly thin, but that's because you are strumming only a couple of guitar strings. Larger sounding variants of the A major are coming.
Full sounding A major chord
This variation of the A major chord is somewhat harder, but it sounds far nicer. If you're able to play the easy version mentioned above, you need to get started discovering this voicing as well.
Full A major chord fingering
Here is how to play the full alternative of the A major chord:
- Put your second finger onto string D at fret 2.
- Now your third finger goes to string G at fret 2.
- And last of all, your fourth finger to string B on fret 2.
- The low E is not played with this chord, while strings A and high E are played open.
You can also use your 1st, 2nd and 3rd fingers to hold down this chord shape.
Pluck each string in the chord, and make certain all notes are ringing cleanly.
This is the most commonly used chord fingering of the A major guitar chord.
When you hear somebody say "Play the A major chord", this is in all likelihood the fingering they are referring to.
A major chord variation
Keep reading because I have another variation of the A major chord, this is a commonly used one as well.
A major chord alternate fingering
Here are the finger positions to this voicing of the A.
- Place your second finger across strings D-G-B at fret 2.
- Mute the high E string.
- The A string is played open.
- Don't play the low E string.
You can also use your 1st finger to fret this version of the chord shape.
Now pluck each string in the chord and be sure the chord rings out nicely.
So now you know three ways to play the A major, well done!
More alternatives of the A major guitar chord
There are in fact lots of alternatives of the A major, you just taught yourself the most used variants.
Here are the chord charts to numerous other variants of the A major chord.
When will you use which? It actually hinges on a few things:
- You would usually opt for a voicing which is near where you are on the guitar fretboard already.
- The genre may also influence the spot where you form the chord. For example, you play lower variants in heavy metal, while in funk music, you use higher pitch ones.
Beginner video guitar tutorial on the A major chord
Since music is an audible art, let me suggest an outstanding YouTube guitar lesson on how to fret the A major chord on the guitar.
Take note of the guitar teacher's fingers and wrist position.
The A major barre chord
Barre chords are quite hard, so if you have only recently started playing guitar, stay with the easier versions until you get better.
If you have been learning guitar for a while already and want to find out how to play the barre chord variation of the A major, here you go.
We're going to start with the E shape barre chord voicing of the A major, rooting on the low E string.
Here's how to fret the A major barre chord rooting on the 6th string:
- Use your 1st finger to form a barre across all strings at fret 5.
- Your 3rd finger goes to fret 7, string A.
- Your 4th finger goes to fret 7, string D.
- Your 2nd finger goes to fret 6, string G.
And remember, strum the chord, and be sure the chord rings out nicely. You never want to hear any buzzing strings or muted notes.
Barre chords are tricky, you will have to practice them quite a lot.
An additional commonly used fingering of the A major chord makes use of the A shape barre chord.
Here's how to fret the A major barre chord rooting on the A string:
- Use your 1st finger to form a barre across all strings 1-5 at fret 12.
- Now go ahead and arrange your other fingers to form an E shape barre chord by putting your 3rd finger onto fret 14 on strings D-G-B.
And as always, pluck each string in the chord, and make certain the chord rings out clearly. As I mentioned, barre chords are tricky. You shouldn't expect to master them too quickly.
Practice frequently and you'll be able to play the A major barre chord before long.