Let’s now take a look at the A major chord. This chord has three sharps but only one is used in the A maj chord. Like other major chords, the A chord is a triad consisting of three notes.This chord is formed by combining the root note, A, the major third, C# and the perfect 5th, E of the major scale. Play these notes together and you have an A maj chord.
On an 88 key piano, A is the first note. Chords are not normally played in this lower register. They are usually played closer to the middle of the piano. They are played in the higher registers as well but not as much. If you take a close look at your piano you will notice the pattern of the black keys. They are in groups of twos and threes. A comes right before the last black key (Bb) in the group of three black keys. From this key (A) you move two tones higher and it takes you to the note, C sharp. Move one and a half tones higher and you arrive on the note, E.
The Amaj chord we’ve looked at so far is in the root position. This means that the chord starts with the root note, A. The order of notes is A C# E. There are inversions of this same chord, namely the 1st inversion and 2nd inversion. In the first inversion the notes are in the order C# E A. In the second inversion the notes are in the order E A C#.
Let’s now learn the right hand fingering for this chord in all inversions. In root position, place your thumb on A, your middle finger on C# and your little finger on E, then play the notes simultaneously. Ready to play the first inversion of the chord? Place your thumb on C#, your index finger on E and your little finger on A. This A is one octave higher than the A used in root position. Finally, let’s learn the fingering for the A major chord, second inversion. Place your thumb on E, your middle finger on A and your little finger on C#. This C sharp note is one octave higher than the C sharp played in root position. Play the notes together.
How To Play The A Major Chord
In what keys does the A major chord occur naturally? Answer:
- A major (chord I) / F# minor (chord III)
- D major (chord V) / B minor (chord VII)
- E major (chord IV) / C# minor (chord VI)
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