Welcome to the most recent installation of Chord by Chord, a series developed to build your understanding of consistency and the fretboard. In a previous lesson, I showed you how to shift from C to G, the I and V, respectively, in the key of C major. This time I’ll show you how to switch between A and E, the I and V in the key of A.

8 Ways to Transition from A to E | Chord by Chord


Example 1 demonstrate how to move between A and E utilizing open chords, while Example 2 demonstrates the same thing, with barre chords. Keep in mind when practicing changing between any two chords to imagine the second shape before you get there. That can assist to smooth the transition.

Example 3a shows two compact voicings on just the top three strings, derived from the barre chords in Ex. 2. You can also move down the neck to get to E, as revealed in Example 3b. For these voicings, you may get yourself of the open A and low E strings to include root notes– simply utilize fingerpicking.

Example 4 shows a less typical method of moving in between A and E. Keep In Mind that the E chord has the 3rd (G #) as the least expensive note, producing a neater transition in between chords. For another compact voicing greater up the neck, see Example 5. You might play the development with full barre chords at the 12th fret, however that normally isn’t useful on an acoustic guitar. Instead, attempt the three-note voicings illustrated in Examples 6a and 6b.


After you have actually worked through this lesson you should understand a handful of ways of moving in between A and E chords. Fleet Foxes’ “If You Need To, Keep Time on Me” is a fantastic tune that utilizes this progression. Next time, I’ll reveal you how to do another I– V progression, in the secret of E major.