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Old 01-11-2017, 09:50 PM
ncognito1 ncognito1 is offline
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Default F Chord

A friend is having some difficulty with the F chord. Any suggestions?
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:00 PM
reeve21 reeve21 is online now
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Don't make the whole bar. Just fret the top 2 strings with the first finger. That still lets you play the top 5 strings.

If that is too tough right now then have him make a C chord, move the ring and middle fingers over one string towards the top (high e) string, and lay the forefinger flat across the top 2 strings forefinger. Now he can play the top 4 strings.
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:03 PM
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play it day after day in conjunction with other chords. in no time, that person will be moving around a bunch of chords.

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Old 01-11-2017, 10:04 PM
YamahaGuy YamahaGuy is offline
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If your friend has long thumbs, cover high e and B strings with index, and use the thumb to cover the low E string.

Thumb placement in playing the Barre chords is very critical. It should be right behind the index finger.

I use a hand strength exerciser from time to strengthen my hand for Barre chords.

Maybe start with a Bm since it's the same shape but one less string.

Alternative, capo 1st and play an E chord.

It took me a good year to get it down.
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncognito1 View Post
A friend is having some difficulty with the F chord. Any suggestions?
Yes.....obviously you can use shortcuts and that will get you by, but instead of avoiding it, the only "best" answer is to just keep practicing it and be patient. We all had to face that issue. Avoiding it won't help him do it better.

That's like training for a marathon by avoiding running.
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by ncognito1 View Post
A friend is having some difficulty with the F chord. Any suggestions?
Like everyone has said, tough it through, but putting a capo on the 4th fret for instance to practice it makes it a bit easier due to the change in angle for the arm and the possible effect of a correction to the setup by the capo. Practice it on the 4th and work down to no capo over time.

If it is still hard after doing the above, your friend's guitar needs a setup.
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:31 PM
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Have your friend read posts in the "Play" section of the forum.
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:32 PM
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Suggestions:

E chord @ capo 1
D chord @ capo 3
C chord @ capo 5
A chord @ capo 8
G chord @ capo 10

Seriously, who needs barre chords when you have a capo? ;-)

In all seriousness though, there will be some intense pain and suffering. We all go through it. Partial chord is a solution, but the full shape adds the bass notes and rounds it out. Play around with finger positioning (i.e. rolling the finger a bit on the side) and such and also make sure the action at the nut isn't too high.
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:34 PM
vindibona1 vindibona1 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncognito1 View Post
A friend is having some difficulty with the F chord. Any suggestions?
It's the same answer as the one to "how do you get to symphony hall"?

Practice.

The hand has to develop strength and coordination. That F bar on the first fret is the most difficult one because of its proximity to the nut. I recommend playing bar G's or A's on the 3rd or 5th fret using the F-bar shape to start. Once the hand learns to do that then it's just a matter of developing strength and moving down to the 1st fret.

Sure, your friend can learn the standard F without the bar which he should also learn. But often new players use that fingering is a crutch to avoid learning bar chords. The sooner he begins practicing the bar chords the sooner everything else will open up for his playing.
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Old 01-11-2017, 11:29 PM
Looburst Looburst is offline
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Force yourself to play it until you're sick of hearing it for a day or so, then start back at it again. Rome wasn't built in a day and the same holds true for any decent guitar player. I used to never approach barre chords and boy was I missing out. Yes, there's always ways around it but the best remedy is to take the medicine like the doctor ordered. I don't care if you buzz or hear muting at first, stick with it! It's a muscle that needs to be exercised to build it up. It WILL open up sooo much more in the future, that you never knew you could do.
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Old 01-12-2017, 01:28 AM
Cas-v86 Cas-v86 is offline
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just play the shape everywhere up the neck and gradually make your way towards the head stock. Its much easier to play from the say 3rd fret and up. Should become 2nd nature after a month or 2. You'll/he'll need the full F chord anyway if you wanna become a 'uncompromised' (don't know if that makes sense, I'm Dutch) player so I would not advice to play partial F chords or anything like that.
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Old 01-12-2017, 06:11 AM
Neonzapper Neonzapper is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncognito1 View Post
A friend is having some difficulty with the F chord. Any suggestions?
In the beginning, tuck your left elbow in to touch the left side of your body (keeping your elbow close to the guitar) while pushing the guitar farther to the left (but not forward away from your body). Later, when you get more comfortable, you can make the F chord at 90 degrees using more of the wrist.
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Old 01-12-2017, 08:35 AM
beninma beninma is offline
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All of the above but what was critical for me was trying to play the shape up the neck.

If your friend can do it up the neck then the guitar setup definitely needs to be checked.

Mine was that way, I took mine in, they worked on the nut, I could immediately do the F chord without any strain when I got it back. I still can't switch to the F chord quickly/easily without looking down but I haven't really been practicing it anyway. But it's easy to get it to work now. It was a huge difference once the setup had been adjusted well. My guitar is vastly easier to play in general now.
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Old 01-12-2017, 09:20 AM
Earwitness Earwitness is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
Have your friend read posts in the "Play" section of the forum.
Clever on many levels.


I'll add that there are several stages of F: to get it, to get it quickly, to use barre chords without fatigue, and to get it cleanly and on pitch on all strings. Seems like there is some improvement to F that can always be worked on--well, for me. .
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Old 01-12-2017, 10:27 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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I'm just going to agree with all these points:

1. check the guitar setup. Put a capo on fret 1 and see if the guitar (as a whole) is easier to play - ie does basic fretting need less pressure. If it does, the nut needs lowering. (It should feel as easy as that with no capo.)

2. practice the shape further up the neck. It shouldn't be much easier to press the strings down (on a well set-up guitar), but the frets are closer, which helps. This is not just to get the F working, but that barre shape is the standard one for all major chords not available as open position chords, and also for movable versions of those open chords. I.e., eventually you will be using that shape all over the neck, not just for F.

3. play the middle 4 strings with one finger each (ring 5, pinky 4, middle 3, index 2). Use the thumb to mute the 6th string, and lean the index over to mute the 1st string. That's a perfectly usable (and complete) F major chord, and quite easy to change to and from a C chord (the usual companion to an F).
If you can lean the index enough to fret the 1st string as well the 2nd (double-jointing) - and/or wrap the thumb to fret the 6th - so much the better! But that's not necessary if you can mute those strings.

4. Other options for F (not necessarily practical if other chords in the song are in open position):

x-x-3-2-1-1. Many beginner books suggest barring that 1st fret (good if you can do it), but you can play this with 4 different fingers (pinky-ring-index-middle). Obviously it's hard to mute the 6th and 5th strings if you're strumming this shape - which is why it's not really practical in the long run. (The middle 4 strings shape is much more usable.)

x-8-7-5-6-(5). The top string note is optional, and can be muted by the index if you can't get the index to barre the top 3. Again, for strumming, you can mute the 6th with the thumb.

x-8-10-10-10-(8). Again the top string is optional, so this is doable without a barre - unless you want to use a ring finger barre on 10. If you can do the index barre, then you can take it all the way across to 6th... but then if you can do this barre, the other 6-string barre shape shouldn't be a problem...
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