Justin Guitar Community

Admin Only Area => Beginners Course (BC) Lesson Specific Questions => Topic started by: justinguitar on June 03, 2009, 12:26:14 pm

Title: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: justinguitar on June 03, 2009, 12:26:14 pm
Lesson Link: http://justinguitar.com/en/BC-112-A-chord.php

Questions...
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: dc_mikeb on November 04, 2014, 06:31:34 pm
I am just starting the series.  I've seen other A chords guides say that the first string (high e) should not be played, for example on "guitar-skill-builder" site. (Beginning Guitar Chords Chart)

I'm just wondering why the difference? 
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: tobyjenner on November 04, 2014, 07:05:03 pm
Mike welcome to the forum.

Just looked at that site and it is what Justin calls the Mini Barre and it will crop up in stage 4
 

The 1st finger barres the strings you're currently playing and that mutes the 1st string so you just play the middle 4 strings. I would not call that a beginning Beginners Chord if you pardon the expression. Justin's 213 makes transition to other chords so much 'easier'. So  I'd leave it until Stage 4 :D

Stick with Justin's methods, its a great course and you won't go wrong sticking to the script.

Best of luck

 8)
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: tobyjenner on November 04, 2014, 07:34:14 pm
Mike

Just went back to that site. Curiosity I suppose. There are some very strange fingerings for what are supposed to be Beginners Chords - compare the D and E to how your learning. Very different. Definitely stay clear of that chart and follow Justin
 8)

http://www.guitar-skill-builder.com/Beginner-guitar-chords.html
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: mike42 on November 04, 2014, 08:35:58 pm
Definitely stay clear of that chart and follow Justin

Agreed. A couple of those fingerings may be useful in specific situations, but not good for a beginner who doesn't know how to play it the usual way.

My advice is to stick with Justin's method, at least until you have built enough of a foundation to know whether other online methods are good or bad. Although you will most likely find that Justin's lessons are far superior to pretty much everything else out there.

Marty Schwartz's lessons are also good. I haven't used them a whole lot, but I've watched a few on YouTube and I know Justin and Marty are friends so I feel pretty confident recommending him.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Drubbing on November 04, 2014, 11:41:58 pm
Justin's fingerings aren't unique, there's at least 3 ways to make an A, but he's sequenced the chords lessons in order to make transitions to learning others, easy.

There are a number of ways to form many chords, but that will be for much later.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Tazz3 on November 12, 2014, 04:21:28 am
They way Justin does the a chord it will get easy when your fingers get more blistered
That's what I think.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Siggyguitar on November 24, 2014, 01:44:09 am
I find the A major cord difficult to begin with.  The way shown is with the 1st finger on the third string and use it as a anchor.  on the electric  i find it better ( I think! amp in shop for exchange) On the acoustic i finding it hard to keep the third finger on 2 nd string and having enough room to bring the 2 nd finger over to the 4 th string I have alot of finger soreness from having to press the whole thing down to avoid a buzz  let you know if it still a problem when i get my amp back
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: mike42 on November 24, 2014, 02:06:50 am
An acoustic will generally be a bit harder to play, especially if the action (string height from fretboard) is high which is common on lower-end models. If the strings are very high it may be worth getting it professionally set-up.

Also, make sure you get your fingers as close to the fret as possible. Justin's suggested fingering helps, but it is still going to take a lot of practice before you get the hang of it. Hope this helps!
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: aiki667 on November 24, 2014, 02:39:35 pm
You might check the action on tour accoustic. I am a beginner as well and had the same problem with a (very) low-ended guitar that couldn't even be set up... I ended up with a new guitar and it makes a world of difference in how much pressure i need to get clear notes.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: zedhead on November 26, 2014, 07:08:07 pm
Hello, new to the forum and I have a question if you don't mind. When I play an A chord I find my hand mutes the high E string, it is not my fingers but the palm of my hand. I have tried various positions but I have a bit of a dodgy hand due to a motorcycle accident and it is not as flexible as it once was, I just wondered if this was a common problem or just that I am useless!! Thanks Zed
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Cataract on November 26, 2014, 07:18:36 pm
Just practice slowly and you will nail it!

And even if won't be able to play with high E string - don't worry - there is a plenty of songs with A chord without high E string - i.e. Highway To Hell by ACDC
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Borodog on November 26, 2014, 07:33:14 pm
Not unusual. You don't need that top note most of the time. But as was said, practice slowly and it will come.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: TimRyland on November 30, 2014, 10:21:07 am
Might seem an odd question, but why does the A chord have the high E in it, but not the low E.

Thanks,
Tim.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: stitch101 on November 30, 2014, 03:47:52 pm
To be an A chord the A note need to be the bass note, if you play the E as the bass note it becomes a
A/E or a E6sus4
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: ahylton19 on December 14, 2014, 12:07:43 am
Hello everyone, I just wanted to know if its time to move to stage 2 my chord changes are as follow D-A 68 D-E 58 A-E 66. My only problem im not really the singer so i had trouble with Love You Do singing wise i can play it fine without sing but I can play Three Little Birds fine and sing too maybe because im much more familiar with the songs lyrics. Suggestions on whether I should move one or not ?
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: shadowscott007 on December 14, 2014, 12:42:49 am
Move to the next stage.  Sounds like you are competent at what you have so far.

You don't stop practicing everything from the previous stage just because you move on.  You will still be using the previous chords and technique.  And you can cintinue to practice on your rough spots.  You are just adding another layer.

Just because you can't play and sing at the same time is NOT a reason to stop progressing through the stages.  That is adds significant complexity.  If you can play the songs well without singing, go ahead and move on.  You can continue to work on combining playing and singing with any/all the songs whill you progesterone with your playing.

Shadow
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Cataract on December 14, 2014, 12:43:26 am
It's up to you mate! Od you feel that you're ready then move on! Those results are good enough for me to begin stage 2. I know that playing and singing together is much harder, but if you will practice enough, you will nail it. Enjoy your ride :)
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: tobyjenner on December 14, 2014, 01:19:22 pm
ahylton19 move on when you feel ready - figures for 1MC are fine for BC1.

Don't worry about the signing. Some folk can sing and play others can't. I can't sing full stop and have nearly completed the BC with maybe attempting 1 or 2 sing alongs, which were mmm lets say pants!!

I'm here to play the guitar a the end of the day. :)

However, I will be attempting to try singing and playing during post BC consolidation. Who knows it may turn out ok. Never Say Never 8)
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Setneck Tele USA on December 15, 2014, 06:39:35 pm
Hello everyone, I just wanted to know if its time to move to stage 2 my chord changes are as follow D-A 68 D-E 58 A-E 66. My only problem im not really the singer so i had trouble with Love You Do singing wise i can play it fine without sing but I can play Three Little Birds fine and sing too maybe because im much more familiar with the songs lyrics. Suggestions on whether I should move one or not ?

It sounds like you know the chords but, from my experience that means you don't know the song well enough to play and sing at the same time.  Keep practicing on the playing until it becomes second nature and the singing will come automatic, when you can play the song without even thinking much about it.

If you haven't done so, get a copy of the recording and just keep playing it over and over until you get it.  Because in a live setting if a singer does happen to stumble, you have to be able to compensate for it.  That doesn't make me right, it's just how I go about things.  But personally speaking if I don't like a song or don't know it, I skip it and find one similar. 

Personally I also think it is necessary to sing the songs, even if you don't have a stellar singing voice, it helps to learn the song better.  Many times if you watch a band the other members are singing along to the song even if you don't hear them singing.

Just my opinions of course.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: tuwood on December 16, 2014, 03:36:06 pm
Justin, I just want to say thank you for describing an easier/alternate way to fret the A chord right away.  It sounds so silly, but I tried learning the guitar a few years ago and my fingers are just big enough where it was extremely difficult for me to fret a "proper" A Chord.  It became so frustrating that I just gave up guitar all together.  "If I can't do this simple chord, then why bother".
However, the way you describe shifting from E to A to D with the 1 finger staying on the G string is a life changer.  I can hit the A chord every time without any issues.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Dream Weaver on December 30, 2014, 07:01:12 am
I have some difficulty playing this chord with the way Justin shows in his guide. My 2nd finger mutes the G string and I can't seem to find an arch that mitigates the problem. Instead, I put my 2nd finger on the D string, 3rd finger on the G string, and 4th finger on the B string. I like using this way to play because you can easily switch from an A major to an E major. All you have to do is put your 2nd and 3rd fingers one string up each and put your first finger on the G string, first fret. You can also easily change from an A major chord to an A Minor chord (although, as a total novice to guitar and music theory, I'm unsure as to whether a minor chord would ever be played after a major chord in a song.)

Is there anything wrong with the way I play the chord? Will it keep me from being able to change to different chords in the future? Do you have any tips that could help me not mute the G string on your recommended positioning? I know all about proper thumb positioning, not placing your palm on the neck, arching your fingers, etc. I just can't seem to play it without muting it.

EDIT: Well, now I feel just silly. Turns out my problem was my 1st finger wasn't IN the 2nd fret, but rather, was right on top of the first fretline. This is what was giving me that "muted" sound. Still, do I have to learn to play the chord this way if I can already play the chord a different way?
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: shadowscott007 on December 30, 2014, 07:30:31 am
Weaver,

You don't have to do anything.  But learning how to play chords with more than one grip is pretty common.  So   I'd say not to take it off the menu.  But as a beginner pick one and stick with it.  I would recommend the Justin A as he does, because it facilitates easier E, A, D changes; but a zillion people learned with the standard grip and play just fine.

