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The A Chord – How to build it on Guitar, Ukulele and Piano

In this article I will explain how to build and play the A chord in all its variations and instruments (guitar, ukulele and piano) in a very simple way.

A chord [Musical explanation]

🙏 Before we dive into how to build the A chord on guitar, let me ask you for 2 minutes to explain to you the theory behind it:

A chord pentagram staff stave

First of all, the A triad chord, like any other chord, can be major or minor.

Likewise, if we add its seventh we would obtain the A seventh chord (tetrad):

A7 chord pentagram staff stave

A Major Chord

The A major chord is defined by the following notes:

  • A: root (1).
  • C#:major third (3).
  • E: perfect fifth (5).
A chord pentagram staff stave

Which presents the following diagram on the guitar:

A major guitar chord

Ukulele

A ukulele

Piano

A piano chord

A Minor Chord (Am)

The A minor chord is defined by the following notes:

  • A: root (1).
  • C: minor third (♭3).
  • E: perfect fifth (5).
am chord pentagram staff stave

Which presents the following diagram on the guitar:

A minor Am guitar chord

Ukulele

am ukulele

Piano

Am piano chord

Final note about the A chord on the guitar fretboard

One point to keep in mind, whether playing the A major or minor chord, is that even though we should start on the fifth string, it’s okay to play the sixth string.

The sixth string is E, which is a note within the A chord (its perfect fifth, remember). Therefore, we would not start to play the A chord from the root but from E.

This has the consequence that we are inverting the chord because the lowest note is not A. But, again, it’s not the end of the world either. I know it’s frustrating to learn to play chords on the guitar (I’m still learning and I live it in my flesh every day).

So don’t get overwhelmed if the sixth string sounds at the beggining.

A Major Seventh Chord (Amaj7)

The A major 7th chord is defined by the following notes:

  • A: root (1).
  • C: major third (3).
  • E: perfect fifth (5).
  • G#: major séptima (7).
amaj7 chord pentagram staff stave

Which presents the following diagram on the guitar:

Amaj7 guitar chord

Ukulele

amaj7 ukulele

Piano

Amaj7 piano chord

A Dominant Seventh Chord (A7)

The A dominant 7th chord is defined by the following notes:

  • A: root (1).
  • C: major third (3).
  • E: perfect fifth (5).
  • G: minor séptima (♭7).
a7 chord pentagram staff stave

Which presents the following diagram on the guitar:

A7 guitar chord

Ukulele

a7 ukulele chord

Piano

A7 piano chord

A Minor Seventh Chord (Am7)

The A minor 7th chord is defined by the following notes:

  • A: root (1).
  • C: minor third (♭3).
  • E: perfect fifth (5).
  • G: minor séptima (♭7).
am7 chord pentagram staff stave

Which presents the following diagram on the guitar:

am7 guitar chord

Ukulele

am7 ukulele

Piano

am7 piano chord