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Joined: 11 Jan 2011
Lessons: 10

Re Having problem with F and F# chord.

by E.Koreman

22 Jan 2011
Views: 23284

First things first. You are most probably talking about F major and F# major in a certain inversion and I guess it is something like x-x-3-2-1-1 and x-x-4-3-2-2. Right?

Learning guitar is not about learning a bunch of chords. When beginning you'll learn some basic grips that you will use all over the neck. When you are comfortable picking them at the base you will pick them elsewhere too and you'll learn how these grips relate to each other. Basically all major chord grips are based on F, G and C (major) grips and combinations of them. Every combination gives another inversion and at certain positions you may invoke open strings as well.

The typical F major and F# major (as you are most probably working on) are basically the same regarding the grip. While advancing you will discover that there are a few ways to pick it, depending on what you are playing or what the chord progression is, but when just beginning first try x-x-3-2-1-1. Your index finger on the thin B and E string covering the '1s'. Then your middle finger on the '2' and then your ring finger on the 3. If you move this grip 1 fret up the neck you'll get the F# major. One fret further it will be G major. And so on.

As you progress you will put your index finger on 4 or even 6 strings (barre). Personally I stick with 4 and use my thumb very often, covering the bass E string and silencing the A string, or include it as well. I used to have difficulties with strict barre chords. Now it doesn't really matter anymore, but using the thumb still does give me much more freedom over other frets and strings. This however is not the recommended way to learn to play. When practicing barre chords you are working on your muscles which you will need in anything. Be aware that learning to play an instrument includes developing your body.


Having problem with F and F# chord.

by Kitaco

Is there any way to learn this chord fairly easily? I\'m not totally clueless =x but I\'m a beginner.



It is harder to fret the F Major barre chord than almost any other because you are so close to the nut, and it's physically harder tho push the strings down because they are being held up by the nut and the saddle. Practice your A Major barre chord for practice.

Speaking of cheats, you can hold down (x-x-3-2-1-1) the 1's with your first and second fingers.


Speaking of cheats. I often play F like this (x-3-3-2-1-x)


@tinyskateboard. Try holding those 1's with just the first finger. That frees up your pinky.


It's not the F major shape... it's an E major shape. F is the E major shape barred at the 1st fret.

Don't teach people how to cheat these fingerings. Work your way through them. Cheating will only make you look for more shortcuts. You're not learning how to play if you're trying to kick out fundamentals.


JustJeff: Gotta cheat if your're learning. It's funny I almost wrote a disclaimer for you specifically when I put in my comment. An axiom some teachers use is 'play what and how you want when you're learning, cause success is better than frustration, and quitting'.

I use this same philosophy to teach people at work, because if you don't recognize when you need a shortcut, you will get frustrated

As a guitar student progresses they will then have the strength and knowledge to form the EMaj shape barre chord, and will not be ruined for trying an alternative that works.


I use all sorts of different fingerings. I learned with the Barre, but then i found how to play some different cheats, which make it much easier for sus chords


I agree with both JustJeff and tinyskateboard. I learned shortcuts to get myself going while barre chords are not an issue anymore. I am sorry if that wasn't clear from my post. Sure you should learn the proper way to grip chords, but learning should also be fun.

Barre chords were hell where nowadays I'll pick them without thinking. I do not think of any chords really, I think about what strings I want to fret where and why. The basic grips -except for the barre chords- showed me the ways. In my opinion the barre chord should be taught as a kind of 6th. With additional notes you make any chord from it. Then again, learning barre chords may provide useful skills for further advancing in lessons where 'shortcuts' would hinder. I don't know.

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