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F chord

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(@totallyphillip)
Active Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4
Topic starter  

Theres a song I would really like to play, I can do all the chords apart from F! It's really.. whats the word, demotivating.. when you can't do a chord.
Do any of you have any tips for playing the chord?
Shall I keep playing it, even though dead strings sound, and I'll get better? or should I get it to ring clearly first?
Ahh, it's so annoying!
Thanks if you can help - I need it!


   
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(@embrace_the_darkness)
Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 539
 

What are you having trouble with exactly? Is it just the barre or the fingering of the whole chord?

You can use

e----x----
B----1---
G----2---
D----3---
A----3---
E----(1)--

Use your thumb over the neck to play the low E string, or just play the four middle strings. It won't sound as full as the barred F, but it will certainly do for now if you want to practice the song

One word of warning though: DO NOT do what I did, and get hung up on using this and not practice the barred F!

Pete

ETD - Formerly "10141748 - Reincarnate"


   
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(@brucie97)
Eminent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 26
 

Oh God I know the feeling.. I've been learning the chords.. but F seems impossible! I can't for the life of me get that barre down. Either the G or B string will be muted.. The joint in my finger seems to be causing this.. should I be using more of the side of my finger? Or do I use the bottom of my finger and just try to eliminate a curve in my finger? Soo frustrating!


   
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(@embrace_the_darkness)
Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 539
 

I think that different people have different ways of overcoming this barring problem

Personally, I don't have a problem with my finger joints, as the first joint (one nearest the fingertip) is over the middle strings which are being fretted lower down, and the second joint (near the hand) is past the high e string.

If its at all possible, get someone in person to show you how to position your hand correctly for a barre. If not possible, try and get ahold of some good clear photo's (I've seen some on GN before from some people) of barre's, and make sure you really know how you should be doing it.

You can "roll" your finger slightly to use more of the side of it. I found this was a bit uncomfortable, and when changing between chords its not really possible to create the barre with your finger already "rolled" back.

The action on your guitar (how far the strings lie above the fretboard) and the gauge (thickness) of your strings will also affect how hard it is to form barres. If you are really struggling, you could try changing to lighter gauge strings, as they will be easier to fret, then move back to higher gauges once you have the technique down to build up strength.

It also will take a while for you to build up the strength to do it. Personally it's taken me almost a year to get to the point where I can use full barre chords seamlessly in a song, although I am guilty of not practicing them as much as I should have :oops:

ETD - Formerly "10141748 - Reincarnate"


   
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(@guitarmonkey90)
Trusted Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 65
 

it depends what song your doing but f doesnt have to be a barre chord,it can also be played like this:

E__1___|______|_______
B__1___|______|_______
G______|___2__|_______
D______|______|___4___
A______|______|__3____
E______|______|_______ note: the numbers correspond to which fingers should be used.
you can pratice changing from a C chord to the F chord as the fingering isnt much different. its probably the easiest chord to change to an F chord from and should get your F chord going. Barre chords can be tough when starting out,at first your fingers wont do what you ask them to,then they'll make the change but you cant sound the chord properly,but stick with it and youll soon open up a whole range of barre chords to play at your disposal :) :)

"thats alright baby i still got ma guitar"


   
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(@misanthrope)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 2261
 

I did these two photos recently (for something else), here's how I play the F barre:


(notice the index finger doing the barring is neither flat or straight - I find keeping it straight requires more force to fret and so fatigues that finger too quickly, and I roll it to the side to avoid the strings going in to the inside of my knuckle.)

...and this is another common way to do it:

ChordsAndScales.co.uk - Guitar Chord/Scale Finder/Viewer


   
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(@jase36)
Reputable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 247
 

Philip

are you pressing down on the two thinnest strings E & B with your first finger on the first fret and third string with your 2nd finger on the 2nd fret and your third finger on the 4th string on the 3rd fret?

