F chord on guitar:
Perhaps the biggest challenge to guitarists, the F chord, but not to worry!
I deemed the F chord impossible on my first attempt too and nearly disregarded barre chord practice completely, but thankfully my guitar teacher didn’t give up on me quite as quickly as I gave up on this horrible chord shape.
Anyway, you already know how difficult the F chord on guitar is, so here are a few pointers;
1. You will not be able to play the F chord straight away.
2. You will not be able to move between the F barre chord fluently enough to piece together your favorite songs.
3. With patience, daily practice, and good technique, you will succeed!
Now your expectations have been lowered, you can begin playing with the F shape to make it work for you.
Here are my 5 top tips for training in the F chord to improve your guitar playing.
1.Index finger strength
A lot of people aren’t aware of quite how much hand strength is needed to play the F barre chord cleanly, I assume you haven’t used your fingers in the same way that you need to for guitar, so the muscles will simply be weak and undeveloped.
The only way to improve this is by doing, and with the ‘doing’ we want to optimize our practice time to get the best results as fast as possible, this is a whole other subject which I am writing an article on, so keep your eyes peeled.
The position of your thumb is really critical to playing your F chord cleanly, we need it to support all your fingers so that they can apply even pressure on each fret, your main problem will be keeping the pressure on your index finger.
I start with my thumb directly behind my middle finger and casually lean by index finger back towards
the nut of the guitar until I find the ‘sweet’ spot, (keep close to the 1st fret of course!) once the F chord sounds good and clean, practice it this way forever!
Your wrist and forearm will very likely ache when practicing your barre chords, don’t worry, this is very natural whilst you’re increasing your flexibility and hand strength. Just make sure to stretch out in the opposite direction when you stop practice and allow your hands the rest when things tighten up or hurt.
Learning the guitar is a timely process, those that are good have spent hours practicing the ‘correct’ things. I’m yet to see a newborn baby play the guitar like Jimi Hendrix. So be patient, you will improve if you do it daily and always keep your goals in mind, you wanted to learn the F chord for a reason, don’t give up until you’ve mastered that song!
If my advice here really hasn’t helped and you give in to the difficulty of playing this chord, then here’s the F Chord on Guitar Cheatsheet. (just don’t tell anyone you learned the cheats here, or do? and challenge them to try and play this F chord properly!)
Final note (haha, I’m so punny!) If you do find that newborn baby playing Purple haze note-perfect with his/her teeth, please send me the video so that I can cry daily into my morning cereal over the thousands of hours I’ve spent practicing!
If you’ve enjoyed this small lesson and would like more, take a look at our free Ebook below.