C# Chord, How to Play C Sharp Major Chord on Guitar

C sharp major is a cheery sounding chord that you might recognize from songs by U2 and Ed Sheeran. Thankfully, it’s not too tough to pick up on.

Here are the notes, positions, and songs to learn C sharp major. Here are five methods for playing it correctly:

E-Shape C# chord

The E-shape refers to the fact that, apart from the barred finger, your other fingers will be forming the regular E major chord

chart showing the e-shape of the C# major guitar chord


  • Use your 1st finger to press down all 6 strings on the 9th fret.
  • Place your next (2nd) finger on the 10th fret of the 3rd (G) String.
  • Move your 3rd finger on string 5 (A) and your 4th to string 4 (D). Both go on the 11th fret.
  • Strum down all 6 strings.

Try another barre: The Fm guitar chord

A-Shape C# chord

Like the E-shape chords, the A-shape barre chord means that you form the standard A major chord with your index finger barred on a particular fret.

This chord is on a lower fret on the guitar, producing a deeper sound. Going from the 9th to the 4th fret, the A shape C# chord is good for jazzier songs.


  • Press down Strings 1-5 (E-A) of the 4th fret.
  • Place your 2nd, 3rd, and 4th finger on the 6th fret.
  • Move the 2nd finger to String 4 (D), 3rd to 3 (G), 4th to 2nd (B).
  • Strum from Strings E to A.

Another quick & easy barre: Eb minor (Ebm guitar chord)

3 Finger C# chord

The position of your fingers in this progression makes it easy to avoid hitting muted chords.


  • Place your 1st and 2nd finger on the 1st fret. 1st finger goes to string 3 (G), 2nd to string 1 (E).
  • Move your 3rd finger on the 2nd fret, string 2 (B).
  • Strum strings 3 to 1 (G to E), keeping the last 3 strings muted.

Straight Line C# chord

One version of C sharp major lets you put 3 fingers on the same fret.


  • Find the 6th fret.
  • Place your fingers as desired over string 4 to 2 (D to B).
  • Strum only the strings you’re holding.

2-Finger C # Major

If you want the simplest C # Major to begin with, try this 2-note method.


  • Put your 1st finger on the 1st fret, 3rd String (G).
  • 2nd finger to the 2nd fret, 2nd String (B).
  • Strum only the strings you have down (B and G).


Most people know the C# chord as Db instead. They’re what we call enharmonic chords, meaning they produce the same sound. But depending on your song, you might find it easier to notate the chord one way or another.

The root, 3rd, and 5th notes of this guitar chord are C#, E#, and G#. Their pattern is one fret up from a standard C chord. Contrast that with C# Minor, which has a sequence of C#, E, G#. 

We enjoy the C# chord for upbeat rock n roll songs. You can find it in hit bebop or jazz-rock songs like The Girl from Ipanema.

Songs in Key of C# Major

Although we know C sharp major from jazz songs, it’s the key of several contemporary rock songs. See below for a shortlist of C# major songs you might recognize:

Some of the most common progressions from C sharp major go to F# major or G# major after. But with several combinations of C sharp to try, you could get creative with this chord.

Try next:

Gb (G Flat Major)

Dbm (D flat minor) on guitar

Gbm (G flat minor guitar chord)

A#m on guitar (A sharp minor)

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