Shadow

Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Rossco01 on December 30, 2014, 08:35:41 am
I would second shadow the Justin way might feel a little awkward to start with but as you've discovered switching between it and E and D is so easy. Later in the course you'll learn at least one alternative grip.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: close2u on December 30, 2014, 11:23:47 am
Personally I never use the Justin way on A chord.
For me it is either 1,2,3 or 2,3,4 or 1st finger mini-barre.
But that said I played it this way for many years before I found Justin's lessons.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: TheCasual on December 30, 2014, 11:39:56 am
I'd definitely recommend the way Justin's A chord.

But you know your fingers, so do what feels comfortable.

One thing I will say is as you go through your guitar journey you'll play chords with all different fingerings depending on the chords that follow it.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Setneck Tele USA on December 30, 2014, 06:16:42 pm
I have some difficulty playing this chord with the way Justin shows in his guide. My 2nd finger mutes the G string and I can't seem to find an arch that mitigates the problem. Instead, I put my 2nd finger on the D string, 3rd finger on the G string, and 4th finger on the B string. I like using this way to play because you can easily switch from an A major to an E major. All you have to do is put your 2nd and 3rd fingers one string up each and put your first finger on the G string, first fret. You can also easily change from an A major chord to an A Minor chord (although, as a total novice to guitar and music theory, I'm unsure as to whether a minor chord would ever be played after a major chord in a song.)

Is there anything wrong with the way I play the chord? Will it keep me from being able to change to different chords in the future? Do you have any tips that could help me not mute the G string on your recommended positioning? I know all about proper thumb positioning, not placing your palm on the neck, arching your fingers, etc. I just can't seem to play it without muting it.

EDIT: Well, now I feel just silly. Turns out my problem was my 1st finger wasn't IN the 2nd fret, but rather, was right on top of the first fretline. This is what was giving me that "muted" sound. Still, do I have to learn to play the chord this way if I can already play the chord a different way?

I play an A chord with two fingers.

Middle finger on the top two strings D & G, third finger on the B string.  I started off using the 3 finger method years ago and had difficulty with it, so a friend who had fat fingers showed me the two finger method and it then frees up other fingers for add on notes if I choose to use them.  He actually used that method though because he was a Chet Atkins style player and needed free fingers for melody parts.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: 824jagdds on January 07, 2015, 02:13:34 pm
I've been playing for five days.  does the 3G (index finger) get easier once i develop better calluses?  I'm getting a lot of thumps on that string when I don't get the index finger "snuck" forward under the middle finger, which I find hard to do during one minute changes.  thank you!
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: tobyjenner on January 07, 2015, 07:08:52 pm
Jag

Yes it will get better in time. 5 days is not long. Just keep at it and you'll hear and feel the improvement 8)
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: hanknguyen on January 17, 2015, 04:41:18 pm
Two questions, everyone.

First, I've been practicing for three weeks now (15 -90 minutes each day except for a long weekend in the middle), mostly just the three chords in stage 1 (A, D, E) but my 1 minute chord changes are still very sloppy and my A is often pretty terrible. For A chord, I have trouble putting enough pressure on my first and third finger unless I really consciously engage and even then I often get buzzing from not maintaining constant pressure. I'm an adult male with small (but not too abnormally small) hands. Are there any tips are pointers to help me troubleshoot?

Second, I've developed some callouses now so there's little pain in playing now. But after practicing for a little bit during a session, I lose sensitivity and stop being able to feel the higher strings (B and E). Any practical advice or comments?

Thanks everyone!
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: mike42 on January 17, 2015, 05:14:18 pm
Hi Hank,

I think your issues are pretty normal. The A chord was a tricky one for me to learn. It's tough to get your fingers to fit in between one fret. Focus on getting all your fingers as close to the fret as possible. It's harder to press the string if your finger is farther back, and the note is likely a bit out of tune. It takes some getting used to, but concentrate on fretting all the notes as close to the fret as possible and the problem should work itself out with more practice.

I don't recall losing sensitivity in my fingers after practicing, but it may just be that you haven't yet gotten used to the calluses on your fingertips. 90 minutes a day is a lot for someone just starting out, so make sure you don't overdo it. As long as there's no pain then you should be alright.

Hope this helps!
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: m_c on January 17, 2015, 06:40:16 pm
It's all about practise.

How quick are your changes?

I'd possibly suggest moving onto the next stage (or at least just the chords for that stage), as I find that if I'm struggling with a chord, that by trying to learn a harder chord, the earlier chords become easier. This is most likely because I'm having to push my fingers harder, the earlier chords become comparatively easier.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: tobyjenner on January 17, 2015, 11:10:47 pm
Hank

3 weeks is not that long and what seem to be simple chords will take some time to get right. Keep following Justin's stage 1 lessons and work on finger strength and muscle memory. It does take a lot of focus to start with but it will fall into place.

As mike says just be careful about over doing it, 90 minutes might be pushing it to start with. I know we've all heard the expression play until your fingers bleed but no one ever counters that with "played for 3 days non stop 'till my fingers bleed.....and just spent the last 2 months for the scars to heel and recover" 8)
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: mike42 on January 18, 2015, 07:13:33 am
I once nearly played until my fingers bled... I was a couple weeks in and played my buddy's crappy acoustic all night until my fingertips were shot. Unfortunately it didn't help me channel my inner Bryan Adams... Just left me with some very sore fingertips!  ;D
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: hanknguyen on January 19, 2015, 04:37:21 am
Thanks everyone. I've been taking it a little easier with more breaks during practice. I've seen some improvement since I last posted. I'm at about 10 - 14 changes per minute depending on the chord (that's counting pairs of chords, e.g. E and D together count as one). I think I will start practicing songs soon and also dabble a bit in the next stage.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: stitch101 on January 19, 2015, 04:46:59 pm
hanknguyen

Count every change. Watch Justin in the video and he counts every change.
E D E D is 4

Here's a Quote from Justin's One Minute change lesson.

Use the practice schedule (we'll look at this more in BC-119) and write down how many times you make the change each session. You will find that being able to watch your progress will really help keep you motivated. Count ‘1' for each change; so D–A–D–A = four changes.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: DhruvDevasher on March 07, 2015, 12:50:12 am
Hi all,

Just started on the course about a month ago, and working my way through stage 2. While I'm  able to play the 6 chords ok (1MC ~35/40), I'm struggling with landing the 'A' chord. More specifically, I find it difficult to place all the fingers on the strings together, and am forced to place the index first, then adjust the second and third appropriately. With the other five chords, I can more or less place all the fingers directly on the strings.

This becomes particularly obvious with the verses in the song "Wild Thing" (Beginner Songbook), when there is a G6 - A - G6 progression.

Is this a bad habit or just lack of experience? Anyone else faced a similar issue?
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: close2u on March 07, 2015, 08:21:40 am
Hi Dhruv, welcome to the forum.
One month is not long, it sounds like your progress is fine so do not worry over this issue. It will soon come together and you will possibly not even notice that you have gone beyond - and you will be playing the A chord with fingers landing together.
Keep at it.
:)
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: arpitdjosh on March 09, 2015, 06:06:30 pm
In the A chord ,while plucking the string 5-4-3-2-1, I hear two sounds at string 3. One faint sound just after touching the string 3 and the other on plucking.
What can be the reason ?
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: tobyjenner on March 09, 2015, 06:30:43 pm
Are you hearing that first sound when you place your fingers, ready to play the chord?
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: arpitdjosh on March 10, 2015, 10:58:43 am
My fretting fingers are in place. Now when I touch play 5-4 string and then when I touch 3rd string I hear a faint sound. I think it is because after plucking string 5 and 4 , the string 3 is also vibrating feebly somehow and when my pick touches the string 3, it creates a faint sound.

Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: tobyjenner on March 10, 2015, 03:35:42 pm
When you say 'touch play' are you resting the pick on the strings and then 'plucking' them? Or are you picking the individual strings in one movement? Just trying to visualize why this might be happening 8)
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Guillaume1978 on December 19, 2015, 06:33:13 pm
]

Hi Justin, I'm just starting to learn the guitar and here comes my problem. I had no difficulty playing the D chord (it sounded bad the first few times as I was stopping strings to vibrate). Now the A chord !! I can't find the right spot for my first finger. I try to put is as close to the fret as possible with enough space for the second finger (so it goes more or less in the middle). Problem is I had to press REALLY REALLY REALLY hard in order to get a clean sound because I can't get near the fret. My fingers have a normal size.

My guitar is brand new (1 week old) with new strings that came with the guitar.  Is the problem my fingers or the new guitar ?

The guitar is a Yamaha APX500iii electro-acoustic. Do you recommend putting light strings and having the guitar checked by a technician? Is my guitar a good one for a beginner ?

Thanks you are awesome !  8)


p.s: sorry for my broken english
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: tobyjenner on December 19, 2015, 08:00:12 pm
Guillaume

Sounds like you've only playing for a short while, giving that you say the guitars a week old. Your finger tips will be soft to start with making that index finger hard to ring clean as the chord fingering places it further from the fret than the other fingers. As you practice more you'll build up calluses on the finger tips making it easier to play and requiring less pressure. Just one to the trial we all go through as beginners, it just takes time to build finger strength and the calluses.

Certainly worth getting the acoustic set up as the action might be high making it harder to play. Changing string gauges is a difficult call. Its probably got 12s on it and some folk suggest getting a set up done and not changing the gauge for lighter strings. Having said that I've dropped my acoustic from 12s to 10s which did make it easier IMO.

