That darn open c chord

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djrolo

Full Access

Joined: 04/06/22

Posts: 4

Hey All,

I've been playing accoustic guitar about 5 months now. Going through the Fundamentals with Anders M.

I've been practicing the open C chord for a couple months now. I practice about 5 hours a week...so, almost daily.

I'm frustrated that I just can't seem to get that open C chord. My three fingers just don't want to work together.

I seem to be able to do the A and D strings just fine, but when I add B string on the first fret, it changes the position of the other two fingers, so that now I'm muting strings...but only when I add the B string. When I go in reverse...B, then D and then A, I can't seem to strech my middle finger all the way to A.

I've been practicing this for moths now and am just not moving forward to chord combinations (ie: Open C and Open D)...and I'm just not moving forward.

I've looked at a bunch of sites for tips and tricks (fingers behind the fret, elbow in, neck high, etc.) but nothing seems to work and now I'm stuck.

Any cheats, tips or tricks? Or just more practice?

Thanks!

#1

Hey All,

I've been playing accoustic guitar about 5 months now. Going through the Fundamentals with Anders M.

I've been practicing the open C chord for a couple months now. I practice about 5 hours a week...so, almost daily.

I'm frustrated that I just can't seem to get that open C chord. My three fingers just don't want to work together.

I seem to be able to do the A and D strings just fine, but when I add B string on the first fret, it changes the position of the other two fingers, so that now I'm muting strings...but only when I add the B string. When I go in reverse...B, then D and then A, I can't seem to strech my middle finger all the way to A.

I've been practicing this for moths now and am just not moving forward to chord combinations (ie: Open C and Open D)...and I'm just not moving forward.

I've looked at a bunch of sites for tips and tricks (fingers behind the fret, elbow in, neck high, etc.) but nothing seems to work and now I'm stuck.

Any cheats, tips or tricks? Or just more practice?

Thanks!

Drake the Red

Full Access

Joined: 10/12/11

Posts: 193

Hey DJ,

Practice, practice, practice. And maybe try isolating your your fingers, one by one. Meaning, first concentrate on correct index finger placement when strumming, keep it there then add your middle, strum them together then eventually add the final ring finger.

Try not to rush. No shame in taking it slowly. And remember, this isn't just resource for online learning. It's also a library of past tutorials. Look up Lisa McCormick's spider finger exercise to strengthen hand dexterity. That's how I see this website.

I hope this makes enough sense and helps you out of your rut.

Kind regards, Drake.

P.S. no disrespect to Anders or any other instructor, as I've recommended another tutorial. Guitar Tricks is outstanding. I love it here.

#Sing for me, my Angel of Music

#Our Strange Duet

#The Phantom of the Opera!

#2

Hey DJ,

Practice, practice, practice. And maybe try isolating your your fingers, one by one. Meaning, first concentrate on correct index finger placement when strumming, keep it there then add your middle, strum them together then eventually add the final ring finger.

Try not to rush. No shame in taking it slowly. And remember, this isn't just resource for online learning. It's also a library of past tutorials. Look up Lisa McCormick's spider finger exercise to strengthen hand dexterity. That's how I see this website.

I hope this makes enough sense and helps you out of your rut.

Kind regards, Drake.

P.S. no disrespect to Anders or any other instructor, as I've recommended another tutorial. Guitar Tricks is outstanding. I love it here.

#Sing for me, my Angel of Music

#Our Strange Duet

#The Phantom of the Opera!

Drake the Red

Full Access

Joined: 10/12/11

Posts: 193

Btw, I've heard that acoustic guitars have tougher strings and wider fretboard spaces between strings/frets than an electric, so it's to be expected a little more difficulty. Perseverance is key and eventually your finger calluses and hand strength will improve with continued patience and practice. Try alternating between other chords, for example, G chord (the hardest to learn besides A Chord). This will strengthen your fretting hand adequately enough to play other chord shapes. 2 months is a very long time to focus on just one chord.

All the best, Drake

#Sing for me, my Angel of Music

#Our Strange Duet

#The Phantom of the Opera!

