How to Play the A Sharp Minor Chord on Guitar

Published Categorized as Chords

Learning new guitar chords is always a good thing. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced guitarist, adding new chords to your repertoire can improve your improvisation and songwriting alike. Today, we’ll take a look at the memorable A sharp minor guitar chord.

Table of Contents

What’s an A Sharp Minor Guitar Chord?

The A sharp minor guitar chord (also written as A#m or A# minor) is full of complex emotion. It combines the sadness of an A minor chord with what can only be described as a slight edge. You can hear it in this demo video.

You might already know that a chord is a grouping of (usually) three notes or more. Minor chords are made up of a root note, a flattened (minor) third, and a perfect fifth.

These numbers refer to the scale degrees of the relevant major scale. So to get the notes in A sharp minor, we need to look at the A# major scale :

A# – B# – C## – D# – E# – F## – G##

In this case, our root note is the first note of the scale, or A#. Now we find the third degree and “flatten” it, or lower it by a half step. The flattened (or minor) third is what distinguishes the sound of minor chords from major chords.

The third degree is C##. Lower that by a half-step, and our minor third is C#. Finally, we need a perfect fifth. The fifth degree of the A# major scale is written as E# (we will dive into why another time!). “E#” just means E raised by half a step, so our perfect fifth is F.

So the A sharp minor guitar chord is a triad that contains the three notes A#, C#, and F.

Three Ways to Play an A#m Guitar Chord

The A sharp minor chord guitar players usually learn is a barre chord. And in this section, we’ll show you how to play it using both the E minor barre chord shape and A minor barre chord shape.

If you’re a beginner and aren’t quite ready for barre chords, don’t worry — we’ve included an easy version, too.

1. The E Minor Barre Shape

This is one of the first barre shapes most guitarists learn. They’re also known as “root 6” chords because the root notes are on the sixth string. Since the sixth string fretted at the sixth fret is A#, this chord involves a barre at the sixth fret:

  • Barre your first finger across all strings at the sixth fret.
  • Place your ring finger on the fifth string at the eighth fret.
  • Place your fourth finger on the fourth string at the eighth fret.

This is a good version to use if you strum hard and/or want to avoid the hassle of muting or skipping strings. You’re also barring further up the neck than you would with a root 5 shape, and that’s usually easier on your fingers.

2. The A Minor Barre Shape

This version is similar to the most common way most guitarists learn the C sharp minor chord. Barre chords like this one are also called “root 5” chords, as the root note is on the fifth string. Here’s how to play it:

  • Barre your index finger across the first five strings at the first fret.
  • Place your second finger on the second string at the second fret.
  • Place your third finger on the fourth string at the third fret.
  • Place your fourth finger on the third string at the third fret.
  • Mute or skip the sixth string. It’s sometimes easy to touch it with the tip of your first finger to deaden it.

This version is especially useful if you’re combining barred and open chords. Since this A sharp minor chord is at the first fret, you won’t have to do a whole lot of hand motion if you’re switching between first-position open guitar chords.

3. The Easy Version

This easy version of the A sharp minor chord only uses three strings, and there’s no barring involved. Here’s how to play it, along with suggested finger positions:

  • Place your index finger on the first string at the first fret.
  • Place your second finger on the second string at the second fret.
  • Place your third finger on the third string at the third fret.
  • Mute or skip the fourth, fifth, and sixth strings.

This is a great version for beginners — it lets you practice playing new chords without having to start barring guitar chords quite yet.

Going Forward

Now that you’ve been introduced to the A#m guitar chord, we hope you’ll be able to use it. Whether you’re strumming along to your favorite song or writing a song of your own, we hope the A sharp minor chord will be among your favorite guitar chords to play!

FAQ

Still have some questions before you begin to practice this chord? Here are some answers:

How do you play A sharp minor on guitar?

This chord can be played in a few different ways. You can use the A minor barre chord shape (root 5 shape), similar to how you may have learned to play the C sharp minor chord. You can also use an E minor shape (root 6 shape) or play a simplified open version.

What is an A sharp chord on guitar?

An A sharp chord is different from an A sharp minor (A#m) chord. An A sharp chord, also called A sharp major, is a major chord whose root note is a half-step up from A.

What chords are in the key of A# minor?

Here are some of the main chords in the key of A sharp minor. Though there are other chords in this key, we have just included triads, or three-note chords:

A# minor
B# diminished
C# major
D# minor
E# minor
F# major
G# major

By Nate Pallesen

Nate is just your average (above average) guitar player. He's no Joe Satriani, Jimi Hendrix or Jimmy Page - wait this site is about acoustic guitars (sorry) He's no Django Reinhardt, Chet Atkins, or Michael Hedges, wait? who!? He's no Robert Johnson, Eric Clapton or Ben Harper - more familiar? Anyway you get the point :-)

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