How To Play Am On Guitar: Am Made Easy
If you’ve decided to learn how to play the guitar, be aware of the challenges you’d be facing. As rewarding as it is, it is undeniable that learning the guitar is no easy feat. Except, if you have a natural talent or knack for the guitar of course.
Today, we will be featuring a step by step guide on how to play Am on guitar. The A minor is often used in many four chord songs along with the G major chord.
Just like any other chords, it is best to learn the full version of the chord first before its alternatives.
Alternatives won’t sound as similar as the original chord. Remembering the alternatives and shifting to another chord will become easier if you know the full chord well. Who knows? You might even be able to make your version of an alternative chord.
How Does The A Minor Look Like?
The A minor chord only uses three strings: the B string, D string, and the G string.
But even chords as simple as the Am have their alternatives and variants. Most of which you can use interchangeably when playing a song to make your chord shifts easier. The most common alternatives to the Am are:
#1 Am7 (A minor 7)
This is an open chord version closely similar to the original chord except you won’t be touching the G string. This will give you more flexibility and space to move from one chord to another.
#2 The Three String Version
In this version, you will only have to touch the B and the G string. This can also sound very similar to the original chord. If done right.
However, you must be careful not to strum the entire strings of your guitar. It must only be the first three strings which you should be strumming.
Again, these two are just some of the alternatives you can try. For a more detailed Am sound, you can also try other variations and open chord alternatives. For instance, you can try the barre chord version of the A minor.
Finally, there’s also the A minor chord version based on the open E minor chord. Beware though that because of the strings used, these two might sound very similar.
So if you are opting for a very distinct A minor sound, you can try the alternatives we listed above.
How To Play The A Minor
Step #1: Know the sound of the chord
The A minor is a relatively easy chord to play. It’s one of the easiest chords that are not part of the four basic chords. Along with it is the E minor. That’s why this step would be quite a walk in the park for you.
Before we give you the instructions for the playing the chords, you might want to know first how the chord sounds. Research on how the tone plays and try to familiarize yourself with its sound.
This will greatly help you in the next steps because now you can already distinguish the A minor with other chords. Thus, it helps you play it more effectively because you’ll know a poorly played A minor from a good one.
There are a lot of video clips on the internet that you can find which gives you a good example of an A minor that’s perfectly played.
Step #2: Master the position of your fingers
Unlike harder chords like the F chord and others that need a bar or uses all strings, the A minor requires less. It just needs three fingers because you’ll be only using three strings in playing it.
If you’re familiar with playing the E chord, then you’ll find the A minor comfortable, too. That’s because it uses the same finger positions. The only difference is that the E chord is a string higher than the A minor.
So with that said, here’s how the A minor chord goes: your ring finger would go to the 3rd string of the second fret while your middle finger would go to the 4th string on the same fret. Afterward, your index finger will go to the 2nd string of the first fret.
Not so hard now is it? Well, that’s the A minor, but of course, you’ll still need to do the next step which is strumming it to get a perfect a minor sound.
Step #3: Strumming it properly
Many beginners tend to have a misunderstanding that once you get the right position of your fingers, you’re all set to play the chord. That’s because some think that you can play a chord by just strumming the guitar up and down.
Now although that would generate a fair enough sound, you want to play the A minor at its best. That’s why you must follow certain rules of chords where you play a string while you mute the others.
For the A minor, strumming is also a walk in the park. The only string that you must mute is the sixth string.
That’s to avoid that unwanted bass sound that the A minor doesn’t specialize in. Slowly strum the rest of the strings including the highest one which is the first string.
Step #4: Practice it with other chords
Playing the A minor is a good thing, but knowing how to incorporate it with other chords would elevate your skills. Of course, no chord is an island. That’s why you need to practice shifting from A minor quickly to the next chord that the song requires.
Remember, playing the guitar isn’t all about playing chords. You’ll need to coordinate your timing when switching with the next chord while also getting your strumming pattern correctly.
There are a lot of Am alternatives that you can try out there. And funnily, most of them sound closer to the original Am chord compared to other chord alternatives. However, don’t limit yourself to those alternatives. You can also create your own.
And finally, don’t stop practicing. We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to learn all your basic chords in their full version. Minors and majors alike. At the end of the day, patience should be your virtue.