Once you know open guitar chord shapes, there are a lot of easy guitar songs that you can play (as well as more difficult guitar songs for that matter). Know barre chords opens the fretboard up to allow you to play any chord you can think of, as long as it’s just made of the 1, 3, 5 notes of the scale. From there, it’s just a matter of understanding guitar chords in general and expanding what you play.

But what about alternative fingerings to the guitar chords you already know? You may be a master at standard way to play a chord, but knowing how to play that same “standard” chord a few different ways may give you some ideas to open up your playing, add some interesting flourishes to a chord, or simply just make changing between two chords easier.

Alternative Ways To Play A And D Chords On Guitar

I’ll walk through these shapes one by one, then go in how to use them together. The three shapes I’m showing use a barre technique. They can be a little tricky at first because you’re not doing the barre across all the strings, but the position becomes quite natural with a bit of practice.

Alternative A Chord Fingering

Guitar chord diagram showing an A chord.This alternative A chord fingering has you doing a barre across the top 4 strings of the guitar. Played just like that this would be an A6 chord (since the 2nd fret on the 1st string, which is an F#, is the 6th of A). However, if you fret the 5th fret on the 1st string, that’s an A, which completes the chord.

Of course, if you’re looking for a different way to play the A6, you’re welcome to. Or you can strum or do an arpeggio playing between the A6 and the A as per the diagram shown. There’s a lot of fun you can do with playing an A chord like this.

Alternative A7 Chord Fingering

Guitar chord diagram showing an A7 chord.If you’ve already checked out my article on 7th chords on guitar, you will have already seen this shape, but it’s worth bringing up again here in the context of the alternative A chord mentioned.

So with your alterative chord and this A7, you can now play between three notes while also playing the chord, just by lifting up and putting down fingers.

If you’re playing your guitar fingerstyle, or picking an arpeggio, or even just strumming away, you can create a nice little melody with just these three notes. Remember you also have the 3rd degree of the scale on the 2nd string too. There’s a lot you can do.

Alternative D Chord Fingering

Guitar chord diagram showing a D chord.Add to the two A chord alternatives, here’s another way to play a D chord. This involves simply doing a barre across the top 3 strings then using your second finger to fret the 3rd fret of the 2nd string.

Knowing the alternative ways to fret an A and an A7 chord (as well as the A6), you can see how this way of playing a D chord can be useful. With a small shift to your first finger, you can make quick and easy changes between the A chord and the D chord. Whether you’re strumming or playing a melody around the chord, this can be very useful.

Remember, the D is the fourth degree of A, and a chord progression involving a change from I-IV is quite common, especially in blues and rock music.

Have Fun With This One

Whether it’s in your own music, or if you’re trying to come up with interesting arrangements to the songs you love, these alternative chord shapes can be useful and allow you to provide some melody within an otherwise basic rhythm.

It’s up to you how you use it, but have fun.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *