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How to play the Am6 chord on guitar

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The Am6 chord

The Am6 chord, pronounced "A minor sixth," is a variation of the standard A minor chord that adds a sixth note for a richer, more melancholic sound. This chord is commonly used in various musical genres, including rock, folk, and blues. Notable songs featuring the Am6 chord include "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin and "Dust in the Wind" by Kansas.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common Am6 chord. We've also included other versions below.

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Finger placement for Am6 chord

The Am6 chord is typically played as a barre chord on the 5th fret of the guitar.

Follow these finger positions to play a Am6 chord on your guitar:

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

Strum all six strings together to play the Am6 chord. Make sure to apply enough pressure with your index finger to cleanly barre all the strings on the 5th fret.

How to play an easy Am6 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the Am6 chord, try this open chord version:

  1. Place your index finger on the 1st fret of the 2nd (B) string.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 4th (D) string.
  3. Leave the other strings open.
  4. Strum all six strings.

How to play a Am6 bar chord

The Am6 chord is most commonly played as an open chord, but learning the barre chord version can be useful for playing higher up the neck or transitioning between other barre chords.

Here's how to play an Am6 barre chord:

  1. Place your index finger across all six strings at the 5th fret to form the 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 Am6 chord progressions

The Am6 chord is often used in progressions to add a melancholic or nostalgic feel to a song, frequently appearing as a substitution for the regular Am chord. Some common Am6 chord progressions include:

  • i6 - iv - V7 (Am6 - Dm - E7) - Used in "Fly Me to the Moon" and "Killing Me Softly with His Song"
  • i6 - iv - VII - III7 (Am6 - Dm - G - C7)
  • i6 - ii7 - V7 (Am6 - Bm7 - E7)
  • i6 - VII - i7 - VI7 (Am6 - G - Am7 - F7)
  • i6 - iv - VII - v (Am6 - Dm - G - Em)

Drills to master the Am6 chord

To master the Am6 guitar chord, try playing the notes A, C, E, and F# individually, focusing on each note's clarity and tone. Once comfortable, practice transitioning between these notes in various patterns, such as A-C-E-F#, A-E-C-F#, or A-F#-E-C. This drill will help your fingers develop muscle memory and improve your accuracy when playing the chord.

Another effective drill is to practice switching between Am6 and other common chords, such as Am, C, Dm, or Em. This will help you incorporate Am6 into your playing more seamlessly and develop your ability to transition between chords smoothly.

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Songs that feature the Am6 chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the Am6 chord.

  1. Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple (Am6, F6, G6, C6)
  2. The Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel (Am6, G, F)
  3. Hotel California by Eagles (Am6, E7, G, D, F)
  4. My Immortal by Evanescence (Am6, C, G, F)
  5. Creep by Radiohead (Am6, C, G)
  6. Californication by Red Hot Chili Peppers (Am6, F, C, G)
  7. Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin (Am6, C, D, F)
  8. Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns N' Roses (Am6, C, G, F)
  9. Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd (Am6, G, F, C)
  10. Zombie by The Cranberries (Am6, C, G, F)

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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