How to Play the C Major Guitar Chord


  • March 8, 2021
  • 2 

Updated: May 6, 2021

In today’s lesson, we are going to learn how to play the C Major guitar chord.

The C major chord is one I teach my students early on since it is easy to play, has a nice full sound and it sets the easiest starting point for learning music theory. C major is also one of the 6 main guitar chords beginners should learn.

C major is a great key to learn early as there are no sharps or flats in the key of C. More on that in a bit.

How to Play the C Major Guitar Chord

how to play the c major guitar chord

If the above chart is foreign to you, check out our lesson on How to Read Guitar Chord Diagrams.

For the C Major guitar chord, you want to strum every string except for the low E string.

C Major Chord Fingering:

  • Third (Ring) Finger on the third fret of the A string
  • Second (Middle) Finger on the second fret of the D String
  • First (Index) Finger on the first fret of the B String
c major guitar chord fingering

Focus on bending your fingers into an arch and only playing the strings with your fingertips to avoid muting strings that should be ringing out.

This chord is an early introduction to reach skills and requires a little more stretching of the third finger than you may be used to. It’s okay if it takes some time, just stick with it and focus on your hand shape.

Chords in the Key of C Major

guitar chords in the key of c major

Click Image to Enlarge

Common C Major Chord Progressions

Progression

Chords

I-V-vi-IV

C-G-Am-F

I-ii-IV-V

C-Dm-F-G

I-vi-IV-V

C-Am-F-G

I-IV-V

C-F-G

Popular Songs with the C Major Guitar Chord

Song

Progression

Chords

TAB

“Let It Be” The Beatles

I-V-vi-IV

C-G-Am-F

“No Woman, No Cry” Bob Marley

I-V-vi-IV

C-G-Am-F

“When I Come Around” Green Day

I-V-vi-IV

C-G-Am-F

“One Day” Matisyahu

I-V-vi-IV

C-G-Am-F

Common C Major Chord Variations

how to play c major guitar chord

c major guitar chord variation

c major guitar chord variation

Where to Go From Here

Learn How to Strum on Guitar

6 Main Guitar Chords Beginners Need to Know

Easy Ways to Learn Guitar Chords

Stuck?

Leave any questions or comments below and I'll get back to you ASAP (usually in 24 hours or less).

posted March 8, 2021

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  1. What a great lesson! I admit parts of it are over my head (so far) like the progressions of the chords — I’m not sure what the way you wrote it will mean for me to do when I progress to that part… but just reading simple things like, “This chord is an early introduction to reach skills and requires a little more stretching of the third finger than you may be used to. It’s okay if it takes some time, just stick with it and focus on your hand shape” is extremely encouraging! I always thought I was doing something wrong!

    I have tried to “pick up a few chords” a few times in my life without much success, but now I know where to come for the sort of basic instruction I have always needed!.

    1. Hi Lisa,

      Thanks for the comment! I am glad you found the lesson helpful. And that is something many beginners face. Rest assured, you aren’t doing anything wrong, it just takes some extra time and patience to learn how to play the C major guitar chord. Keep at it and do drop by if you have any questions!

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