Guitar: how do you make your A Major Chord?

I can’t be the only one that was taught the A chord with one finger. Can’t find anything with Google. My teacher must of learned it from someone else all those years ago.

I was taught from the beginning to use my middle finger on the D,G,B strings. I was already setup for my barre chord which uses that same pattern. It helps a lot when shifting into a barre chord pattern. Like a C major barre on the third fret. I do that with my third finger.

Was anyone else taught it this way?

I was taught the G major different too. I use the 2,3,4 fingers. Most other players do it different.

I only dabble in guitar, but this one finger A chord is usually how I play it (with my index, not middle, finger). Or I play it with two fingers (the index and middle.)

I taught myself how to play the guitar and have been playing for over 40 years. I originally learned by picking up a chord sheet and learning the basic chords from that. No one ever taught me to do a one fingers A chord, but somewhere along the way I started doing it that way, and that’s how I do it now. I use either my index finger or middle finger, and picking up the guitar and fiddling with it just now I seemed to use the index more often.

I play G major using the 1-2-3 pattern in your second G major link. I prefer doing it that way because I often play a variant of it by placing my fourth finger on the third fret of the B string, like so:

Don’t most people start this way? I did but then I transitioned to using three fingers.

I’ve seen that G with all four fingers used before. I need to work on that. It’s got a nice sound.

you just put your fourth finger down on the B string? otherwise it’s a standard 1,2,3 G chord?

Hmm… just tried it on the guitar and I use the 3rd finger on the B string and 4th on the E string.

That’s how I do it as well. I like the four-finger G–it’s pretty much my default. Nice thing is if you move the 1-2 fingers inward one string, you get a lush Cadd2 (or Cadd9) chord that works well in many progressions.

I usually play an A major first position properly, ie with 3 fingers and leaving the high E open. But depending on context I’ll sometimes do the one finger bar and mute the high E.

I always play the 4 finger G chord; the high D note sounds nicer to me than the open B string.

I usually play the Cadd9 with the E string open.

It’s still a standard G major chord, just with a high D note rather than a B.

A G major chord is G (root) B (third) and D (fifth).

I’ll give that a try. Always good learning something new.

Actually I think I lied (not intentionally - I don’t think about what fingers I use these days, I just play and muscle memory seems to do the rest). I just picked up the guitar and when I play the Cadd9 in most cases I play it with the E string open, but when transitioning from a G chord I tend to keep the 4th finger on the E string, as per pulykamell’s link.

I play A that way, WordMan called it the “Cheater’s A” and I felt like I was getting away with something. :slight_smile:

I also use my ring finger to make the same sort of fingering when I barre an A form. I can’t imagine using the traditional A fingering in a barre chord. Any strong preferences on that?

Getting away with being a rocking guitarist!!! :wink:

Yeah, most blues-based rock players do a one-fingered A - it’s a tool of the trade.

I discuss it in Post #19 of this thread: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=548869

A Major: I use a barre occasionally but some notes become muffled or I’ll play a F# on the E string by mistake so I prefer the “three-fingers” version.

As far as the G chord is concerned: 1-2-3.

Years of fingerpicking stick to a fellow. I generally play a 3 fingered A Major UNLESS I want a walking bass. Then I’ll barre the 3 strings with my index finger and my ring finger is available to hit the 5th and 4th strings at the 4th fret as needed. And if I’m feeling bluesy I can use my pinky on the 4th string/5th fret as needed also.

Oh, and for Alice’s Restaurant Massacree, you need to barre the A Major so you can do the pinky stretch needed for the “… you want at …” phrase. On the other hand, if you play any early James Taylor stuff, his signature is A Major with an open 2nd string which he’ll play and then hammer on at the 2nd fret. Of course, he does an odd fingering for that A; as if he’s playing an A minor with his index finger scrunched up to the 2nd fret with the other 2 fingers.

The 234 G Major frees up your index finger if you want a G Sus 4 or want to pick some melody notes and it’s easier to change to or from a C Major (especially a C/G) or G7.

We used to call the 4 finger G Major a “Country G”. I don’t know why. It’s got a modal sound because the only 3rd is in the 5th string. The ring finger/ 2nd string / 3rd fret is a good pivot if you’re changing to or from a D Major or Minor. And IMHO, the 4 finger G Major is the only G Major that works well with “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away”.

I have always used three fingers for a plain A major, both in open position and for barre chords using that shape. It’s just how I learned to play it in the first place, and it’s more comfortable to me than the one-finger trick.

To me, it really depends on the song and what chord I’m transitioning to/from.

E to A, I’ll use Middle (M) Ring® Pinky §. I’ll do that if I’m going from A to Am and put my index finger on the B string.

If it’s going from A to B or C Barred, I’ll just use the ring finger.

If I’m going to palm mute it, I’ll use my index finger for all three and then my pinky slaps across all of the strings.

As for G, learning the Indigo Girls had me doing the 4 finger G Chord. To me, it not only sounds better, but it’s easier to just leave the ring finger on the B string and transition around from G to D and Cadd9.

Any of three ways, depending on the song:

  1. With middle, ring and pinky finger (no index finger), respectively, on the D, G and B strings.

  2. Middle finger on the D, index finger on the G, ring finger on the B. This makes sense if your next chord is a D.

  3. Straight bar across with the index finger, muting the high E string. Works if you’re playing a riff off of the chord.
    Seems to me I rarely use index finger on the D string, middle on the G and ring on the B.

Again, it really depends on the song.

The traditional G (320003) sounds best in many folk songs. (I nearly always play this with my 2-3-4 fingers, rarely using my index finger.) A common folk move is to hammer the open B string on the first fret (as well as the D on the second fret) to produce a momentary C chord.

The four-finger G (320033) — which I’ve most often seen called a G5 — works better for a lot of rock, and especially power pop. If you want the third in the lower register, you can do this, or you can mute the A string if you want a true G5.