How To Play A C Major Chord On Guitar

A C Chord is one of the first chords most new guitarists learn. If you are planning to be a self-taught guitarist it is one of the best open chords to get your feet wet in the world of guitar. Combine this chord with a G, Em, and D and you have enough material to play literally thousands of songs

As far as chords go it is among the easiest but can be a little tricky for beginners learning to strum and you are not supposed to play the bottom E string with a C chord. Let’s take a look at the chord chart and figure out how to play a standard open C major.

We need to use three fingers to play a C chord. If you are having trouble placing your first finger have a go at just using 2 and 3, to begin with. Then, try to incorporate the first finger after a few repetitions.

Looking at the chord chart above the play a C chord we must:

  1. Place your third finger on the third fret of the A string
  2. Place your second finger on the second fret of the D string
  3. Place your first finger on the first fret of the B string
  4. Stum all the strings except for the Low E string

The C chord shape is an integral part of the CAGED system and therefore extremely important for learning your way to solos. This system also helps you to further your knowledge of music theory so picking a C as one of your first chords is a good choice for a foundational chord.

If you have poor form with your strumming hand check slow right down while you are practicing so you can get used to not hitting that bottom E string.


  • My "day job" used to be teaching but I decided to give that up to play music full time. I have gigged all over the world playing in bands or as a solo act since then. I still have a passion for teaching others anything related to music. Writing content for gives me an opportunity to combine my love of music and education.

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