Welcome back to our latest series: Your First Five Guitar Chords for Kids. Over the last few weeks, you learned how to read chord diagrams for guitar and how to play the E major chord in open position on the guitar. During this guitar lesson for kids, you’re going to learn your second open position chord: A major.
Before we dive in, however, let’s talk about open position guitar chords.
What is an Open Position Guitar Chord?
An open position guitar chord is any chord that includes one or more strings that are not fingered. In the following chord diagrams, the O’s represent open strings, while the X’s are telling you to avoid those strings. As you can see, the open position A chord has two open strings (represented by the O’s on the A and high E-strings.) Whereas the F chord is a closed position because every note of the chord is being fingered, aside from the low-E and A strings that are not being played.
If you’ve ever seen The Waterboy, then you know Kathy Bates once said, “Foosball is the devil!” Most people don’t know this, but she really meant to say, “The closed position F chord on guitar is the devil!”As such, it should be avoided at all costs! If you’re over 13-years-old old, go watch the Waterboy. You can thank me later!
What is an A Major Chord?
As you learned last week, a chord is a group of three or more notes played at the same time. There are many different types of chords. Some chord types sound happy, like major chords. Some chord types sound sad, like minor chords. And some chord types sound airy and ambiguous, like suspended chords. Major chords are constructed from the root, the third, and the fifth of any major scale. As you can see in the diagram below, the A major chord contains the notes A (the root), C# (the third), and E (the fifth.)
Why Should I Learn the A Major Chord?
The A major chord shows up in hundreds—if not thousands—of songs! If you like AC/DC, then you should learn the A major chord! Dig The Rolling Stones? Guess what? You’re going to need that A major chord again! In fact, the A major chord is so common in popular music that the notion of any serious guitar student not learning it is absurd!
Next week, you’ll learn your second guitar chord: the A Major Chord! Once you have two chords in your arsenal of musical destruction, you’ll be ready to learn a handful of tunes! In the meantime, you can contact us on the Rock Dojo Facebook page if you have any questions!
Free Backing Track Provided by Band-in-a-Box
Click on the play button below to jam along with the free guitar backing track. This guitar backing track for kids is provided by Band-in-a-Box, an incredibly powerful backing track generator! Learn more at Band-in-a-Box.
GET A BLACK BELT IN ROCK!
The Rock Dojo offers award-winning, introductory-level guitar lessons for kids after-school in Portland, Beaverton, Hillsboro, and Lake Oswego. You can check out the Rock Dojo FAQs to learn how our colored-belt systems works (hint: it’s like karate. As your students improve on the guitar, they graduate belt levels just like the martial arts). Do you have a specific question about our guitar lessons for kids? Drop us a line at (503) 484-6417 or contact us on the Rock Dojo Facebook page.