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This lesson is in standard tuning (EADGBE) and has not been pitch altered!

The A minor (Am) open chord is a fundamental chord in the guitar repertoire, offering a melancholic and introspective sound that contrasts with the brightness of major chords. This chord is essential in a variety of musical genres, including rock, folk, and classical.

Theoretical Background:

The Am chord is structured using the formula of Root (R), Minor 3rd (♭3), and Perfect 5th (5). It is derived from the A minor scale, which includes the notes A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. For the Am chord, the specific notes are:

  • A (Root): The base note of the chord, defining its fundamental pitch.
  • C (Minor 3rd): Positioned three semitones above the Root, this note gives the chord its minor quality by creating a somber, reflective mood.
  • E (Perfect 5th): Seven semitones above the Root, this note adds stability and balance to the chord’s sound.

Fingering Technique:

To play the Am chord, accurate finger placement is crucial to ensure clarity and prevent muting of adjacent strings. Here’s how to position your fingers:

  1. First Finger (Index): Place it on the first fret of the B string, fretting the C note, which is the Minor 3rd of the chord.
  2. Second Finger (Middle): Position it on the second fret of the D string, fretting the E note, the Perfect 5th.
  3. Third Finger (Ring): Place it on the second fret of the G string, fretting the A note, reinforcing the Root.


When strumming the Am chord, start from the A string and strum downwards to include all the higher strings. Avoid strumming the low E string, as it can add a bass tone that doesn’t harmonise well with the intended minor chord voicing. Strumming from the A string ensures that the root note of the chord (A) is emphasised, maintaining the integrity and intended emotional impact of the chord.

This lesson is from the Technical Certificate: Level 1 course at Simply Guitar

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