C chord Slow

Good Afternoon, I was wondering roughly how long it should take you practicing daily the finger stretches to be able play the c chord. I have been at it for over a month and my finger stretches are almost no better than when I started. It is really slow to transition from any other chord I have learned so far.
Thank You

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Jack everyone is different.

Are you practicing fast chord changes? Aka as many in 60 seconds as you can do?
C-A or C-E?

Also position of the guitar and hand/thumb can help or hinder a lot.

Getting speed and flexibility plus strength into your hand for guitar takes a long time.


Tricky one to answer Jack, as Rob says we’re all so different that I don’t think setting a time limit or expectation is a good thing. Which finger stretches are you referring to, the one in module 4? How are you finding C as a chord to play generally? Is it ringing clearly some of the time, not at all?

You could try practicing the shape higher up the neck using a capo perhaps just to get the feel in whilst still keeping your stretching exercises going to work your way back towards the nut. It’s just going to need time I suspect which I appreciate is probably a frustrating answer but it will come!


I just want to say, C can be a tricky one! I’ve been using it for, well, months, and while I’ve made a lot of improvement, it’s still one of my slowest chord changes. It’s not so much that my fingers can’t make the reach, I just think it’s because the fingers are so spread out, there’s a lot more room for error? When the fingers are closer together, it seems easier to see them as a single cluster than as separate fingers. That’s my own motor learning theory at least, as someone who took motor learning in college. :man_shrugging: In that respect, I think the drills (e.g. minute changes, air changes) help, it just takes time.


Took me well over 6 months to get it close, and get the changes OK. Just keep practicing. You’ll get there.

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I can get it clear once in a while. my ring finger doesn’t get close enough to the fret most of the time. I have acrually used my right hand to pull my ring finger close enough to the to make it work. It just seems the ring finger and middle finger stay close together. Yes it is beginner one mudulr 4.

Thank You everyone for the help. I really appreciate it.

tbh get someone to take a couple photos of your hand on the fret and thumb

or post a video

Its worth getting someone to look at your hand/thumb position before you hurt yourself or go through a lot more frustration


The person who said to share photos is right.

Anyway I found it impossible to stretch my fingers like Justin does in the videos in my first 30 - 40 hours, and played C with my 2nd and 3rd fingers in the middle of their frets. So if you can achieve that, I don’t think there’s a need to go for perfection right now. Also don’t play with the middle tip of your index finger, play it tilted slightly side-ways/ towards the thumb to get an extra inch or so.

The beginner finger independence warm up exercise along with more practice improved my dexterity over time. Just continue to go slow (less than 60bpm) until you’re familiar with it.

I injured my fretting hand recently after gaining the thrill of chord switching at 120bpm+ and doing so without getting the basic wrist and finger postures right for new chords, while over practising at the same time (3hrs a day in 1 hour+ blocks). The pain only comes 1 day later so be careful!

This sounds odd to me to be honest, I’m only 5’4 and can manage this with no stretching ever having been done , my hand span is just 8 inches. ! Are you sure you have your hand/arm ORIENTATION correct. ? When i look at my left palm whilce playing C ,the neck of the guitar is at 45degrees across my palm from index finger to inside of wrist (almost)

The easiest change for this chord is Amin to C as you only need to move your ring finger. If you can do Amin then you can do C.

Double check your hand position and give some more info if poss ok.



The C chord… my worst enemy right now.

My brain knows what it wants to do but my fingers have other plans entirely.
So I feel your pain and your frustration.

I can just about stretch my fingers into place but getting the muscle memory to do it on demand is just not possible right now.

To be fair, I’ve only been using it for a couple of months but it’s nowhere near as intuitive as the other beginner chords.

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Definitely an anatomical issue IMO which is why some people struggle more than others… I am still struggling to stretch my third finger across so i passed the guitar to my wife who has never played and she played a C with no problem-weird.
Guess we are all built differently. I am 6ft 1in and normal size hands and my wife is not much bigger than 5 ft with small hands.

I’ve gotten into the habit using my little finger on the A string instead of my third finger…much easier stretch for me and really smooths out my chord changes

This is not a good idea (using pinky instead of ring finger on C chord). You will eventually want to use the pinky to fret other notes. E.g. C7 (pinky on 3rd fret, G string) Cadd9 (3rd fret, B string) and the variation of C where you add the high G note (3rd fret high-E).

The C chord can be tough, but you should keep at it with the standard grip. Good luck!


My (somewhat unpopular) opinion is that if using a non-standard technique or chord grip lets you play a song you like now, instead of some time in the indefinite future, you should do it and enjoy playing the song.

However, you should realize that there’s usually a reason for the standard way of doing things, and you will probably find your way limiting at some point, and you’ll have to learn the standard way. (Muting the thick E string in a C chord is probably easier with the ring finger, for example).

But learning new grips for the same chord is part of the learning process (for G and A, especially) so it’s not a big deal if you have to relearn C as well.

My advice would be to spend some time doing Justin’s finger stretching exercises, and come back to the standard grip for the C chord later.

In the meantime, enjoy playing your songs!

I would strongly encourage you to break that habit and use fingers 1, 2, 3.

There are many variations of C chord that need you to have the 1, 2, 3 fingering.
C with a high G note on fret 3 of the 1st string
C/B (especially as a link between C and Am)

Plus other chords fall in a similar overall finger pattern:
G/B (especially as a link chord between, for example, Am and C)

You will need the fingering for embellishments, walking bass notes and much more as you develop.
It really is not / should not be such a struggle that you are searching for a short-term fix that will have profound long-term drawbacks.

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Thanks for the honest responses…they all make perfect sense and I’ll fix this

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Could some of the difficulty you are experiencing be due to hand position / angle? Justin’s video on how to play the C chord might be helpful.


Here’s something that I do when I’m having trouble with a new chord or just plain stubborn fingers…
Every time I pick up my guitar, I play the problem chord several times. Whenever I tune the guitar, I play that chord 1st, change chords several times & play the problem chord last.
When I am practicing chord changes, I always incorporate the “problem child” into the progression… it really helps me! Good luck with “C” !!!


Sorry I have been off for a while . My problem is, I can’t spread my fingers far enough apart when they bent for playing the chords. Still working on this.

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@Jack255 , you don’t need to spread your fingers apart. Look at the picture of Justin on the video posted above. His fingers are right next to each other. They are able to reach the various frets because they are positioned at an angle.

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