Hope that helps

Toby
 8)
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: justinguitar on January 07, 2016, 08:50:10 am
@Guillaume1978
I think a bit more practice will solve a lot, however light strings and a set up will always help and make the journey easier for many techniques :) good luck!
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: maxxxpower64 on January 31, 2016, 02:15:01 am
Hi All

I'm guessing "practice" is going to be the answer but thought I'd check.

I'm a stage two beginner with big hands, and I'm finding that when I have to "go down the dusty end" (the top of the neck) there is just not enough room on the fret for my fingers.

Eg Playing Two Little Birds with the capo on the 7th fret, is a whole new level of difficulty for me because I just can't make my fingers fit into the fret.

I have similar issues with using my electric, even at the bottom of the neck because the neck is narrower.

Is this just a noob flexibility issue that will improve with time?

Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: derek.knight on January 31, 2016, 05:41:22 am
Yep.

I try to play without a capo even if ones required, specially when it's up on the fifth or higher fret. Heck I was trying Walk of Life today with a capo on fret 7. Nah, not gonna happen for a while. My electric is easier that my acoustic however (longer neck since my acoustic is 7/8 size).

My technique is to get the song good without the capo, then add the capo and try that. It helps, also practice helps. One other thing with that A shape on fret 9 is to use the barred A, that comes a bit further on in the beginners course. Then you're not trying to get 3 fingers close together


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Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Buckeye1971 on January 31, 2016, 07:52:56 am
I would suggest just improving on your A chord lower down the neck. First you want to be able to consistently get the A chord to ring out clearly. second, once you build up callouses on the tips of your fingers it will be easier. Finally, in stage 4 you will learn the A barre chord. This will give you another option if you are still having problems with the one you are using now.

I have been learning on an acoustic for over a year and I sometimes have problems with getting enough pressure/getting my 2nd finger on the G string moved up as close as possible to the fret when changing chords and end up getting Fret buzz.

 I find it easier to use the A barre chord (which is fine as long as there is no embellishments using Asus2 or Asus4). The A chord is my most hated chord so far. While, I still am trying to get my barre chord changes up to speed, I have no problems getting them to play clean (that includes F, Bm, power chords etc.). That even includes the B chord which I'm working on now.

I'm guessing if I was playing on an electric I probably wouldn't be having any issues.  :)

Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: close2u on January 31, 2016, 09:59:24 am
I agree with learning in the open position at first.
At stage 2 you won't yet have solid callouses so your soft fingertips will squash out more and this will change with time.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Fmaj7 on February 11, 2016, 10:02:07 am
@ maxxxpower

especially by teaching  kids its a good idea to use a capo (3rd or 5th or 7th. fret) when learning the first chords. Depends on the guitar, too (3/4,1/2 or 4/4)

Advantage: that you need not so much pressure to put the strings down for a good correct sound

Disadvantage: the frets are narrower, but for children is this usually no problem.

I changed the suitable strategie by regarding the situation. Iám classical guitar-player and teacher.

greets
Fmaj7

Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: nickbay on February 12, 2016, 05:44:26 pm
On the A chord, my 1st finger has an indented line on it from practicing.
This makes it very difficult to make the G (3rd) string ring out correctly.
The more I practice the deeper it gets and the worse it sounds.
It is starting to form a bit of a callus.
What now?
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: stitch101 on February 12, 2016, 06:34:57 pm
Don't press that hard. You only need as much pressure as it takes to make the note ring clean.

On a well set-up guitar that is a lot less than people thing.
Calluses are part of guitar playing. If yours has a permanent grove sand it down with an emery board.

If you have to press hard to make the notes ring out clean get your guitar set-up properly.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: AshKyrie on February 16, 2016, 06:05:02 am
Okay so here's the deal, i just started playing (2 days ago, to be exact), and i've tuned my guitar, can play the d chord pretty well, but i'm having trouble with the a chord, my fingers seem kinda too big to fit, I can't get my index finger low enough to avoid the buzzing,everything else is fine though, now I know it'll get easier and all once my fingertips get harder, but here's my question, should I go on to the next lesson while my fingertips get harder or should I stay on this one until I can play it without the buzzing?  :-\

Edit: Also hey, I'm Ash, nice to meet you all.  :)
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: derek.knight on February 16, 2016, 07:03:43 am
Hi Ash, welcome to the forum. I started playing a few months ago and rushed through the first few lessons. I didn't perfect any of the chords, but I also remembered that I had not perfected them. So I didn't kid myself that I was great at the easy chords, then get so far ahead that I would get discouraged. I think I learned A,D & E, which gave me enough to do some simple songs. Then I worked on getting them better. I was probably a few weeks before I was on the minor chords. Initially I could only practice for 10 mins or so before my fingers hurt a lot. After a month I guess, my fingers were calloused enough that they didn't hurt, and I could practice for an hour, which I still do every day.

So a few key things. It doesn't happen instantly, you don't magically become Clapton (or even Sid Vicious). But practice and it will happen, quicker than you think. Second. This is my experience. Everyone is different, so don't feel that because it works for me, you must do what I did.


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Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Rossco01 on February 16, 2016, 08:28:42 am
The only thing I'd add is make sure you mix structured practice in with learning songs. Even at this early stage learning songs with those three chords will bring you on as much as just practicing the lessons. Above all it will keep you honest and give you a better assessment of where you are than just being able to do the lessons....after all you want to learn guitar so you can play songs.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Katia on February 21, 2016, 05:37:25 am
Agreeing with the above re: playing actual songs.  I find with most things (whether it's music or learning languages or anything else) that I progress a lot faster if I also actually put it into use rather than doing only isolated drills over and over (and psychologically it's a lot less boring).
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Purple Turtle on August 28, 2016, 08:02:57 pm
This chord is giving me a slight amount of grief. I can pick each string individualy with no buzz, so I feel fairly sure my fingering is well, but when I go to strum the chord, the higher attack from my pick seems to make the high E vibrate on my ring finger slightly. The string still sounds though I feel I still shouldn't be touching the string at all. I've tried altering my finger position, but it's pretty much at a 90 degree angle now already. I'm using the tip of my finger, so I'm not sure what to do >.<

I do feel this isn't such a song-breaking finger position as I did state it still rings.

I'm playing an Epiphone Les Paul Standard.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: ajc24 on September 05, 2016, 08:07:35 pm
I can pick each string individualy with no buzz, so I feel fairly sure my fingering is well, but when I go to strum the chord, the higher attack from my pick seems to make the high E vibrate on my ring finger slightly.

This plagued me, too, on the early chords (I'm only just on Stage 3 so am barely ahead of you as regards the work I've covered). I found that as my fingers hardened up, this happened much less and now rarely happens at all.

Give it time. Once your fingers toughen up, I think you'll find that this won't happen as much / any more.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Joerfe on September 06, 2016, 08:21:59 am
Like AJC24  I suggest that it will come in time, but a good thing that you are aware of the issue.
When you are in the early stages of learning the guitar many tilts the guitar towards themselves to see what is going on at the fretboard. This position exposes the high e (1st string) to both your fretting hand and you also tend to hit that particular string a bit harder than the other strings.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Purple Turtle on September 07, 2016, 07:49:29 pm
This plagued me, too, on the early chords (I'm only just on Stage 3 so am barely ahead of you as regards the work I've covered). I found that as my fingers hardened up, this happened much less and now rarely happens at all.

Give it time. Once your fingers toughen up, I think you'll find that this won't happen as much / any more.

I think this makes sense, as it does appear to get worse over time. I found a little work around but I feel this might even make things worse for me. If I angle my finger downwards, there's less room for the finger to touch, but this also means bringing my wrist forward, which I feel makes things so much worse.

It is really sucky that the only finger that wants to harden is the index finger you wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of, but the others are still as soft of kittens >.< I suppose it's best to just power through it!

This hangup has been a really massive downfall for me. I've been getting so angry at the A chord that I just stay on it. Every other chord in the first three stages is fine and even E based barre chords aren't such an issue (Just need that slightly extra strength on the push down and I'm there) while the A based barre chords are coming in.

I'm not very good at changing either, I think this is probably the issue of always looking at where I'm putting my fingers so I don't pay much attention on getting things fast.

Like AJC24  I suggest that it will come in time, but a good thing that you are aware of the issue.
When you are in the early stages of learning the guitar many tilts the guitar towards themselves to see what is going on at the fretboard. This position exposes the high e (1st string) to both your fretting hand and you also tend to hit that particular string a bit harder than the other strings.

This also makes sense, as I've already pointed out, I do find myself looking down at the strings, though I did make a conscious effort to try to move me guitar to be more perpendicular to me as I thought that was the more correct way of doing it. Would I be making a mistake? I stopped trying to play sitting down as I've got a bed which always made me touch my leg anyway so figured that was a bad idea, so just continued to play standing up.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Jekzik on January 04, 2017, 02:58:42 pm
Hi All!

This chord is causing me some serious grief.  D was really easy for me but A is causing me untold frustration after practicing it for about a week solid I still cannot seem to form it in a manner that is comfortable for my hand and that also makes the G string ring clearly.   Essentially what is happening is I will place my index finger on G somewhere in the center or slightly behind the middle.  Slide my middle finger over my index and place it on D.  I have no problems with this stage.

The problem then comes in when I try to place my ring finger on B.  It's a really tight fit so when I try to force the ring finger in, my index can no longer stay curved/pointed straight down at the string to hold it down straight.  Instead, my index is getting sort of forced either back the string, which I try to compensate for by pressing harder to keep it in place.  When I do that, it stays in place but it starts to form an awkward angle and I end up playing the G string from the side of my finger and doesn't look correct and doesn't feel comfortable.  After forming this death grip to compensate my finger sliding it's starting to cause me some pain in the first join right above my finger nail so I've decided to quit playing for a few days to fix that.

