Making Major Chord Grips Into Minors

Learn how to work out the four types of triad chords on the guitar fretboard.

View the full lesson at Making Major Chord Grips Into Minors | JustinGuitar

In the example using the A chord why is string 1 not played for A maj, A min and A aug (fingered on the first fret)?

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I guess it’s for pedagogical reasons given that the major/minor triad shapes are covered in sets of 3 strings in the course (1/2/3, 2/3/4, 3/4/5, 4/5/6).

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Hi @mike_upa and welcome to the JustinGuitar Community.
With A Aug and A dim you must have an E# and an Eb respectively.
You would definitely not want an E natural note in those two chords.
Therefore the open E strings are not played.
For consistency they are also muted for the A major and A minor even though those chords do contain the note E (which can be found in the shapes shown anyway regardless of the open strings).
Does that help?
Cheers :grinning:
Richard_close2u JustinGuitar Official Guide and Moderator

Yes, sounds reasonable, thank you!

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Working through this module.
An A major, so the triad is E-A-C#
Does that mean that is is a 2nd inverted Triad?

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Exactly, as the 5th is the lowest note in this triad.

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Great, thank you for confirming. Think things are finally starting to sink in:)


In the A augmented triad, if the A and F were doubled, would that be a “full” A augmented chord?

Important correction … the note you call F should be called E# in this context.

I’m not sure what you mean by full.

I was picturing an E shape barre chord at the 5th fret playing an A chord. If I added the E# at the 8th fret on the 5th string, would that be Aaug? By full I mean all strings are played.

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@jonesdch You would still have the note E (the 5th) in that chord.

Hey Richard,

I’m on this lesson today. What’s the reason for "X"ing out the 1st string on all of the diagrams. I now understand why the 6th string E is "X"ed out as we want the base not to be an “A”

The base triad for A Major is A-C#-E
So for A-Maj and A-Min the open E string should be fine on the 1st string.
For A-Aug it seems to me you would just finger the E#(F) on the 1st string. I played it and it sounds viable.
For the A-Dim I could understand muting both open E strings. Ugly sounding chord though. Great chord to play when watching Halloween and there is a knock on the door and Michael Myers is standing there (cue A Augmented). :grin:

If you want to stretch your brain, check out all of the possibilities for A chord shapes.

I played this by muting the 5th with my pinky. It actually sounds better (fuller) than with the open Adim. Fyi. Playing around like this is how I learn.


The 1st string is the note E.
That note is 100% one of the notes within the A major chord.


The entire focus of this lesson is alterning the notes / altering the chords.
The next chord in the diagram, A Aug contains E#. If the open 1st string was played also there would be a clash between E# and E.
For the A minor chord, the note E is still present.
For the A dim chord we now have Eb as one of the chord tones. If E were present also it would present another clash of Eb and E in the same chord.
Those clashes would either not sound good and /or make the chord type ambiguous.

For consistency across all four chords it is much easier to dispense with the 1st string and concentrate only on the four that are shown.
I hope that helps.

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