Playing The Infamous C-major Chord On The Guitar

c-major chord


The C-major chord is one of the biggest challenges guitar beginners face. In most cases, they struggle with holding down the chord strings without muting the neighboring strings.

One reason this chord is hard for beginner guitar players is that it requires finger flexibility. And this is something most starters don’t have, yet. However, what you need here is consistent practice using the correct form. This chord is very useful if and is used in a lot of songs. Getting it down will simplify arranging songs, not to mention creating songs. You can also pair the c-major with a lot of other chord. For example, I play a combination of the D, C, G, and E as a warm up before I get into playing. They sound really good together and they will help improve your chord transitioning technique.


Here comes the question: How to play the C major chord?

c-major chord

It’s imperative that you have, at least, some basic knowledge of the chord-box and what it says. You may find this article helpful.

  • Start out by placing your ring finger on the 5th string of the 3rd fret. Make sure it’s on the very tip of your finger to avoid muting the nearby strings.
  • Then, take your middle finger and hold down the 4th string of the 2nd fret.
  • All right. With that out of the way, place your index finger on the 2nd string of the 1st fret.

Note: Make sure that you place your finger as close to the fret as possible. There is a big  difference from when you place your finger on the center of the fret and when you place it right near the fret. Try it out for yourself and see.

It’s  possible that you might struggle with holding down the index finger, especially since it’s farther away from the other notes. With enough practice, you will manage in no time.

Now that you have got those fingers in position, flick each string individually to make sure that they sound right. If not, go back and check your fingers and see what is not right in your position. Do that until you get it down.

Once you get them down, proceed into strumming the strings, excluding the lower E string, or the one closest to you. Again, you won’t master that instantly. You will get better gradually.

Now, if this too difficult for you, I suggest trying out a simpler version first. A good candidate for this is the C major chord’s cousin: The C-major 7 chord.

Basically, this chord uses just  2 fingers, as shown in the chord-box above. And guess what? It sounds equally good as the C major itself!

A typical beginner would get away with using his or her index and middle fingers. HOWEVER, for our purposes, you should use the middle and ring fingers.


Well, using those 2 fingers to play this chord will help you develop the strength and dexterity necessary for playing the C major chord. You can say that the C-major 7 is the C-major without the first note.

How to play the C major 7 chord?

  • First, start out by placing your ring finger on the 5th string of the 3rd fret. Once again, don’t forget; on the very tip of your finger.
  • Next, hold down the middle finger on the 4th string of the 2nd fret.
  • Finally, strum, excluding the lower E string.

As simple as that. Basically, it’s the same as the steps mentioned in the C-major but without the last step.

After you start feeling comfortable playing the C major 7, add your index finger to its respective position. And viola! The C major chord!

You won’t struggle as much, and it will be easy as pie. Just don’t stop practicing and you shall get there. You have got my promise! 😉


Don’t forget to keep us up to date with your progress! Happy strumming!


See Also:  How To Read Chord-boxes Easily


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