The A shape
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The A shape

The A Shape

Here is your basic A chord, played the proper way




 
 

You can also cheat and play this chord this way




 
 

If you play the chord as a barre, don’t play the high E string. The note that your barre covers on the high E string – F# at the 2nd fret – doesn’t belong in the A chord. This shape is your other basic barre chord, along with the E shape chord I showed you before. The E shape barre chord and the A shape barre chord are the two most common chords most rock musicians will ever play, and pretty much all styles of music make heavy use of these two chord shapes played as barre chords. As you slide this A shape chord up the neck you can do two things: You can either attempt to squeeze your fingers into position to play it properly all the way up the neck, which is sometimes necessary to achieve certain musical goals, or you can do the easy thing and play it as a simple two-fingered barre chord. Both forms have their pros and cons. Practice them both. Wherever you play this chord on the guitar, the name of the chord comes from the note on the fifth or third string (they’re the same note, an octave apart). Here is an A shape chord played at the 5th fret, making it a D chord




 
 

And here is an A shape, 5th fret D chord played the easy way.

With either version of this chord, you can also stretch your first finger barre across the sixth string and play that note too. It’s the fifth of the chord and adds an extra touch of heaviness to the chord.




 
 

written by Adam St. James for Guitar.com

The A Shape

Here is your basic A chord, played the proper way




 
 

You can also cheat and play this chord this way




 
 

If you play the chord as a barre, don’t play the high E string. The note that your barre covers on the high E string – F# at the 2nd fret – doesn’t belong in the A chord. This shape is your other basic barre chord, along with the E shape chord I showed you before. The E shape barre chord and the A shape barre chord are the two most common chords most rock musicians will ever play, and pretty much all styles of music make heavy use of these two chord shapes played as barre chords. As you slide this A shape chord up the neck you can do two things: You can either attempt to squeeze your fingers into position to play it properly all the way up the neck, which is sometimes necessary to achieve certain musical goals, or you can do the easy thing and play it as a simple two-fingered barre chord. Both forms have their pros and cons. Practice them both. Wherever you play this chord on the guitar, the name of the chord comes from the note on the fifth or third string (they’re the same note, an octave apart). Here is an A shape chord played at the 5th fret, making it a D chord




 
 

And here is an A shape, 5th fret D chord played the easy way.

With either version of this chord, you can also stretch your first finger barre across the sixth string and play that note too. It’s the fifth of the chord and adds an extra touch of heaviness to the chord.




 
 

written by Adam St. James for Guitar.com