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  #46  
Old 08-22-2013, 09:37 AM
MikeBmusic MikeBmusic is offline
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Practice practice, build up your finger strength. Have a shop check your set up.
Learn when you can use the 'thumb wrap' method for the low E string, and when you can get away with just paying the top 4 or 5 strings.

BTW, the 'thumb wrap' method should be learned so you can play a full 6 string Fmaj7 chord!
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  #47  
Old 08-22-2013, 10:18 AM
Thorby Bislam Thorby Bislam is offline
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With my stubby 'sausage-like' fingers, I play a F like this ...

x
1
2
3
3
x

It may not be the F but it is a F.
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  #48  
Old 08-22-2013, 10:35 AM
dotfret dotfret is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mc1 View Post
pay attention to where that elbow is.
I couldn't get the hang of barre chords until I got a classical tutor out of the library and found that the biggest secret was keeping the left elbow away from the body.

I started practising with a cushion belted to my side with the cord of a bathrobe! Hey, it works ...
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  #49  
Old 08-22-2013, 10:48 AM
DIYJohn DIYJohn is offline
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There is already some good feedback in this thread. I'll just offer that it doesn't matter what applies to everyone because that can make you feel inferior when you face a struggle that may be unique to you. We will all struggle with different things in different ways. For instance, I don't consider myself good or talented at all. It may be that my place in the guitar world is to encourage others when they can look at me and say at least I'm not that guy

For me, it took almost a year to get through the beginner course on justinguitar. He introduces the full barre F very early and I never struggled with it. I do struggle with other things that may come easily to others but I just keep practicing, looking for encouragement here and doing this because I'm enjoying the journey.

If I can do it then I know you can and hopefully neither of us will get discouraged when something takes longer than expected.
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  #50  
Old 08-22-2013, 11:12 AM
grachi grachi is offline
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hey, my hand still hurts between the thumb and index fingers if there is a lot of barred F chords in a song... and i've been playing for 9 years. This is after 3 experienced players all telling me I was doing it right. Checked my setup on the guitar, too. Some people just don't have strong hands, I guess?

Anyway, Slightly tilting your index, which will make a "bridge" (VERY SLIGHT, though) with your second knuckle being the top of the "bridge" helps a ton. You only need to fret the B and e, and E strings afterall. Your middle, ring, and pinkie are covering the rest on the 2nd and 3rd frets.

Also make sure your thumb is pretty low on the neck, almost toward the high E. A lot of people say make sure its smack in the middle of the neck, but that still puts a lot of pain on my hand... I think I just have odd finger lengths though. Like I said I've been playing 9 years and i still get pain in my hand doing barred F chords.
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  #51  
Old 08-22-2013, 12:56 PM
Landru Landru is offline
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Bb chord is much harder than the F - a little respect, please, for the Bb.
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  #52  
Old 08-22-2013, 01:05 PM
Spook Spook is offline
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As is probably apparent from the previous posts, you are on a well worn path OP. This is good. It means the light at the end of the tunnel is not a train.

I'll add one thing I haven't seen yet: you need to build strength in your left hand. I highly recommend one of the many left hand exercisers. As these are also good for general stress relief, it's a win/win for dealing with the frustrations of getting your fingers to do what you want.

Guitar brings a lifetime of joy.. hang in.. deep breaths.. let it also teach you patience.
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  #53  
Old 08-22-2013, 01:31 PM
mc1 mc1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Landru View Post
Bb chord is much harder than the F - a little respect, please, for the Bb.
it deserves it's own thread, i'd say.
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  #54  
Old 08-22-2013, 05:31 PM
Dru Edwards Dru Edwards is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glennwillow View Post
Let me hear some stories of how you overcame the "F" chord?? --- You just get used to it. It takes time and practice. And you can play the F chord alternative ways to make it easier on yourself.

- Glenn
Great answer Glenn.

Scott - I had the same problem as you and it did take a while before I could play an F chord. Sometimes I felt like it would be impossible but with practice it all comes together eventually ... when depends upon the individual. Good luck!
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  #55  
Old 08-22-2013, 05:32 PM
JLed79 JLed79 is offline
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Default Does the "F" Chord CHALLENGE EVERYONE?

Perfect practice. Unrelenting perfect practice. That's the only way to master anything. The F chord is no exception.
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  #56  
Old 08-22-2013, 08:47 PM
skitoolong skitoolong is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Landru View Post
Bb chord is much harder than the F - a little respect, please, for the Bb.
Boy do I agree with this.

It took at least 6 months of focused every day work to get the F to a point where I could change in and out in time (most of the time). It opened up worlds to me... I say.

Then I stumbled on a Bb.

Oof.
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  #57  
Old 08-23-2013, 07:00 AM
kayakman kayakman is offline
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F chord really never a problem for me.
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  #58  
Old 08-23-2013, 07:05 AM
Guest316
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skitoolong View Post
Boy do I agree with this.

It took at least 6 months of focused every day work to get the F to a point where I could change in and out in time (most of the time). It opened up worlds to me... I say.

Then I stumbled on a Bb.

Oof.
F was a challenge when I first started playing back when Dinosaurs roamed the earth. But the Bb was easy - I use a doube barre for Bb, my index finger covers all 6 strings and my ring finger on the D, G, and B, then curved up a bit so the E rings freely. Don't know why, but this double barre chord was very easy from the start.
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  #59  
Old 08-23-2013, 07:17 AM
DaveKell DaveKell is offline
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I liken a beginner trying to play the F chord to my efforts at teaching all 3 of my kids to drive a standard shift vehicle. Lots of grinding and jerky starts and dumped clutches killing the car at first. They all wanted to give up and begged me to teach them in my Ranger pickup with an automatic. I told them a time is coming soon where you'll shift the car without any apparent brain involvement in the action and it will become automatic for you. Lots of practice and they all 3 eventually became expert at it and now are capable of driving any vehicle they want by learning on a standard. Incidentally, they all wanted a standard shift for their first car and got it. The F chord trips up nearly ALL beginning guitarists. Lots of muffled notes and unevenly fretted ones. It truly only comes with persistent practice but it does come and you'll wonder why you ever thought it was so hard in the first place. Like a particularly troublesome phrase in a fingerstyle piece I am trying to learn, I will isolate that phrase and play it all day over and over until my fingers seemingly can do it with no brain involvement. Hang in there and refuse to be frustrated, it's a choice you can consciously make. Play it all day switching from the C to the F over and over. Pretty soon you'll be able to play it on ANY guitar you pick up!
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  #60  
Old 08-23-2013, 02:07 PM
Jersey tuning Jersey tuning is offline
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46 years into playing I still can't comfortably barre, but the F done on the top four strings came within my first 6 months of playing, dicey at first but fine after a while. The thumb is my best friend for a pseudo-barre (no relation to suda-fed). And the F shape is wonderful of course for playing any major chord going up the fretboard............................just don't ask me to use the "full" version ie. a barred E chord played up and down the fretboard!
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