Hey everyone -

I've been playing acoustic guitar for 8 years now, and I have never put in the effort it takes to get good at it. So yeah, I can play some songs or whatever, but I have finally decided to take this seriously and iron out all the bad habits in my playing technique that I've developed over the last decade. I want to get really good.

So I'll have a lot of questions, and spend a lot of time reading and practicing in the future. But one big question I have is a problem I've been hitting in a lot of the songs I've been learning lately. Any time I have a capo past about the 3rd fret (which happens a lot with my current repertoire), I cannot fit my fingers onto the frets the way I need to. I generally play A Major the standard way - fingers 2, 3, and 4, on D, G, B, 2nd fret. But they get too crowded when playing a song with a capo on fret 5. Furthermore, the capo blocks the rest of my hand and causes additional tone problems even if it's only on the 1st fret.

Are there better ways to play A Major? What do you recommend?
You can barre the A Major on the D, G, B strings with your index finger.
Last edited by BruceDelaney at Jun 12, 2013,
I never learned to finger the A major chord with three fingers. Even at the 2nd fret, that shape seems too crowded to me.

You can also form the chord by using the index finger to cover D-4 @2nd fret AND G-3 @ 2nd fret. Then use the middle finger to hold down B-2 @ 2nd fret.

That's the way I finger it, and I just tried it all the way up to the 9th fret. It works fine.

(Which is the equivalent of a capo on 7th fret.

The way BruceDellany describes doing the chord with a barre of the index finger works fine.

However, it does require you to manage your wrist location, (well under the neck), or else your finger is to straight, and it mutes the top (e-1) string, So, your finger has to bend up and away from the top string.

You can form the root 5th string barre chord, (A open shape), using your ring finger as a short barre to cover the three strings in question. The same rules apply, get your wrist under the neck, and bend the finger.

A Major open:

e-1 0
B-2 Middle @2
G-3 Index @2
D-4 Index @2
A-5 0
E-6 0 (optional slash chord A/E ( E in bass)
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jun 12, 2013,
Quote by BruceDelaney
You can barre the A Major on the D, G, B strings with your index finger.

I do it with my middle finger. The last joint of my middle finger is just the right length to cover those three strings without muting the A or high E.