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How to play the A major over G chord on guitar

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The A major over G chord

The A chord, pronounced "A over G," is a unique voicing that adds a touch of sophistication to the standard A major chord. This chord is played by fretting an A major shape while using a G note as the bass, creating a rich and complex sound. The A/G chord is commonly used in genres like folk, country, and rock to add harmonic depth.

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

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Finger placement for A major over G chord

The A major over G chord is typically played as a barre chord on the 3rd fret of the guitar.

Follow these finger positions to play an A major over G chord on your guitar:

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

Strum all six strings together to play the A major over G chord. Make sure to apply proper pressure with your index finger to ensure all notes ring out clearly.

How to play an easy A major over G chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the A major over G chord, try playing an open A chord (with no barring) while also playing the G note on the 3rd fret of the low E string with your index finger. This creates a similar sound without the complexity of a full barre chord.

How to play a A major over G bar chord

Playing the A major over G chord as a barre chord can make it easier to transition to and from other chords, especially other barre chords.

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

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

Common A major over G chord progressions

The A major over G chord, also known as A/G, is a colorful and expressive chord that adds a sense of movement and resolution to chord progressions. It often conveys feelings of yearning, hope, or a bittersweet emotional tone. Here are some common chord progressions featuring the A/G chord:

  • I - V/VII - IV - I (G - A/G - C - G) - Used in "Every Breath You Take" by The Police and "With or Without You" by U2
  • I - V/VII - vi - IV (G - A/G - Em - C) - Used in "Wonderwall" by Oasis and "No Woman, No Cry" by Bob Marley
  • I - V/VII - ii - V (G - A/G - Am - D)
  • vi - V/VII - I - IV (Em - A/G - G - C)
  • ii - V/VII - I - V (Am - A/G - G - D)

Drills to master the A major over G chord

To master the A major over G guitar chord, try this simple drill: play each note of the chord individually, starting with the G and ascending to the A, C#, and E. Focus on cleanly fretting each note and letting it ring out. Once comfortable, play the notes in descending order.

Next, practice transitioning between the G bass note and the higher A, C#, and E notes. Play the G, then strum the higher three notes together. Alternate between the G and the chord, gradually increasing your speed for a rhythmic "bass note + chord" pattern.

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Songs that feature the A major over G chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the A major over G chord:

  1. Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd (D, C, G)
  2. Free Fallin' by Tom Petty (D, A, G, D)
  3. More Than Words by Extreme (G, Cadd9, Am7, D/F#)
  4. Wonderwall by Oasis (Em7, G, D, A7sus4)
  5. Hey There Delilah by Plain White T's (D, F#m, D/F#, G, D/F#, A, Bm, G/B)
  6. Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) by Green Day (G, Cadd9, D)
  7. Breakfast at Tiffany's by Deep Blue Something (D, A, G)
  8. Collide by Howie Day (G, D/F#, Am7, Cadd9)
  9. She Will Be Loved by Maroon 5 (Am7, Cadd9, G, D/F#)
  10. 3 AM by Matchbox Twenty (G, D, Cadd9, Am7)

How a guitar teacher can help

If you feel stuck in your playing, it might help to take personalized guitar lessons with an expert guitarist. Taking lessons with a pro gives you access to the skills, feedback, and motivation to reach your goals.

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