6. Intro to Open Chords – A Major (BC-104)

Topic Progress:
A:1[A Major]

Chord Spelling: A – C# – E
Scale Intervals: 1 – 3 – 5
Name Variations: A – A Major – Amaj

The A major chord is made up of the notes A, C# and E. The chord diagram shows the A major chord in the open position of the guitar. When we play the A major chord, we strum the top 5 strings and omit the 6th (low E) string.

To play the chord, place your first (index) finger on the second fret of the D string to play the E note. In the fretboard diagrams below, the orange notes indicate the notes of the chord, and the grey notes show us how to count up to each target note:

fretboard option width=825 option height=240 show fret=1 string=4 text=D# fill-color=#cccccc show fret=2 string=4 text=E fill-color=#dd9933

Now place your second (middle) finger on the second fret of the G string to play the A note. This is the root note of the chord.

fretboard option width=825 option height=240 show fret=2 string=4 text=E fill-color=#dd9933 show fret=1 string=3 text=G# fill-color=#cccccc show fret=2 string=3 text=A fill-color=#dd9933

Finally, place your third (ring) finger on the second fret of the B string to play the C# note:

fretboard option width=825 option height=240 show fret=2 string=4 text=E fill-color=#dd9933 show fret=2 string=3 text=A fill-color=#dd9933 show fret=2 string=3 text=A fill-color=#dd9933 show fret=1 string=2 text=C fill-color=#CCCCCC show fret=2 string=2 text=C# fill-color=#dd9933

We play the top five strings of the guitar, so our final chord is as follows:

fretboard option width=825 option height=240 show fret=0 string=6 text=X fill-color=#000000 show fret=0 string=5 text=A fill-color=#dd9933 show fret=2 string=4 text=E fill-color=#dd9933 show fret=2 string=3 text=A fill-color=#dd9933 show fret=2 string=3 text=A fill-color=#dd9933 show fret=2 string=2 text=C# fill-color=#dd9933 show fret=0 string=1 text=E fill-color=#dd9933

The image below shows how to play the A major chord:

Playing Tip: The A major chord can be a little tricky to play without accidentally muting the high E string. When playing the chord, try to keep your fingers arched, making sure not to touch the high E string with your third finger. When arching your fingers, you can experiment with the positioning of your thumb on the back of the fretboard to help give you more leverage.
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