The C Chord

The C chord isn’t the easiest for beginners to tackle and master, so don’t feel too bad if you struggle with it at first. A few different things are going on that you’ve got to coordinate, but even if it’s difficult for you, it’ll get easier and more comfortable with time and practice.

Here’s The C



3rd Finger

To start, you’ve got your 3rd finger on the 5th string, 3rd fret. You’re not going to be playing the thickest string in this chord, so try to sneak your finger up just slightly to mute it - it's not a cool sound and it's easier to mute it than it is to avoid hitting the thickest string when you strum.

Also, be careful not to mute the 4th string, which could happen if you flatten your finger out too much. 

1st and 2nd Fingers

For these two, make sure your finger is on those strings and only those strings! Finger 1 is surrounded by open strings so that need to be be in it's tip. If your open strings sound muted, you’ll have to make some adjustments with the Finger 1 position.


To practice playing this chord, do the ol’ strum-pick out-strum pattern. Place your fingers on the strings, strum what you’ve got, then pick each string individually to make sure you’re getting the sound you want out of each of them. When you’re doing this, don’t skip the thickest string! Pick it to make sure it is, indeed, being properly muted.

Also, pay attention to the angle of your fingers. Sometimes beginners find it difficult to have the fingers squarely on the strings. It can feel like an awkward stretch to get everyone where you want them. Angling your fingers slightly can help and remember to keep your hand loose and relaxed. To do this, try pointing your thumb away from your face and place it further toward the nut at the top of the neck (but NO over the top of the neck!). A good rule of thumb is to keep it opposite your first finger…pun intended.

You’ll also want to practice switching into the chord. To do this, every time you play it, take your fingers completely off of the strings and then replace them. You’ll get quicker at this the more you practice!

Once you’ve got it, each string should sound like this:

Module 5: C Chord Nirvana!