The most dreaded chord of all – Th F Chord! This is the chord “ALL” beginners complain about, myself included. This article will try to help you ease up and build your confidence and let you know how to play the F chord on a guitar.

Now, there several ways in playing this chord. We’ll do the smallest and simplest one first then the full form after.

For the first version, take note though that even though we say it is in the simplest form, it is still hard.  If you can remember the tutorial on the C chord, this simple version of the F chord is somehow similar. They both span 3 frets – from the first to the third fret.

How to Play the Simple for of the F Chord

A little review before we begin with the fingering. Remember that a chord is a combination of 2 or more notes? Keep that in mind as I present and show you the simplest fingering of this version of the F chord.

We’ll only be strumming 3 strings here. The 2nd, 3rd and 4rth strings (B, G, D strings).

Place your first finger on the first fret of the B string (2nd thinnest string). Then put your second finger on the second fret of the 3rd string. Finally, your third finger will be on the 3rd fret of the 4rth string. And… That’s it! The F chord!

The notes of the F chord

how to play the F bar chordA little background on this. The F chord is compose of 3 notes – F, C and A. All of them are in the fingering we just describe to you. The first finger is the C note, the second finger is the A note and the root note, the F, is the third finger. Case closed.

Now try and strumming those three strings. Please do not let those extra strings ring out, that is, the Low and High E strings as well as the low A string.

Basically you will be strumming the F, A and C note – The F Chord. After strumming, pluck each string and make sure that all notes are ok and can clearly be heard. If all is ok, congrats! You just played the dreaded F chord!

How to Play the F Bar Chord

Now on to the more difficult one. The image you see on the left if the ‘normal’  F chord. It is the F barred chord. This is the version of the F chord where the first finger is lying across the neck and pressing all the strings and sounding out the first, second and sixth strings.

The 3 remaining fingers (the second, third and forth fingers) will be forming the E chord shape. That is, the second fingers on the second fret of the third string, the third finger on the third string of the fourth string and the pinky or the fourth finger on the third fret of the A or fifth string.

One way of thinking of the F chord is that you are just playing an E chord with the first finger acting as the nut of the guitar. Get it? I sure hope so.

This barred shaped form of the F chord is rather difficult because you have to put in extra pressure between your first finger and your thumb in order to sound the necessary strings for the chord, specifically the 1st, 2nd and 6th strings.

TIP: You don’t really use the flat side of your first finger in doing the barring. It is in fact the side of your finger. The ‘bony’ part. Not the fleshy part. It’s too soft.

Pick our the note one at a time and see if you can sound all of them. If you are able to sound only 3 strings, you can concentrate on the dead strings.

Final Words on the F

F chord is a tough one, yes I agree. Everyone struggles with it including me! But once you practice and practice you will soon develop enough strength and you will be able to play the F chord with ease.

Don’t be the guy who always pick a song to play that do not have an F chord.. Dont’ do that, not cool. Take a song with that chord, practice and nail it! Face your challenge, believe you me, you will not regret it.