The A Chord – Traditional Version

This is the traditional way of playing the A chord. It’s how I learnt it and how I play it.

Open Hand / Closed Hand

When playing this chord it’s important not to play the low E string because it will sound wrong. If you’re using a Closed Hand, gently touch the low E string with the thumb to mute it. If you’re using an Open Hand, make sure you avoid hitting it when strumming.

Tricky Bits

The trickiest thing about playing this chord is squeezing all three fingers into fret 2 at the same time. It can be a bit of a squeeze, especially if you have chunkier fingers.

The second tricky thing is with the first finger. It’s positioned really far back in the fret, which means you need to press the note down much harder (than the other fingers) to get it to ring out cleanly.

The lower part of the first finger can also mute the hi E string if it’s stretching too much to reach the note that it’s playing on the D string. This tends to happen more with shorter fingers. 

Finally, sometimes the underside of the third finger gently touches and mutes the hi E string. Again, this mostly happens when the tips of the fingers are on the chunkier side. 

The Cool Thing

The really cool thing about this version of the A chord is that the shape you need to make with your fingers is a very natural shape to make. Your fingers kind of just fall into the chord quite naturally. This makes jump-changing to this chord from other chords quite straightforward.

Who is this Chord For?

The traditional version of the A chord is more suited to people who have medium to long fingers that are not on the chunky side.

If you have shorter fingers that are on the chunkier side, the newer version will suit you better.