When you are first getting started, learning the many different guitar chords can be a chore, especially when your fingers are not used to bending into awkward positions. Fortunately, there are some tricks you can use that can help you to learn several guitar chords with just one simple position.


This technique begins with the C major chord. This is one of the first guitar chords you should learn as it can be used in many songs by a beginner. In fact, using the same finger positions at different sections of the fretboard can be used to play several other guitar chords.

The Simplified C Major Chord

The C major chord is often simplified when it is first introduced to new players making it easier for them to play it.

C simple

However, when kept in its standard form, it not only sounds better, but it can also be used to play different guitar chords when played in different positions on the fretboard. Besides the difficulty of stretching the fingers, another difficultly with playing this chord is that the fingers must be played in a vertical position or they can risk muting the other strings which will ruin the sound.

Playing the C Major Chord

In order to play the C major chord, in the first or open position, it must be played near the top of the fretboard near the head of the instrument. Your index finger of your left hand will be placed on the first fret of the second string. The middle finger on the second fret of the fourth string. And the ring finger will be placed on the third fret of the fifth string. To play the chord, all strings are strummed except for the sixth string. You will find that with practice, things will come to you quite easily.


Once you have gotten a hang of playing the C major, you can then slide your fingers, being careful not to lose your fingering two frets towards the bridge. Now when you strum, you will be playing a formation of the D chord. Basically, your fingering pattern should be the following: index finger on the third fret of the second string, middle finger on the fourth fret of the fourth string, and ring finger on the fifth fret of the fifth string.


Now, one more chord can be created with basically the same fingering, but simply slide your fingers up so that the ring finger is on the tenth fret of the fifth string. With your other fingers in the same C-chord style fingering, you will be playing the G major chord.


This is just one example of the several different tricks you can use while learning to play the guitar. You will find that by experimenting in this manner, you will be able to play a wider variety of chords sooner. The more you experiment the different aspects of playing the guitar, the more you’ll get used to certain playing styles and eventually find one that works best for you.

Anne Rose is a self proclaimed guitar addict, acoustic master and guitar teacher who frequently contributes to sites like GuitarChords247.com.