How to play

How to play the A major over C# chord on guitar

Learn to play the iconic chord from "Layla" and "Stairway to Heaven".

The A major over C# chord

The A chord, pronounced "A major over C sharp," is a unique voicing that adds a touch of sophistication to the standard A major chord. By incorporating the C# note in the bass, this chord creates a rich and complex harmony. Often used in jazz, R&B, and neo-soul, the A/C# chord can be heard in songs like "Neo Soul" by Musiq Soulchild.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common A major over C# chord. We've also included other versions below.

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Finger placement for A major over C# chord

The most popular way to play the A major over C# chord on guitar is as a barre chord on the 4th fret.

Follow these finger positions to play a A major over C# chord on your guitar:

  1. Barre your index finger across all six strings on the 4th fret.
  2. Place your ring finger on the 6th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  3. Place your pinky finger on the 6th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  4. Place your middle finger on the 5th fret of the 2nd (B) string.

To strum this chord, place your pick or thumb over the strings near the sound hole and strum downward, hitting all six strings. Lift your pick or thumb and strum downward again to continue the strumming pattern.

How to play an easy A major over C# chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the A major over C# chord, try playing the top four strings (D, G, B, and E) at the 4th fret with your index finger, while muting the A and low E strings. This eliminates the need for a full barre chord.

How to play a A major over C# bar chord

Playing the A major over C# as a barre chord allows you to easily transition to other chords up and down the fretboard. It's a versatile chord shape that's movable to any fret position.

Here's how to play an A major over C# barre chord:

  1. Place your index finger across all six strings at the 4th fret, creating a barre.
  2. Place your ring finger on the 6th fret of the 5th (A) string.
  3. Place your pinky finger on the 6th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  4. Place your middle finger on the 5th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  5. Strum all six strings from low to high.

Common A major over C# chord progressions

The A major over C# chord (A/C#) is often used as a transitional chord to create a sense of movement and resolution in a progression. These progressions typically evoke feelings of anticipation, tension, and release. Some common chord progressions featuring the A/C# chord include:

  • I - IV - I/III - IV (A - D - A/C# - D): Used in "Let It Be" by The Beatles and "With or Without You" by U2
  • I - V - vi - I/III (A - E - F#m - A/C#)
  • I - V - IV - I/III (A - E - D - A/C#)
  • I - vi - I/III - IV (A - F#m - A/C# - D)
  • I - V - vi - IV - I/III (A - E - F#m - D - A/C#)

Drills to master the A major over C# chord

Mastering the A Major over C# Guitar Chord

One effective drill for mastering the A major over C# guitar chord is to play each note individually, focusing on producing a clear and distinct sound. Practice playing the notes C#, E, and A in various orders, such as ascending (C#, E, A), descending (A, E, C#), or alternating (C#, A, E).

Another useful drill is to practice transitioning smoothly between the A major over C# chord and other chords commonly used in the same key. Try playing chord progressions like C# minor, F# minor, and D major, ensuring that each chord change is precise and seamless.

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Songs that feature the A major over C# chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the A major over C# chord.

  1. Something by The Beatles (A, Amaj7/C#, Dmaj7, E7)
  2. Free Fallin' by Tom Petty (D, Amaj7/C#, G, D)
  3. Nothing Else Matters by Metallica (Em, D, C, G, B, Amaj7/C#)
  4. Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin (Am, G, Amaj7/C#, D, Dsus4, D, Dsus2, D)
  5. Blackbird by The Beatles (G, A, Amaj7/C#, D)
  6. Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton (A, E, D, Amaj7/C#, E7)
  7. Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd (Em, G, Em, G, Amaj7/C#, D, Em, A, Em)
  8. Landslide by Fleetwood Mac (Amaj7/C#, G#m7, G, D)
  9. Wonderwall by Oasis (Em, G, D, Amaj7/C#)
  10. Fast Car by Tracy Chapman (G, D, Em, C, G, D, Amaj7/C#, D)

How a guitar teacher can help

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