Hi. I'm a beginner and play an acoustic. Since yesterday I thought I was making loads of progress - and probably was - but there's a big problem in that whenever I attempt to play the C chord I cannot get the D string to sound right. It's like it's muted or something similar, and it's probably because the finger on the A string is touching the D string. When I play the open D string or play a G chord it sounds fine. I can sometimes get it to sound right, I think, if I fret the E string as well as the A string, while keeping the E string muted, but that doesn't always make the C chord sound clean. I've tried all I can for a long time today to keep my finger off the A string when playing C chord but the problem persists. Is it possible for me to consistently play the D string while playing a C chord, given the problem I've experienced? Does it matter if I don't or can't play all the strings when playing chords?
You already know what your problem is, you're probably muting the D string with whatever finger is fretting A string. Make sure you're playing with the tips of your finger and not the 'padded front bit' if you know what I mean. This is much more difficult if your nails are too long so check the length of them. You shouldn't need to stretch too much to play a C, try move your hand around until it feels good for you (lower/raise your thumb on the back of the neck, etc.).
You should always focus on getting every string ringing out. You will encounter situations later when you won't need to play every string but it's good to learn how to do it properly.
Last edited by derek8520 at Mar 1, 2015,
I think derek pretty much pegged it. This is one of those things that falls into place with practice. Keep at it, don't get frustrated, I did the same thing learning, but I was 5 years old. As derek said, use the fingertips, and keep at it until you get the hang of keeping that finger from muting another string. The only way to cure that problem is practice...as long as you're keeping the right finger positions.

Try it a few times, move on to something else, come back and try it a few more times. It will work out sooner or later. Don't overdo it, no need to concentrate on one chord for ages, try other things and come back to it now and then, you'll get the hang of it with some practice.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
Before u play any chord strum each string in that chord frist.a few times and make sure they ring out then strum the chord,and if u are mutteing any string this will help u fix the problem.
Use your finger tips and keep your nails short, check out Justin guiatr for lessons he is awesome
The above point are all excellent. I would also like to add that in the very early days it's not a bad idea to accept a little imperfection, in the short-term, so that you can get on with actually playing music. Some of these issues will get easier to fix as you get stronger. You don't have to get everything perfect before you start working on chord changes and playing songs.