How To Play The A Major and The A Minor Chord on Guitar

This is another informative instructional video on how to play basic guitar chords by Jacques Darville. He demonstrates the fingering positions of the the A minor chord and A major chord.

When you play the A Chords you must start on the A string (2nd string from the top) with your picking hand. The reason for this is that when you play a basic chord, in this case the A chord, the note that you are starting on should also be the root of the chord you are playing.

For example if you want to play an E chord you want to start on an E string, this applies whether you are playing the major or the minor chord.

So the same applies when playing your A chord, you start on the A string because that is the root of the chord.

As you practice these chords make sure you do it slowly at first and take your time to build your skills aiming for a clear tone. For more instructions on guitar chords you might want to check out how to play E major and E minor chords here.

A Minor Chord Fingering

  • Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the D string – 3rd from the top
  • Third finger under that on the G string
  • First finger on the 1st fret of the B string

Now as I mentioned before, you want to start from the second string from the top because this is the A string, so you must avoid hitting the top string.

A Major Chord Fingering

  • First finger is placed on the 2nd fret of the D string
  • The middle finger is placed below that
  • Place the third finger below that

As before, since we are playing an A chord start with the second string from the top… the A string.

Note: With the above A major chord fingering you actually have three strings held together within the 2nd fret. If this is not a comfortable way for you to hold the strings you have the option of using your middle finger, third finger and baby finger if that is an easier method.

So try both positions to determine the most comfortable way to play this chord yourself.

More Basic Guitar Chord Videos to Enjoy

Basic Guitar Chords – How to Play E Major and E Minor Chords

 

This instructional video demonstrates the finger positions and sound quality of the two E chords on the guitar.

The E Major Chord and E Minor chord are a part of the basic guitar chords. These two chords are played in the first position on the guitar between the 1st and 3rd fret which also incorporates open strings.

Music is about developing your listening skill, so as you watch the video pay particular attention to the difference in the sounds of these two chords.

Notice that the E minor chord has a darker sound also referred to as a quality to it; this is in contrast to the lighter brighter quality of the E major.

Watch the video closely to learn the finger placement for each chord and practice each position faithfully until you have it position perfect.

 

Doing the basic guitar chords up close…

 

E Minor Guitar Chord Fingering

  • Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the A string (5th)
  • The third finger sits on the 2nd fret – D string (4th) right underneath the middle finger

You hold those two strings firmly down on the guitar and you simply strum every string on the guitar.

E Major Guitar Chord Fingering

Place your first finger on the 1st fret of the G string – and you keep your third and middle fingers in the same position as before when playing the E minor chord, as follows…

  • Middle finger – second fret – A string (5th)
  • Third finger – second fret – D string (4th)
  • First finger – first fret – G string (3rd)

Then you simply play all the strings on your guitar as you did with the E minor chord.

Basic Guitar Chords

When you practice these chords be sure to do it slowly.

Beginners will probably find that the hardest part is shifting between the chords, so take your time at first until you are comfortable. It is a good idea to practice doing 4 strums on the E minor and 4 strums on the E major, switching back and forth between the two until you feel confident and less awkward.

Speed comes with accuracy and accuracy is gained by doing something slowly at first and gradually building it up.

 

How to Play the Guitar: The Easiest Way to Learn

Whether you are an adult or a teenager, learning to how to play the guitar could be a wonderful hobby or the start of your music career. Some people think there are shortcuts and quick ways to learn but in order to be good, you have to dedicate enough time to learn guitar by working through the mundane. As well as this here are a few more tips to enhance your learning.

Listen to the Best Guitarists

How To Play The GuitarChoose your role models carefully because the performers that you listen to will definitely influence your style and affect your guitar playing skills. You are only as good, as your role models. Listen to a lot of music and try to figure out which style you find most attractive. Focus on that genre and as you keep on working, listen to different performances and assess the skill level.

Online Guitar Lessons

The basics of learning how to play the guitar can be found online. The following link is a good source to start your learning journey with many lessons and video clips that will teach you how to play the guitar the easy way.

Mastering these basics is a good idea before you start working with an instructor. Chords, intervals and shapes can easily be mastered on your own. Buy a decent guitar and dedicate several hours per day on going through online lessons.

Practice Playing Guitar Daily

When learning how to play an instrument, you have to practice daily. Keep on repeating the online lessons and trying the basics until you get them perfect. See our article on learning guitar for beginners.

Get in the habit of practicing at least five times per week. Your brain will need time to accommodate the new skills and to internalize those. Learning the right body position and getting to identify the mistakes you make while playing the guitar will take some time. The more you practice, the quicker you will get there.

Find a Good Guitar Instructor

To get the best results, you need to work with a guitar instructor. A trained professional will find it much easier to identify the mistakes and the problem areas that you need to put emphasis on.

The instructor should be easy to communicate with. You may try lessons with several different individuals before you decide about working with one person. Pay attention to each lesson and practice what you just learned at home. If you play the guitar solely during the lessons, you will need a long period of time to improve your skills and get to the level that you want to be at.

Getting to learn how to play guitar will be tremendous fun but it will also require hard work and commitment. Practice, even when you feel that you can no longer do it. Take good care of your guitar and listen to the music of virtuosos to inspire yourself.

Guitar for Beginners

Learning the guitar for beginners is exciting and it doesn’t have to be overwhelming, but you need to have a good mindset about it from the start.

