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:
- 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
Which Version Should You Play
The reason for learning more than one form of the same chord is to give yourself different tonal options and to minimize movement around the neck. Compare the C open version versus the barred version on the 8th fret. Even though they are built on the same notes, the tone isnât quite the same. The open version uses open strings, so it sounds a bit warmer and rings out longer. The barred version sounds higher and thinner.
Having options also reduces movement. You donât want to jump around the neck constantly. If a C chord follows a G chord in the progression, you donât want to play an open G and then move up to the 8th position to play the C. Because the C open version is so close to the G open version it makes more sense to minimize your finger movements.
What Does A Guitar Slash Chord Mean
A slash chord is written as two letters divided by a slash. The guitar chord you are supposed to play is on the left and the bass note is on the right. The same notation works for both major and minor chords.
Slash chords are predominantly used by guitar players who play solos. In an orchestra, different instruments or musicians would play the different notes. If a piece of music or your own personal creativity calls for an alternative bass note, it is up to you to make it happen. “C over G” is as correct as the longer form “C major with G in the bass.”
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How To Play C Major Chord
Now that you understand how well be explaining the C major chord to you, its time to begin. Well be covering an open C major chord, that is, a chord that includes one or more open strings with no fingerings. Look here for more basic guitar chords in addition to C.
What makes C major so great is that there are no sharps or flats in the C major scale. When playing C major as a guitar chord, you can rest assured that youll be playing only natural notes.
The main notes of this chord are C, E, and G, played with your third, second, and first fingers respectively. Once you learn this variation, try it out by playing happy birthday on guitar!
How To Play A C Power Chord On Guitar
If youre looking for yet another simple and powerful chord to rock out on your guitar, then the C power chord is a top contender.
This two-note chord is easy to play and sounds great, making it a favorite among guitarists of all skill levels.
In this guide, Ill show you how to play the C power chord on guitar so that you can start rocking out in no time.
Like my previous guitar chord explainer guides, Ill go over 4 variations of the C power chord so that you have some variety to choose from.
Lastly, Ill highlight a few songs that prominently feature the C power chord so that you can listen to them and practice them yourself.
Lets jump in!
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How To Play A C Power Chord
Ah the C power chord If only I had a penny for every time Ive played this one. Like the D power chord this one also just uses two notes.
I believe the easiest way to play the C power chord is by using the diagram Ive created above. That being said, some people rather use their pinky finger instead of their ring finger to play 5th.
Regardless, here is a step-by-step breakdown of how to play the C power chord:
To ensure youre playing it properly, listen to the sound file below which provides an example of a C power chord played on an electric guitar.
In This Free Guitar Lesson You Will Learn:
- The two most common ways to play a C bar chord.
- 3 essential tips for clean & easy barre chords.
- The no1 secret to learning all guitar chords.
- 2 must-know ninja chord hacks that boost progress.
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How To Play The C Major Chord
- Place your third finger on the third fret of the fifth string.
- Place your second finger on the second fret of the fourth string.
- Place your first finger on the first fret of the second string.
- Without striking the sixth string, strum from the fifth string down to the first string.
The instructions above are step by step instructions for playing the open C Major chord shape. These instructions can actually be super helpful when you feel like youre interpreting the shape incorrectly. By going through the C chord instructions step by step, you can verify that youre playing the chord correctly.
How To Play The C Major Chord With A Right
Right-hand patterns are one of the joys of playing guitar. With a chord in the left hand and a pattern in the right, we create ornate textures. And classical guitar pieces are composed with this in mind.
How many right-hand patterns are there on the guitar? Infinite. We are limited only by our imaginations. But some patterns are more common than others. One of the most popular patterns is PIMA.
To play the PIMA pattern, we dedicate each finger to a specific string. The thumb may bounce between two or more strings.
With a C Major chord in the left hand, the right hand plays the thumb, then index, then middle, then ring. Then we repeat this in a steady rhythm.
As mentioned above, our hands work best when we use proper form, positioning, and movements. But even a beginner guitarist can play this pattern slowly.
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C Major Barre Chord Variation 2
The other common way to play the C major barre chord is with the root on the A string. This time you bar only 5 strings and leave the low E string out of the chord.
The fingering for this 2nd barre chord is the following:
There is also another way to play the chord which involves barring with your pinky or ring finger. This fingering sacrifices the low E string since its blocked by the barre, but it still sounds great!
The fingering looks like this:
Perhaps this shape is easier for you. You can choose to play the chord however you see fit based on the shape you find more comfortable.
Have a look back at the video below to see both C barre chords in action and help you work out the details.
How To Play The A Chord On Guitar
Beginner guitar: The A chord is one of the most important chords you’ll ever learn. Here, we show you how to play the essential open shape, as well as several variations
Beginner guitar: If youre new to guitar, A major is one of the chords you should learn first. For this open chord, all your fingers play the same fret, so its easy to play and easy to remember.
Its also one of the most common chords in guitar music. Its the first chord in hard rock classics like All Right Now by Free, Hammer to Fall by Queen and Highway to Hell by AC/DC, but its also the home chord for ballads like Adeles Someone Like You and Snow Patrols Chasing Cars. Whatever style you want to play, youll need to learn how to play the A chord on guitar.
Our guide to playing A chords is in three sections. First, well show you open A, with three different fingerings to try. Check them all out and see which works best for your fingers.
Next up, there are two barre chord shapes to give you more choices. If youre playing with another guitarist, having each of you playing different shapes can really fill out the sound. Finally, well look at variations for the open and barre chord shapes. Youll never be stuck for an A chord again!
