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  #31  
Old 08-21-2013, 10:06 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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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
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  #32  
Old 08-21-2013, 10:14 PM
Cypress Knee Cypress Knee is offline
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Practice and more practice. If you learn the barre chords for G at the third fret and A at the fifth fret, they are the same shape. Practice using the F shape for the third fret G and fifth fret A, both with full barre on the index finger, just four strings with r m i i and then five strings with t x r m i i and just move it up the fret board until you get to the F position. May take some time but is doable.

Once you get that down you can work on your B flat 7th sus 4.

CK
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  #33  
Old 08-21-2013, 10:23 PM
harmonics101 harmonics101 is offline
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Cyprus Knee, I'm confused with your notation <t x r m i i>

What's the x for ?

Why not just do < t p r m i i > thumb wrap F using all 6 strings,

Where t= thumb p = pinky .... r m i being ring middle index respectively

Harmonics
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  #34  
Old 08-21-2013, 10:29 PM
joseriverasound joseriverasound is offline
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Once you master it forget it.chords with open strings sound better.
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  #35  
Old 08-21-2013, 10:32 PM
RobertForman RobertForman is offline
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I will add that if you consider arpeggiating a chord you will find that your hand doesn't have to work so hard, so play the bottom and then play the top, keep your hands moving and finesse the chord. play different voicings of a chord. like I said I started playing in 1978 and have played pretty much every day since then. and I know how to play barre chords, but I rarely if ever play the kind of fully barred F chord you are describing.
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  #36  
Old 08-21-2013, 10:39 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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The question was posed: "Does the "F" Chord CHALLENGE EVERYONE?"

Nope, not me. Not anymore. Not since about 1975 or '76.

At first? Sure. It's a difficult chord form compared to a lot of the others. Nothing to be ashamed of.

But since it's an essential chord, if you want to play the instrument you have to play it, and play it smoothly, cleanly and without hesitation whenever it's required.

The simple fact is that if you cannot play an F chord without pausing first to place your fingers just so, then you're not really a guitarist yet. You need to be able to play it cleanly and without prior thought or preparation.

So those who aren't quite there yet need to work on it, that's all there is to it. "Playing" guitar without being able to play an F chord is like driving a car without being able to make a left turn: it's kind of required, you know?


Wade Hampton Miller
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  #37  
Old 08-21-2013, 10:55 PM
Cypress Knee Cypress Knee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harmonics101 View Post
Cyprus Knee, I'm confused with your notation <t x r m i i>

What's the x for ?

Why not just do < t p r m i i > thumb wrap F using all 6 strings,

Where t= thumb p = pinky .... r m i being ring middle index respectively

Harmonics
If you are just playing the 1 and the 5 note in the bass, then there is no need to even try to fret the 3 note because you are not going to play it anyway. This is coming from someone using alternating bass fingerpicking patterns.

Regards,

CK
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  #38  
Old 08-22-2013, 05:29 AM
TwoMartinMan TwoMartinMan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
Check the guitar's string height set up, especially at the nut. If the setup is right, barre chords are pretty easy to do.
Ditto. This is critical.
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  #39  
Old 08-22-2013, 05:54 AM
Cue Zephyr Cue Zephyr is offline
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I struggle with F sometimes, I tend to press down insufficiently but I can get to it as quickly as anything. Then again, my left hand technique isn't what you'd call tidy. I'm having a lot less trouble with a Bb in that same position. Also, I'll have a lot less trouble with anything further up the neck than F.

I often play the F with my thumb and three fingers. This leaves my pinky free to add notes. Great for embellishments and chord melodies. Also, you can lift off the middle finger and get an Fsus2, lovely chord IMO.

I'll tell you though, F starting on the third fret (C-shape) ain't easy either! My main problem is muting the low E with my pinky.

My guitar's nut was actually replaced with a taller one, to get clearer notes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joseriverasound View Post
Once you master it forget it.chords with open strings sound better.
Agreed. I love substituting the normal F for Fmaj7sus2 when I'm in the key of C/Am.

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Last edited by Cue Zephyr; 08-22-2013 at 06:08 AM.
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  #40  
Old 08-22-2013, 06:01 AM
BDiamond BDiamond is offline
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One thing to keep in mind with the F barre chord is that the "barre" doesn't actually have to press down all 6 strings. I think it's helpful and a lot less work to press down the end of your finger on the low E string, and then the lower part of your finger on the high E and B strings, leaving no contact in the middle, where the other fingers are working.

The other thing with that chord is that very rarely will I ever need to hear all six notes, especially playing with other musicians, so often a different register chord will work a lot better and be easier. OR, if it works contextually, Fmaj7 is way more beautiful.
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  #41  
Old 08-22-2013, 06:06 AM
Guest316
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Hampton View Post
The simple fact is that if you cannot play an F chord without pausing first to place your fingers just so, then you're not really a guitarist yet.
Naw, I gotta disagree with that - I would characterize it more as "You're a guitarist that has an area you need to work on - -" or something like that. I know some people that are pretty good guitarists (not Segovias, but pretty good) that avoid the full-on F barre. I find it as easy as a D and have played it since the 70's, but I'm not gonna tell a person that they're not a guitarist because they're missing a chord form.
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  #42  
Old 08-22-2013, 07:03 AM
mc1 mc1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beetlescott View Post
I guess this is probably the most elementary of all questions. I am pretty sure that everyone who comes to this site has probably passed this problem up long ago. I can play the "F" chord, but there are days.....I not only have a problem with the F, but I am having a time using my index finger to bar all the way across the fret board! I have buddies who seem to be able to do this as easily as I can play C. Please tell me i'm not alone here!!! Let me hear some stories of how you overcame the "F" chord??

threads on barring or F chords come up rather frequently, so you could search out a few for lots of tips. for example, curve your index finger to get more strength, and put pressure where you need it. in this case the index finger doen't need to fret the inner strings, since they are fretted by other fingers. the index need to fret the low E and high B and E, but not the rest. there's lots of advice around here.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
Practice and patience...the only remedy.

just my luck, by the time I could play a first position F barre chord cleanly every time I got into music that essentially never requires a six string major barre chord ever.
that's funny - ain't it just the way.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMartyr View Post
The F chord is where proper posture becomes important. You have to be either standing and strapped in, or sitting in performance posture. The chord is easier to play when the rest of your body is properly postured. So sit up straight, just make sure to relax your shoulders. It does take a while to develop the hand strength. Make sure to get a good foothold on the apex of the neck with the meat of your thumb.

And I know this is going to sound like the opposite of what you should do, but try this. Relax when you play it. Relax and strum a Reggae rhythm.
and pay attention to where that elbow is.
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  #43  
Old 08-22-2013, 07:11 AM
string1399 string1399 is offline
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Which one's the F chord?
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  #44  
Old 08-22-2013, 07:13 AM
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Acousticado Acousticado is offline
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They don't call it an "F" chord fer nuthin, if you catch my drift!

I don't recall it ever really being a problem for me, but that was 37+ years ago and my memory could be failing me. Imo, there's no real tricks…just good old fashioned practice, and practice some more. It always comes in good time.
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  #45  
Old 08-22-2013, 07:20 AM
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It's all in how you distribute the pressure across your index finger. Hard to explain. But for radiused fret boards more pressure is required on the outside strings than in the middle to achieve a clear chord.

Also, for many chord progressions, a partial F-chord is more than sufficient. Keep your pinky, ring, and middle fingers in the same position, but only bar the top two notes on the first fret (E and B strings) and don't hit the low E string when you strum.
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