My fingers tips no longer hurt as calluses have started to form, but mostly the pain is in the index fingers first joint.  To compensate for that awkward angle I then try to move my hand/thumb but it throws my wrist into a position that's not straight/natural.  Overall, this chord has me in a rut and I'm not sure how to correct this.  The only way I can seem to play it remotely correctly positioned is if I have my index finger in the very back of the fret but I then have to press incredibly hard to make it ring out.  Any advise/guidance?  Thanks!
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Drubbing on January 04, 2017, 03:05:29 pm
A week? you're going to have to adjust expectations. Some chords take longer than others. Wait til the F - that's usually a 6 month project for most.

As you've found out, you're pressing way too hard, and is counter productive.

The answer is to relax and stop trying to force it. With practice your fingers will find a way to slot in. They always do.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: skinnyT on January 04, 2017, 07:22:13 pm
I have been playing 7 months now and am on stage 5. It took me a month to do stage 1. The A chord still causes me grief on occasion . Try putting your fingers down in a different order. What worked best for me was to get the middle and ring fingers down then push your index finger behind them as close as it will go. Hope this makes sense.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: SiegeFrog on January 04, 2017, 09:07:05 pm
Like skinnyT said, your goal is to get all three fingers as close to the fret as possible. Squish more. It can help to focus on moving your 2nd and 3rd fingers apart more to make more room for your index finger. A couple of mm of width will give your index finger a lot more space. Also, as your fingertips toughen up more, they'll spread less making it less likely that you touch adjacent strings. Keep squishing and practicing. Focus a lot on the strum pick out strum exercise.


Sent from my iPhone using JustinGuitar Community mobile app (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=93296)
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Jekzik on January 04, 2017, 10:52:48 pm
Thanks for all of the insight! I'll take this all to heart and keep working on it.

Sent from my SM-G930V using JustinGuitar Community mobile app (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=93296)

Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: MyKindaMoves on August 06, 2017, 07:54:03 pm
Whenever I play an A chord my wrist is being stretched in a really uncomfortable manner to accommodate it. I believe it's because I've got very petite hands and I'm playing on a full sized guitar although this could be complete hogwash.

Do any other small handed guitar players have trouble with the A chord?


Because my hands are small I have to put my thumb really low on the neck or otherwise my hand ends up pressing on the bottom string, Then cos it's half way down the neck I have to press abit to keep it in place, all in all it's just a very awkward chord for me. I can play it but not for longer than a few minutes. I'm thinking I need a 3/4 sized guitar instead or am i just being silly? I'm sure plenty of girls with small hands can play on a full sized guitar

Here are some pictures of my straining playing it: (http://i.imgur.com/vnj7EDC.jpg) (http://i.imgur.com/I0BruU2.jpg)
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: stitch101 on August 06, 2017, 08:04:27 pm
You have you guitar to flat. Lift the neck up on an angle so you're not cranking your wrist.
There's nothing wrong witn your hands it's your technique. Your wrist should be as straight as possible.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: DavidP on August 06, 2017, 08:16:20 pm
Don't have too much experience but from the picture it looks like the thumb is pressing really hard.  You may be using more force than is  necessary. Try easing off and use just enough pressure to let the note sound true.

As stitch suggests, experiment with position and posture to be able to be totally relaxed as you play.  It may be just the camera angle but looks like the neck may be angling away.

Keep at it, till you solve it.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Drubbing on August 07, 2017, 12:56:16 am
Small hands big guitar is just an excuse. Don't go there. As advised bring the neck up, like classical players do. This will allow you to drop the arm and play with a straighter wrist.

And you need to let go of the death grip on the thumb. You will develop wrist injury trying to do that.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: joshguitar on September 17, 2017, 05:27:44 pm
I have trouble muting the low E and letting the high E ring at the same time. My palm will hit the high E, so I'll move it off the neck, but then I can't reach my thumb onto the low E. If I put my thumb on the low E, my palm hits the high E.

The only solution I can see is when strumming to not hit the low E, but I don't really see how this is feasible when doing faster/harder strumming.

Any suggestions?
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Rossco01 on September 17, 2017, 05:39:46 pm
It's been a long time since I learnt the A chord so can't remember Justin's advice on muting the low E. what I can tell you is that with practice you will be able to skip the the low E and play just those 5 strings and you'll be able to do it fast and without looking. If you think A is hard then D is the same, just D, G, B and high E. all it needs is constant steady and initially slow practice.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: dakadama on February 10, 2018, 07:18:29 pm
hi. I have never played a guitar before and I love your lessons. I have started right from the beginning and received your Beginner's Course and Beginner's Songbook as gifts. I have been trying to practice 10 to 15 minutes every day. I am still struggling with the 1 Minute Changes. Especially playing the A chord.
I can't get it to consistently sound good. If I concentrate I can play a Good A chord but once I start the
1 Minute Changes at least half of them don't sound good. Any suggestions? Just keep practicing and be patient? My son is studying to become a Luthier and is making my wife and I a guitar that he wants us to play and not just display. So I really want to be able to play.
     Your lessons are great!! I just can't seem to get past where I am stuck.
Thank you for your help
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: joueur de guitare on February 10, 2018, 07:40:31 pm
Just keep practicing and be patient?

That. How long have you been playing?

Plus you're old, and learning new things don't come quite as easy as they did when you were 20. But what do I know? I'm only a kid of 62. :)
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: dakadama on February 10, 2018, 07:44:45 pm
About 3 Months
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: LP on February 11, 2018, 10:38:43 am
Hi!
I'm no pro, just a beginner :)
I think you should identify the faulty string(s) when your A chord sound dirty, then you can find the solution and concentrate specifically on it when you strum it.

Also A chord can be a struggle despite it's newby status me think: if you got big fingers or if your scratch has a thin neck with strings very close to each others.
So, don't get stuck on the first chapter only because of that. Move on to the other chapter if you didn't do it already, you'll improve your A chord while working on others things also.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: iluvyomumma on March 05, 2018, 11:40:19 am
Hey all, first post after a bit of lurking. Great advice from all, glad we're all enjoying it and cheers to Justin for the course!!!

I'm still on stage 2 and progressing relatively well but wanted to ask about 1 minute changes. Soecifically finger work between Dm and A chords. I find Justin's method for A quite tough from Dm and I know there are obviously different ways to play A. I'm curious to know if anymore experienced players still use Justin's method to play A from Dm or if there is a more effective way? I know this is subjective as it will depend on what is played next but as a general rule: am I right in saying a 1 finger bar is more effective?

Thanks all and good luck
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: close2u on March 05, 2018, 11:46:46 am
Try your best to stick to Justin's fingering suggestions through the BC.
Eventually you will branch out.
I play A several ways ...

1, 2, 3
2, 3, 4
2, 1, 3
1, 1, 1, (barre)
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: iluvyomumma on March 05, 2018, 12:21:13 pm
Try your best to stick to Justin's fingering suggestions through the BC.
Eventually you will branch out.
I play A several ways ...

1, 2, 3
2, 3, 4
2, 1, 3
1, 1, 1, (barre)

Hey dude, thanks a lot for your reply. I really appreciate it, I thought this might be the answer haha! Given that later on I will try other methods, what would you say is a reasonable number of changes using Justin's method to get to on this change before moving on?
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: LeftyLoosy on March 05, 2018, 03:08:12 pm
I really think 60 changes should be your goal. If the Dm-A changes are all that's keeping you stuck in stage 2, then just move on to the next stage, but keep working on your Dm-A changes as you go, until you've got it down.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: davidison#02 on July 06, 2018, 12:14:54 am
Hi everyone, im a newbie to the guitar but ive always loved the sound of it.

also been a bit jealous of guitarist because  I was a drummer once upon a time. remember walking around with drum sticks tapping all over the place.

Anyway I will get back to now, it's my 2nd week and I'm finding it really hard to hold the A chord properly.

thank god for finding JustinGuitar website, he explain everything easy to follow.

I'm going to try and stick with it because my passion for the guitar is really important.

thank you everyone for listening and hope you all enjoying learning the guitar as much as I do.

Sent from my [device_name] using JustinGuitar Community mobile app (http://JustinGuitar Community mobile app)

Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Holensum on July 06, 2018, 01:49:27 am
Hang in there, the A is the first of the "easy" chords you will be challenged to learn. My problem was getting my fat fingers in that itty bitty fret and keeping 2 and 3 off the A and E strings. Just took time and practice. Check back in next week after practicing everyday.


Gordon
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Mikefarmer on August 10, 2018, 04:44:22 am
Hi everyone, first time posting.