I really struggled to play this chord. The truth is only regular practice will help. Try and and play a chord progression over and over. I practiced 4 beats of F changed to C for 2 beats then changed to G for 2 beats then back to F for 4 beats and so on over and over. The advantage of doing 4 beats of F is it gives you time to readjust if any string sounds muted. Start of really slow it will give you chance to get your fingers in the right place, use a metronome to make sure your not speeding up. Slowly try and build up the speed.

http://www.youtube.com/user/jase67electric


   
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(@fingersnfumbs)
Eminent Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 40
 

does it really matter just to get the song nailed that he plays a Fmaj7 X44320 instead of the F

although keep practising those barres, sooner you start the sooner they become instinctive


   
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(@reeve)
Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 84
 

it depends what song your doing but f doesnt have to be a barre chord,it can also be played like this:

E__1___|______|_______
B__1___|______|_______
G______|___2__|_______
D______|______|___4___
A______|______|__3____
E______|______|_______

I'd do this except bring my thumb over the top for the first fret. It makes the F a lot easier and it gets all the notes out clearly. DO NOT stay away from the barre though.

Well, I've had some requests, but I'm going to play anyway.


   
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(@chris-c)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 3454
 

Hi,

Barres are one of many things that simply don't work when you're a beginner - unless you're very lucky or very unusual. You simply have to do them a lot. Nailing Fs cleanly can take months, so don't worry if it doesn't happen in a couple of days.

In the meantime try experimenting with different positions - finger closer to the fret wire (or right on it), rolled a little, curved this way or that, further across, etc. until you find which gets the best results. (See Misanthrope's great pics). You still won't be able to do it on demand, but at least you'll find that now and then it can be done. :wink:

While you're waiting for the muscles and the brain to get the message, and find the sweet spot, remember you don't need the notes from all 6 strings to make an F chord.

Starting from the thickest string the notes are F, C, F, A, C, F. The notes needed are F,A and C, so you have a few 'spares' which helps fill the sound out. But the basics are just 3 notes - F, A & C. So concentrate on getting them clean first. If the rest are muffled or muted, or if you don't strum those strings, you still have a useable F chord on 3 strings. Get them down, and you can play the song. But keep working on the fuller version too. :wink:

Good luck

Cheers,

Chris


   
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(@embrace_the_darkness)
Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 539
 

fingersnfumbs wrote does it really matter just to get the song nailed that he plays a Fmaj7 X44320 instead of the F

I believe that would be an F sharp wouldn't it, being as it's based on the 2nd fret?

Fmaj7 should be X33210, right?.......unless I've been doing something wrong for a while! :)

Pete

ETD - Formerly "10141748 - Reincarnate"


   
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(@fretsource)
Prominent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 973
 

fingersnfumbs wrote does it really matter just to get the song nailed that he plays a Fmaj7 X44320 instead of the F

I believe that would be an F sharp wouldn't it, being as it's based on the 2nd fret?

Fmaj7 should be X33210, right?.......unless I've been doing something wrong for a while! :)

Pete

Yes, X44320 would be F#7


   
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(@chuckster)
Prominent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 938
 

Some good advice so far.

I found the barred F particularly tough going to start with. Playing the barred F shape on the first fret can be difficult when first trying to master the shape - particularly if your action is a little hgh. Try making the chord towards the middle of the neck where the strings aren't quite so difficult to hold down. This will allow you to concentrate on getting the fingering right and getting a clean sound. Once you have this mastered then move the chord closer to the nut. In time you will have the barred F mastered.

Worked for me.

HTH.

8)

I've had a lot of sobering thoughts in my time.
It was them that turned me to drink.


   
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(@trguitar)
Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 3709
 

I'd forgotten how hard those darn barre chords were. My advice is to keep plugging away and one day they will seem easy. In the mean time, nothing wrong with using an alternate way to get the "F". Lots of good ideas up there.

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


   
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(@misanthrope)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 2261
 

Playing the barred F shape on the first fret can be difficult when first trying to master the shape - particularly if your action is a little hgh. Try making the chord towards the middle of the neck where the strings aren't quite so difficult to hold down. This will allow you to concentrate on getting the fingering right and getting a clean sound. Once you have this mastered then move the chord closer to the nut.
Ahh, I'd forgotten all about that :roll: That's what clicked for me in the end, sticking around the 4th-8th frets with it - the 1st was too tough and 12th was too crowded.

ChordsAndScales.co.uk - Guitar Chord/Scale Finder/Viewer


   
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