How To Play An Easy F Guitar Chord For Beginners

F Major is a common chord you will see in many songs. It is most commonly played in an open chord position, but also as a triad and a barre chord. If you’re just learning guitar, you may be intimidated by the barre chord version, but don’t worry, with good practice and technique you can execute barre chords effortlessly. The trick to barre chords is not to squeeze the neck with the left hand, but let the natural weight of your arm pull the notes downward to create effortless sound.

Let’s learn some easy and not so easy ways to play F Major. 

Easy F Guitar Chord

F Major Easy Chord Theory

  • F major has the notes FAC
  • F is the IV chord in C major
  • F is a major triad
  • Major triads are built from a root, M3, and P5.

How to Play F Major Easy

Method 1

The first way you should know how to play F major is as this open position triad.

easy f chord
  • Place your index finger on the 1st fret of the 2nd string.
  • Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 3rd string.
  • Place your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the 4th string.

Method 2

This is another easy way to play F major. This is the first inversion triad. Meaning that A is the lowest note.

easy chord f
  • Place your index finger on the 1st fret of the 2nd string and barre.
  • Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 3rd string.

Method 3

This voicing is in 2nd position. That means that C is the lowest note.

f guitar easy
  • Place your index finger on the 10th fret of the 4th string and barre.

How To Play F Major Medium

Method 4

This method is a rendition of method 1. It includes a small barre in the index finger that allows you to play another F on the 1st string. 

Try it out!

easy chord f
  • Place your index finger on the 1st fret of the 2nd string and barre.
  • Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 3rd string.
  • Place your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the 4th string.

Method 5

This method is also a 2nd inversion triad.

f easy chords
  • Place your index finger on the 5th fret of the 3rd string.
  • Place your middle finger on the 5th fret of the 1st string.
  • Place your ring finger on the 6th fret of the 2nd string.

Method 6

This voicing is a triad in 1st inversion. (ACF)

how to play F on guitar easy
  • Place your index finger on the 5th fret of the 3rd string.
  • Place your middle finger on the 6th fret of the 2nd string.
  • Place your ring finger on the 7th fret of the 4th string.

How To Play F Hard

Method 7

f barre chord easy
  • Place your index finger on the 1st fret of the 6th string and barre.
  • Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 3rd string.
  • Place your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the 5th string.
  • Place your pinky on the 3rd fret of the 4th string.

Having trouble with your barre chords? Believe me, you’re not alone. The difficulty that comes with barre chords is often caused by gripping the neck too hard.

Remember that It should never hurt to play the guitar. Many new guitarists avoid barre chords altogether because of their difficulty, but the solution is easier than you might think…

  • Place your index finger on all the strings on the 1st fret. Tuck your other fingers back so you don’t rely on them to produce sound.
  • Without pressing your finger down, strum the guitar. The strings should sound muted.
  • Slowly increase the pressure of your index finger and strum between every addition of effort.

The purpose of this small exercise is to experience just how much effort you really need to produce sound on the guitar. You will find that not much is actually required.

  • Using the minimal amount of effort, continue to barre every fret up the neck without the help of your other fingers. Every time you strum, you should hear each note ring clearly. 
  • Do this exercise anytime you are having trouble playing a barre chord.

Method 8

This F chord is played with the major shape starting on the 5th string.

f easy
  • Place your index finger on the 8th fret of the 5th string.
  • Place your middle finger on the 10th fret of the 4th string.
  • Place your ring finger on the 10th fret of the 3rd string.
  • Place your pinky on the 10th fret of the 2nd string.

Method 9

Ouch my fingers! This shape is not so easy, but you should still try it for fun.

f chord guitar beginners
  • Place your index finger on the 5th fret of the 3rd string and barre.
  • Place your middle finger on the 6th fret of the 2nd string.
  • Place your ring finger on the 7th fret of the 4th string.
  • Place your pinky on the 8th fret of the 5th string.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you play an F chord with small hands?

The open F chord is a great option for those with small hands. I have small hands myself, and sometimes I have to utilize the muscles of my arm or upper body to help me play a chord properly.

Why am I unable to play F chord?

It is likely you aren’t barring with proper technique.

When executing a barre chord, you do not want to squeeze the guitar’s neck. This creates unnecessary tension in your left hand. 

Instead, let the gravity of your arm pull downward onto the fretboard. This takes an immense amount of pressure off the muscles of your hand and utilizes physics to do all the work for you. 

I discuss this more in the article : Learn Bar Chords On The Guitar

What is an F suspended chord?

An F sus chord is not an F Major chord. An F sus chord is made from the notes F Bb C. These chords are often used together to create tension and resolution. Read more about suspended guitar chords here.

How do you play open F on guitar?

See method 1.

Conclusion

The F chord is made of the notes FAC. Major triads are built from a root, M3, and P5. There are many ways to play the f chord, but the open position is the best way for a beginner to learn. Many beginner guitarists struggle with the F chord because it has a barre. The F chord may be difficult, but it is not impossible. Barre chords are a skill that you can master with practice, even if you have small hands.

The F barre chord may be scary, but you shouldn’t be afraid of a chord because it can’t hurt you.

guitar chord f

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