The problem I’m having with the A chord is pain in my first finger due to the awkward angle of squeezing the finger up close behind the other 2 fingers which puts pressure on the side of the top joint. Even when not pressing too hard, it has caused pain in my first finger, sometimes while playing, and sometimes even when not playing it feels like I jammed my finger and hurts when I bend the top joint. Doesn’t hurt enough to go to the doctor but enough to be a concern to me. I even stopped playing for a few days but it just hurts again when I play the A chord again. I’ve tried varying my hand, palm and thumb position but it doesn’t seem to help. So I’m thinking I might go with the 1-2-3 or 2-3-4 fingering instead, even though I’d prefer to stick to Justin’s lessons as is, and it might will slow me down in chord changes. Maybe I could keep playing and the finger will get used to it eventually and the pain will disappear... but then again maybe it gets worse and causes a permanent problem? Anyone have any thoughts/advice or have a similar issue?
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: stitch101 on August 10, 2018, 06:00:26 am
Justin's way of fingering the two ways you posted and using your
index finger to barre the D G and B string are all exceptable ways to
play the A chord. Justin even teaches baring the A with the index finger
in a later lesson. I personally play the A chord with two fingers or barre with
the index.
Find a way that works for you without pain and carry on with the lesson using
that A chord. There is no law saying you have to play Justin's way.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Mikefarmer on August 11, 2018, 02:13:41 am
Thanks, stitch101. I’m curious as to how you play the A chord with 2 fingers?
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: stitch101 on August 11, 2018, 02:32:42 am
I have average size fingers so it not a fat finger thing but I can cover two strings
with either my index or second finger. I'll cover the D and G string with my index or
the G and B with my ring finger and the left over string with my second finger.
I learned to play in the 70's before the internet told me I was doing it wrong.
So what ever works for you is the way to do it.
Just remember to have fun and don't get hung up on right and wrong.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: rodinia on August 12, 2018, 03:13:50 pm
I'm in Stage 2 of beginner now but still struggle with the A chord. The problem seems to be that my guitar has a fairly thick neck (was a gift), I have fairly small hands and the skin on the hand along the pinky literally mutes out the lowest string. Furthermore, I don't manage to press down the string with the index finger properly. So I need to completely change my grip just for this one chord, which is fairly uncomfortable so I cannot play constantly like this. Any suggestions?
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: MrBumble on August 12, 2018, 03:29:23 pm
These days I usually use the "barre" method with the index finger fretting all three strings.
On a good day I can avoid the high e string as well.

I don't think there is a right or wrong way - if it works for you it's right.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Shalo on September 15, 2018, 07:50:55 pm
Hello!

I've been learning how to play since February, but last month I started trying to play the A chord so I could play Hey Joe. Sadly, I feel like I've hit a brick wall on this one. It's been so frustrating that it's actually gotten to the point where I feel I'm making more progress with the F chord and B7 than with the A. I can change to it fast enough that I can play Hey Joe the whole way through, but about 30-40% of the time the A chord won't come out very well.

The problem I have is that about half the times I make an A chord, the D string will buzz. Sometimes, when I do manage to get it to sound properly, I have to use soo much strength on my first finger that it will start to hurt (expecially when I'm practicing at a slower rate). I know that the likely solution is to just keep practicing, but does anyone have any tip or have been through the same problem? Or is it that I'm just not being patient enough? I'm posting mainly because I'm worried that I may be practicing it the wrong way, as this is the only chord that still makes my finger hurt.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: close2u on September 15, 2018, 08:09:16 pm
@ Shalo

which version of A are you playing (fingering, fret position etc)?
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Shalo on September 15, 2018, 09:00:54 pm
I've been playing it with the 123 fingering on the open position.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: close2u on September 15, 2018, 09:06:47 pm
A is one of the first three chords to learn so I'm surprised you've only just got to it if starting in February.

Anyway, too much pressure is not good.
Ease off.
Play just that string and pluck it successively as you push your finger down in tiny, tiny increments of increasing pressure until you get the note ringing out.
Then push further.
You will hear the note go dead and sharp.
It doesn't require much pressure to fret a note.
The same with chords.
If you're pushing harder something about your finger placement or hand positino is wrong.

https://www.justinguitar.com/guitar-lessons/the-a-chord-bc-112
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Shalo on September 15, 2018, 09:10:51 pm
Alright, thanks for the advice! I'll try to watch the lesson again tomorrow and try to apply less pressure.

I only learned the A chord recently because my teacher didn't show it very early on. If I recall correctly, I think the first few chords I was taught where G, Cadd9 , D, C and Am. Since then I've learned a handful more, but the A chord was really the one giving me the most trouble.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: robsin on September 16, 2018, 12:19:37 am
I couldn't get the 123 position to work, my fingers are to big, so I do the  213, and after many months I still get the d string buzz (finger 1), I have to really tuck that finger 1 under the other two to get it as close as possible to the fret. When I get it right it takes very little pressure.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: stitch101 on September 16, 2018, 12:59:32 am
 Try 2 fingers to cover the three strings. Either the index and second or second
and ring. Been playing my open A like that for over 40 years. Don't let anyone
tell you it's wrong. Or you can barre all three string with one finger. Just don't
play the high e string or mute it.both methods are perfectly Okay.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Shalo on September 16, 2018, 01:47:29 pm
Thank you all very much. I'll try the different suggestions you three gave. Hopefully I'll have improved my A chord a bit by the time I'm able to play Yellow Submarine and Time of Your Life with the recording. Justin's lesson on That's All Right Mama is almost begging that I learn it after these two.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: wajeeh on December 13, 2018, 12:08:02 pm
In the a chord I have to push too much pressure on my 1st finger. And When I do that my 3rd finger kind of mutes the 1st string . Can anyone help me out
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: joueur de guitare on December 13, 2018, 01:52:10 pm
In the a chord I have to push too much pressure on my 1st finger. And When I do that my 3rd finger kind of mutes the 1st string . Can anyone help me out

I refer you to Close's post #90 at the top of this page ;)
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: spinsheet on February 02, 2019, 10:39:48 pm
I'm having one hell of a time with the A chord. It all has to do with my first finger on the G string. I just can't seem to get it far enough away from the fret to not buzz.

I bought Justin's complete beginners course about three years ago and practiced for a month or so, life got in the way and I stopped. I'm just picking it back up again and am having the same issue with A that I had then. I'm actually please that I'm going from D to E and back a LOT better than I did three years ago, pretty excited about that, but this A thing is frustrating. Any thoughts on what I might be doing wrong or is this just a common thing that will work itself out?
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: tobyjenner on February 02, 2019, 11:23:09 pm
Spin

Good to see you're hanging in there, welcome back. Assuming you using Justin's fingering, its difficult to suggest anything apart from laying your fingers down real slow, when doing the strum/pick/strum routine. Get that right before adding it to chord changes.

If you can, pictures may help identify what you're doing and maybe folks can off specific advice.

Cheers

Toby
 8)
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: saruman1970 on February 03, 2019, 12:36:51 pm
Maybe you can try lighter strings

Inviato dal mio SM-J530F utilizzando Tapatalk

Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: joueur de guitare on February 03, 2019, 01:53:21 pm
I'm having one hell of a time with the A chord. It all has to do with my first finger on the G string. I just can't seem to get it far enough away from the fret to not buzz.

You want your fingers close to the frets as possible, not further away.

The A chord is a bit cramped though.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: spinsheet on February 03, 2019, 11:23:14 pm
I'm wondering if the A will be easier to play once the calluses have built up. Should I not worry too much about it for now as I have almost no calluses built up as I haven't played in over three years?

I should probably change my strings as they've been sitting on the guitar for years, I'll move to lighter strings then and see if that helps any.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: spinsheet on February 04, 2019, 04:27:39 pm
You want your fingers close to the frets as possible, not further away.

The A chord is a bit cramped though.

I should have been more clear. When I said I couldn't get my finger further away from the fret, I meant the first fret, not the second. My other two fingers crowd it out and I can't get it further down the neck, away from the first fret and closer to the second.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: hilts17 on February 04, 2019, 04:54:04 pm
Are you fingering the A chord using Justin's suggested fingering technique? Are your fingers thick and you feel there is no room in the fret? See this link below.

https://www.tomasmichaud.com/a-chord-fat-fingers/ (https://www.tomasmichaud.com/a-chord-fat-fingers/)

Note this paragraph: "even though students think that there's some physical problem keeping them from playing guitar, it often is more about underestimating what they can do with practice."

Regarding your strings being on your guitar for years, yes they are long overdue to be changed.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: spinsheet on February 04, 2019, 07:29:32 pm
Are you fingering the A chord using Justin's suggested fingering technique?

Yes, I'm using Justin's fingering technique. I figure he knows a lot more about this than I do!

I do have rather big hands so I imagine my fingers are probably a bit thicker that most, but I'm sure it's nothing I can't work around, they're not THAT big  :)

Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: joueur de guitare on February 04, 2019, 07:36:55 pm
You'll probably find the A mini barre easier, but carry on with the open A until you reach Stage 4. :)
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: stitch101 on February 04, 2019, 08:07:30 pm
To quote myself.

Try 2 fingers to cover the three strings. Either the index and second or second
and ring. Been playing my open A like that for over 40 years. Don't let anyone
tell you it's wrong. Or you can barre all three string with one finger. Just don't
play the high e string or mute it.both methods are perfectly Okay.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: spinsheet on February 05, 2019, 01:47:33 pm
I replaced my strings with 11's (can't help but think of Spinal Tap when I say that) and that seems to have helped a bit, at least I can hit a decent A chord half the time instead of one out of five. I guess three years is long enough for one set of strings. Of course, I haven't played the guitar for those three years, but still.

Anyway, thanks all for the advise.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Peakoverload on February 18, 2019, 02:46:50 pm
Apologies if this is a bit of a dumb question but I'm having a few problems with unlearning some stuff.

I started to try and teach myself guitar from a book nearly 20 years ago but didn't get very far and ended up giving up. I've recently decided to try again but this time following Justin's Beginner Course which I'm already finding so much easier. The problem I'm having is that I previously learned and can still remember how to play most open chords (except F and B which always evaded me and still does) and the way I learned the A chord was 1st finger 4th string, 2nd finger 3rd, 3rd finger 2nd. I can absolutely see the benefit of Justin's method and if I'm very slowly switching between D and A I can do it but as soon as I start to speed up the changes my fingers get in the way and I can't do it. If however I use the fingering for the A chord I originally learned I can change between D and A very quickly and kinda feels more natural. I kinda like having to take my fingers off all strings as leaving one behind seems to complicate it in my brain.

