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A Chord Doesn't Sound Right

Madeline Armstrong

New Student
Nov 11, 2019
5
2
Hi! First-time thread poster here. ^^;

I just recently recommitted to learning the guitar, so I got myself situated here and dove into the beginner lessons.

So far, everything's going good, but I'm on the A chord lesson where you learn the finger bar technique, and for some reason, it doesn't sound right coming out of my guitar. One thing to know about me is that some music teachers of mine confirmed I have perfect pitch. So, I don't know if it's because I tuned my guitar wrong and it slipped my ears (messed with it a few times), or if it's one of those things where it doesn't sound right to you and it sounds right to others...does that make sense? Basically, it sounds like my guitar is producing a chord that sounds like it's a half step down from what it should be.

Would the guitar brand matter? I have an Ibanez. Don't know the exact model, but it's one a lot of beginners are usually given.

This was a chord I struggled with all the time when I first started learning (and that was before this was a thing!), so I really want to learn this one! Any help would be appreciated, big time!
 
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Ids Schiere

New Student
Legend
Nov 11, 2019
4,042
2,779
25
Groningen
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10
It could be that your guitar is tuned a halve step down. Could also be that you're pressing to hard in certain places making it go a little sharp. What I tend to do a lot with the A shape is bar the high E string too which creates a major 6 chord if you do that too that may be the reason it sounds off
 
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Rute Rodrigues

New Student
Nov 11, 2019
401
686
17
Portugal
When I was in a music school, I used to watch a lot of beginner lessons before mine.
There was a girl with a problem about that. She was basically doing a big effort on the neck of the guitar that she was like bending some notes without noticing it. It can be your problem. As somebody already said, try to record a short clip of yourself playing that chord so I can see
 

John Robinson

New Student
Nov 11, 2019
211
199
Nashville tn.
Hi! First-time thread poster here. ^^;

I just recently recommitted to learning the guitar, so I got myself situated here and dove into the beginner lessons.

So far, everything's going good, but I'm on the A chord lesson where you learn the finger bar technique, and for some reason, it doesn't sound right coming out of my guitar. One thing to know about me is that some music teachers of mine confirmed I have perfect pitch. So, I don't know if it's because I tuned my guitar wrong and it slipped my ears (messed with it a few times), or if it's one of those things where it doesn't sound right to you and it sounds right to others...does that make sense? Basically, it sounds like my guitar is producing a chord that sounds like it's a half step down from what it should be.

Would the guitar brand matter? I have an Ibanez. Don't know the exact model, but it's one a lot of beginners are usually given.

This was a chord I struggled with all the time when I first started learning (and that was before this was a thing!), so I really want to learn this one! Any help would be appreciated, big time!
I think i know what youre doing...if you use three fingers to chord A it sounds clunky...use one finger and barr the A it sounds better...i hope this helps
 

Madeline Armstrong

New Student
Nov 11, 2019
5
2
Hey guys! I shot a quick video. Now the question becomes...is there a way to upload an iPhone video? I swear, I’m usually more technologically inclined than this, but it didn’t give me the option to attach it. So how do I upload a video here?
 

Ids Schiere

New Student
Legend
Nov 11, 2019
4,042
2,779
25
Groningen
www.facebook.com
10
Hey guys! I shot a quick video. Now the question becomes...is there a way to upload an iPhone video? I swear, I’m usually more technologically inclined than this, but it didn’t give me the option to attach it. So how do I upload a video here?
Upload it to.youtube, Vimeo or instagram and copy the link. Then click add riff in the riff section. When you did that click embed media and put the URL of the video you just uploaded there. It also gives a list of sources it accepts
 

Ids Schiere

New Student
Legend
Nov 11, 2019
4,042
2,779
25
Groningen
www.facebook.com
10
Ack. Sorry guys, that's not an account I use very often, so I forgot to set it to public! It should be available to you now.

Jesse, can you help me understand what you mean by intonation?
It's close but not entirely right. It's hard to make up what's wrong though

The 9th fret on the g string is an E. Intonation means that when you play that one it is actually an E and not a little flat or sharp even though your open string are in tune. Reasons for intonation being off can be old strings or a poorly setup guitar
 

Lucas Weiman

New Student
Nov 11, 2019
59
156
Ack. Sorry guys, that's not an account I use very often, so I forgot to set it to public! It should be available to you now.

Jesse, can you help me understand what you mean by intonation?
Intonation involves how the guitar is set up. If you have an electric guitar, it has to do with the saddles and their positions.

Basically, if your intonation is off, your guitar won't stay in tune for more than 5 minutes... But there is a way to tell if the notes are correct, just go through each note in your A chord, and test them individually (5th fret 6th string, 7th fret 5th string, etc.) with a tuner app on your phone (pano tuner works great and is free) to see if you are in tune.

Also, I clicked the link to your insta-vid, nothing comes up. Here are all the notes you should be hearing in an A major barre chord if you are going from the low E to the high E string: A, E, A, C#, E, A
 
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Madeline Armstrong

New Student
Nov 11, 2019
5
2
It's close but not entirely right. It's hard to make up what's wrong though

The 9th fret on the g string is an E. Intonation means that when you play that one it is actually an E and not a little flat or sharp even though your open string are in tune. Reasons for intonation being off can be old strings or a poorly setup guitar
Hmm...it has been some time since I changed my strings! I’ll have to replace them and see. Thanks!
 

Adin Shepherd

New Student
Nov 11, 2019
361
455
Melbourne, Australia
Something is a little off, does it only occur when playing the A? Do all the other open chords sound OK? If all the other chords are a little off too it could be an issue with tuning stability or the strings. Do you tune by ear or do you use a tuner?

Also, feel free to try different fingering for the A chord if it gives you trouble, I use 2 fingers and I think it was Calvin who said he uses 3.