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How to play the C#6 chord on guitar

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The C#6 chord

The C#6 chord, pronounced "C sharp sixth," is a vibrant and colorful chord that adds a touch of sophistication to any guitar arrangement. It's commonly used in jazz, funk, and R&B music to create smooth transitions and add depth to progressions. The C#6 chord is notable for its rich, full sound and the inclusion of the sixth note, which provides an intriguing harmonic flavor.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common C#6 chord. We've also included other versions below.

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Finger placement for C#6 chord

The most popular way to play the C#6 chord on guitar is as a barre chord on the 9th fret.

Follow these finger positions to play a C#6 chord on your guitar:

  1. Place your index finger on the 9th fret of the 5th (A), 4th (D), 3rd (G), 2nd (B), and 1st (E) strings, forming a barre.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 10th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 11th fret of the 5th (A) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 11th fret of the 4th (D) string.

Strum all six strings together to play the C#6 chord. Make sure to apply enough pressure with your index finger to properly fret all the strings in the barre.

How to play an easy C#6 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the C#6 chord, try playing a basic C# chord without the 6th note. Place your index finger on the 4th fret of the 5th string, middle finger on the 6th fret of the 3rd string, and ring finger on the 6th fret of the 2nd string. Strum only these three strings.

How to play a C#6 bar chord

Learning to play the C#6 chord as a barre chord allows you to easily change to other chords in the same key without moving your hand position.

Here's how to play a C#6 bar chord:

  1. Place your index finger across all six strings at the 4th fret, forming a barre.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 5th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 6th fret of the 5th (A) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 6th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  5. Strum all six strings from the low E string to the high E string.

Common C#6 chord progressions

The C#6 chord, also known as C# major 6th, is commonly used in progressions to add a dreamy, nostalgic, or bittersweet feel to a piece. Here are some popular chord progressions featuring the C#6 chord:

  • I - vi - IV - V (C#6 - A#m7 - F# - G#7) - Used in "Hey Jude" by The Beatles and "Let It Be" by The Beatles
  • I - V - vi - IV (C#6 - G#7 - A#m7 - F#)
  • ii - V - I (D#m7 - G#7 - C#6)
  • iii - vi - ii - V (E#m7 - A#m7 - D#m7 - G#7)
  • I - iii - IV - V (C#6 - E#m7 - F# - G#7)

Drills to master the C#6 chord

To master the C#6 guitar chord, try practicing the following drills:

Strum the chord repeatedly while maintaining a steady rhythm. Focus on getting a clear, ringing sound from each string. Once comfortable, try varying your strumming pattern to create different rhythmic feels.

Play the individual notes of the chord (C#, E#, G#, A#) in sequence, ascending and descending. This exercise helps you memorize the chord's structure and improves your fingering accuracy. Gradually increase your speed as you become more proficient.

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Songs that feature the C#6 chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the C#6 chord:

  1. Love on the Brain by Rihanna (C#m7, F#m7, B, G#m)
  2. cardigan by Taylor Swift (C#m7, G#m7, F#, B)
  3. if this was a movie by Taylor Swift (C#, A#m, G#, F#)
  4. Mystery of Love by Sufjan Stevens (C#, F#m, G#, A#m)
  5. The Altar by BANKS (C#m, E, B, G#m)
  6. Earned It by The Weeknd (C#m, F#m, A#m, B)
  7. Save Your Tears by The Weeknd (C#m, F#m, A#m, B)
  8. COPYCAT by Billie Eilish (C#, G#)
  9. Lovesick Girls by BLACKPINK (C#m, G#m, B)
  10. Diamonds by Rihanna (C#m, B, G#m)

How a guitar teacher can help

If you feel stuck in your playing, it might help to take personalized guitar lessons with an expert guitarist. Taking lessons with a pro gives you access to the skills, feedback, and motivation to reach your goals.

You can find expert guitar teachers to support you in the journey. Thousands of people have turned to online guitar lessons on Til, instead of traditional in-person lessons, because Til gives you access to the best teachers in the world from the comfort of home. And with flexible scheduling, secure payments, lesson recordings, and a private chat with your teacher–there’s never been a better way to learn guitar.

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