The C Major scale is a scale that starts on the note C and has no sharps or flats. The notes of C Major are C, D, E, F, G, A, B. Since the scale has no sharps or flats, it is a great place to start constructing scales from. C Major is the first stop on the circle of fifths. The relative minor to C major is A minor. The intervals for C Major are w, w, h, w, w, w, h. This scale is often the first one learned by most guitarists, as every other scales build off of this one.

C Major in 1st Position on the Guitar

c major 1st position on guitar

The c major scale can be played in first position with the use of open strings. This means you will play some notes without pressing down on a fret. The finger pattern used in this position can be played with your first three fingers.

C Major in 2nd Position

c major 2nd position on guitar

Starting on the 3rd fret, 2nd position for c major will have some recognizable finger patterns if you’ve been studying your scales. If you start on the tonic note (C) on the 5th string 3rd fret, you will play that note with your first finger. The D and the E following are played with the 2nd finger and 4th finger. It’s a bit of a stretch, but remember to keep your thumb centered behind your fingers, and to not let it hang back when ascending the scale.

C Major in 3rd Position

c major 3rd position on guitar

With the root note on the 6th string 8th fret, C major in 3rd position uses similar finger patterns as 2nd position. You may also notice that the finger pattern here is the same as the pattern for the G major scale in second position. As you explore the scales on the guitar you will find that many scales are just the same finger patterns in different spots on the fretboard.

Notice we do not have charts for 4th position, as this would just be repeating 1st position but on the 12th fret. As a reminder, the guitar notes start over at the 12th fret and 24th fret.

The Key of C Major

As mentioned above, the key of C Major has not sharps or flats. The relative minor is A minor.

Chords in C Major

Here are chords you will find on the key of C Major.

Popular Chord Progression in C Major for Guitar