How To Play F Chord On Guitar: 5 Of The Top Steps To Follow
When I tried learning the guitar for the first time, I faced a lot of different problems. From the guitar I was using to the chords, I was studying. It was challenging, and it needed every ounce of patience I had. Now, this is not to scare you off from learning the guitar.
The most important part here is not giving up. Now we all know that you have the necessary chords to learn first. The chords G, A, B, C, D, E and F.
I hear a lot of complaints about the F chord, especially from beginners. And personally, I do think that the F chord is a difficult chord to learn and incorporate. Today, we will give you tips on how to play F chord on a guitar.
It is important to keep in mind that learning the guitar is not as easy as tutorials. And that’s perfectly natural. But some techniques might help you.
Learning Your Basic Chords
The F Chord
I cannot emphasize enough how much important it is to learn your basic chords. Your mastery of all the basic chords will be very significant to how you will learn their other variants. This will also help you master chord progression so you can shift from one chord to another more quickly.
For instance, learning the Fmaj7 chord and being able to tell its difference from the F7 might be a little difficult. It is true, especially if you do not know how the basic F major chord looks or sounds. And even harder, is shifting from the F chord to an A minor or any other chord a little far from the F.
Compared to other basic chords, the F chord makes use of all six guitar string. But we only have five fingers right? Now, this is where barring comes in. Moreover, this is where you’d have to press two to three strings with one finger.
Steps That You Need to Follow
Step 1: Position your fingers the easy way
For starters, let’s try and give you the simplest version of the F chord. It is a good way to introduce your fingers in the more complex chords out there. If you’re a beginner, this will greatly help you as you’ll have an easier way in playing a complicated music.
First, place your ring finger on the fourth string of the third fret. The middle finger will go on the third string of the second fret. Lastly, your index finger should go on the second string on the first fret.
Notice how there’s a decreasing order of both the fret and the strings in this method. If you put it in numbers, the positioning of string-fret goes like 4-3, 3-2, 2-1.
It is a good way to master pressing the right strings. It’ll also give you an easier guide in memorizing the position of your fingers.
Step 2: Knowing the strumming pattern
Now that you know the easiest method for playing the F chord, you’ll need to do the other half of the job to finish playing it.
That other half is strumming, and you must understand that no matter how perfect you are in positioning your fingers, a bad strum would cause you to fail no matter what.
For the strumming pattern of this variation, you’ll want to mute all of the strings besides the three strings that your fingers are pressing.
So that’s the fourth, third, and second strings. Strum it gently and get a good feel for how the sound sounds. After all, you’ll be comparing it with the three other methods coming up that are much harder.
Step 3: Challenge yourself
Now that you know the easiest F chord alternative (which is easier than some of the basic chords), it’s time to challenge yourself to get better results.
Now you might be asking yourself that playing that simple alternative is enough, however, going for the harder ones will give your music a better tone since it involves other principles in the guitar such as barring strings.
The second easiest method will need this guitar technique. To do this, go to the available version of the F chord that we did awhile ago. Once you set your fingers, keep your ring and middle finger on the same strings.
The difference of this method is that you’ll bear the highest strings which are the first and second with your index finger on the first fret. It changes the tone since before you’re pressing on the second string and not barring it.
Step 4: Get closer to the real deal
By the time you’re getting the hang of the F chords as well as the bar technique, you can inch closer to the fuller sound. When we talk about a “fuller” sound, that means reaching closer to the first chord that gives you the best sound for your music.
For this method, you’ll start using all of your four playing fingers. Again, go to the natural F chord position since this is like the foundation of the first F chord. Once you get there, bar the high note strings like you did in the previous step.
Then, transfer your ring finger towards the fifth string of the third fret. Now, this time you’ll be using your pinky finger. Your pinky finger will replace where your ring finger was originally (hence, you have to place it on the fourth string on the third fret.) The other fingers will remain in the same position.
Step 5: Time to go original!
The last method, of course, will be the hardest. However, playing and mastering this F chord will take you up there with the best guitarists that you know. It will give you not only the best F chord sound but also a few bragging rights in the guitar industry.
To do this “dreadful” F chord method, you’ll need to bear all six strings on the first fret. It is the main reason why it’s so difficult. As we did in the previous steps, position your fingers on the same way as you did in step 3.
Afterward, instead of barring a few strings, bar the entire first fret. There are two common mistakes here. First, beginners tend to position their thumb at the wrong place. Place your thumb firmly at the back of the first fret. It will give you strength in barring the chord correctly.
Second, there’s a misconception that you need to press all the six strings as hard as you can. The important part here is the sixth (lowest sounding string) and the first and second ones (highest sounding strings). With that said, just apply pressure on these three by curling your finger and pressing it with your finger’s base and its tip.
Once you get the hang of it, only strum all six chords and repeat until you get the hang of it!
At The End Of The Day
We always emphasize the importance of learning a full chord instead of just its alternatives. On the other hand, we also know how difficult learning the F chord is for the first time. That is why it’s okay to use its alternatives, especially if it’s in a song.
However, do note that alternatives have their own limitations. Most often than not, they will not sound as good as the full chord.
Sometimes, you will find them lacking in sounds. But then again, that is what alternatives are for: easier chord progression and shifting. At the end of the day, it’s your musical preference that will matter the most!