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# Guitar Chord Step-by-step


C# Major isn't what you'd call the most common of guitar chords. You'll mainly find it strewn about old bebop and jazz-rock tunes. That doesn't mean it's one you should skip over, however, as it will make the odd appearance in pop/rock and can add some color to your playing if you're composing your own songs. There are many ways to approach this sometimes tricky chord, and we've got some of the most prominent options laid out for your right here.

Table of Contents

How To Play C# C# Easy Chords C# Alternate Chords C# Barre Chords

How to Play C# Guitar Chord

We'll start in open position with some of the "easy" versions of the C# Major chord. You'll only need two or three fingers for these, and there aren't any tricky stretches you'll have to do:

C# Guitar Chord

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

C# Guitar Chord Easy 2

C# Guitar Chord - Easy 2

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

C# Guitar Chord Easy 3

C# Guitar Chord - Easy 3

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

C# Guitar Chord Alternate 1

Now, these voicings will provide you with a quick and easy way for getting a C# sound, but at the same time, they can end up sounding a bit weak, so if you want a more forceful C# chord in open position, you'll have to add some more fingers and employ some dextrous positioning:

C# Guitar Chord - Alternate 1

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

C# Guitar Chord Alternate 2

C# Guitar Chord - Alternate 2

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

C# Guitar Chord Alternate 3

C# Guitar Chord - Alternate 3

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

C# Guitar Chord Alternate 4

For that last voicing, there's also a barre chord variant you can use to achieve a similar sound:

C# Guitar Chord - Alternate 4

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

C# Guitar Chord Alternate 5

Now, here's an interesting twist you can employ as you go up the fretboard. Notice how you're placing fingers on strings 2, 3, and 4 at the 6th fret. For this next voicing, you will cover those notes with your 1st finger and use your other fingers to reach notes higher on the guitar:

C# Guitar Chord - Alternate 5

  • Use your 1st finger to cover strings 2, 3, and 4 at the 6th fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 5th string/8th fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 6th string/9th fret
  • Place your 4th finger on the 1st string/9th fret

C# Guitar Chord Alternate 6

You can go higher still to play the C# chord, to the 9th fret:

C# Guitar Chord - Alternate 6

  • Place your 1st finger on the 5th string/8th fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 6th string/9th fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 2nd string/9th fret
  • Place your 4th finger on the 1st string/9th fret
  • Mute strings 3 and 4

C# Guitar Chord Major Barre

And lest we forget, there's the six-string barre chord version of the C# Major chord, on the 9th fret:

C# Guitar Chord - Major Barre

  • Use your 1st finger the bar the strings at the 9th fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 3rd string/10th fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 5th string/11th fret
  • Place your 4th finger on the 4th string/11th fret

Don't Forget to Practice!

Just like any other chord, you'll want to observe methodical, precise technique when executing the C# Major chord. Be sure to check out some of our other lessons on making your chords sound as flawless as possible, and as always, good luck, and happy practicing!

Next Lesson:

C7 Guitar Chord

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