When you start learning the guitar you need to keep in mind that it is a one step at a time process, where you need to create a strong foundation which makes it easier to continue to move forward and make more and more progress.

Guitar for Beginners Means Daily Practice

You aren’t going to improve your guitar playing technique if you don’t put the time and effort into it, so spend at least an hour every day practicing. This disciplined attitude will pay off in yards as you will notice improvements faster.

Guitar For Beginners

by cmpt (sxc.hu)

When you make it a habit of picking up the instrument daily, you will notice that it is very easy to fit the practice into your schedule on an ongoing basis.

Practice Proper Techniques

Avoid bad habits when you start out. This is an important tip when you first start learning to play the guitar.

If you don’t cultivate the right techniques from the beginning, you might develop bad habits later that you have to work on to break. It is better to learn how to hold the instrument correctly and the correct way to master the techniques from the very beginning.

Practice to Learn the Cords

Learning the various cords is the starting point for guitar playing. It is the mix of those cords that allows you to play songs and to create your own music in time. It can be boring to do the cords over and over but there is a purpose behind doing so. They should become very easy for you if you stick with it.

Find The Best Learning Tools

There are various tools to consider that can assist learning the guitar for beginners, so as you start do a bit of research to find one that works the best for you. Some individuals do very well with instructional DVDs or even online videos that take you through the various steps.

You can also sign up for guitar lessons with someone locally. The one to one training may be what you need to get through difficult guitar playing steps now and again.

When considering the best learning method for you, it may take trying different ones to do so. Not everyone can afford guitar lessons so they opt for the DIY muddle through approach. If working on your own isn’t working for you though don’t give up. You can often find low cost lessons that can help you learn the basics. As a starting point pop over to ArtisanStrings.com for more tips and advice on learning guitar for beginners.

Be Realistic

You aren’t going to learn to play the guitar overnight. However, it is something you can accomplish very well with time. Be realistic about learning and have a positive attitude. You may learn some parts faster than others. Learning the guitar for beginners means being willing to dedicate the time to learning and you will be playing the guitar with confidence one day soon!

Head on over to this page for tips on purchasing your first guitar.

 

How to Read Guitar Tabs

When you first learn how to play the guitar, there are a number of tools that can make the learning process easier. One of these tools is tablature (tabs.) You have probably heard of tabs before but perhaps you do not realize what they are or how to read them. In short, they are an easy and simple way of reading music/notation.

Guitar Tabs

by Helldiran (sxc.hu)

The concept is really simple. In fact, it is so simple that even a very young student can learn how to read guitar tabs. I am a full time guitar teacher and musician, and I have taught tabs to students as young as 5 years old. The great thing about tab is the fact that you do not need to know about notes or standard notation. It is a super fast way to learn your favorite riff, songs or melody. In addition, you can also write your own tabs thus creating and immortalizing your very own songs and riffs.

Reading Guitar Tabs for Beginners

All tabs do, is show you on which string to put your finger, and on what string.

Let us say that you are playing a song where you need play a specific note. Tabs will show you exactly how to do this.

Let us now assume that you are playing a song, melody or riff that requires you to play specific note on one of the guitars strings. The tab will indicate exactly which string to play and also which fret number to hold down. For instance, it could tell you to play the low e string holding down the third fret. (This would produce a g note.)

Or, it may tell you to pluck the A string while holding down the 2nd fret (This would produce a B note.)

Sometimes you will be shown to hold down two or more strings at the same time. This is how chords are written in tablature. However, the concept is exactly the same. Again, all you have to do is to hold down the notes, indicated by the numbers written, and play the strings on which the numbers are on.

Some of my students have had to get used to visualizing/comprehending which string is which on the tab music staff. This may take a while to get used to. But once this is understood, tabs are super easy.

In fact, you can learn how to play any simple melody with tabs whether it’s a Christmas song or even a Rock riff.

When I started out playing guitar I used tabs to learn my favorite Metallica and Guns N’ Roses riffs. The great thing about tab is that is has a way of giving you instant gratification because it is so easy to master. You do not have to learn about notes, and theory or anything super complicated. All you need to do is follow the instructions and put the finger/fingers on the indicated strings and you are ready to rock!

Start With a Little Tab Exercise

Here is a little tab exercise for all you beginners:

  1. Locate the high e string (The thin one.)
  2. Now, go ahead and play the 3rd fret and hold that note. After that, go ahead and play the 5th fret (of the same string) and hold that note.
  3. Finally, play the open string (no fretted notes) and let that string ring out.

What you have played in terms of tablature is:

3 5 0 on the e string and reading tablature is no more difficult than this. Actually, you have played the notes G, A and E. However, since they are in tab format, there is no indication of what the note is. This is the “downside” of tablature.

However, if you take an exercise such as the one we went through, and start committing the numbers on the fret board to memory in terms of notes, learning tab can actually serve as note learning practicing as well (Not musical notation, but notes upon the guitar fretboard.) How is this? Well, in addition to having learned to locate 3 5 and 0, you have also learned that:

  • 3=G
  • 5=A
  • 0=E

In this way, you have actually doubled the efficiency of your learning. Not only are you learning how to read guitar tabs, you are learning what note you are playing. And since these numbers appear time and time again, so will the notes, and you will be able to know what note you are actually playing besides knowing what fret the tabs are asking you to hold down (fret)

 

 

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