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Unread 09-26-2012, 03:11 PM   #1
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How to master the F Chord on Acoustic Guitar?

Any one got any tips or suggestions. For me this is the hardest chord to learn. Is there a cheat chord that sounds similiar to the F chord?

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Unread 09-26-2012, 03:16 PM   #2
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I would first try to master the power chord. It's basically the top 3 strings of the F chord, and can be used up and down the fret board. For some styles of music, it's all you need, but it's also a good stepping stone toward building the finger strength needed for a full F barre chord.
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Unread 09-26-2012, 03:36 PM   #3
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When I was learning I did a E barre chord on the first fret. Magically F'lishous.
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Unread 09-26-2012, 03:40 PM   #4
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Here's the main F chord I use (133211):

Helps if you've got big and/or flexible hands.

Also you can also leave the A string open:
Attached Thumbnails
f-chord.jpg   f-chord-2.jpg  
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Unread 09-26-2012, 06:32 PM   #5
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Not sure just which form you're having trouble with, but I'm guessing it's either (low E to high E) 1-3-3-2-1-1 or x-x-3-2-1-1.

There are many other ways to play an F chord. If you're having trouble barring the two high strings, just leave off the high string and play x-x-3-2-1-x. If you can play barre chords but have trouble with the distance on the lower frets, you could play x-8-10-10-10-8 or just x-8-10-10-10-x. If you don't mind not having the F note on the bottom, you could also play a different inversion, such as x-x-x-2-1-1 or x-x-x-5-6-5.

Life gets easier if you're playing with a group, because often the bass guitar or the piano is playing the root, so you can leave it off altogether.

Chords can be played in many different ways on the guitar, since the same note appears in many different places on the fingerboard. Learning a few basics of chord theory and learning the notes on the fretboard will open the instrument up for you, giving you options and room for creativity.
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Unread 09-26-2012, 10:36 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Sean.thomson View Post
Here's the main F chord I use (133211):

Helps if you've got big and/or flexible hands.

Also you can also leave the A string open:
This!! both these shapes make life so much easier.
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Unread 09-28-2012, 09:52 AM   #7
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Most of my students had problems with the "F" chord. It was always resolved by having them angle their fingers diagonally like this pic Sean posted:

Every time they tried to play the chord with their fingers straight across the strings they had problems.
That and practice. Just keep at it. It does get easier...
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Unread 09-30-2012, 12:40 PM   #8
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Thanks. I will keep practicing it.
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Unread 10-09-2012, 10:48 AM   #9
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It takes a lot of technique and applied strength to hold down the first fret of the E,B,E strings.

Try making the same 'F' barre chord shape up the neck. For example on fret 5 (A chord using barre chord shape). Practice on that chord and slowly work back down the fret board using that barre chape.
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Unread 10-10-2012, 03:44 PM   #10
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Try tuning all your strings down a half step, a whole step, or more if necessary, to lower the string tension. Then once your hands get used to playing the F-shaped chords, you can tune back up.
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Unread 10-10-2012, 05:09 PM   #11
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Personally, I really dig the 4-finger F2 chord and mute the low E with my thumb. It often works where I need it, and when it doesn't, it's easy to add the high F with the index finger.

Or, if you have large hands and a small neck, grab the low F with your thumb and the rest of the chord with your fingers.

Otherwise, get one of those old school forearm spring grippy things and start squeez'n...
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Unread 11-07-2012, 12:14 PM   #12
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Couple tips:

1: To be a decent player, you need to learn barre chords no matter what so avoiding them is just putting off the inevitable. I always suggest my students put their ring, pinky and middle fingers down first, get good tone from those three strings, and then add the barre.

2: Don't worry about putting the chord into a song. Just practice switching back and forth between a C and an F. This isn't magic, it's just about finger strength and muscle memory. You can do it!

3. There are other voicings you can use that probably sound better anyway depending on the rest of the song. Try and Fmaj7 (Low to High) X 3 3 2 1 0 or an Fmaj7+2 X 3 3 0 1 0. You could also mute the High E.

Most of all, don't get discouraged. It just takes time. We've all done it and you can too.
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