The C Major Chord in the Open Position – Shape 1

C Major Guitar Chord - Open Position

This shape for the C major chord is one of the chords from our list of the top-10 most useable guitar chords that every beginner should learn. 


  • Index finger on C (b-string)

  • Middle finger on E

  • Ring finger on C (A-string)

  • Do not play the low E-string

A nice compositional or arranging device is to use the parallel minor chord, which in this case is Am. The open Am7 chord-shape shares most notes with this C chord, which gives you a subtle harmonic shift by altering the bass while keeping the core sound of the upper harmonic structure identical. 

Am7 Guitar Chord - Open Position