So the question is, is it okay to keep using the original fingering position I learned or should I concentrate on unlearning that and switch to Justin's?

The other problem I'm having is the thumb position of my left hand (right handed player). I know Justin says to have your thumb on the back of the guitar but I'm really struggling with that. I have large hands and my thumb naturally wants to roll over the top. If I force my thumb to the back of the neck a number of things happen:

1. My fingers start to ache after a while
2. My accuracy of finger placement drops quite a bit
3. My thumb aches quite quickly
4. After a couple of chord changes, my thumb has rolled back on top again.

I know it's necessary to persevere with this as correct thumb position helps with barring which I always found utterly impossible so does anyone have any tips/advice/exercises on how to keep my thumb on the back of the neck short of super gluing it there?
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: DavidP on February 18, 2019, 03:29:19 pm
Apologies if this is a bit of a dumb question but I'm having a few problems with unlearning some stuff.

I started to try and teach myself guitar from a book nearly 20 years ago but didn't get very far and ended up giving up. I've recently decided to try again but this time following Justin's Beginner Course which I'm already finding so much easier. The problem I'm having is that I previously learned and can still remember how to play most open chords (except F and B which always evaded me and still does) and the way I learned the A chord was 1st finger 4th string, 2nd finger 3rd, 3rd finger 2nd. I can absolutely see the benefit of Justin's method and if I'm very slowly switching between D and A I can do it but as soon as I start to speed up the changes my fingers get in the way and I can't do it. If however I use the fingering for the A chord I originally learned I can change between D and A very quickly and kinda feels more natural. I kinda like having to take my fingers off all strings as leaving one behind seems to complicate it in my brain.

So the question is, is it okay to keep using the original fingering position I learned or should I concentrate on unlearning that and switch to Justin's?

The other problem I'm having is the thumb position of my left hand (right handed player). I know Justin says to have your thumb on the back of the guitar but I'm really struggling with that. I have large hands and my thumb naturally wants to roll over the top. If I force my thumb to the back of the neck a number of things happen:

1. My fingers start to ache after a while
2. My accuracy of finger placement drops quite a bit
3. My thumb aches quite quickly
4. After a couple of chord changes, my thumb has rolled back on top again.

I know it's necessary to persevere with this as correct thumb position helps with barring which I always found utterly impossible so does anyone have any tips/advice/exercises on how to keep my thumb on the back of the neck short of super gluing it there?

Welcome to the Community.  No dumb questions ...

I can't help with the thumb position question.

As for A: I play it that old traditional way as well.  And I am lucky enough to have had a lesson with Justin and he never raised that as a problem.

If you are not struggling to change between the A D & E then I'd not worry about this.

I also find it easier to lift the middle finger to play an A7 ... middle finger and "middle" string of the the three.  And to slide the ring finger into the 3rd fret.

I said no dumb questions, but sometimes you get dumb answers ... hopefully this is not one that is dumb through overlooking some future issue yet to be discovered by playing A as you are.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: gerrymac on February 20, 2019, 11:03:56 pm
Thanks for answer, David P.    Like Peakoverload, I am unlearning an A chord fingering, in my case 234---which Justin specifically advises against in one of his Stage 1 videos.   But sounds like I can use 234 and move on in course--though maybe keep practicing Justin's preferred 213?
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: close2u on February 21, 2019, 08:32:22 am
I use

1, 2, 3

2, 3, 4

2, 1, 3

1---1

depending on where I'm coming from and where I'm going to and whether I need to play any embellishments on the A chord (A sus2, Asus4 or A slash chords etc).
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: sdd56 on February 21, 2019, 10:11:42 am
I really don't like the A chord. I've been learning using Justin's course for 2.5 years (but still consider myself a beginner).

Using fingers 213, I struggle to get a consistent clean chord, unless I really press hard with my index, which tends to limit speed of chord changes. obviously I try to get as close to the fret as possible, but the other fingers mean that my index is usually roughly halfway between frets. The acoustic I'm currently using has a fairly low action.

Using 123 or 234, I find it difficult to fit all fingers in, especially further up when using a capo. I have average size fingers.

I've tried using single finger barre, but the sound of that muted high e string just makes the chord sound wrong to me.

And even when I play the chord cleanly, e.g. using 213, I just don't like the sound of the chord, it sounds dull compared to other chords.

I much prefer the sound of A7 or Am, which I find I can use as a substitute in some cases.

Is substitution likely to be a valid solution, or should I persist and master the A even if I don't like the sound?

I think I know the answer already but any comments/tips would be much appreciated!
Stan
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: DarrellW on February 21, 2019, 10:38:16 am
What you could do is look at other shapes of the chord or using triads (only 3 strings), it might be that you’re not ready for this idea yet but if you’re having so much trouble maybe worth a look see.
Really the best thing to do is persevere and get it right but don’t let it hold up your progress just for the sake of one chord!
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Drtbker on April 25, 2019, 06:48:06 pm
This about my 3rd day learning lesson 1. I’m able to play A,D,E but when I try and change to A I just can’t seem to get finger 1 to go in the right spot without being on the fret to dull it out. What have you learned to  help get that finger in there more? I know I’m still new and just starting but the other cords I’m able to play and not have any issues now and transition from E and D with out issues.  Which is awesome cause I thought it would take me a lot longer to get it down.

Thank you for the help everyone!
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: jono on April 25, 2019, 07:06:11 pm
There are no tricks, just keep at it and you will get there. Three days is good to be able to do E to D changes that you are happy with.

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Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: joueur de guitare on April 25, 2019, 07:12:55 pm
This about my 3rd day learning lesson 1.

Patience, and practice. And developing muscle memory. :)

There's not a lot of space to get three fingers down, as you've discovered.

If you haven't watched the vid, do. It's here.

https://www.justinguitar.com/guitar-lessons/the-a-chord-bc-112 (https://www.justinguitar.com/guitar-lessons/the-a-chord-bc-112)

Put finger 1 down first, a little way back from the fret. Strum. If it's clean fret the other two strings. Pick each string in turn. If the B string isn't good, adjust and repeat.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: savarezguy on April 25, 2019, 08:10:32 pm
I did have the same issue once and figured out some ways to deal with it. I forced the fingers a bit larger distance to stretch the placement. I alternate between correct placement (which obviously is a little off) and the "stretch" (which often hit the correct position). After some time I didn't have to think about it anymore since the placement converged between what my mind thought was right and the stretch which was correct, but my mind didn't think so.



Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: hilts17 on April 25, 2019, 08:26:45 pm
You're doing great for only 3 days of practising. It's just going to take more practice, practice, practice. You'll get it just like we all did.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Drtbker on April 25, 2019, 08:43:38 pm
Yeah I’m very happy with the progress I’ve made. It actually surprised me how quick I was able to get the cords down. I’ll just keep practicing the A cord. Maybe get a  few songs to practice with and see if it just starts coming to me.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: sairfingers on April 25, 2019, 10:37:46 pm
Hi Drtbekr.
I recommend you buy Justin’s Beginner Songbook. Loads of A, E, D songs in there. His songbooks are great, lots of hints and tips in them, not just the lyrics and chords like most other sources.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Liebie on July 09, 2019, 07:54:29 pm
After 2 months of practice I still battle with the A major cord. How can I solve this problem or must I just give it up as a bad job.

Sent from my [device_name] using JustinGuitar Community mobile app (http://JustinGuitar Community mobile app)

Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: stitch101 on July 09, 2019, 08:07:31 pm
Could you be more specific at what the problem is.
Hard to help if we don't know what it is.
Have you tried different fingering?
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: GermanGuitarNoob on September 23, 2019, 02:57:19 am
Is there any harm in using the 2nd finger on the G-String, the 3rd on the D-String and the pinky on the B-String? It is basically the way Justin plays it but one finger "up".

I can play an A very good... but only with the thumb behind the fretboard. I am now trying to learn the chords with muting unnessecary strings. I am pretty good with all the chords who need muting now, the D, the C, the Am, the Dm... but the damned A is a problem.

I can do it but only if I turn my wrist in a very awkward position (otherwise I block the e-String) and after a few practice strumms it is beginning to get sore. Sometimes it even hurts a bit.

Last night I tried the position which I described at the start of the post. And it was like magic... the e-String ringed like a bell in my ears and I didnt have to turn the wrist. The E-String was muted with my thumb comfortably.
It even felt natural. I could change to a D or an E pretty quick after a few times I practiced the new position. You lose the "anchor finger" for the A-D-E changes of course but I can live with that. I felt more comfortably with lifting the fingers for this chord changes anyway... I don´t know why.

I know the answer to that question myself. For guitars it is: Whatever floats your boat and sounds good. But I used this fingering for an Am chord too and noticed while playing that you need the pinky for sus and add-chords sometimes. So I am a bit afraid of learning a mistake.

This A-Chord with a muted E-String is the only basic chord I have problems with. I can even play bar-chords very good.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: close2u on September 23, 2019, 07:16:58 am
Is there any harm in using the 2nd finger on the G-String, the 3rd on the D-String and the pinky on the B-String? It is basically the way Justin plays it but one finger "up".

