A Shape Barre Chords: Major

Learn how to play the A Major Barre Chord on the guitar. This barre chord can be challenging, but this tutorial will make it all easier for you!


Why is this a grade 5 lesson? Would have thought that some of this would be in grade 2 (or 3) just as the F chord (E shape barre) is in grade 2. I know that the mini barre A is module 10 but it’s not taken any further than that.

The reason I ask is I’ve give myself a task of learning a simple song using barre not open chords, which is going OK at the moment. Change to/from A shape to E shape is the main issue but getting there slowly!

:rotating_light: Before you get started, please make sure you’ve nailed the E Shape Barre Chords we learned in Grade 4. Knowing how to play them before you dig into A Shape Barre Chords will make it all easier for you, so trust me! This is why we’re learning A Shape grips in Grade 5.

OK point taken. I’ll be honest with you in that I know the major E shape barres (but not any of the others - minor, dominant 7th) which, as I said, is touched on in grade 2 with the F chord. I expanded my learning to learn the other E shape chords up the neck. I would have expected a bit more about the A shape barres earlier than grade 5.

The context is to learn a particular song using barre shapes, which I can play the song with open chords. This is a test for me!! :slight_smile:

Stuart. There is no law that says you have to follow the lessons in strict order. Obviously you have to stick to the broad outline of the course content as Justin has written it based on his experience as a teacher, but if you need a particular skill/chord/technique for a song you’re trying to learn, then go for it.

I need some A shaped barre chords for some songs and although I have used them before. Currently just started Grade 3 and they are in Grade 5 and sort of aware that there were some updated lessons so I thought I would take a look for a bit of a refresher.

In the major chord lesson it shows in the text this chord box, the video shows the same diagram.

Unless you put a 3 next to the fret then this could be taken a B not C.

Lack of fret numbers seem to be missing on the minor chords.

Perhaps somebody needs to take a look at this. Richard? @Richard_close2u or am I being too pedantic.

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The Red dot indicates the root note. So don’t count the frets find the root. You should also notice the Greyed out dot under the barre. This indicates 3rd fret on most guitars.
This is why Justin tells you to learn the notes up to at least the 5th fret as a beginner.

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Rick @stitch
I was just making a suggestion that they might consider putting the fret number against the barre, if you look up most other pictures on the web they do that, I guess for those that don’t know the notes. But if you are up to grade 5 then you should know the notes on the first five frets. Don’t ask me why but I learnt all the notes up to the twelfth fret during Grade 1, and I test myself regularly with Justin’s app. Not sure I can make good use of that at present all the way up the fret board.
As you say there is a faint dot in the picture and that most guitar have a dot on the third fret, my Yamaha acoustic doesn’t, first dot is on fifth fret.
Just trying to be helpful perhaps I was just being pedantic, but I have learnt through my working life, if there is room for misinterpretation then somebody will take it the way.

The diagram is for a non-specific and wholly movable chord shape.
It is generic and only needs a fret number or name attaching to it once you decide where and what the root note is.
The horizontal mine at the top is not signifying the nut, just another fret.
The fret marker dot is actually doing no favours to that purpose here. It would be better with no pale grey fret dots behind.

Mmmm, not really Richard. The chord diagram Michael posted is an A-shaped barre C chord.

I’m with Michael, fretboard dots are too ambiguous. Not all guitars follow the convention. Fret numbers are the way to go when showing specific chords.

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Oh no.
My bad. I didn’t look properly.
I will edit and tidy up and report the comments for the team to consider changing the diagrams.
In the meantime I can edit the written content of the lesson and will add it to my to do list.