If you are new to the guitar and just starting out, you’ve likely had trouble learning to play the F chord. It can be difficult for beginners to master, yet the good news is, there are some tricks you can use to make this process easier! Therefore, to help you get this form down, we’ll cover the fingering needed to play the F chord correctly. Then, we’ll look at a few tips to make it simpler, and to make it sound better as well. Finally, you’ll discover a great shortcut which you can use as a substitute. This will allow you to play songs which include this troublesome chord, while you are still perfecting your form.
Step 1: First, place your ring finger on the fourth string in the third fret.
Step 2: Next, press down on the third string in the second fret with your middle finger.
Step 3: Now comes the tricky part, as it involves pressing down on two strings with your index or pointer finger. You want to bar the first and second strings in the first fret with this finger, trying to hold them down as tightly as possible.
Step 4: Finally, you only want to strum the first four strings when playing the F chord, so be sure to skip over strings five and six (the two thickest strings).
For a walkthrough of the steps above, click the play video button below:
3 Tips For Learning the F Chord!
Tip 1: As you typically use your fingertips when playing chords, you’ll probably naturally do so with your index finger. However, it is actually far easier to use the side or edge of it instead. Why is this true? This allows you to roll your wrist down to a better angle, giving you more leverage overall. With better leverage, you’ll be able to push down on all the strings with greater force, meaning less dead notes and a better sound!
Tip 2: Place your index finger as close to the fret wire as possible, without actually resting on top of it. This will also give you a bit more leverage on the strings, and give your other fingers more room to operate as well.
Tip 3: Pinch the guitar neck close to the bottom using your thumb. With most chords your thumb will be either resting on top, or high up on the back of the neck. However, if you move it down when playing the F chord, you’ll find that it is easier to play for the same reasons already mentioned above (more leverage and better wrist position).
Tip 4: When you move your thumb down, try to drop your wrist and even your elbow a bit, so you can roll your fingers up a little more. If they are too flat across the strings, you’ll have problems with overlapping – which can cause dead notes. A good tip is to imagine yourself holding a tiny ball in your palm, as this will naturally cause you to curve your fingers in the proper way.
Tip 5: Practice this chord every day, for just a couple of minutes. This is probably more effective than spending hours on it in a single session, as you’ll get tired and frustrated! Instead, just take a bit of time whenever you play, to hone your technique and make a little forward progress.
How To Shortcut The F Chord!
Step 1: Get your fingers in the same formation for a standard F chord, which we covered above. However, instead of pressing down on both strings with your index finger, just hold down the second string of the first fret. This will make things much easier for you, as mastering that two string bar can be quite tricky!
Step 2: Only strum strings four through two when you use this shortcut, as the first string (or high E note) will sound wrong if you play it.
Step 3: Another tip that can make this simpler, is to flatten out your index finger when pressing down on string two of the first fret. Continue pressing down with your finger tip, but lower your finger until it rests lightly on the first string. This will mute it, so you can strum over it while playing, and it won’t create any discordant tones.
Don’t worry if you feel that you’re learning this chord formation slowly, as it does take some work to master! Simply take it one day at a time, and you’ll eventually have it down pat. It may be best to practice only a few minutes at one time, instead of trying to power through long and grueling sessions – which can just leave you frustrated.
Fortunately, you can now use the easy shortcut as a stop gap while you are practicing, allowing you to play your favorite songs during this time. The key is to remember that playing the guitar is meant to be for your fun and enjoyment, and with that attitude, you should have the F chord mastered in no time at all![signup id="1286"]