The c major chord

Guitar Tricks Forum > Guitar Basics > The c major chord

texbrackdelmonte007

Registered User

Joined: 12/24/21

Posts: 5

Hi All,

I have been playing on and off a few years, but decided 2022 is the year I get serious, so joined up here and doing Ander's course, some of it is a refresher but good to go over the basics

The only chord I struggle with is the C major I can play it, but where I find it tricky is if I am playing faster or changing from a G etc, I find that my c chord is my least clear under these circumstances, and it does not always sound great, if I just play it on it's own, only causes me issues when playing songs and when its an increased tempo, this damn C chord has always been the one to cause me issues

Any tips?

Thanks


Craig

#1

Hi All,

I have been playing on and off a few years, but decided 2022 is the year I get serious, so joined up here and doing Ander's course, some of it is a refresher but good to go over the basics

The only chord I struggle with is the C major I can play it, but where I find it tricky is if I am playing faster or changing from a G etc, I find that my c chord is my least clear under these circumstances, and it does not always sound great, if I just play it on it's own, only causes me issues when playing songs and when its an increased tempo, this damn C chord has always been the one to cause me issues

Any tips?

Thanks


Craig

JeffS65

Full Access

Joined: 10/07/08

Posts: 1585

Originally Posted by: texbrackdelmonte007

Hi All,

I have been playing on and off a few years, but decided 2022 is the year I get serious, so joined up here and doing Ander's course, some of it is a refresher but good to go over the basics

The only chord I struggle with is the C major I can play it, but where I find it tricky is if I am playing faster or changing from a G etc, I find that my c chord is my least clear under these circumstances, and it does not always sound great, if I just play it on it's own, only causes me issues when playing songs and when its an increased tempo, this damn C chord has always been the one to cause me issues

Any tips?

Thanks


Craig

I've been playing since 1981 and I hate the C maj chord. I always have. It's right up there with a proper F maj barre chord (..and I find that one easier).

The point I'm making is that the C maj chord is an awkward chord. To me, it is something of an unnatural position for your hand and fingers mostly because the index finger is a bit like a 'string' that tugs down on the middle and ring finger just a bit. To be honest, I don't know that my C maj chords are all that spectacular. You'd never know it but I can tell.

For those that have longer fingers, it's an easier thing to do but with me and average sized hands, it takes a bit of work that I've just built in to my ability to play that chord.

That's actually the point; pratice the chord and with changes. After a while, you'll get used to how you should play but I felt that was a chord that was never all that easy in my early years.

#2

Originally Posted by: texbrackdelmonte007

Hi All,

I have been playing on and off a few years, but decided 2022 is the year I get serious, so joined up here and doing Ander's course, some of it is a refresher but good to go over the basics

The only chord I struggle with is the C major I can play it, but where I find it tricky is if I am playing faster or changing from a G etc, I find that my c chord is my least clear under these circumstances, and it does not always sound great, if I just play it on it's own, only causes me issues when playing songs and when its an increased tempo, this damn C chord has always been the one to cause me issues

Any tips?

Thanks


Craig

I've been playing since 1981 and I hate the C maj chord. I always have. It's right up there with a proper F maj barre chord (..and I find that one easier).

The point I'm making is that the C maj chord is an awkward chord. To me, it is something of an unnatural position for your hand and fingers mostly because the index finger is a bit like a 'string' that tugs down on the middle and ring finger just a bit. To be honest, I don't know that my C maj chords are all that spectacular. You'd never know it but I can tell.

For those that have longer fingers, it's an easier thing to do but with me and average sized hands, it takes a bit of work that I've just built in to my ability to play that chord.

That's actually the point; pratice the chord and with changes. After a while, you'll get used to how you should play but I felt that was a chord that was never all that easy in my early years.

ChristopherSchlegel

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 08/09/05

Posts: 7748

Hey & welcome to GT!

Originally Posted by: texbrackdelmonte007

The only chord I struggle with is the C major I can play it, but where I find it tricky is if I am playing faster or changing from a G etc

First it's important to look at mechanics. Take a close look at your finger placement. Think about exactly what fingers, or figner parts, are missing which strings, or muting strings. Try to adjust microplacement of fingers on strings to get a clear, clean sound from the chord.

Once you've got the mechanics sorted out, then do targeted practice. Drill just the thing that is giving you trouble. Don't mix in strumming in time, strumming patterns or songs, etc.

Play C chord once. Stop.

Play a different chord, G for example. Stop.

Repeat.

Make that an extended part of your practice session. Go slow & deliberately. Repeat as often as necessary. Gradually speed up.

Hope that helps!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

#3

Hey & welcome to GT!

Originally Posted by: texbrackdelmonte007

The only chord I struggle with is the C major I can play it, but where I find it tricky is if I am playing faster or changing from a G etc

First it's important to look at mechanics. Take a close look at your finger placement. Think about exactly what fingers, or figner parts, are missing which strings, or muting strings. Try to adjust microplacement of fingers on strings to get a clear, clean sound from the chord.

Once you've got the mechanics sorted out, then do targeted practice. Drill just the thing that is giving you trouble. Don't mix in strumming in time, strumming patterns or songs, etc.

Play C chord once. Stop.

Play a different chord, G for example. Stop.

Repeat.

Make that an extended part of your practice session. Go slow & deliberately. Repeat as often as necessary. Gradually speed up.

