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
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
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
Common C Major Chord Progressions
Popular Songs with the C Major Guitar Chord
“Let It Be” The Beatles
“No Woman, No Cry” Bob Marley
“When I Come Around” Green Day
“One Day” Matisyahu
Common C Major Chord Variations
Where to Go From Here
6 Main Guitar Chords Beginners Need to Know
Easy Ways to Learn Guitar Chords
Leave any questions or comments below and I'll get back to you ASAP (usually in 24 hours or less).
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!.
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!