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Guitar Chord C

In Today’s lesson we are going to cover the C Guitar Chord. The C chord is usually one of the very first chords guitarists learn when first starting out.Usually this is due to guitarists learning chords in what is considered the “Open position.”

The guitar chord C is also one of the most challenging chords to learn when just starting guitar. This is due to the stretch of the fingers that is required on the fretting hand.

The C Major guitar chord has the following notes in it:
Root Note: C
The 3rd: E
The 5th: G

What notes make up the C Guitar Scale?

The C Chord is a derivative of the C Major scale. The C major scale has the following notes in it.
C major scale: C, D, E, F, G, A, B,

What Chords make up the C Major scale

I – C major, C major seventh (Cmaj, Cmaj7)

ii – D minor, D minor seventh (Dm, Dm7)

iii – E minor, E minor seventh (Em, Em7)

IV – F major, F major seventh (F, Fmaj 7)

V – G major, G dominant seventh (G, G7)

vi – A minor, A minor seventh (Am, Am7)

vii° – B diminished, B minor seventh flat five (B°, Bm7b5)

You can learn more about music theory and guitar chords here at the best online guitar platform known to date.

The C Guitar Chord in the open position looks like this.


Here are a few tips for the open position C Chord

Tip 1: Remember to stretch your hands and your fingers out before playing this chord as a beginner. Due to the stretch of the finger this can lead to cramping and pain associated with playing this chord if you aren’t good and stretched out. (Yes finger stretches are a real thing)

Tip 2: Pretend there is an imaginary line that travels down the back of the neck right in the middle. This is where you want your thumb placement to be. A little below this line is okay due to such a stretch. But a good rule of thumb is to keep your thumb as close to the middle of the back of the guitar neck as possible.

Tip 3: The G Note open on the third string. This string can often get muted if your finger tips aren’t rounded enough. Therefore it is good to play the notes individually to make sure that you aren’t muting that string.

For the open position C chord this would be the 2nd string with your index finger on the first fret. The third string open. The fourth string on the second fret with your middle finger. Lastly, the fifth string with your ring finger on the third fret.

This open voicing should ring out C – E – G – C – E

Next up let’s take a look at the 5 most commonly used C chords across the entire neck of the guitar.

Open Position C
4 Common Guitar Chord C Voicing’s

Here are a list of common guitar songs in the Key of C or it’s relative minor key of A minor

  • Sweet Home Chicago – Eric Clapton
  • Let it Be – The Beatles
  • Stairway to Heaven – Led Zepplin
  • Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley
  • Simple Man – Lynard Skynard

All of these songs can be learned at Guitar Tricks, the number 1 online guitar learning platform for guitarists. You can see my entire full review of Guitar Tricks Here.

Also don’t miss out on my post of the 14 most commonly used basic guitar chords.

Now that you have learned 5 ways to play the C chord on guitar. Which chord shapes will you adapt into your playing first? Let me know in the comments!