A Chord

The A major triad, more commonly called the A major chord or simply the A chord for short, consists of the notes A, C-sharp and E. Here it is on the treble clef staff:

Here is the A major chord on the bass clef staff:

Here are both of the above chords on the piano:

As a major triad, the A chord consists of a major third plus a minor third. The interval from A to C-sharp is a major third, while the interval between C-sharp and E is a minor third.

Inversions of the A Chord

If the root of the A chord – A – is the bass note (i.e., the bottom note), then the chord is in root position:

If the third of the chord – C-sharp – is the bottom note, then the chord is in first inversion:

If the fifth of the chord – E – is the bass note, then the chord is in second inversion. (E is called the fifth of the chord because the interval from the root A to E is a fifth.)

A Major Arpeggios

If the notes of a chord are played one after the other, the chord is said to be arpeggiated. Here are the standard fingerings for arpeggios of the A chord. Make sure you learn these fingerings!

(If you don’t understand the below notation, you should start with my How to Read Sheet Music course.)

A major arpeggio in root position:

A major arpeggio in first inversion:

A major arpeggio in second inversion:

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