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alternate fingering for c chord

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(@voodoo-child)
Active Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 14
Topic starter  

My fingers are long, but fat with soft chubby tips. I know that many beginners have trouble with the C chord but, would it be a sin to leave my middle finger out and use the index, ring and pinkie instead? For me it is much easier that way. Thanks for the help.

Ray


   
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(@iliketheguitar)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 124
 

Absolutely not. Play it however you like. The only downside is that playing the c like that will prevent you from playing the 7, sus, etc, easily.
Also if want you can also barre it at the third and fifth frets...easier but doesnt sound as good.


   
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(@embrace_the_darkness)
Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 539
 

I agree, play the chord in a way that suits you; however, try to avoid the horrible state of mind that you "cant do a chord because of the shape/size of your finger".

With practice you will be able to do it, and the "standard" way of playing a chord is the standard way as it is the most effective overall (as Iliketheguitar said, the standard way of fingering Cmaj will leave your pinky free to play the C7, Csus and other variants).

Pete

ETD - Formerly "10141748 - Reincarnate"


   
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 JOS
(@jos)
Active Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 12
 

I had the same issue as you when I first started playing...a mere two years ago, The C chord was a b**ch for me to play. The tip of my index finger (I have long fat fingers, too) just refused to fit in that little tiny space on the 1st fret of the B string when trying to form a C chord. I was told by everyone who played that I just had to keep practicing, I'll get it. I know they had the best intentions, but I think they didn't understand that my fat finger just did NOT fit!! LOL!! It can be very frustrating to not be able to cleanly fret one of the first basic chords you must learn. My solution; Since my first guitar was a Yamaha starter guitar (FG330 with a standard 1 11/16 nut) I thought maybe a guitar with a wider nut may be the solution. I tried a few guitars with wider nuts at my local music store and VIOLA, I could cleanly fret a C chord!! So......I bought a Seagull S6+ (1 3/4 nut, actually I think the Seagulls have a 1 13/16 nut) and couldn't be happier.

I'm not suggesting that you run out and buy a guitar with a wider nut or to ignore the advice of the much more experienced players on this forum, but a wider nut worked for me.


   
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(@voodoo-child)
Active Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 14
Topic starter  

I've had my eye on a Seagull. It is probably my next purchase.

I can hit a normal C, its just so much easier using the pinkie. As a newbie, I am working on switching chords smoothly hence the "pinkie" method. I am sure it will come in time. Thanks for the support guy's.

Ray


   
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(@causnorign)
Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 554
 

My fingers are long, but fat with soft chubby tips. I know that many beginners have trouble with the C chord but, would it be a sin to leave my middle finger out and use the index, ring and pinkie instead? For me it is much easier that way. Thanks for the help.

Ray

Very few if any people have fingers that a really to fat to fret chords. That being said, do what works for you. I think if you work on your fretting hand position, making sure that only the tips of the fingers touch the strings you'll be able to fret the C in the more common way. The position of the thumb on the back of the neck has a lot to do with how the other fingers do their job.

Eric


   
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(@voodoo-child)
Active Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 14
Topic starter  

update: I have been working on it for the past couple days. I don't have it down pat yet, but I am having more success fingering a C using the normal fingers. Thanks all for your support.


   
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(@tombguitar)
New Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 2
 

Hello All:

:D I came across the discussion about difficulty with the "C" chord and would like to add a comment. I have been playing guitar for over 50 years, I'm short, and have short stubby fat fingers (so does Roy Clark), with time and effort you will be able to manage the most difficult chords. For those that are new to guitar playing, less than a year, you're going to have to develop the necessary calluses, especially on your index finger, it's the one that will get tender above all until appropriate calluses develop, pain is part of the process of learning to play guitar, patience and time will do the rest. My father was a personal friend of Les Paul and Marry Ford (Les Paul deceased), and my father taught me guitar, there were no short cuts.

We all have hit plateaus in learning to play, I'm no exception, sometimes it seems like you just can't make any progress, but trust me, one day you'll pick up your guitar and suddenly it will all come together. Although not related to the subject at hand, I'm an amateur radio operator, back in my day one had to learn the Morse code at 13 - 20 words per minute (WPM) to pass the Advanced or Extra Class exams. I hit a plateau of about 10 WPM and just couldn't seem to make any further progress. One day to my surprise, I suddenly woke to find that I had overcome the barrier, no magic was involved, it just happened because I practiced every day.

Some chords can be difficult for beginners, the "C", "B", & "F" chords are generally more troublesome for beginners, but you will manage them as well. Here's a little secret, probably the best time to practice for a beginner, is when you're completely relaxed, I mean completely relaxed, kind of like when you feel that going to dose off, you'll find that your fingers find their way to chords with less effort. The worst time to practice is when you're frustrated due to lack of progress.

Just stick with it and you'll overcome issues, we've all been there. :D


   
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