I am composing a tune using Ableton. The basic composition contains the note 'A#', and I want to add some acoustic strumming to it. However, I am new to guitar playing as well and can't seem to figure out the chord that I will need to strum. Which chord sounds like the note 'A#'? How does one figure it, so that I can apply it in my later experiments?

Please bear with my lack of knowledge, I have just started learning.

  • 1
    Don't forget that A sharp is the same note as B flat. – user19146 Sep 18 '17 at 17:12

There's not one chord that "sounds like A#". There are many chords that would fit the note A#. All chords which have A# in them, but also all chords for which A# is a valid tension. So the question is a little ill-posed.

If you want to add (almost) no color to that note you could go for an A# power-chord with the notes A#-E# (and possibly another A# an octave higher):

e -X-           -X-
b -X-           -X-
g -X-           -3-
d -8-     or    -3-
A -8-           -1-
E -6-           -X-

For a more informative answer one would need to hear the melody (or see it written) to be able to find some appropriate chords.

  • Rutwik - the question, as it stands, doesn't lend itself well to rephrasing as it doesn't actually make sense just now. Matt's guidance is absolutely spot on though - you can play a chord with the A# as root, or once you understand chord sequences you can use another chord with an A# in it based on the surrounding bars... – Doktor Mayhem Sep 18 '17 at 12:11

Here is another way, if you want it, using "string theory": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmonic

Harmonics or overtones are the simultaneous vibrations above the fundamental, for any vibrating string. They are part of the sound, timbre, of string instruments, without them a guitar would probably sound like a sine wave synthesizer. For example if you play A# = 466 on a piano, then the overtones would be rougly, in Hertz: ~466*2 = 932 ~466*3 = 1399 ~466*4 = 1864 ~466*5 = 2331 ... Notice the pattern? The overtone series, as it is called, is infinite, but overtones above 20000Hz are of course inaudible, and the amplitude (meaning volume) decreases progressively. Well, let's get to the point. You can construct chords and scales from these frequencies, in fact our 12-tone system can be derived from the overtone series (somewhere in there is a half step interval). You could construct a chord from the frequencies i provided (check the corresponding notes), which would match up imperfectly with the piano (other factors are involved), but the guitar would also be producing its own overtones. Using the lower overtones in the series also gives you more consonant intervals. This approach, if it works, would also likely sound bad in a mix and is not recommended, my recommendation is power chords or the appropriate triad (e.g. major) for the musical context (which of course all can be found in the harmonic series). Good luck!

Edit: this is probably high-flying for somebody who has "just started learning", don't think of it as essential knowledge.


There is no chord that sounds like the note A# - far more commonly found as Bb. Chords can't and don't sound like particular notes as they contain more than one note themselves. The only chord to come close will be A# itself - or A#m.

Knowing what key the piece is in will be a boon as that gives certain chords a higher chance of fitting.

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