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How to Play the A Chord On The Guitar

Get to know one of the most common (and basic) chords used in flamenco guitar and acoustic guitar more generally

by Michael & Rafael

Rafael has taught and performed flamenco guitar for over 40 years, including many famous stars – from EOB (Radiohead) to Jack Peñate (recorded with Adele).

Tired of playing the same chords over and over?

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Standard A Chord Fingering (1-2-3):

  1. Index finger (finger 1) on the 2nd fret of the G string (3rd string)
  2. Middle finger (finger 2) on the 2nd fret of the D string (4th string).
  3. Ring finger (finger 3) on the 2nd fret of the B string (2nd string).

Alternative (Flamenco) A Chord Fingering (1-3-2):

  1. Index finger (finger 1) on the 2nd fret of the G string (3rd string).
  2. Ring finger (finger 3) on the 2nd fret of the B string (2nd string).
  3. Stretch your middle finger (finger 2) to fret the 2nd fret of the D string (4th string). This can be trickier at first, but it can improve finger independence later on.

Pro-Tip: Whichever method you choose, focus on keeping your fingers curved and close to the fretboard. This ensures a clean sound and makes switching chords smoother.

Strumming the A Chord

There are plenty of right hand techniques or rasgueos in flamenco to make the A Chord sound interesting.

But for beginner acoustic guitarists who are not bothered about flamenco, here are a couple of options:

  • Down Strumming: Brush the pick (or your fingers) down across all the strings. This is a straightforward technique for beginners
  • Basic Strumming Pattern: Down-down-up-down (D-DU-D). This adds a little more rhythm to your playing.

Practice strumming the A chord while focusing on a clean sound. Avoid muting any strings accidentally

Practice Makes Perfect

The key to mastering the A chord is consistent practice. Here are some tips:

  • Start slow: Focus on forming the chord cleanly and accurately before increasing speed.
  • Switch chords: Practice transitioning between the A chord and other easy chords like E or D.
  • Use a metronome: This helps develop a steady strumming rhythm.
  • Find fun songs: Many beginner songs utilize the A chord. Playing along with music makes practice enjoyable.

With dedication, the A chord will become second nature. From there, you can explore variations and venture into the exciting world of guitar chords!

Tired of playing the same chords over and over?

A new course for flamenco guitar beginners. Join thousands of other students taught by Rafael Lloyd Iglesias.