Welcome to the very first installation of Chord by Chord, a series designed to develop your understanding of harmony and the fretboard. Let’s start with among the first chords most gamers learn on the guitar– C major, frequently described just as C. I’ll show you how to play a C chord in various locations on the fretboard, always with the note C on the bottom of the chord.

In this series I won’t simply be demonstrating chord shapes, I’ll likewise be describing how they’re built. A C chord is a major triad, consisted of 3 notes: C (root), E (third), and G (5th), as displayed in Example 1. (If music theory isn’t your thing, no worries– you can still get a lot from this series simply by finding out the chord shapes and their names.).

With six strings and simply three notes, guitarists generally double several of the notes in a chord. For example, the basic open C chord shape displayed in Example 2a has two Cs and 2 Es. Type the shape and play the strings separately, naming each note and its function (root, 3rd, or fifth) and making certain that everything sounds tidy and clear. Repeat the procedure for the variation shown in Example 2b, which includes the 4th finger to string 1, fret 3.

Now let’s play 3 common closed voicings (no open strings), also with the C on string 5, fret 3, as the root note (C), as displayed in Examples 3a– c. Note that chord shapes can have several possible fingerings. For Ex. 3a, you might utilize your 2nd, 3rd, and 4th fingers on strings 4, 3, and 2, respectively. Similarly, Ex. 3b could be played with a third-finger barre on strings 2– 4. And while I prefer to play Ex. 3c as shown in the frame here, you could likewise use your third, 4th, and first fingers on strings 3, 2, and 1. Experiment with these fingerings, and go with the ones that work best for you.

Once again, call the notes and their functions of these closed chords, and focus on the difference in noise in between the shapes. Repeat the procedure for a couple of voicings in eighth position, with the root at string 6, fret 8 (Examples 4a– b).

Practice forming these chord shapes till they are ingrained in your muscle memory, and you’ll have not simply one but a handful of C-major chord shapes at hand. And there are a lot of excellent tunes that utilize only one chord– Aretha Franklin’s “Chain of Fools” and Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Run Through the Jungle” are 2 that come to mind. So try playing a tune with your C chord!

Next time I’ll show you a lot of different ways to play a G chord, and how to use it in progression with a C chord.