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HOW TO PLAY

C Major

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From your perspective, as you look down at the fretboard:

STEP BY STEP

How to play a C Major chord on the guitar

  1. Put your first finger on the first fret of the second string.
  2. Put your second finger on the second fret of the fourth string.
  3. Put your third finger on the third fret of the fifth string.
  4. Strum only the highest five strings.

THEORY

C Major is a major triad, built up of the root, the major third, and the perfect fifth:

Here is how those notes are actually distributed across your fretboard

CEGCE

Here’s how you might play the same chord on the piano:

HOW IT’S USED

The most common progression you’ll likely see with C Major is going from C, to F, to G, or I, IV, V.

C
F
G

As heard in the chorus of Bob Dylan’s Like A Rolling Stone:

How does it Cfeel? F G. How does it Cfeel? To be without a Chome? F G Like a rolling Cstone. F G

Adding in the minor six chord (Am), you have the classic `I-V-iv-IV` pattern:

C
G
Am
F

Think about Let It Be, by The Beatles, for example:

When I Cfind myself in Gtimes of trouble, Ammother mary Fcomes to me.
CSpeaking words of Gwisdom, let it Fbe C

or No Woman No Cry, by Bob Marley:

CNo Gwoman, no Amcry F. CNo Fwoman, no Ccry.

SEE ALSO

Other common chords in the key of C Major:

HOW TO PLAY
G Major
HOW TO PLAY
F Major
HOW TO PLAY
A Minor
HOW TO PLAY
E Minor