Hope that helps!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

texbrackdelmonte007

Registered User

Joined: 12/24/21

Posts: 5

Thanks for the responses that is very helpful, and I will do some more targeted slow c major chord practice, I guess just need to keep drillig it over and over

Thanks for the support

#4

Thanks for the responses that is very helpful, and I will do some more targeted slow c major chord practice, I guess just need to keep drillig it over and over

Thanks for the support

alanjames286

Full Access

Joined: 04/09/22

Posts: 7

I am absolute beginner and also struggle with C major chord. It is all I can do to reach that A string

#5

I am absolute beginner and also struggle with C major chord. It is all I can do to reach that A string

brencross212

Registered User

Joined: 03/24/22

Posts: 4

what helped me nail the C majar and all chords really, was adjusting several little things. First was how I was holding the guitar. I needed to move the neck out more, I also had to make sure I was tucking my elbow into my side. With those two adjustments it was easier for my ring finger to reach it's place on the A string 3rd fret!

This helped because it put my wrist in a better ailignment with the neck of the guitar. I also realized that it helped me when I was doing scales and stuff.

Also, my thumb placement. I noticed that I had a habit of having my wrist turned inward a bit, so I twisted my wrist outward and my thumb a slight bit closer to the head stock.

Now that I am in the habit of tucking my elbow into my side, things have gone a lot better!

#6

what helped me nail the C majar and all chords really, was adjusting several little things. First was how I was holding the guitar. I needed to move the neck out more, I also had to make sure I was tucking my elbow into my side. With those two adjustments it was easier for my ring finger to reach it's place on the A string 3rd fret!

This helped because it put my wrist in a better ailignment with the neck of the guitar. I also realized that it helped me when I was doing scales and stuff.

Also, my thumb placement. I noticed that I had a habit of having my wrist turned inward a bit, so I twisted my wrist outward and my thumb a slight bit closer to the head stock.

Now that I am in the habit of tucking my elbow into my side, things have gone a lot better!

alanjames286

Full Access

Joined: 04/09/22

Posts: 7

Yes I watched one of the lessons where Lisa mentioned bringing my elbow in close. I still havent learned to set all 3 fingers down at once but I seem to get my best chord when i place my 3rd finger down first. When I start with my index finger, I wind up just barely being able to get finger 3 to the 3rd fret but if i start with that finger the middle finger seems more happy with the stretch

#7

Yes I watched one of the lessons where Lisa mentioned bringing my elbow in close. I still havent learned to set all 3 fingers down at once but I seem to get my best chord when i place my 3rd finger down first. When I start with my index finger, I wind up just barely being able to get finger 3 to the 3rd fret but if i start with that finger the middle finger seems more happy with the stretch

Rumble Walrus

Full Access

Joined: 12/30/20

Posts: 131

Craig - I'm thinking mechanics too.

Possibly try changing your letting your arm rock forward a bit from the shoulder and allow your wrist to be a bit further under the neck. That's how I fixed my barre chord problem.

Another possibility, if while playing the G chord you're fretting the high e with your pinky, leave the pinky in place and let the index, middle, and ring go to the C chord. Anchoring your pinky to the third fret may help a bit keeping you grounded. Also, that note happens to be the "fifth" for the C scale so the tone fits.

Hang in there!

#8

Craig - I'm thinking mechanics too.

Possibly try changing your letting your arm rock forward a bit from the shoulder and allow your wrist to be a bit further under the neck. That's how I fixed my barre chord problem.

Another possibility, if while playing the G chord you're fretting the high e with your pinky, leave the pinky in place and let the index, middle, and ring go to the C chord. Anchoring your pinky to the third fret may help a bit keeping you grounded. Also, that note happens to be the "fifth" for the C scale so the tone fits.

Hang in there!

DraconusJLM

Registered User

Joined: 06/21/21

Posts: 360

I'm baffled at the number of posts on here by people having problems with the C and G major open chords. They were the first two I learnt, followed by D or D7.

I'm wondering if starting a teaching program that begins on E and/or A, or one-finger "chords" is the cause of all of this.

The first open chord I struggled with was B7, then the usual problems for a while with barre chords.

I also have problems with the concept of pulling the elbow in towards the body, as that pulls the forearm into such an angle that you have no alternative other than to twist your wrist, which in turn pulls on the tendons of the finges, in order to position fingers across the width of the fretboard. I would say the best position for the forearm is somewhere between 70 to 90-degrees from the neck. If your elbow is almost touching your ribcage, then I think this will definitely restrict finger motion to the point of making playing comfortably, or at speed, almost impossible unless you push the head away from your body so far that you start to look more like you're holding a rifle.

I wish this forum had a "block user" feature. Possibly I'm not the only one......

#9

I'm baffled at the number of posts on here by people having problems with the C and G major open chords. They were the first two I learnt, followed by D or D7.

I'm wondering if starting a teaching program that begins on E and/or A, or one-finger "chords" is the cause of all of this.

The first open chord I struggled with was B7, then the usual problems for a while with barre chords.

I also have problems with the concept of pulling the elbow in towards the body, as that pulls the forearm into such an angle that you have no alternative other than to twist your wrist, which in turn pulls on the tendons of the finges, in order to position fingers across the width of the fretboard. I would say the best position for the forearm is somewhere between 70 to 90-degrees from the neck. If your elbow is almost touching your ribcage, then I think this will definitely restrict finger motion to the point of making playing comfortably, or at speed, almost impossible unless you push the head away from your body so far that you start to look more like you're holding a rifle.

I wish this forum had a "block user" feature. Possibly I'm not the only one......