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

Learn the trick behind iconic songs like "Layla" and "Sultans of Swing".

The A major over G# chord

The A chord, pronounced "A major over G sharp," is a unique and captivating guitar chord. It's played by fretting the G# bass note on the sixth string, adding an intriguing twist to the standard A major voicing. This chord is often used in jazz, fusion, and progressive rock to create sophisticated harmonies and add depth to chord progressions.

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 4th 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 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.

Strum all six strings together to play the A major over G# chord. Make sure to apply enough pressure with your index finger to properly fret all the strings in the barre.

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 this:

  1. Place your index finger on the 4th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 5th fret of the 2nd (B) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 6th fret of the 1st (high E) string.
  4. Strum only these three strings.

How to play a A major over G# bar chord

While the open A major chord is easier to play, the barre chord version allows you to play the A major chord at any fret position on the neck, offering more versatility and creative possibilities.

Here's how to play an A major over G# 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 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.
  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 (Amaj/G#) is often used in progressions to create a sense of tension and resolution, adding a touch of sophistication and emotional depth to the music. Here are some common chord progressions featuring this chord:

  • vi - IV - I - V (Amaj/G# - Dmaj - Emaj - Bmaj)
  • iii - vi - ii - V (G#min - Amaj/G# - F#min - Bmaj) Used in "Desperado" by The Eagles
  • vi - V - IV - V (Amaj/G# - Bmaj - Dmaj - Bmaj)
  • vi - iii - IV - I - V (Amaj/G# - G#min - Dmaj - Emaj - Bmaj)
  • vi - V/vi - vi - V (Amaj/G# - F#maj/A# - Amaj/G# - Bmaj)

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 lowest note (G#) and ascending to the highest (E). Focus on playing each note cleanly and consistently. Once you're comfortable with that, practice transitioning smoothly between the notes.

Another effective drill is to play the chord as an arpeggio, starting with the lowest note and ascending, then descending back to the lowest note. This helps develop finger dexterity and muscle memory. Repeat this pattern at various tempos to build speed and accuracy.

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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. All of Me by John Legend (G#, C#m, F#, Amaj/G#)
  2. Skinny Love by Bon Iver (Amaj/G#, F#m, D, E)
  3. Ordinary People by John Legend (Amaj/G#, D, E, F#m)
  4. I'm Yours by Jason Mraz (G, D, Em, Amaj/G#)
  5. Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen (G, Em, Amaj/G#, F)
  6. Hey There Delilah by Plain White T's (D, F#m, Amaj/G#, Bm)
  7. Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran (D, Amaj/G#, Bm, G)
  8. Let It Be by The Beatles (G, D, Em, Amaj/G#, C)
  9. Stay With Me by Sam Smith (Amaj/G#, F#m, D, E)
  10. The A Team by Ed Sheeran (Amaj/G#, F#m, D, E)

How a guitar teacher can help

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