Invite to the current installation of Chord by Chord, a series developed to build your understanding of consistency and the fretboard. The chords you have actually learned up until now– C, G, and D– have all been significant. This week you’ll be focusing on the very first minor chord in the series, A small.

The Work
You have learned that a significant triad has 3 notes– the root, the 3rd, and the 5th. A minor triad contains the exact same three notes, other than the 3rd is flatted, or lowered by a half action. An A minor triad includes the notes A (root), C (minor 3rd), and E (5th), as depicted in Example 1.

In music notation, a minor chord is normally signified with a lowercase m or min after a note name. You’ll find the most common Am voicing in Example 2. The doubled notes here are A and E; there is just one C.

In Example 3a, you’ll find the most common Am barre chord, in fifth position, with three As, 2 Es, and one C. Examples 3b– C show some derivations on this shape, each using a barre only on the leading 3 strings and Ex. 3b benefiting from the open A string.

For some less common Am voicings, take a look at Examples 4a– 4b. These shapes are similar, except Ex. 4a includes the note A on string 4, while Ex. 4b consists of a C on that string.

Example 5a is based upon the same shape as Ex. 1, but the fretted notes are played an octave (12 stresses) higher, and Example 5b offers a further variation. Both of these examples are best used a guitar whose neck joins the body at the 14th fret, like an OM or modern dreadnought.

The Result
If you have actually been staying up to date with these videos, you need to understand numerous ways to play C, G, and D significant chords; how to change between C– G and G– D; and now, various ways of doing an A small chord. One well-known tune that makes comprehensive usage of an A minor chord is Expense Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunlight.” In the next lesson, I’ll show you how to play your second minor chord, Em.