Instructor: Dwight H.
From big bands to rock ensembles, and even R&B groups, Dwight has played with them all. He's been teaching guitar for over 10 years. When teaching, he draws from his experience on stage, injecting the knowledge of what it takes to be a gigging musician into every lesson.

Learn The C Minor Guitar Chord Step-by-step


The C Minor chord -- C, Eb, and G -- is going to come in handy over the course of your guitar playing career. You'll find it featured prominently in songs like Steely Dan's Don't Take Me Alive, but there is a small catch. This chord can be difficult for beginner players to pull off, and certain voicings are even enough to give advanced players a bit of trouble. Thankfully, that's nothing a bit of knowledge and practice can't help you overcome, so read on, as we cover the many ways you can play C Minor.

How to Play C Minor Guitar Chord

We'll start easy, as there are ways to play C Minor using just two fingers:

C Minor

  • Place your 1st finger on the 2nd string/1st fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 4th string/1st fret
  • Play string 3 open
  • Mute strings 1, 5, and 6

C Minor - Two-Finger #2

C Minor Two-Finger 2

  • Place your 1st finger on the 6th string/3rd fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 5th string/3rd fret
  • Play strings 3 and 4 open
  • Mute strings 1 and 2

C Minor Barre

These two voicings are adequate, but if you want a fuller C Minor sound, you'll want to add some more fingers into the mix. We'll start with the barre chord version of C Minor, at the 3rd fret:

C Minor Barre

  • Use your 1st finger to bar the strings on the 3rd fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 2nd string/4th fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 4th string/5th fret
  • Place your 4th finger on the 3rd string/5th fret
  • Mute string 6

C Minor Non-Barre

You can play a similar version of this shape as well, without the barre:

C Minor Non-Barre

  • Place your 1st finger on the 1st string/3rd fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 2nd string/4th fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 4th string/5th fret
  • Place your 4th finger on the 3rd string/5th fret
  • Mute strings 5 and 6

C Minor - Alternate #1

Now, if you want a challenge, you'll want to learn these alternate voicings that you can also play in open position:

C Minor Alternate 1

  • Place your 1st finger on the 5th string/3rd fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 1st string/3rd fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 2nd string/4th fret
  • Mute strings 3, 4, and 6

C Minor - Alternate #2

C Minor Alternate 2

  • Place your 1st finger on the 4th string/1st fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 5th string/3rd fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 1st string/3rd fret
  • Place your 4th finger on the 2nd string/4th fret
  • Play string 3 open
  • Mute string 6

C Minor - Alternate #3

You can also venture away from open position to play C Minor, up to 5th and 6th frets:

C Minor Alternate 3

  • Place your 1st finger on the 4th string/5th fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 5th string/6th fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 6th string/8th fret
  • Place your 4th finger on the 3rd string/8th fret
  • Mute strings 1 and 2

C Minor - Alternate #4

C Minor Alternate 4

  • Place your 1st finger on the 5th string/6th fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 6th string/8th fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 2nd string/8th fret
  • Place your 4th finger on the 1st string/8th fret
  • Mute strings 3 and 4

Make Your Chord Voicings Sound Flawless

You'll want to make sure that you're executing these C Minor chord variations with proper technique, so be sure to start slowly, commit your finger positions to memory, and work at these voicings often to reinforce what you've learned. As always, good luck, and happy practicing!

Next Lesson:

C7 Guitar Chord

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