#1
Hi,

I've been trying to learn guitar for the past few days, and I've gotten a few chords right so far. But when it comes to the A chord, it makes me wanna go head first into a wall

I'm using JustinGuitar's tutorial:

My problem seems to be, I can't bring those 3 fingers close together so that they can fit on one tiny fret, ESPECIALLY in the case of my index finger. Does it really come naturally with practice? I feel like I can't progress on this one and it's driving me nuts.
Last edited by themeanapple at Dec 25, 2016,
#3
It will come with practice, though in most circumstances you can use the barre form instead of fretting them individually. If you've just started, don't expect to have dexterity for a little while yet.

Try planting each finger one at a time and checking the adjacent strings for buzzing/muting. Take a good look at that picture and imitate the technique as best you can. Notice that the fingers are arched and contacting the strings only at the very fingertips. The last segment of each finger should be just about perpendicular to the fretboard.

Quote by NSpen1
themeanapple
That's a really weird fingering for that chord to be honest. Try using fingers 1, 2, 3 or 2, 3, 4.


yeah, the picture doesn't match the diagram. 234 is a functional substitute, though any guitarist should be able to do whatever combination the music calls for.

But to be clear, yes, practice with 123, not 213.
Last edited by cdgraves at Dec 25, 2016,
#4
First, I hope you are not using any short scale guitar (< 24.75" scale e.g. Jaguar with 24" scale etc.). Assuming you are using a standard scale length and that you have larger fingers, many people do A chord by fretting strings 2,3,4 at fret 2 by using 3rd finger alone by laying it across all the 3 strings. This needs to be done in a way that you mute the 1st string by the bottom end of your 3rd finger slightly so it does not sound. Losing the high e note of the first string on a A chord is ok. Actually when you would move onto Barre chords you would have to use A chord shape to play major chords on 5th string roots. If you have to play A shape further up the neck, then you won't be able to cram 3 fingers anyway. Try at fret 7 which you will have to do eventually to play Barre Chord D major.
If you dont like the sound of losing high e note and you have regular hand size and assuming you are just hitting a beginners block, then only thing I can suggest is raise your back hand a bit by pushing your wrist a little ore out so you can really go on your tips (no nails ofcourse) and see if that allows some comfort.
Good luck.
#5
Quote by cdgraves

yeah, the picture doesn't match the diagram. 234 is a functional substitute, though any guitarist should be able to do whatever combination the music calls for.

But to be clear, yes, practice with 123, not 213.


In the video, he uses a different technique. The picture is slightly misleading.

Quote by samirguitar
First, I hope you are not using any short scale guitar


I'm afraid I do. It's a pretty small guitar but it was the only thing I could grab for now. I'll be able to get mine in February but by then I'm afraid I'll likely be drained of motivation, if I stop now that is... I really hope there is a way to play the A chord with a small guitar, too.
#6
Yes, just barre it. Barred open A is appropriate almost all of the time. There are definitely enough different things to work on as a beginner, I wouldn't worry about staying motivated. Don't treat this chord as a road block. If you're working from a book, just spend a week on the lesson and move on.
#7
themeanapple I'm in Stage 7 of the course, so am familiar with Justin's proposed fingering. I had trouble with the 3-1-2 as well, but pushed through to learn it. It takes time and his reasoning for using it is good as it leaves an anchor finger making it easier to reach D and E.

That said, once you become fairly comfortable, you can switch to other fingerings for A, and there are several mentioned above. I've even switched myself to 1-2, which is easier going to/from F and C but that is something you will learn later on. Be patient and it will come; stick with Justin's recommendations for now and you can make adjustments later. The barre A chord gets covered in the beginner course only a few stages in, BTW.
Last edited by transwarp at Dec 28, 2016,
#8
Quote by cdgraves
Yes, just barre it. Barred open A is appropriate almost all of the time. There are definitely enough different things to work on as a beginner, I wouldn't worry about staying motivated. Don't treat this chord as a road block. If you're working from a book, just spend a week on the lesson and move on.


this.
the long hazy guitar journey does not stop just because you can't play an A chord.
I remember I was having a hard with something in particular(dont remember dont care), and instead I just went straight to learning 2 handed finger tapping. Because it was fun.
"ba doo doo ba doo doo ba doo daa"
- earth,wind, and fire