Introduction to the C chord on guitar
Learning to play the C chord on guitar is a common first step in a guitarist’s journey. This lesson will help you learn it with ease.
It’s 1 of the 5 foundational open major guitar chords, the other 4 chords being A,G,E, and D.
How to play the open C chord on guitar
The most commonly seen version of the C chord on guitar is the 3 finger, open position shape. This is called the “C shape”.
Here’s how to play the C chord, step-by-step:
- Place your index finger on fret 1 of the B string
- Place your middle finger on fret 2 of the D string
- Place your ring finger on fret 3 of the A string
- Strum all strings starting from the A string. Make sure you don’t play the low E string.
Don’t know how to read chord charts? Learn here.
Don’t know the guitar string names and order? Learn here.
The One Finger C Chord
There is an easier way to play the C chord. The one finger C chord uses just a single finger on the fretting hand, the index finger placed at the first fret B string.
With your index finger there, play the G,B, and high E strings. This chord couldn’t be any easier, and is oftentimes a first guitar chord for kids.
Understanding the C chord on guitar
Notes in the C chord
The notes in the C chord are C,E, and G.
C chord intervals
|1 (root)||3 (third)||5 (fifth)|
Questions about the C chord on guitar
Is C chord hard on guitar?
If you’re a beginner the C chord might be a bit tough. The C chord is hard because of the wide stretch spreading across 4 strings.
It will become easier as you adapt to using your fingertips and positioning your fret hand properly.
Do you strum all 6 strings for the C chord?
In total you strum five strings for the C chord. These are the five strings below the Low E string: A,D,G,B, and high E.
Now that you’ve learned the C chord on guitar you can move onto new things!
Here are some recommended lessons.