A chord

Guitar Tricks Forum > Guitar Basics > A chord

oldtimer73

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Joined: 11/26/11

Posts: 3

I find it impossible to get an A chord, cannot get three fingers in one spot. Any suggestions?

#1

I find it impossible to get an A chord, cannot get three fingers in one spot. Any suggestions?

hunter1801

Registered User

Joined: 01/26/05

Posts: 1331

Try either barring all 3 with one finger, or do what I do:
Bar the top 2 with your first finger, and put your second finger on the bottom string (b string).

#2

Try either barring all 3 with one finger, or do what I do:
Bar the top 2 with your first finger, and put your second finger on the bottom string (b string).

bikerbob5108

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Joined: 10/01/10

Posts: 19

I am working on barring the A chord, but ( I saw this chord like this somewhere) use a different finger pattern for this since it never would ring clear with the "more normal" pattern, Middle finger D string, index finger G string, and ring finger B string. This patter is also nice since you do not have to change strings with the index finger when you switch to the E or D major chords.

#3

I am working on barring the A chord, but ( I saw this chord like this somewhere) use a different finger pattern for this since it never would ring clear with the "more normal" pattern, Middle finger D string, index finger G string, and ring finger B string. This patter is also nice since you do not have to change strings with the index finger when you switch to the E or D major chords.

hunter1801

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Joined: 01/26/05

Posts: 1331

Originally Posted by: bikerbob5108
I am working on barring the A chord, but ( I saw this chord like this somewhere) use a different finger pattern for this since it never would ring clear with the "more normal" pattern, Middle finger D string, index finger G string, and ring finger B string. This patter is also nice since you do not have to change strings with the index finger when you switch to the E or D major chords.


Well that still requires 3 fingers to be used, which is what he is having issues with.

#4

Originally Posted by: bikerbob5108
I am working on barring the A chord, but ( I saw this chord like this somewhere) use a different finger pattern for this since it never would ring clear with the "more normal" pattern, Middle finger D string, index finger G string, and ring finger B string. This patter is also nice since you do not have to change strings with the index finger when you switch to the E or D major chords.


Well that still requires 3 fingers to be used, which is what he is having issues with.

Slipin Lizard

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Joined: 11/15/07

Posts: 711

Originally Posted by: oldtimer73
I find it impossible to get an A chord, cannot get three fingers in one spot. Any suggestions?


Are you trying to get all three fingers side-by-side? If so, remember you can cheat a bit by putting your third finger closest to the 2nd fret, then your middle finger "beside" it, but slightly back from the fret so it has more room, and then finally your first finger, beside your middle finger, but slightly back yet again to fit them all there. You will have to be conscious of adding a little more finger pressure with your middle and especially first finger, due to them not being right up against the fret, but with a little practice, it should be no problem.

#5

Originally Posted by: oldtimer73
I find it impossible to get an A chord, cannot get three fingers in one spot. Any suggestions?


Are you trying to get all three fingers side-by-side? If so, remember you can cheat a bit by putting your third finger closest to the 2nd fret, then your middle finger "beside" it, but slightly back from the fret so it has more room, and then finally your first finger, beside your middle finger, but slightly back yet again to fit them all there. You will have to be conscious of adding a little more finger pressure with your middle and especially first finger, due to them not being right up against the fret, but with a little practice, it should be no problem.

bikerbob5108

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Joined: 10/01/10

Posts: 19

Yes, Hunter1801, you are correct. I too have trouble voicing the A chord with the "normal" way, I get fret buzz or dead strings. Was just throwing out different ideas he may try. Funny thing for me is, I can barre the chord on my acoustic (it has a wider neck then my electrics) but seems to mute the high E string when I barre on my electrics. Guess I will continue to practice and hopefully get my old fingers to work soon.

#6

Yes, Hunter1801, you are correct. I too have trouble voicing the A chord with the "normal" way, I get fret buzz or dead strings. Was just throwing out different ideas he may try. Funny thing for me is, I can barre the chord on my acoustic (it has a wider neck then my electrics) but seems to mute the high E string when I barre on my electrics. Guess I will continue to practice and hopefully get my old fingers to work soon.

