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


At first glance, you might be wondering what situations you'd ever have to use an unusual chord like C# Minor (C#, E, G#). If you like playing varied styles of music, however, you'll be finding it in a great number of songs from old-school jazz to classic rock. It might not always be the most prominent chord in the mix, but it's essential to the sound nonetheless. You'll benefit from adding this one to your arsenal, so here are some of the most common variations you'll need to learn.

How to Play C# Guitar Chord

We'll start with some of the easier voicings, in open position. These involve just a few strings, close together, and won't have you skipping a bunch of frets or executing any tricky muting patterns:

C Sharp Minor

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

C# Guitar Chord - Easy #2

C Sharp Minor Easy 2

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

C# Guitar Chord - Easy #3

C Sharp Minor Easy 3

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

C# Guitar Chord - Easy #4

For that last voicing, you've can also play a slight variation that includes your 4th finger:

C Sharp Minor Easy 4

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

C# Guitar Chord - Hard #1

These "easy" versions of C# Minor work well enough, but there are times where you might want to have a unique sound or play the chord higher up on the fretboard. In these cases, you'll need to break out some more challenging voicings. Here are two you can play near open-position:

C Sharp Minor Hard 1

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

C# Guitar Chord - Hard #2

C Sharp Minor Hard 2

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

C# Guitar Chord Barre Variant

These voicings will require some dextrous finger movement and skilled muting to make them sound crystal clear, so if you want to build up to those with something a bit easier, you might first try this barre chord variant on the 4th fret:

C Sharp Minor Barre

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

C# Guitar Chord - 6th Fret

Venturing higher up the fretboard, you can try this variant of C# Minor at the 6th fret. Just take care, as you'll have to pull off a big finger stretch in order to get it right:

C Sharp Minor 6th Fret

  • Place your 1st finger on the 4th string/6th fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 5th string/7th fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 6th string/9th fret
  • Place your 4th finger on the 3rd string/9th fret
  • Mute strings 1 and 2

C# Guitar Chord - 7th Fret

The 7th fret also requires you to do some mighty stretching to achieve your C# Minor chord:

C Sharp Minor 7th Fret

  • Place your 1st finger on the 5th string/7th 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 - 9th Barre #1

On the 9th fret, you'll find a few more barre-chord versions of C# Minor, along with three non-barre variants that offer a slightly different sound:

C Sharp Minor 9th Barre #1

  • Use your 1st finger to bar the strings on the 9th fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 5th string/11th fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 4th string/11th fret
  • Place your 4th finger on the 1st string/12th fret

C# Guitar Chord - 9th Barre #2

C Sharp Minor 9th Barre #2

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

C# Guitar Chord - 9th Non-Barre #1

C Sharp Minor 9th Non-Barre #1

  • Place your 1st finger on the 6th string/9th fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 3rd 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 - 9th Non-Barre #2

C Sharp Minor 9th Non-Barre #2

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

C# Minor - 9th Non-Barre #3

C Sharp Minor 9th Non-Barre #3

  • Use your first finger to cover strings 2 and 3 at the 9th fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 4th string/11th fret
  • Place your 4th finger on the 1st string/12th fret
  • Mute strings 5 and 6

C# Guitar Chord - 11th Fret

There's one last voicing you can use for C# Minor, if you don't mind going all the way up to the 11th fret to do it:

C Sharp Minor 11th Fret

  • Place your 1st finger on the 4th string/11th fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 3rd string/13th fret
  • Place your 4th finger on the 2nd string/14th fret
  • Play string 1 open
  • Mute strings 5 and 6

Don't Forget to Practice

Even if you aren't using the C# Minor chord regularly, it'll still be a good one to have in your back pocket. Be sure to exercise these voicings regularly, and play close attention to your technique as you do. As always, good luck, and happy practicing!

Next Lesson:

C7 Guitar Chord

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