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HOW TO PLAY THE A CHORD

There are more than 1 way of fingering the A Chord. The one that is presented here is the one that is the best for the beginners who is just starting to play the guitar.


This is also a good form since it can easily switch to another ‘family’ chord the D and/or the E chords. That is important since one of the biggest problems that a beginner experienced is switching between one chord to another.

I am now going to show you, describe you how to finger an A chord – the most common way. Also later, I will also show you the different ways of playing and finger it.

How To Play the A Chord

The first thing we are going to do, is to put the fingers in the right places. First thing you notice is that the first finger is the same position as in the D chord, which is in the second fret of the third string. Now the second finger goes to the second fret of the fourth string. The third finger is also in the second fret in the second string.

how to play A chordYou will noticed that all of these fingers are squashed up and cramped together in the second fret. You will also noticed that the second and third fingers are almost behind the fret itself.

This is a good thing!

This will help the notes ring out better. The only thing you have to worry about is the first finger that is a little far away from the fret.

That is the recommended way of fingering this A Chord specially if you are a beginner. But like I said there are more ways of doing it. The one I use personally (and many other experienced guitarist) is switching the fingering position of the second the first string, as shown in the image below.

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I also often do the barred form of the A Chord but you can do this when you’re first finger is strong enough to lie down the guitar neck to press down those 3 strings on the second fret.

Common Problems When Fingering A Chord

Like other chords, if you are a beginner, the main problem is that the sound may sound buzzing or worst dead or muted. The only solution for this is to press hard enough to make the note ring out.

The high E string will often sound dead as well even though it is played as an open string. This is because of the first finger (or any other finger that is supposed to be arched up in the neck of the guitar) is damping the string preventing it to vibrate and hence not sounding at all.

Try to arch your fingers as much as possible in order to free up that space, letting the E string ring out.

That’s it for the A chord. Hope you practice well and nail that chord in a few tries. Good luck!

Riffs and Links for the A Chord:

From the top of my head, here are a couple of songs that has a very memorable guitar riffs or licks using the A chord.

  • The Beatles’ Ticket To Ride intro riff
  • The Beatles’ Get Back shuffle and intro riff
  • 3 Non Blonde’s What’s Up.. that’s an A, Bm and D.

I’m sure there are a lot more. If you know of a song, kindly share and let everyone else knows in the comment section below.