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Guitar Chords: Open Chord Progressions In The Key Of A

Aug 17, 2007
The key of A is full of possibilities for a guitarist. Many exciting chords can be created by moving a finger or sliding the guitar chord among the frets. Let's create our first guitar progression..

We will start with the most common A-major chord:

A: 0/5 2/4 2/3 2/2 0/1

What do the slashes and numbers mean? 2/4 means, press down the second fret on string four. In other words: fret/string

Now when you know how this guitar tab notation works we will add one more guitar chord to A-major and make a little progression.

We can call this A11:

0/5 0/4 0/3 0/2 0/1

As you can see it is a very easy chord to play. We will now construct a little progression that can be used as an intro to a song in A-major:

A / / / A11 / / / A / / / A11 / / /

Our next guitar progression will start with the A-minor chord in its most common shape:

Am: 0/5 2/4 2/3 1/2 0/1

By sliding this guitar chord up two frets we have created a nice sounding chord named according to which note we consider the root of the guitar chord.

I will call it Bm11 because I personally have the feeling of B-minor in the chord. Maybe you are of another opinion. That's okey with me!

Bm11: 0/5 4/4 4/3 3/2 0/1

Now we have another guitar chord progression based on the a-minor chord:

Am / / / Bm11 / / / Am / / / Bm11 / / /

We will continue this guitar lesson by extending the progression with one new chord with the same shape as the basic A-major chord slided up to fret number five. We will call it Am7. This guitar chord looks like this:

Am7: 0/5 5/4 5/3 5/2 0/1

With this chord at our disposal we can now create the following progression that can be repeated as a turnaround:

Am / / / Bm11 / / / Am7 / / / Bm11 / / /

We will now make a similar guitar progression in A-major recycling some of the chord shapes previously used but on other frets.

First guitar chord in the progression will be the basic A-major we used initially. We will then use the chord I name Bm11. Last out will be Amaj7 built by sliding Bm11 up two frets.

Here are the guitar chords we will use:

A: 0/5 2/4 2/3 2/2 0/1

Bm11: 0/5 4/4 4/3 3/2 0/1

Amaj7: 0/5 6/4 6/4 5/4 0/1

Here is the progression:

A / / / Bm11 / / / Amaj7 / / / Bm11 / / /

We will end this music lesson by playing a very easy but impressive progression with another chord shape for A-major. It looks like this:

A: 0/5 7/4 6/3 5/2 0/1

By sliding this open guitar chord down two frets we will get an interesting and nice sounding chord I will name A11:

A11: 0/5 5/4 4/3 3/2 0/1

We will now slide the chord down to the first fret and we will get an interesting Fmaj7:

Fmaj7: 0/5 3/4 2/3 1/2 0/1

Here you have a progression with the previous three chords that can be used as an guitar intro in the key of A-major:

A / / / A11 / / / Fmaj7 / / / A11 / / /

Indeed, the key of A is full of possibilities for a guitarist! The open fifth A-string and maybe the first open E-string will blend nicely with other chord shapes on the second, third and fouth string.
About the Author
Peter Edvinsson is a musician, composer and music teacher. Visit his site Capotasto Music and download your free sheet music and read his music blog at http://www.capotastomusic.com
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