#3

Btw, I've heard that acoustic guitars have tougher strings and wider fretboard spaces between strings/frets than an electric, so it's to be expected a little more difficulty. Perseverance is key and eventually your finger calluses and hand strength will improve with continued patience and practice. Try alternating between other chords, for example, G chord (the hardest to learn besides A Chord). This will strengthen your fretting hand adequately enough to play other chord shapes. 2 months is a very long time to focus on just one chord.

All the best, Drake

#Sing for me, my Angel of Music

#Our Strange Duet

#The Phantom of the Opera!

ScubaCPA

Full Access

Joined: 05/11/20

Posts: 47

If you are still having that much trouble playing a C chord after 5 months something is wrong in my opinion. If you think you are doing everything right with your fingers that would point to your guitar as the problem. The action may be too high and it needs a proper set up by a guitar tech. Also an electric (properly set up) is much easier than an acoustice for learning. I would suggest going to a guitar store (even if you don't intend to buy) and pull a few guitars (both acoustic and electric) off the wall and try playing your C, D and G chords. If you can do it with one or more of those guitars that will show you if it is your techinque, or if your own guitar needs a set up adjustment.

Gary

[Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus Top Pro (2), Fender Player Stratocaster (2), Squire CV 60's Stratocaster, Hamer Ecotone, Yamaha APX600 (2)]

#4

If you are still having that much trouble playing a C chord after 5 months something is wrong in my opinion. If you think you are doing everything right with your fingers that would point to your guitar as the problem. The action may be too high and it needs a proper set up by a guitar tech. Also an electric (properly set up) is much easier than an acoustice for learning. I would suggest going to a guitar store (even if you don't intend to buy) and pull a few guitars (both acoustic and electric) off the wall and try playing your C, D and G chords. If you can do it with one or more of those guitars that will show you if it is your techinque, or if your own guitar needs a set up adjustment.

Gary

[Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus Top Pro (2), Fender Player Stratocaster (2), Squire CV 60's Stratocaster, Hamer Ecotone, Yamaha APX600 (2)]

Drake the Red

Full Access

Joined: 10/12/11

Posts: 193

At this point, I'm wondering if the OP has forgotten his own thread.

Originally Posted by: ScubaCPA

...if your own guitar needs a set up adjustment.

In that case, I'd recommend Dan Erlewine's books. They really go into in-depth explanations about guitar maintenance.

#Sing for me, my Angel of Music

#Our Strange Duet

#The Phantom of the Opera!

#5

At this point, I'm wondering if the OP has forgotten his own thread.

Originally Posted by: ScubaCPA

...if your own guitar needs a set up adjustment.

In that case, I'd recommend Dan Erlewine's books. They really go into in-depth explanations about guitar maintenance.

#Sing for me, my Angel of Music

#Our Strange Duet

#The Phantom of the Opera!

ddiddler

Full Access

Joined: 05/13/20

Posts: 290

the wider string spacings and spider fingers have been mentioned.

Especially spider fingers on the low E string and not lifting your fingers so all 4 fingers are still holding a fret. Included in Lisa's beginner sections.

This is more difficult at the first four strets so go higher up the neck and work your way back down to discover the spot you can no longer make this finger stretch.

This also applies to some of the more difficult chord fingerings. The C and G chords , maybe the F chord.

you can also practice these fingerings higher up the neck.

Totally wrong sound and no longer the correct chords but does let you see if you can make the correct fingerings where it is not such a stretch.

Again work your way back down the neck , pausing where the stretch is a struggle but eventually ending up back in the correct positions.

5 months is not a long time in guitar time . Cut yourself a bit of slack here

Good Luck

Dave

#6

the wider string spacings and spider fingers have been mentioned.

Especially spider fingers on the low E string and not lifting your fingers so all 4 fingers are still holding a fret. Included in Lisa's beginner sections.

This is more difficult at the first four strets so go higher up the neck and work your way back down to discover the spot you can no longer make this finger stretch.

