Blues Guitar Institute

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How to Nail the Long A Stretch

Lesson ID: TB087

In last week’s lesson, we took a look at a few workarounds for a tough stretch:  The Long A.

2 Alternatives for the Long a Chord

There’s just no way to sugarcoat this, the long A is tough for most and impossible for some.  If you’re in the camp where it’s possible but difficult, then this lesson is for you.  If you continue to practice a chord that you’re just not getting, you’ll eventually get there.  Outside of a physical limitation, you will get there.

But when?  How?

You could do like I did and simply struggle your way to success (not recommended).

Or, perhaps we could get strategic.

That sounds better.  Let’s do that.

A Strategic Practice Exercise to Nail the Long A

In this lesson, we’ll talk about how to utilize the higher frets for their shorter spacing to your advantage.  We’ll move the long A shape way up the neck until it’s downright easy for you to play.  Then, you’ll work your way down the fretboard until you experience some trouble.

Maybe it happens at the 9th fret or the 4th.  This will be different for everyone, but it’s important to know where your personal trouble spot is.  This is the end of your comfort zone.

Once this ‘comfort zone’ is identified, then we’ll practice just inside and just outside the comfort zone to build your skill, dexterity and flexibility.  Over time, you’ll hopefully be able to make the stretch that was once outside of your comfort zone.

Be sure to GRAB the TAB for this lesson for an example picking pattern to get you going.

I’ve put together a practice guide to help you track your progress which you can pick up here:

PRACTICE GUIDE:  How to Conquer the Long A

This won’t be easy and it won’t be quick.  But stick with this strategy and overtime you should experience an ever-expanding comfort zone that will ultimately land you a nice, clean Long A Chord.

It’s worth it 🙂

When you are ready, there are two ways I can help you:

Back Porch Blues Course:  A proven system to fingerpicking the blues.  This step-by-step course guides you through building fundamental fingerpicking skills.  Plus, you’ll learn three levels of a delta blues style performance study to put your new skills into action.

Become a myBGI Member: Membership comes with access to Back Porch Blues plus over 70 step-by-step courses.  Get proven results with one of myBGI’s structured Roadmaps.

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