How to Play A Major Chord on Guitar (Open Position)

In order to play an basic A Major chord, you need to squeeze together your index, middle and ring fingers on the second fret of the guitar. As a beginner guitar player, I found it a bit uncomfortable getting all of those fingers in together and playing the chord without any "buzzing" noise coming from the guitar. Don't worry about trying to have it sound perfect at the beginning. You will get better over time. Also, know that there are many other ways to play an A Major chord on the guitar fretboard.

Practice a little bit every day and soon your muscle memory will kick in and remember exactly where your fingers go for an A chord (or any chord for that matter). Just grab your guitar, tune it up, and follow along with the below video.

Finger Position for A Major (Open Position):
  • Place Your Left Index Finger on the 4th String, 2nd Fret
  • Place Your Left Middle Finger on the 3rd String, 2nd Fret
  • Place Your Left Ring Finger on the 2nd String, 2nd Fret
  • Strings 5 and 1 are used in this A Major Chord,
    but are not fretted - they are called open strings
  •  String 6 is not used in this version of A Major Chord, but can be used in the barre chord version of A
Other chords that sound great with A Major:  

B Minor, C# Minor, D Major, E Major, F# Minor

I recommend switching between A Major, B Minor, D Major and E Major if you are a beginner.  The other chords below can be tricky, especially if you are not comfortable with barre chords.  These chords are all part of the A Major scale, which means that they all sound nice together, regardless of the order played.  Have some fun and experiment with these chords!  Start slow and once you get comfortable with the chord shapes, you can start to switch between these chords.

A Major in tablature (or tab) form:
As you learn more about the guitar, you will eventually come across guitar tablature (or guitar tabs).  It's a quick way to map out how to play a chord on the guitar using the standard six strings on the guitar: E, A, D, G, B and High E (shown below as e)

e|-0- (First String, Open Fret)
B|-2- (Second String, Second Fret)
G|-2- (Third String, Second Fret)
D|-2- (Fourth String, Second Fret)
A|-0- (Fifth String, Open Fret)
E|-X- (X means do not play this string)

You may also see A Major tabbed out as:

Easy Guitar Songs using A Major You Can Play Right Now:
It's pretty boring just learning chords.  Playing along with your favorite songs will turn these chords into something real that you can use right away.  Applying your chord knowledge to songs you enjoy playing is so important! Below are some easy songs that you use A Major.  Grab your guitar and try some out!

Twist and Shout by The Beatles (free lesson from Justin Sandercoe)
Louie Louie by The Kingsmen (free lesson from Justin Sandercoe)
Back in Black by AC/DC (song uses E Minor, D Major and A Major)

Do you have other easy beginner songs that you can play using an A Major Chord?  Leave a comment below! 

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