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How To Play The C Chord On Guitar
Letâs take a look at how to play one of the most frequently used chords in guitar playing. In fact, itâs used so often that it is often referred to as the C âshape.â
Hereâs how to play it:
Index finger on the 1st fret of the B string
Middle finger on the 2nd fret of the D string
Ring finger on the 3rd fret of the A string
Strum five strings down from the A string.
If you happen to strum that low E string, donât worry about it. That note is still part of the C major chord . As you get more comfortable playing it you should be able to mute the 6th string with the edge of your ring finger.
Another way to play the C chord is in the 3rd position. The chord starts with the bass note on the 3rd fret, which is why this is called the 3rd position, and iIt takes a different finger placement up the neck of your guitar.
Hereâs how to play a barred C chord in the 3rd position:
Index finger on the 3rd fret of the A string
Middle finger on the 5th fret of the D string
Ring finger on the 5th fret of the G string
Pinky finger on the 5th fret of the B string
Strum four strings down from the A string.
Passing the Barre
A somewhat more challenging way to play C major is by using a barre chord in the 8th position. They are called barre chords because you use one finger to press down on multiple strings.
The other version has a different form that starts on the 8th fret. Hereâs how to play the C barre chord in the 8th position:
Strum 6 strings down from the low E string
C Chord Spread Shapes
The following chords are called spread shapes because of the wider space between some of the notes within the chord shape. Because these chord shapes skip a string, they are more suitable for a finger picking style of playing. You might also hear these chords in a more classical music context.
To go more in-depth, check out this post on how to play spread triad chords on the guitar.
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Which Scales Can Be Played Over The C Chord
The most common and effective scales that can be used to solo/improvise over the C Major chord, or to create melodies for the purposes of song writing are:
- C Major pentatonic scale This scale will almost always work over the C Major chord, in any context.
- C Major scale This is the default scale of the C chord.
- C Lydian mode This scale can be used over the C chord in certain contexts to add a jazz flavour.
- C Major Blues This scale is particularly useful in a Blues context.
The Golden Rule When Playing C Major 7
During your first 4-6 hours of playing guitar its best to play C Major 7 exactly as shown above. At that early stage you just want to get comfortable holding the guitar and strumming simple chords.
But once you have 6-10 hours of guitar playing under your belt you should begin playing this chord with fingers 2 and 3 . This will make it much easier for you to progress to play a the full C guitar chord in the near future, as youll be accustomed to having finger 1 spare. Adding it on at a later date will be easy.
Trust me, this is hugely important and is the key to learning how to play a full C guitar chord quickly.
However, if you break this Golden Rule and continue to play C Major 7 with fingers 1 and 2 then you will take no long-term benefit from playing it, as the full C shape will still feel foreign and difficult when you eventually try to play it.
Learning to play C Major 7, with fingers 2 and 3, is the ideal stepping stone for you to use in learning to play a full C guitar chord.
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Importance Of Finger Placement
To achieve the C major chords proper sounds , you need to have appropriate finger placement. Placing your fingers as close to the frets as you can for the C major chord is vital in generating a quality tonal sound.
Like many stringed instruments, your fingers placement and pressure can significantly affect the quality of sound your instrument produces. For this chord, you want to make sure your fingers are as close as possible to the frets and are pressed down hard enough to hold the string to the instruments neck.
Without enough pressure, your notes might not sound as clear or could create a soft whining sound. With time, youll become more accustomed to the way your instrument feels and will be able to secure the notes with little effort.
In the beginning, however, its essential to focus on your hand shape and placement to be sure you are playing the chords as best as you can.
Common C/g Guitar Chord Variations
Music notation is rather flexible and designed to make playing easier in some cases. A C/G chord may show up as Am7/G instead in the following progression: Am7 Am7/G D/F# – F. The change in hand position from Am7 to Am7/G makes the move between bass notes more obvious. The general habit is to forget about the A and to play a C/G instead. This is simply a matter of readability for chord progression in a piece of music.
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Wow The C Guitar Chord Looks Difficult To Play
Yes, this is a tough chord for beginner guitarists to play because its spread over three frets, so it requires three fingers to be split. This is hard in the early days of learning guitar as you dont have the necessary amount of dexterity, flexibility or strength in your fingers yet.
But dont worry, thankfully there are some much easier versions of the C guitar chord that you can play that still sound good and will act as stepping stones for you in learning the full version of C.
C Chord Triad With G In The Bass
This chord can be called C Major in 2nd inversion. This means that the 5th degree of the chord is in the bass. This makes the chord sound fuller compared to the last chord we looked at. You can play it like this:
You can also check out this other post for more on how to play chord inversions on the guitar.
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How To Play A C Chord On Guitar
The C chord symbol is just a shortened way of telling you to play a C major chord. Further down the page we explain what a C major chord is and examine the notes it contains.
- First, position your third finger on the 3rd fret of the A string. This is a C note, and it will be the bass note of your chord.
- Next, position your second finger at the second fret of the D string.
- Finally, position your first finger at the 1st fret of the B string.
The open G and top E strings are part of the chord and should be included when you play the chord.
The bottom E string should not be played .
Therefore, when strumming the chord, try to start your strum on the fifth string rather than on the bottom E string. You could also try muting the string with the thumb of your fretting hand just let it hang over the top of the neck, gently touching the bottom E string to prevent it from ringing.
It wont sound horrible if you do accidentally play the low E string, but it does tend to make the chord sound less clear and a bit muddy.
- Want to learn more chords? Download our .
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