Learning guitar can be daunting at first. There are so many chords to remember, and trying to keep all of the different finger positions in your mind can be difficult for the best of us.
Luckily the hard part is just for the beginners, and once you crack the finger positions, you’ll be playing guitar like a pro in no time.
We’re here to help you nail the C chord on guitar finger position, and learn all about the correct positioning for your fingers, so that you can become a better guitar player.
What Is The C Chord On Guitar?
Learning the C chord is essential for all guitar novices. The chord C can be found in countless hits and our favorite songs, so this is one you’ll definitely need to nail if you want to play rock classics.
Whilst it may seem like a challenge at first, it’s not that hard when you get down to it. So, what is the C chord on guitar?
To play the C chord on a guitar, you’ll need to first place your first finger on the second fret of the D string, and then put your third finger along the third fret on the A string.
Make sure you don’t end up plucking the lower E string when you hit that C chord.
What Does A C Chord Look Like?
The C chord is one of the biggest foundational chords in guitar, so you’re bound to come across it when searching for riffs and tabs of your favorite hits online.
So, let’s take a look at what the C chord looks like, for reference.
So, if this looks like a bunch of signs and numbers to you, then don’t fear!
We can help you understand what this means and which position you should have your fingers in if you want to get the C chord just right and ringing perfectly in your ears.
Finger Position For C Chord
So, as we touched upon above, you need to have the right finger position if you want to be able to successfully play this chord.
To get the right finger position, you will need to place your index finger on the first fret of the B string, along with your middle finger on the second fret of the D string, and then lastly, you’ll have to put your ring finger on the third fret of the A string.
Once you have built your C chord, you’re ready to strum it! You may find that it doesn’t sound quite right when you try playing a C chord for the first time.
This could be due to the fact that you’re accidentally hitting the low E string.
To ensure that your C chord is perfect, you’ll want to ensure that your G and high E strings are the ones ringing, and the low E is muted at all times.
If you’re still struggling, then you will want to make sure that you have a reasonable arch to your fingers, so that only the fingertips themselves are touching the strings.
Guitar Lessons For C Chord – Tutorial
If you’re more of a visual learner, then you’ll want to watch a short video tutorial of how to play the C chord.
If that’s the case, check out this tutorial from Good Guitarist:
How To Remember The Finger Position For C Chord
After you’ve had a few goes of playing a C chord, and you think you’ve got it, don’t give up and move onto the next chord formation.
You’ll need to really practice this one to get it perfect.
To make sure that you’ve got a clean and resonant C chord, and that you can play one every single time you pick up the guitar, you’ll need to remember that chord and finger position.
To do this, you can use the ‘quickdraw’ exercise.
A quickdraw is like when the cowboys of the Wild West would quickly draw their guns out for a duel.
To apply this to your guitar skills, place the hand you use for fretting on your leg and then count down from three.
As you get to one, see if you can get your fingers in the perfect position on the C chord. Then, as you reach zero, strum that chord!
This is a great exercise to get you used to that finger position, and to help you get it perfect every single time.
It’ll also help your body remember the position with muscle memory the more times you do it. So, once you’ve learned it and perfected it , you’ll never forget it!
Why Can’t I play a C Chord On Guitar?
Playing the C chord is all about how you place your fingers. If you cannot play the C chord, it simply means that you are not placing your fingers on the right frets. Especially since you need three fingers for this, not two, as is common with many chords.
First, confirm whether you have three fingers, i.e.,
- Your index finger on the first fret of the B string
- Your middle finger on the second fret of the D string
- Your ring finger on the third fret of the A string
You could also be struggling with the C chord if you are playing only the G and high E strings.
One thing to try when working on the C Chord is to build the chord with “mini” shapes first. Even having 1 finger down constitutes a basic C Chord. Considering the fat you are stretching across 3 frets this can sometimes cause a lot of problems.
Try making the basic C Chord then adding your 2nd finger – make sure that string 1 is sounding “clean” then check the remaining strings as well. Taking everything in small chucks is much better than getting frustrated unnecessarily especially when you are only learning the basics.
Does Finger Placement Matter In Guitar Chords?
Yes, it all matters where you place your fingers when playing your guitar. If you place your fingers too far from the fret, you will have muted or buzzing notes while using more strength than necessary.
In the same breath, you also don’t want to place your fingers directly on the fret. Close as they need to be on the fret, a direct placement will also lead to muted tones.
Should I Use My Pinky When Playing Guitar?
Fortunately, it’s not a must to use your pinky finger when playing guitar. However, it can be beneficial to learn how to use it when playing. That’s because your pinky finger can give you more reach and speed, especially when playing three notes per string.
Summary – How To Play The C Chord on Guitar Finger Position
To summarize, when playing the C chord on guitar, you’ll need to have your:
- Index finger on the first fret of the B string (second string)
- Middle finger on the second fret of the D string (fourth string)
- Ring finger on the third fret of the A string (fifth string)
With a little bit of practicing, you’ll be nailing this chord and the finger position in no time at all. Good luck strumming!
If you enjoyed this article, you might enjoy our post on ‘How To Master The B♭ Chord On Guitar (Tips, Tricks, And Things You Should Avoid Doing)‘.