This is not a good way to learn the A chord at all as it makes it impossible to play extensions / embellishments. It will harm your long term progress and ability to play many songs and riffs.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: GermanGuitarNoob on September 24, 2019, 04:21:54 am
This is not a good way to learn the A chord at all as it makes it impossible to play extensions / embellishments. It will harm your long term progress and ability to play many songs and riffs.

Well. This is a bummer. My wrist absolutely doesn´t compute this while muting the thick E-String with the thumb. My thumb is very short and I have to fold my hand outwards to avoid blocking the high e-String. It is absolutely not fun and I have the feeling that it just won´t settle in. I am practicing this for over a month now. I can do it but it hurts after a few times. And I notice that the annoyance about it keeps me off the guitar...

Well then my thumb has to go back behind the fretboard and I have to play with more accuracy to avoid hitting the E-String.

Thanks for your warning.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: close2u on September 24, 2019, 07:01:32 am
Don't worry too much about wrapping your thumb around to mute the E string.

Several reasons.

If you accidentally hit it - no worries as the note E is an integral note of the 3 that make up an A major chord.
It forces you to properly focus on learning how to play and pick and strum with your right hand for accuracy - your right hand should not just swing about like a wide-arc pendulum with no sense of where it is or which string it is striking first.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: bev2112 on October 19, 2019, 04:28:31 am
So I learned the A chord as 2-3-4 before I found Justin's course.  I have better success that way than 2-1-3 but I totally understand and agree with Justin's reasoning of the anchor finger.  Since I began this course I have been struggling but determined to persevere. After tonight's flubbed chord changes I decided to try the "old way" a few times.  It was a lot easier to get a good sound the first time, but slower on the changes without the anchor finger.  Then I had a eureka moment of keeping the index "anchor" finger on the 3rd string in the first fret and using 2-3-4 to make A chord per usual.  I tried a few changes from D-E-A, etc. and it really helped a lot.  So my question: is there a downside to using this method that may hinder progress in some other way down the line?
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: close2u on October 19, 2019, 08:23:11 am
I use 2, 3, 4 quite a lot and it makes for a simple change to the E chord as you describe because your index finger can stay in position behind the fretted notes when playing the A chord.
I also use 1, 2, 3.
And I also use 2, 1, 3.
And I also use mine-barre with index.
And it all depends on the song I'm olaying, the previous chord, thenext chord and whether I need to play any embellishments to the A chord (such as sus2 or sus4).

Long term you will want to learn more than one way of playing it.
In the very beginning, just to get you started, learn no more than one or two ways.
Keep your 2, 3, 4 and persevere with 2, 1, 3.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: bev2112 on October 19, 2019, 03:22:11 pm
Long term you will want to learn more than one way of playing it.
In the very beginning, just to get you started, learn no more than one or two ways.
Keep your 2, 3, 4 and persevere with 2, 1, 3.
Thank you so much for your feedback.  I think this will give a bit of a boost to my progress as well as my motivation  :)
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: ufoclouds on January 19, 2020, 05:54:13 pm
Crikey, this chord... I've been playing for about 3 and a half months now and I'm still having problems with A. My main problem is that when I slide the anchor finger up to move to an E chord, I get fret buzz.

I mean, this makes sense to me; you play A, it rings out, then as you slide your finger up to the first fret to go for E, the fret will buzz mid slide because it's not fretted properly.

But how exactly do you stop this? I've tried moving my finger lightning fast up to the first fret but it still buzzes, albeit quicker.

Outside of that buzz, my chord changes are fine, I can do 60 per minute between most chords which I think is way beyond where I should be. I'm only up to the part where I've learned the 8 main cowboy chords, I've spent hours a day just changing chords trying to get this A -> E to stop buzzing. I've barely learned any songs yet. Just 3 months of changing chords.

I find the 2-1-3 fingering a bit awkward, mainly just getting the first finger close to the fret - but I prefer it much more to 1-2-3 and the 'minibar' A doesn't really work for me, I have smaller hands and not-thick fingers.

Any ideas? I've tried experimenting with pressure, with speed...everything I can think of. I even got my guitar set up professionally just in case something was wrong. I can't tell if it's a technique thing or a practice thing. I feel like I NEVER get it perfect, so I'm either a long way off making that chord change sound clean or I'm doing something inherently wrong.

Thanks in advance!
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: joueur de guitare on January 19, 2020, 06:01:18 pm
Lift your finger off the string ;)
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Libitina on January 19, 2020, 06:20:42 pm
Crikey, this chord... I've been playing for about 3 and a half months now and I'm still having problems with A. My main problem is that when I slide the anchor finger up to move to an E chord, I get fret buzz.

I mean, this makes sense to me; you play A, it rings out, then as you slide your finger up to the first fret to go for E, the fret will buzz mid slide because it's not fretted properly.


Lift your finger off the string ;)

What he said,....

Are you you literally just sliding and not releasing the pressure as thats what it sounds like(no pun intended) your saying.

Feel the force, let it go....

Libi
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: ufoclouds on January 19, 2020, 06:48:53 pm
What he said,....

Are you you literally just sliding and not releasing the pressure as thats what it sounds like(no pun intended) your saying.

Feel the force, let it go....

Libi

The moment I release the tiniest amount of pressure it buzzes. Justin says in the book that the first finger should always maintain contact with the string. I don't know if there's a way to upload videos or something here though I don't know how I could record myself when my hands are occupied.

Maybe try it out yourself and see if you see what I mean? I've got two guitars here with different actions, new strings and they both do it. I'm sure it's not a setup problem, I'm doing something wrong and I can't figure it out. Either that or everyone buzzes and I just don't hear it? Doesn't seem like it when I watch Justin's videos.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Libitina on January 19, 2020, 07:05:21 pm
The moment I release the tiniest amount of pressure it buzzes. Justin says in the book that the first finger should always maintain contact with the string. I don't know if there's a way to upload videos or something here though I don't know how I could record myself when my hands are occupied.

Maybe try it out yourself and see if you see what I mean? I've got two guitars here with different actions, new strings and they both do it. I'm sure it's not a setup problem, I'm doing something wrong and I can't figure it out. Either that or everyone buzzes and I just don't hear it? Doesn't seem like it when I watch Justin's videos.

Recording I use an old tri-pod with a phone clamp, and voice activated recording. yes, vids can be posted, from youtube with a link like.



- A.D.E practice

I pasted this because (listening back) I also get fret buzz but, I think this is just being very new to guitar.

I don't think it's so bad though as this is just 2 weeks of starting.

Libi
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: ufoclouds on January 20, 2020, 02:29:42 am
Recording I use an old tri-pod with a phone clamp, and voice activated recording. yes, vids can be posted, from youtube with a link like.



- A.D.E practice

I pasted this because (listening back) I also get fret buzz but, I think this is just being very new to guitar.

I don't think it's so bad though as this is just 2 weeks of starting.

Libi

Interesting! Do you still get the buzz or has it gone now? If so what do you think the difference is? I've been practicing for a while and I still can't shake it. I don't get it with any other chord, only moving to and from the A chord.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Libitina on January 20, 2020, 05:28:33 am
Interesting! Do you still get the buzz or has it gone now? If so what do you think the difference is? I've been practicing for a while and I still can't shake it. I don't get it with any other chord, only moving to and from the A chord.

Yes, about the same actually but I'm still very early days at 1 month. I think it will be difficult to determine all the causes , personally for me I'm pretty sure it's just lack of experience.

Do you have someone near you who can play, maybe ask if they can tryout the Guitar maybe.

Libi

Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: ufoclouds on January 23, 2020, 01:14:40 am
Good news! I'm starting to get better at removing A chord buzz when changing chords and there's a pretty cool trick I figured out to achieve it!

I bought a capo.

Basically, I put the capo on the 7th fret and then practiced my E-A-D chord changes from there. See, the problem was always with the first finger sliding too far back when I was changing, which caused the buzz -  even if I quickly slid it back up to the fret. Of course I knew I needed to practice cramming my fingers as close to the frets as possible, but when played in the standard open position it was too easy for them to slide out when changing chords quickly.

With the capo applied, the part that goes over the strings acts as a physical wall - you have to cram your fingers in there just to actually press the strings down, they don't have the room to slide backwards when your hand is blocked by the capo.

A few hours of this and cramming all my fingers into the frets with 2-1-3 fingering in the standard position was much better, my changes to A went straight into the correct position without the first finger drifting out briefly. It's still not perfect, but it's a great improvement.

I Googled this problem a lot before I came here and quite a few other people had this problem too which they cured with enough practice, but I think this is actually a more targetted form of practicing this particular issue.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Twbennett on January 30, 2020, 08:51:24 am
Hi Guys

New to guitar, been playing about a week now using the JG songs app which is amazing! Has really got me inspired and progressing so quickly.

I am working on my one minute changes and chord beat exercises etc; I try and work out the anchor fingers between each chord change but am struggling with the best way to change from Am to A. Do I work on the basis that I move fingers 1 and 3 leaving 2 as an anchor, or do I anchor 2 and 3 while then only moving finger 1 between string 2 frets 1 and 2? Not sure if doing this will complicate things for me further down the line with other chord changes or whether as a rule, figuring it out a way to move less fingers between chords is advantageous.

Any advice you can give would be great, will save me potentially getting into bad habits early on.

TB
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: sairfingers on January 30, 2020, 09:11:13 am
Do I work on the basis that I move fingers 1 and 3 leaving 2 as an anchor, or do I anchor 2 and 3 while then only moving finger 1 between string 2 frets 1 and 2?
Hi Tw
For Am to A keep finger 2 as the anchor and move fingers 1&3. The other way you are suggesting results in a very akward fingering of the A chord and would make a change to D or E more difficult. I’m assuming you’re following Justin’s anchor finger A,D,E method.

Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Twbennett on January 30, 2020, 09:41:22 am
Sairfingers

Ideal, thank you for the help. I see your point, just been playing around and yeah, definitely more awkward.

Really appreciate the advice.

TB
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: close2u on January 30, 2020, 09:47:47 am
I play the open A chord in a variety of different ways.
Which one I use depends on what chord comes before / after.

For A and A minor I would choose this:

     A   Am
e -- 0 -- 0 --
B -- 4 -- 1 --
G -- 3 -- 3 --
D -- 2 -- 2 --
A -- 0 -- 0 --
E -- x -- x --

Note: 1, 2, 3 and 4 = fingers, 0 = no fingering required. Numbers do not = fret position.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Twbennett on January 30, 2020, 09:58:21 am
Ah, okay. That makes sense following what a mentioned first about minimal finger movement between chords? Hadn’t really considered using finger 4 at this stage as I’m totally new to guitar but I guess working on dexterity now is only going to be a good thing?
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: stuartw on April 07, 2020, 08:01:32 pm
I'm trying to play the A chord but whatever I do, or however hard I press the 3rd string (1st finger) always sounds dull. I have to position this finger to the back of the fret to be able to get the other fingers in to make the chord. Being trying this for weeks now with no real difference and I have a nearly permanent grove in my finger!  Very frustrating
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: close2u on April 07, 2020, 09:26:59 pm
@ stuartw

Welcome to the forum.
A few things to help ...
It is not about pressing hard ... in fact pressing too hard makes notes sound out of tune so ease up on the pressure a little.
Try different fingerings for the A chord.
Justin does teach 2, 1, 3 but there are other ways.
1, 2, 3 or 2, 3, 4 or further along in the beginner course is the 'mini-barre' A variety.
Give yourself a break, don't be too hard on yourself, try a different way for a change.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: stuartw on April 07, 2020, 11:35:14 pm
@close2u
Thanks for that. Will try pressing less hard tomorrow to see what it sounds like!

Originally started with the with fingers in 1,2 3 but having 2 at the third string helps with getting to E and D.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: akhilesh on April 12, 2020, 04:15:58 pm
Hi.. I am new here. Whenever I play A chord in Justin's style, the G string get muted as the index finger is more towards the top than other two fingers. Any way to overcome this?
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: GregB on April 12, 2020, 04:24:17 pm
Hi.. I am new here. Whenever I play A chord in Justin's style, the G string get muted as the index finger is more towards the top than other two fingers. Any way to overcome this?

I assume you mean your index finger is too far away from the fret, what I do is have my index finger under my second finger which allows the index to get closer to the fret.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: stuartw on April 13, 2020, 12:05:24 pm
@close2u
Thanks for that. Will try pressing less hard tomorrow to see what it sounds like!

Originally started with the with fingers in 1,2 3 but having 2 at the third string helps with getting to E and D.
Tried the less hard approach to no effect. Just makes it duller!! Only pressing harder makes it anywhere closer to getting to ring true. More practice needed :-)
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: woodie167 on June 05, 2020, 09:27:19 am
Hi all, I see a lot of posts about differing fingering for the A chord, but ive never seen this one mentioned 2,3,1 (like Justin's A-minor, but with 1 on second fret).

It gives me the best sounding chord (no buzzing or muting) but it seems way out there.

Is it ok to continue with this? I know i'll lose the anchor finger for D and E, but if i use 2,1,3 it just doesnt sound right....
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: sairfingers on June 05, 2020, 11:13:18 am
Hi all, I see a lot of posts about differing fingering for the A chord, but ive never seen this one mentioned 2,3,1 (like Justin's A-minor, but with 1 on second fret).

It gives me the best sounding chord (no buzzing or muting) but it seems way out there.

Is it ok to continue with this? I know i'll lose the anchor finger for D and E, but if i use 2,1,3 it just doesnt sound right....
Each to his own. I’ve just tried this and find it impossible! If I were you I’d stick with Justin’s method as the anchor finger thing is really helpful. As Greg said earlier, if you can slide your index finger under the others it works best.
Have you tried using fingers 1,2,3? It’s a bit of a squeeze but that’s a well known alternative. There’s also the mini barre one that you’ll find later in the lessons.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: joueur de guitare on June 05, 2020, 12:45:58 pm
Each to his own. I’ve just tried this and find it impossible! If I were you I’d stick with Justin’s method as the anchor finger thing is really helpful. As Greg said earlier, if you can slide your index finger under the others it works best.
Have you tried using fingers 1,2,3? It’s a bit of a squeeze but that’s a well known alternative. There’s also the mini barre one that you’ll find later in the lessons.

I just tried it, and I got cramp in my fingers!

Mini barre's easier.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: brianlarsen on June 05, 2020, 12:56:40 pm
Hi all, I see a lot of posts about differing fingering for the A chord, but ive never seen this one mentioned 2,3,1 (like Justin's A-minor, but with 1 on second fret).

It gives me the best sounding chord (no buzzing or muting) but it seems way out there.

Is it ok to continue with this? I know i'll lose the anchor finger for D and E, but if i use 2,1,3 it just doesnt sound right....
I've used that fingering as a 'lazy cheat' when moving from Am to A. Just slide the first finger across. I wouldn't fancy trying to find it with an 'air change' though.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: Peter1972 on July 12, 2020, 01:46:50 pm
Hello. I am having trouble squeezing in my first finger between the second and third fingers.

But, I can play the chord using either
1,2,3 fingers or
2,3,4 fingers (This fingering is from a friend's book)

I am confused how should I play it? Please help.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: KeepingAwake on July 12, 2020, 02:08:15 pm
Hello. I am having trouble squeezing in my first finger between the second and third fingers.

But, I can play the chord using either
1,2,3 fingers or
2,3,4 fingers (This fingering is from a friend's book)

I am confused how should I play it? Please help.

Justin recommends that you play it 2, 1, 3 because that gives you an "anchor finger" that will help you to change between the first few chords he teaches you more quickly and easily.  Your index index finger (1) is going to stay on the G string, though it will move within a fret or slide between them when changing between the A, D and E chords.   

You may be having trouble playing it this way because your index (1) finger is too far back in the fret and your fingers are so soft that you're having to apply a great deal of pressure to get a clean note.  See if you can slide that finger down a little closer to the fret and check your hand position to see if you can get your fingertip a little closer to perpendicular to the fretboard.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: woodsy on July 15, 2020, 03:31:50 pm
I've settled on using the 2 3 4 arrangement on the A chord for now .
Can't seem to squeeze my fat fingertips into the 2 1 3 arrangement without some muting. Whatever works I guess.
 
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: close2u on July 15, 2020, 03:45:55 pm
@woodsy.

Guitar orthodoxy for years was 3 fingers in a line.
Justin chose other for reasons already stated. But he also states later on that you may wish to choose different fingerings for different reasons.

It can come down to which chord you are changing from and / or changing to.
It can depend on whether you are going to alter the basic A chord and turn it into an Asus2 or Asus4 or A7.
You will also learn mini-barre chord A which just uses the flattened index finger.
I vary between 2, 1, 3 and 1, 2, 3 and 2, 3, 4 and mini-barre loads depending on my needs and the context of the chord progression.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: tobyjenner on July 15, 2020, 03:51:13 pm
Whatever works I guess ? Nooooooo

Folks if you're learning the A chord you are just starting out, so please please please don't go looking for shortcuts and an easier route to the one Justin prescribes. He has been teaching for decades and has refined many things to one make things easier and two to give you flexibility down the line.

Playing the A chord with 213 not only gives an anchor for changes to E and D but also keeps your pinkie free for playing suspended chords which are so very common in many many songs, those embellishments you hear over what sounds like the same chord.

Playing the A chord with 234 will stop you ever playing an Asus4 and playing 123 will make that Asus4 extremely awkward.

So take your time to learn what is being taught and work at it until you get it right. It takes time effort and concentration and some pain but getting it right at the start is worth it.

And peeps I am only saying this to help you, after spending 17 years looking for shortcuts and quick wins and getting nowhere fast and actually hampering my playing. Justin's methods work but you have to work at them for that to happen. Simples.

This is not a sprint, its a long old haul that never stops. Buckle down for some hard graft.

Cheers

Toby
 8)   
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: woodsy on July 15, 2020, 04:28:37 pm
@woodsy.

It can come down to which chord you are changing from and / or changing to.
It can depend on whether you are going to alter the basic A chord and turn it into an Asus2 or Asus4 or A7.
You will also learn mini-barre chord A which just uses the flattened index finger.
I vary between 2, 1, 3 and 1, 2, 3 and 2, 3, 4 and mini-barre loads depending on my needs and the context of the chord progression.

Good explanation for the various configurations on the A chord. There are limitations
to my method but in time and with practice I should be able to achieve the various
finger configurations. Just a newb still, but making steady progress and overall its getting easier to pick up new tricks.
Title: Re: BC-112 • The A Chord
Post by: GregB on July 15, 2020, 05:51:38 pm
Good explanation for the various configurations on the A chord. There are limitations
to my method but in time and with practice I should be able to achieve the various
finger configurations. Just a newb still, but making steady progress and overall its getting easier to pick up new tricks.

I’m a relative newbie too and I’d recommend you follow what Toby said for the reasons he explains. At first the index finger is a squeeze and tends to sit too far away from the fret which doesn’t sound great, over time you learn to slide your index finger under your second finger and it becomes the norm.