The A Major scale contains the following notes:

  • A – B – C# – D – E – F# – G #

In this lesson you will learn how to play the A Major scale in 5 different positions on the guitar, as well as the open position.

If you have read the posts on understanding major scales and playing major scales up and down the neck, you should be able to figure out for yourself how to play A major in different positions along the fretboard.

If you are interested in learning about modes and guitar scales, it should be pointed out that the A major scale is effectively the same scale as the A ionian scale. For the purpose of the series of lessons on guitar modes, we are going to treat A ionian and A major as an identical scale.

A Major Scale In The Open Position:

Firstly, let’s look at the A Major scale in the open position. The open position simply means that there is at least one open string involved, when playing the scale. Here it is:

A Major Scale Open Position Frets

A Major Scale Open Position Notes

There are five more positions, based on the CAGED system.

Remember these positions are movable, which means that you can move them along the fretboard if you want to change keys.

We will look at the five positions:

1st Position (Lowest Fret Is 1)

A Major Scale 1st Position Frets

A Major Scale 1st Position Notes

A Major Scale In The 4th Position (lowest fret is 4)

A Major Scale 4th Position Frets

A Major Scale 4th Position Notes

A Major Scale In The 5thPosition (lowest fret is 5)

A Major Scale 5th Position Frets

A Major Scale 5th Position Notes

A Major Scale In The 9thPosition (lowest fret is 9)

A Major Scale 9th Position Frets

A Major Scale 9th Position Notes

A Major Scale In The 10th Position (lowest fret is 10)

A Major Scale 10th Position Frets

A Major Scale 10th Position Notes

How To Practise The A Major Scale

The best way to practise the A Major scale is to memorise the positions along the fretboard and be able to play them in time, with a metronome.

Using The A Major Scale

The A Major scale is actually one of the most common scales that guitarists learn. The Major scale in general is a very important scale, because many other scales are derived from it. Perhaps because of the letter ‘A’, being the first in the alphabet, many people choose the A Major scale as the first Major scale to start with.

For the purpose of improvising, the A Major scale can be used over the A Major chord, the A Major 7 chord, as well as other chords within the key of A Major:

  • A Major/A Major 7
  • B minor/B minor 7
  • C# Minor/C# minor 7
  • D Major/D Major 7
  • E Major/E Dominant 7
  • F# minor/F# minor 7
  • G# diminished/G# diminished 7

Modes Of The A Major Scale

The A Major scale is actually one of the most common scales that guitarists learn.

Also check out the post, guitar modes explained.

Here are the 7 modes in the key of A Major:

Further Reading: