4 Ways to Play the Cm Guitar Chord | National Guitar Academy (2024)

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In this free lesson you will learn: The standard way to play the C minor guitar chord An easier version of the Cm guitar chord A 2-finger version of the C minor guitar chord Learn 12 EASY beginner chords with our popular guide Get your own personalised guitar-learning plan 🎸 World-Class Guitar Courses 🌎 The easiest-of-all version of the C minor guitar chord The Best Easy Versions Of This Chord My recommendation for your Cm guitar chords Here are some other cool-sounding Cm chords.What Type of Guitarist Are You?Take our 60-second quiz & get your results: Take The QuizJoin the world's best online guitar school 🌎Get your own personalised guitar learning plan(customised just for YOU).World-class online guitar courses. Learn at your own pace.Community Campus & Learning Forum - A friendly community! Connect with our team & students. 😊Beginner Song library with chordsheets, tabs and tips. (Songs suitable for all levels!)Regular live streams, seminars and Q&A sessions- Learn from world-class guitar educators. Get all your questions answered!Click here to learn more about National Guitar Academy membership Cool Guitar T-shirts 😎Look cooler! Check out our merch: Click here to see our merch storeWant free guitar tips and video lessons delivered to your inbox?Join over 100,000 guitar-learners and subscribe to our guitar-tips-by-email service. (It's free.)We'll send you a series of lessons that will move you to the next level of your guitar journey.Learn how everything fits together quickly, easily and effectively. We share ninja tips (for instant fun!) but also timeless fundamentals that will deepen your understanding. What Type of Guitarist Are You? Join the world's best online guitar school 🌎 Cool Guitar T-shirts 😎 Want free guitar tips and video lessons delivered to your inbox? Popular Lessons More Cool Guitar Stuff

The C minor guitar chord is one of those awkward chord shapes… My students hate it! In its standard form it’s very difficult to play, but there are some good easy alternatives.

In this free lesson you will learn:

  • The standard way to play the C minor guitar chord
  • 4 easier ways to play the Cm guitar chord
  • A super-simple version of the C minor guitar chord for beginners

4 Ways to Play the Cm Guitar Chord | National Guitar Academy (1)

The standard way to play the C minor guitar chord

So why is the Cm guitar chord so difficult to play? Well, in its standard form it’s usually played as a “barre chord”. It looks like this:

4 Ways to Play the Cm Guitar Chord | National Guitar Academy (2)

(If you don't understand the above image please read our article "How To Read Guitar Chordboxes In 60 Seconds". It will make everything clear!)

As you can see, this is far too difficult for guitar beginners to play. We need an easier option. So what are the alternative versions of the C minor guitar chord?

An easier version of the Cm guitar chord

This version of the C minor guitar chord is easier to play than the barred version:

4 Ways to Play the Cm Guitar Chord | National Guitar Academy (3)

This is a much better option that the standard Cm, but it’s still not EASY to play, so I prefer to recommendthe following version of the C minor guitar chord to my students:

4 Ways to Play the Cm Guitar Chord | National Guitar Academy (4)

This is a great chord shape to learn as it crops up often in the future. It’s not super-easy to play, but it IS a lot simpler than the standard version of the Cm guitar chord. This is my preferred version of Cm for my beginner students to learn.

There’s two other versions of the Cm guitar chord that I’d like you to bear in mind. Especially if you’re a beginner guitarist…

.

A 2-finger version of the C minor guitar chord

This version of the Cm guitar chord is a handy one to know:

4 Ways to Play the Cm Guitar Chord | National Guitar Academy (6)

This Cm guitar chord is much easier to fret, but remember that you must only play strings 2, 3 and 4. Strings 1, 5 and 6 must not be played. (String numbers are explained here.)

4 Ways to Play the Cm Guitar Chord | National Guitar Academy (7)

Learn 12 EASY beginner chords with our popular guide

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Stop struggling. Start making music.

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The easiest-of-all version of the C minor guitar chord

This version of the Cm guitar chord is a little bass-heavy, but it’s very easy to make the chord shape and less fiddly to strum than the above version. Check it out!

4 Ways to Play the Cm Guitar Chord | National Guitar Academy (9)

As you can see, this is much easier than any of the other versions of the C minor guitar chord we’ve looked at.

Take care not to strum strings 1 & 2 though, or this won’t sound anything like a C minor guitar chord any more! (Strumming strings 1 & 2 would turn this into a different chord.)

Guitars have been around for a long time, but in all that time I don’t think anyone has found an easier way to play the Cm guitar chord than this! 🙂

The Best Easy Versions Of This Chord

My recommendation for your Cm guitar chords

I think you should try all of the above Cm shapes and see which one fits your current ability level AND the song you are trying to play. Some chords are well suited to specific situations and what sounds good in one context will often sound out-of-place in another.

If you’re a total beginner you should try the last two above versions of the Cm guitar chord, as all the other versions will simply be too tough for you to play. But if you have 15-20 hours of guitar practice under your belt already, I prefer for my students to learn the third version of the Cm guitar chord shown above. (Because that shape can be used for multiple other chords in the future.)

Here are some other cool-sounding Cm chords
.
4 Ways to Play the Cm Guitar Chord | National Guitar Academy (10)

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  • World-class online guitar courses. Learn at your own pace.
  • Community Campus & Learning Forum - A friendly community! Connect with our team & students. 😊
  • Beginner Song library with chordsheets, tabs and tips. (Songs suitable for all levels!)
  • Regular live streams, seminars and Q&A sessions- Learn from world-class guitar educators. Get all your questions answered!

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Learn how everything fits together quickly, easily and effectively. We share ninja tips (for instant fun!) but also timeless fundamentals that will deepen your understanding.

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4 Ways to Play the Cm Guitar Chord | National Guitar Academy (2024)
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