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How to play the A minor over C chord on guitar

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The Am/C chord

The Am/C chord, pronounced "A minor over C," is a unique voicing that adds depth and texture to chord progressions. This slash chord combines the melancholic tones of A minor with the stability of a C bass note. Commonly used in folk, indie, and alternative music, the Am/C chord can be heard in songs like "Wonderwall" by Oasis and "Fast Car" by Tracy Chapman.

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

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Finger placement for Am/C chord

The most common way to play the A minor over C chord on guitar is as a barre chord on the 5th fret.

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

  1. Barre your index finger across all six strings at the 5th fret.
  2. Place your ring finger on the 7th fret of the 5th (A) string.
  3. Place your pinky finger on the 7th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  4. Place your middle finger on the 6th fret of the 3rd (G) string.

To strum this chord, use a downward stroke to play all six strings simultaneously, ensuring that each string rings out clearly.

How to play an easy Am/C chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the A minor over C chord, try placing your middle finger on the 1st fret of the B string, ring finger on the 2nd fret of the D string, and strum the top 4 strings (from the D string up) while leaving the A string open.

How to play a Am/C bar chord

The A minor over C chord is a great alternative to the standard Am/C chord when you want a fuller, more resonant sound. It's also a good way to practice your barre chord technique.

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

  1. Place your index finger across the 5th fret, covering all six strings (barre).
  2. Place your middle finger on the 6th fret of the 2nd (B) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 7th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 7th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  5. Strum from the 5th (A) string down.

Common Am/C chord progressions

The A minor chord played over a C major chord creates a haunting and melancholic sound, often used in progressions to evoke feelings of sadness, longing, or introspection. Here are some common chord progressions featuring this technique:

  • i - VI (Am - F) - Used in "Creep" by Radiohead and "Wonderwall" by Oasis
  • VI - i - III - VII (F - Am - C - G)
  • i - III - VI - VII (Am - C - F - G)
  • VI - III - i - V (F - C - Am - Em)
  • i - VI - III - VII (Am - F - C - G) - Used in "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin

Drills to master the Am/C chord

To master the A minor over C guitar chord, try strumming the chord repeatedly while maintaining a steady rhythm. Focus on keeping your fingers pressed firmly against the fretboard and listen for any buzzing or muted strings. Once you're comfortable with the chord, practice transitioning smoothly between A minor and other chords like C major or G major.

Another effective drill is to arpeggiate the chord, playing each note individually in ascending or descending order. This exercise helps develop finger independence and allows you to hear each note clearly within the chord.

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Songs that feature the Am/C chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the A minor over C chord:

  1. Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton (Chords: A, E, C, G, F, Am/C)
  2. Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin (Chords: Am, C, D, F, G)
  3. Road Trippin' by Red Hot Chili Peppers (Chords: Am, C, D, F)
  4. Knockin' on Heaven's Door by Bob Dylan (Chords: G, D, Am, Am/C)
  5. Ain't No Sunshine by Bill Withers (Chords: Am, Em, G, Dm, Am/C)
  6. Dust in the Wind by Kansas (Chords: C, Am, Dm, G)
  7. Angie by The Rolling Stones (Chords: Am, E, G, F, C, Am/C)
  8. Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd (Chords: G, D, Am, C, D/F#)
  9. Fast Car by Tracy Chapman (Chords: C, G, Em, D, Am)
  10. Creep by Radiohead (Chords: G, B, C, Cm)

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.

You can find expert guitar teachers to support you in the journey. Thousands of people have turned to online guitar lessons on Til, instead of traditional in-person lessons, because Til gives you access to the best teachers in the world from the comfort of home. And with flexible scheduling, secure payments, lesson recordings, and a private chat with your teacher–there’s never been a better way to learn guitar.

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