You’re about to learn two guitar chords that will let you start strumming and playing along with dozens of familar songs, so buckle-up and hang tight!
Also called the “C Major” chord, but I want to keep things simple, see? Er, I mean – ‘C’.
Here’s the diagram for how to place your fingers..
We’ll use numbers to indicate which fingers (all on the left hand, if you’re right-handed) we’re referring to. “1” will be your index (pointy) finger. “2” is your next finger (the one you wave to bad drivers with!) and “3” is your ring finger.
(If you’re left-handed, just hold this page up to a mirror and you’ll be fine! – but no guarantees!!)
The lines on the diagram represent the frets (metal rails going across your fretboard) and the vertical lines are the strings of your guitar.
The dark, thick line at the top represents your guitar nut (that thing near the headstock with grooves that guide the strings from your tuner keys to the fretboard.
Above the nut are sometimes “X’s” and “O’s”. This is not a new version of Tic-Tac-Toe – though I might work on that concept in the future. The ‘X’ means that this string is not strumed while the “O” means this string is strummed “open” – meaning no finger is holding the string down (fretting).
Now, let’s interpret the diagram for our C chord.. Your first (index) finger holds the second string (next to the thinnest string) down just behind the first fret.
Your “wave to other drivers” finger (#2) holds the 4th string down just behind the 2nd fret.
Your third (ring) finger, holds the 5th string down just behind the 3rd fret.
I’ll get a video posted soon, but if you need help with the above before I do that, click on over to YouTube for a few minutes and watch some “Beginner Guitar” vids until you catch on, then come on back.
With a pick in your right hand (again, use YouTube to see how to properly hold a pick between the thumb and forefinger of your right hand.) strum across the 5th through the 1st (thinnist) strings (skip the top, 6th heavy E string), one at a time to make sure all are ringing clear.
Chances are, one or more strings sounded a bit “dead”. That’s normal for your first time. Readjust your fingers a bit, but don’t press down too hard and keep trying until each string rings out clearly.
Now try strumming them together with a bit of rhythm. That’s it! It’ll sound even better when we can change back and forth between complimentary chords, so once you’ve gotten ‘C’ down pat (may take a couple days), let’s move on to ‘G’..