This also applies to some of the more difficult chord fingerings. The C and G chords , maybe the F chord.

you can also practice these fingerings higher up the neck.

Totally wrong sound and no longer the correct chords but does let you see if you can make the correct fingerings where it is not such a stretch.

Again work your way back down the neck , pausing where the stretch is a struggle but eventually ending up back in the correct positions.

5 months is not a long time in guitar time . Cut yourself a bit of slack here

Good Luck

Dave

compart1

Full Access

Joined: 06/27/09

Posts: 1409

Muscle memory and how to set it in your mind. Sorry if I missed a previous tips. Put your index finger down first, then middle and then ring. Get it as best you can. Actually talk to your brain and say "this is a C chord" go from variuos pressure and keep telling your brain this is a C chord. Play it as clearly as you can. Play it muted. All the while holding the C chord. I'd recommend doing an Am chord next as it has the index finger that stay place. Go through the same process of setting muscle memory.

Good luck..

#7

Muscle memory and how to set it in your mind. Sorry if I missed a previous tips. Put your index finger down first, then middle and then ring. Get it as best you can. Actually talk to your brain and say "this is a C chord" go from variuos pressure and keep telling your brain this is a C chord. Play it as clearly as you can. Play it muted. All the while holding the C chord. I'd recommend doing an Am chord next as it has the index finger that stay place. Go through the same process of setting muscle memory.

Good luck..

dtw4424

Full Access

Joined: 06/29/22

Posts: 1

Ditto djrolo

I was have ing same issue and just could not get the C chord to sound as welll as the other chords. I saw a video on Guitar Tricks, and sorry do not remember the instructor, but he said if you lower your thumb down to the bottom half of the fret board behing the chord It will clean and those missed notes. When I remember to move my thumb down it works great.

Try it you will like it

Good Luck

Dan

#8

Ditto djrolo

I was have ing same issue and just could not get the C chord to sound as welll as the other chords. I saw a video on Guitar Tricks, and sorry do not remember the instructor, but he said if you lower your thumb down to the bottom half of the fret board behing the chord It will clean and those missed notes. When I remember to move my thumb down it works great.

Try it you will like it

Good Luck

Dan

SalientWhore

Doctor Paramita Manna

Joined: 07/19/22

Posts: 11

Originally Posted by: djrolo

Hey All,

I've been playing accoustic guitar about 5 months now. Going through the Fundamentals with Anders M.

I've been practicing the open C chord for a couple months now. I practice about 5 hours a week...so, almost daily.

I'm frustrated that I just can't seem to get that open C chord. My three fingers just don't want to work together.

I seem to be able to do the A and D strings just fine, but when I add B string on the first fret, it changes the position of the other two fingers, so that now I'm muting strings...but only when I add the B string. When I go in reverse...B, then D and then A, I can't seem to strech my middle finger all the way to A.

I've been practicing this for moths now and am just not moving forward to chord combinations (ie: Open C and Open D)...and I'm just not moving forward.

I've looked at a bunch of sites for tips and tricks (fingers behind the fret, elbow in, neck high, etc.) but nothing seems to work and now I'm stuck.

Any cheats, tips or tricks? Or just more practice?

Thanks!

That darn open c chord...

Hahahaha...well C major is always my fav to avoid rebukes from my teacher whenever i couldn't play or remember any other scales i used to play that

Dang em D#7 and Bm12 were tougher for me; i forgot the chord or else my fingers couldn't reach the strings or my hand was pained, usually laughters and cursings came on me from my fellows, aww old memories kuhu...

Your Saviour Guitarist Doctor Paramita Manna

Contact - https://linktr.ee/paramitamanna

#9

Originally Posted by: djrolo

Hey All,

I've been playing accoustic guitar about 5 months now. Going through the Fundamentals with Anders M.

I've been practicing the open C chord for a couple months now. I practice about 5 hours a week...so, almost daily.

I'm frustrated that I just can't seem to get that open C chord. My three fingers just don't want to work together.

