The A Chord – New Version

This is the newer way of playing the A chord. Notice that fingers 1 and 2 have switched places (compared to the traditional version). This helps with the issues found in the traditional version.

Open Hand / Closed Hand

As with playing the Traditional version of the A chord, it’s important not to play the low E string when playing the newer version too. Again, if you’re using a Closed Hand, just very gently touch it with the thumb to mute it. If you’re using an Open Hand, you just need to strum carefully to make sure you don’t hit it.

Solving Issues found in the Traditional Version

When you play this newer version of the A chord, it’s easier to squeeze all three fingers inside the fret. You can get fingers 2 and 3 real close to the fret-wire, and finger 1 also fits in quite nicely between them. And because all three fingers are now closer to the fret-wire, you need less pressure to get the notes to ring out.

Also, because finger 1 is now on the G string (not the D string) it’s not stretching up the fretboard as much meaning that the bottom part of the finger is less likely to be touching and muting the hi E string.

The Flaw

All this said, there is one flaw with this chord – the shape. The shape that the fingers need to make when playing this chord is pretty unnatural, and jump-changing to it from other chords is more difficult than the traditional version. That said, like any other chord shape, it’s learnable.

Secondly, you’ll still have the small issue of making sure the underside of finger 3 doesn’t touch the open hi E string.

Who is this Chord For?

This version can be used by anyone, but it’s usually pretty much essential for those of you who have shorter chunkier fingers.