How To Play The F Chord On Guitar

Help with the F major chord on guitar . . .

I remember when I was in high school, a friend of my parents saw me playing the guitar and commented on the fact that he quit playing the guitar because he could never master the F chord. Over the years, I’ve had a lot of students get to the F chord and then have a lot of problems with it and get really frustrated.  After years of analyzing what they were doing, and comparing that to what I was doing, I finally figured out why people have problems with the F chord.  Here are my secrets to mastering this chord.

1) There are two ways to play the F chord – play the full barre chord on all 6 strings or play the smaller version on strings 1-4.  I always tell my students to play the smaller one shown in the chord diagram below.

2) When you play the 4 string version of F,  you need to press the first and second strings down with the side of the index finger, and have your fret hand/arm elbow pressed in against your torso, as shown here:

rather than having the elbow away from the torso as it is in the second picture.  This “elbow against the torso” position is important for full barre chords as well.

3) Once your elbow is in this position, you should find your fret hand fingers leaning toward the headstock.  If they aren’t, make them do this as they will be less likely to mute the strings below.

4) Still stumped?  Contact me for some private lessons.

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