I seem to be able to do the A and D strings just fine, but when I add B string on the first fret, it changes the position of the other two fingers, so that now I'm muting strings...but only when I add the B string. When I go in reverse...B, then D and then A, I can't seem to strech my middle finger all the way to A.

I've been practicing this for moths now and am just not moving forward to chord combinations (ie: Open C and Open D)...and I'm just not moving forward.

I've looked at a bunch of sites for tips and tricks (fingers behind the fret, elbow in, neck high, etc.) but nothing seems to work and now I'm stuck.

Any cheats, tips or tricks? Or just more practice?

Thanks!

That darn open c chord...

Hahahaha...well C major is always my fav to avoid rebukes from my teacher whenever i couldn't play or remember any other scales i used to play that

Dang em D#7 and Bm12 were tougher for me; i forgot the chord or else my fingers couldn't reach the strings or my hand was pained, usually laughters and cursings came on me from my fellows, aww old memories kuhu...

Your Saviour Guitarist Doctor Paramita Manna

Contact - https://linktr.ee/paramitamanna

SalientWhore

Doctor Paramita Manna

Joined: 07/19/22

Posts: 11

Originally Posted by: SalientWhore
Originally Posted by: djrolo

Hey All,

I've been playing accoustic guitar about 5 months now. Going through the Fundamentals with Anders M.

I've been practicing the open C chord for a couple months now. I practice about 5 hours a week...so, almost daily.

I'm frustrated that I just can't seem to get that open C chord. My three fingers just don't want to work together.

I seem to be able to do the A and D strings just fine, but when I add B string on the first fret, it changes the position of the other two fingers, so that now I'm muting strings...but only when I add the B string. When I go in reverse...B, then D and then A, I can't seem to strech my middle finger all the way to A.

I've been practicing this for moths now and am just not moving forward to chord combinations (ie: Open C and Open D)...and I'm just not moving forward.

I've looked at a bunch of sites for tips and tricks (fingers behind the fret, elbow in, neck high, etc.) but nothing seems to work and now I'm stuck.

Any cheats, tips or tricks? Or just more practice?

Thanks!

That darn open c chord...

Hahahaha...well C major is always my fav to avoid rebukes from my teacher whenever i couldn't play or remember any other scales i used to play that

Dang em D#7 and Bm12 were tougher for me; i forgot the chord or else my fingers couldn't reach the strings or my hand was pained, usually laughters and cursings came on me from my fellows, aww old memories kuhu...

[RESERVED]

Your Saviour Guitarist Doctor Paramita Manna

Contact - https://linktr.ee/paramitamanna

#10

Originally Posted by: SalientWhore
Originally Posted by: djrolo

Hey All,

I've been playing accoustic guitar about 5 months now. Going through the Fundamentals with Anders M.

I've been practicing the open C chord for a couple months now. I practice about 5 hours a week...so, almost daily.

I'm frustrated that I just can't seem to get that open C chord. My three fingers just don't want to work together.

I seem to be able to do the A and D strings just fine, but when I add B string on the first fret, it changes the position of the other two fingers, so that now I'm muting strings...but only when I add the B string. When I go in reverse...B, then D and then A, I can't seem to strech my middle finger all the way to A.

I've been practicing this for moths now and am just not moving forward to chord combinations (ie: Open C and Open D)...and I'm just not moving forward.

I've looked at a bunch of sites for tips and tricks (fingers behind the fret, elbow in, neck high, etc.) but nothing seems to work and now I'm stuck.

Any cheats, tips or tricks? Or just more practice?

Thanks!

That darn open c chord...

Hahahaha...well C major is always my fav to avoid rebukes from my teacher whenever i couldn't play or remember any other scales i used to play that

Dang em D#7 and Bm12 were tougher for me; i forgot the chord or else my fingers couldn't reach the strings or my hand was pained, usually laughters and cursings came on me from my fellows, aww old memories kuhu...

[RESERVED]

Your Saviour Guitarist Doctor Paramita Manna

Contact - https://linktr.ee/paramitamanna