Can someone please answer this question for me. Is the key of A on the fifth fret, with standard tuning and no capo? The reason I ask, is that someone told me it was in a different place, which I can only imagine being the case if a capo was used.

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    Not quite sure what you mean; the key of A isn't at a specific location on the fretboard. The key of A just means that the notes F , C, and G are sharped; that is, the key of A contains the notes A, B, C♯, D, E, F♯, and G♯. The fifth fret on the bottom string is an A in standard tuning, and an A major scale often starts there. But first, you should edit your question title to something more specific than "...needing a question answered." – ex nihilo Mar 30 '18 at 1:17
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    Well that was a question i needed answered, so i was being specific. i thought it sounded a bit not right, when someone told me this. he obviously has not got much knowledge, or is a bit of clown. i know the A major scale has all these notes, just like i know all the notes to the other scales. but music theory, can be a little baffling and the last thing i like to do, is say to someone there wrong, when i am not one hundred percent sure myself. thanks for clearing it up though. – bill clancey Mar 31 '18 at 18:30

The 'key of A' is all over the guitar fingerboard! The key of A comprises seven specific notes, all of which 'fit' into the scale of A major.

I think what you're asking is where is the note A. Again, there are several places on the fretboard where an A lives.

The lowest one is on the bottom (fattest) string, 5th fret. The same note is also played on the 5th string open. The octave of that, also A, is found on the 4th string, 7th fret, and 3rd string 2nd fret. The only other A is on the 5th fret top (thinnest) string, an octave higher again. That may be the one referred to. There are several other frets/strings where you can find an A note as well.

When a capo is used, it works like your fingers, on the fret it's placed on. All the other, higher notes will not be affected, and will still have the same names.

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    Thanks Tim, some of this i already new. what i was doing, when i needed that question answered, was cross reference myself, in case it proved to be something i missed out. music theory is full of surprises and you never stop learning it, like most things that are worth knowing about. – bill clancey Mar 31 '18 at 18:36

As a complement to Tim's answer, here's a possible interpretation of the question. Suppose that you have only learned a few chords, maybe E, A, and B7. You could then play quite a few simple songs but only in the key of E. Now put a capo on the first fret and play the same fingerings (up one fret) and you will get F, Bb, and C7 suitable for the key of F. Put the capo on the fifth fret and you will get A, D, and E7 suitable for the key of A.

However, this is a special case, if you know, or can figure out, the fingerings then you could play in any key with the capo in any position.

Edit: up / down flipped based on comments.

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    Cheers john, nice educated way, of putting this over. i already knew, that when you capo a fret, the chords change, but your music theory, spells it out better. i knew, when that guy told me this, about that A major key, it sounded a bit not right, but i always like to be sure, before making any comments. – bill clancey Mar 31 '18 at 18:44

As @Tim says, the 'key' of A is all over the fretboard as it incorporates several notes. The locations of the note of A however is shown here:

enter image description here

It's generally a good idea to memorize the notes on the top 2 thickest strings (6th string and 5th string - the last two rows in the table) when beginning as it helps you identify what you are playing as you improve.

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  • Thanks for this chart timbo, its good fine detail. i do see you wrote down flats instead of sharps, but of course, there the same thing. – bill clancey Apr 2 '18 at 3:10

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