C chord changes advice

I’m just finishing up grade 1 and starting grade 2. I am really struggling with changing to the C chord. I have been using one minute changes and now perfect changes. I hit around 30 but just seem to be stuck there. Should I just keep up the one minute changes or is there something else that would help? Can,t seem to get my fingers to move at the same time like in air changes Any helpful hints please. Thanks

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@mdrainwater welcome to the forum Michael.
Try this exercise. Fret the C chord strum it then lift your fingers off the strings but don’t move your hand, re fret the chord again. Once you can play the C chord repeatedly landing all fingers do the same thing but remove your hand from the fret board the repeat the chord. Kind of like doing the one minute changes but with just one chord.
When that becomes easy fret the chord the remove your hand and touch your knee repeat chord. Try forming the chord in the air so you can place all your fingers down at once.


Thanks. Will give it a try

I have used Rick’s @stitch suggested technique & it definitely does help! I found it a bit frustrating at first because for me it took quite a while for my fingers to comply with what my brain was telling them!!! After a few days though, the C chord changes became much more natural… oh, don’t stop your OMC’s - just use both in conjunction with each other!
Good Luck!!!


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Hello Michael, congratulations on your grade 1 progress and welcome to the community.

Given your issues I would say to spend a little more time consolidating Grade 1 before you move on, especially learn and play songs that contain C major and work on that chord formation and progressions changing to and from it.

To improve the C chord formation, try this:

  • Hold your fingers near to but not touching the strings.
  • Touch the fingers where the chord is but do not press.
  • Once you have all three touching at the correct place then press them down.
  • Do not strum - this is a fretting hand exercise only.
  • Release the pressure after a few seconds but keep touching the strings.
  • Then move your hand away from the strings by a small amount. All fingers away.
  • Repeat the process.

Then, to improve changes to and from the C major chord and other commonly grouped chords, repeat the above process with one alteration. After the final step of lifting all fingers away, the next cycle would be over the chord that you are changing to. Once that chord has been done and fingers are lifted away, go back to the first chord of the pair.

Wash, rinse, repeat.
Make this exercise last about five minutes.

1 minute - C alone
1 minute - C & Am
1 minute - C and G
1 minute - C and D
1 minute - C alone

Practice daily and within a week you will be smashing it! :slight_smile:


Once you start nailing this exercise almost 100% of the time, I found it helpful to do a variation where I’d fret the chord, strum, then remove the fretting hand and tap my lap, then fret again.

After a while moved to doing it just by feel, without looking at the scale. This helped me with some tricky chords on earlier stages.

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Just here to say that @Richard_close2u method really works. Thanks Richard! I was struggling with C to G changes last year as I was still putting my anchor finger down first which was slowing me down. Doing this exercise daily for a few weeks and then slowing down playing songs when I got to this change to force myself to air change instead of putting my anchor finger down first when forming C solved the problem.

Thanks for such a detailed plan. I’m going to work on this and will let you know. Appreciate it very much

Good to know. I’ll try this, too.
Putting all 3 fingers down at once is tough because it’s such a stretch unlike, say, E minor.

This is a really helpful exercise