C Guitar Chord | The 12 Best Ways to Play (w/ Charts) // Lessons.com (2024)

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C Major Guitar Chord (12 Easy Ways To Play with Charts)

The C Major chord has something of a dual nature. It's one of the most commonly seen chords and a staple of every guitarists arsenal, but it can also be a difficult one for beginners to pull off -- especially if they haven't built up the dexterity and strength in their hands to make the necessary stretch across strings.

There's more than one way to play this all-important chord, and we'll be showing you the 10 best variations of C Major in today's lesson.

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How to Play C Major Guitar Chord

The "normal" way to play C Major, in open position, involves three fingers on your fretting hand and requires you to make a little bit of a stretch from the first fret up to the third fret across several strings:

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C Major Guitar Chord Four-Finger

You can also put a slight twist on this voicing, incorporating your 4th finger into the mix for a different sound:

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  • Place your 1st finger on the 2nd string/1st fret

  • Place your 2nd finger on the 4th string/2nd fret

  • Place your 3rd finger on the 5th string/3rd fret

  • Place your 4th finger on the 1st string/3rd fret

  • Play string 3 open

  • Mute string 6

C Major Guitar Chord #1

There are several other ways to play C Major in open position, however, such as:

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  • Use your 1st finger to bar the strings on the 3rd fret

  • Place your 2nd finger on the 4th string/5th fret

  • Place your 3rd finger on the 3rd string/5th fret

  • Place your 4th finger on the 2nd string/5th fret

  • Mute string 6

C Major Guitar Chord #2

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  • Place your 1st finger on the 4th string/2nd fret

  • Place your 2nd finger on the 5th string/3rd fret

  • Place your 3rd finger on the 1st string/3rd fret

  • Mute strings 2, 3, and 6

C Major Guitar Chord 5th Fret

Those open position variants require a fair deal of dexterity, but believe it or not, they aren't the biggest stretch you can make to play C Major. If you're looking for a challenge, you might instead try this voicing on the 5th fret on for size:

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C Guitar Chord | The 12 Best Ways to Play (w/ Charts) // Lessons.com (5)
  • Use your 1st finger to cover strings 2, 3, and 4 at the 5th fret

  • Place your 2nd finger on the 5th string/7th fret

  • Place your 3rd finger on the 6th string/8th fret

  • Place your 4th finger on the 1st string/8th fret

C Major Guitar Chord 7th Fret #1

For a brighter sounding C Major chord, you'll want to move further up the fretboard. You'll find three voicings you can play at the 7th fret:

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  • Place your 1st finger on the 5th string/7th fret

  • Place your 2nd finger on the 6th string/8th fret

  • Place your 4th finger on the 4th string/10th fret

  • Play string 3 open

  • Mute strings 1 and 2

C Major Guitar Chord 7th Fret #2

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  • Place your 1st finger on the 5th string/7th fret

  • Place your 2nd finger on the 6th string/8th fret

  • Place your 3rd finger on the 2nd string/8th fret

  • Place your 4th finger on the 1st string/8th fret

  • Mute strings 3 and 4

C Major Guitar Chord 7th Fret #3

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  • Place your 1st finger on the 5th string/7th fret

  • Place your 2nd finger on the 6th string/8th fret

  • Place your 3rd finger on the 2nd string/8th fret

  • Mute strings 1, 3, and 4

C Major Guitar 6-String Barre

Head higher up the fretboard, to the 8th fret, and you can play C Major as a 6-string barre chord:

C Guitar Chord | The 12 Best Ways to Play (w/ Charts) // Lessons.com (9)
  • Use your 1st finger to bar the strings at the 8th fret

  • Place your 2nd finger on the 3rd string/9th fret

  • Place your 3rd finger on the 5th string/10th fret

  • Place your 4th finger on the 4th string/10th fret

C Major Guitar Non-Barre #1

You also have two non-barre options available to you at the 8th fret:

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  • Place your 1st finger on the 6th string/8th fret

  • Place your 2nd finger on the 2nd string/8th fret

  • Place your 3rd finger on the 3rd string/9th fret

  • Mute strings 1, 4, and 5

C Major Guitar Non-Barre #2

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  • Place your 1st finger on the 2nd string/8th fret

  • Place your 2nd finger on the 3rd string/9th fret

  • Place your 3rd finger on the 4th string/10th fret

  • Mute strings 1, 5, and 6

C Major Guitar Advanced

That last one is especially tricky, since you'll need hit only three strings (and mute all others), but you have one more option left for playing C Major just a little higher on the fretboard:

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  • Place your 1st finger on the 4th string/10th fret

  • Place your 2nd finger on the 3rd string/12th fret

  • Place your 3rd finger on the 1st string/12th fret

  • Place your 4th finger on the 2nd string/13th fret

  • Mute strings 5 and 6

Practice Hard to Master This Chord

Some of these C Major voicings are difficult to master, but this is a very essential chord, so be sure to work hard at adding as many to your repertoire as possible. Good luck, and as always, happy practicing!

C Guitar Chord | The 12 Best Ways to Play (w/ Charts) // Lessons.com (2024)

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