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The dreaded C chord... For beginner guitarists, it can be one of the first major roadblocks they encounter. So we're going to go over a bunch of tips that you can implement today so you can nail that C chord!
The first thing you can do is bring the neck of your guitar up higher. This might require you to reposition or switch to the classical method of holding the guitar. Using a strap can be helpful as well for bring up the whole guitar. Bringing up the neck of the guitar puts your entire hand in an easier position to play.
A lot of new guitarists tend to place their fingers right in between two frets instead of right behind the frets. When you place your fingers right behind the frets, you don't have to push nearly as hard, making it a lot easier to play the notes clearly.
When you're making new shapes on the fretboard, it can be incredibly easy to let your hand get into awkward positions. And usually, that means sacrificing the angle your fingers come down on the strings. Make sure you are coming down right on the tips of your fingers.
Going hand in hand with the last tip, bringing your elbow into your body will immediately put your hand in a better position for chording. You'll notice your fingers will naturally want to come down right on their tips.
Making challenging guitar chords can cause you to put angle your wrist in some weird directions. Don't let it kink too far one way or the other. Everything should feel natural and relaxed.
When you first start playing the guitar, you'll feel like you have to push down on the strings with all your strength. As you build up your strength and dexterity, you'll notice you can experiment with the amount of pressure you put on the strings. Eventually, you'll learn to use the perfect amount. Not too much, and not too little. This greatly helps reduce hand fatigue as well.
It can be easy to feel like you need to jump right into making the entire chord shape in one fell swoop, but it's perfectly okay to start off by just placing each finger down one at a time. Work on putting down your fingers in different orders and eventually work up to putting down the entire shape at once.
Before you even worry about changing to and from the C chord, make sure you can get it to sound perfectly clean. Once you get really comfortable with it, you can start using it along with other chords.
Guitars are made of natural materials, which can bend and flex with time, temperature, and humidity. That means your guitar might not be in peak playing condition. Oftentimes, it's worth it to take your guitar into a professional and have them do a set-up on it. This will make your guitar feel and play much better.
Now that you've got the C chord down, you can work on it in a musical setting. The G major and D major open chords go really well with the C major chord and you can experiment with changing between them. Be creative, and come up with your own chord progressions!