Slipin Lizard

Registered User

Joined: 11/15/07

Posts: 711

Originally Posted by: bikerbob5108
I get fret buzz or dead strings.
I think a lot of times when we're trying to fret chords that we have difficulty with, there's a tendency to hit the chord, hear those kinds of problems and think "ah crap! this chord is killing me!" and stop... then try again maybe a few times with the same issues. Instead, break the chord down... add just one finger of the chord at a time, and pluck that string and any open strings that will be in the actual chord. Do it very slowly, listening for buzz or muted strings. Then add the next finger of the chord, and repeat the process. Keep going until you have all of the fingering down. If when you add a finger, you get issues, take the offending finger away, make sure you're playing everything else fine, then add the finger and look to see what the problem is... usually either your finger is touching a string it shouldn't be, or you are not pressing down hard enough with the culprit finger. Remember, you're doing all this very slowly and methodically. Your aim should be to get the chord perfect before you start full-out strumming. When you're strumming along in a song is not the time to be working out chord fingering issues. Its something that takes time, and you have to make a conscious effort to work on it. The reward is that your chords will sound a lot cleaner, and also that you may find chords that were previously "nearly impossible" to come fairly easily. They always seem hard the first time you try them.

#7

Originally Posted by: bikerbob5108
I get fret buzz or dead strings.
I think a lot of times when we're trying to fret chords that we have difficulty with, there's a tendency to hit the chord, hear those kinds of problems and think "ah crap! this chord is killing me!" and stop... then try again maybe a few times with the same issues. Instead, break the chord down... add just one finger of the chord at a time, and pluck that string and any open strings that will be in the actual chord. Do it very slowly, listening for buzz or muted strings. Then add the next finger of the chord, and repeat the process. Keep going until you have all of the fingering down. If when you add a finger, you get issues, take the offending finger away, make sure you're playing everything else fine, then add the finger and look to see what the problem is... usually either your finger is touching a string it shouldn't be, or you are not pressing down hard enough with the culprit finger. Remember, you're doing all this very slowly and methodically. Your aim should be to get the chord perfect before you start full-out strumming. When you're strumming along in a song is not the time to be working out chord fingering issues. Its something that takes time, and you have to make a conscious effort to work on it. The reward is that your chords will sound a lot cleaner, and also that you may find chords that were previously "nearly impossible" to come fairly easily. They always seem hard the first time you try them.

adir olf

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Joined: 05/02/09

Posts: 127

I struggled with the a chord for a good year before it started sounding consistently right. it helps when your learning fingerpicking cuz you really hear chord "issues" you might have.
Big Grin
Adir olf
My new "best group ever": THE YAWPERS
Rocking acoustics really hard
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cbpkAhifOvw

#8

I struggled with the a chord for a good year before it started sounding consistently right. it helps when your learning fingerpicking cuz you really hear chord "issues" you might have.
Big Grin
Adir olf
My new "best group ever": THE YAWPERS
Rocking acoustics really hard
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cbpkAhifOvw

jdinovo

Registered User

Joined: 06/16/11

Posts: 1

I started doing what Lizard suggested and it helped a lot. Also I found that some of my problems come from pressing the strings too hard...sort of squishes out my fingers and makes them even fatter. I experimented with seeing how lightly I could press the string to make it sound nicely and that helped with the chords.

#9

I started doing what Lizard suggested and it helped a lot. Also I found that some of my problems come from pressing the strings too hard...sort of squishes out my fingers and makes them even fatter. I experimented with seeing how lightly I could press the string to make it sound nicely and that helped with the chords.

matonanjin

Registered User

Joined: 01/17/12

Posts: 184

Use three smallest fingers?

Consider the source: I have been playing all of 4 weeks now. So I know everything ;-)

But I had exactly the same problem. So instead of my first three fingers I am using 2nd, 3rd and pinky finger. I don't know if this is wise. But it works. And would be curious what others think.

#10

Use three smallest fingers?

Consider the source: I have been playing all of 4 weeks now. So I know everything ;-)

But I had exactly the same problem. So instead of my first three fingers I am using 2nd, 3rd and pinky finger. I don't know if this is wise. But it works. And would be curious what others think.