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How to play the D major over C chord on guitar

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The D major over C chord

The D chord, pronounced "D major over C," is a unique guitar chord that combines the D major triad with a C bass note. This slash chord creates a rich, harmonically complex sound that adds depth to progressions. Notably used in genres like folk and country, the D/C chord can be heard in popular songs such as "Hey Soul Sister" by Train.

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

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Finger placement for D major over C chord

The most common way to play a D major chord over a C chord on guitar is to use the first fret as a barre chord.

Follow these finger positions to play a D major over C chord on your guitar:

  1. Barre your index finger across all six strings on the first fret.
  2. Place your middle finger on the second fret of the third (G) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the third fret of the second (B) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the third fret of the first (high E) string.

To strum this chord, start with a downward strum across all six strings, then follow with alternating down and up strums to create a rhythmic pattern.

How to play an easy D major over C chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the D major over C chord, try playing the open D chord shape and moving your index finger to the 3rd fret of the B string. This creates a Dsus4/C chord, which has a similar sound but is easier to play.

How to play a D major over C bar chord

Playing a D major over C as a barre chord can give your playing a fuller, richer sound compared to the open chord version. It's also a great way to build finger strength and dexterity.

Here's how to play a D major over C bar chord:

  1. Place your index finger across the 10th fret, covering all six strings. This is the barre.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 11th fret of the 2nd (B) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 12th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 12th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  5. Strum all six strings downward from the low E string.

Common D major over C chord progressions

The D major chord played over a C major chord (D/C) is often used in progressions to create a bright, hopeful, and uplifting feel. It can serve as a transitional chord, adding a sense of movement and resolution. Here are some common D/C chord progressions:

  • I - V/IV - IV - I (C - D/C - F - C) Used in "Let It Be" by The Beatles and "Hey Jude" by The Beatles
  • I - V/IV - vi - IV (C - D/C - Am - F) Used in "We Are the Champions" by Queen
  • I - V/IV - I/III - IV (C - D/C - C/E - F)
  • I - V/IV - ii - V (C - D/C - Dm - G)
  • I - V/IV - iii - vi (C - D/C - Em - Am)

Drills to master the D major over C chord

To master the D major over C guitar chord, try this simple drill: play each note of the chord individually, starting with the lowest note and ascending to the highest. Once you've played each note separately, strum the chord as a whole. Repeat this process slowly and steadily, focusing on clarity and precision.

Another effective drill is to practice transitioning between the D major over C chord and other chords you commonly use. Start by playing a progression of four beats on each chord, then gradually reduce the number of beats until you can seamlessly switch between them.

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Songs that feature the D major over C chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the D major over C chord:

  1. Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd (D, C, G)
  2. Free Fallin' by Tom Petty (D, Asus4, G, D/F#)
  3. Wonderwall by Oasis (Em, G, D, A7sus4)
  4. No Woman, No Cry by Bob Marley (C, G/B, Am, F)
  5. Knockin' On Heaven's Door by Bob Dylan (G, D, Am7)
  6. Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver (G, D, Em, C)
  7. Stand By Me by Ben E. King (A, F#m, D, E)
  8. Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison (G, C, D, Em)
  9. Zombie by The Cranberries (Em, C, G, D/F#)
  10. Peaceful Easy Feeling by Eagles (E, D, A, E7)

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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