C Chord on Acoustic Guitar

I usually teach students how to play a C chord on guitar in two steps. Over the years, I have found that many students have difficulty with the full C chord due to their third finger not being flexible enough.

This can be very frustrating for beginner players and is why I’m going to show you how I teach my students in two steps.

Easy C Major Chord - Step 1

This easy C Chord is great for beginner guitar players who find they don’t have a lot of speed and control in their fingers yet. I usually spend 2-3 weeks with students on the easy chord before graduating to the full chord in Step 2.

The best way to practice getting in and out of this Easy C chord is to switch between Em and C over and over again. All you have to do is move your first finger! Eleanor Rigby by the Beatles is a great song to practice just this.

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Full C Major Chord - Step 2

Once your fingers start moving better, you can graduate to the full C major chord below. The biggest issue students have with this chord is usually 1 of 2 things:

  1. The first finger mutes the bottom string
  2. The third finger mutes the 4th string

I assure you that this will come over time. My best advice is to make sure you are placing your fingers as close to the front of the frets as possible. I also recommend landing the third finger first since that tends to be a problem finger for many students.

Finger Dexterity Exercise

If you need a great exercise to help you start working on loosening up that third finger, check out my YouTube video below. I guarantee after doing this 1-2 weeks, you will see a major improvement in your finger dexterity and independence.

Play Video

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