#1
Good evening all this place is enormous by the way!

Anyhow I will get straight to the point. I have been learning guitar (acoustic) for around 3 months now. I can play between basic open chords (A, Am, G, E, Em, D, C) I just make stuff up and moving between them chords in different sequences. Im not sure if I am learning quite slow as it has been 3 months now! But I moved onto practicing the full F the one you bar.



I am struggling alot at the moment I can not bar on the strings down with my index finger once in a blue moon I can do it but its rare. I have a cheap acoustic that I got of Ebay and the strings are not that close to the threat board. The other day I picked up an electric for the first time (my friends) and I could bar quite easily! I just wonder if I am struggling because of my cheap acoustic or do I just need to keep going?

Most of the times when I try to bar there is always one or two strings I cannot get to play I can never get all the strings down for a clear sound. I try rolling my finger back slightly to have a more stiff edge but still I am really really struggling with this. I also tried the bar on the 5th fret but again I struggle. I really feel like I need some sort of advice with this. I am very keen to continue the never ending journey but this really is very frustrating
#2
Quote by Twist2009
and the strings are not that close to the threat board.


the most brutal fret board ever made
but ya its just cause your not used to it, also since the F chord is so close to the nut its one of the hardest to barre
practice man you just need to get stronger.

and i had the same thing first time i tried on an electric it was easy! but keep practicing on your acoustic it will come eventually

edit: also where do you have your thumb? its best to place it on the middle of the back of the neck rather then over or near the top
#3
^this
everyone has this problem learning an F
and electric is easier because the strings are lighter
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#4
Quote by stephen_rettie
the most brutal fret board ever made
but ya its just cause your not used to it, also since the F chord is so close to the nut its one of the hardest to barre
practice man you just need to get stronger.

and i had the same thing first time i tried on an electric it was easy! but keep practicing on your acoustic it will come eventually

edit: also where do you have your thumb? its best to place it on the middle of the back of the neck rather then over or near the top


Hi Stephen thankyou for your reply. My thumb is on the middle of the back of the neck I found that way myself it helped me put more pressure onto the strings! I do not intend to go near an electric guitar until I have learnt alot ont he acoustic

I practice about 30 minutes per evening at the moment, hopefully I will be changing that to one hour a night soon. I just hope it does click I cannot ring all the strings clearly in a bar at all.
#5
you should start practising something else like scales, when you practice scales your chord playing also benefits and vice versa, and that way you will progress much faster
#6
Quote by jimmypopali
you should start practising something else like scales, when you practice scales your chord playing also benefits and vice versa, and that way you will progress much faster


I am really keen to continue moving between my open chords whilst learning Bars. But hey I could give that a go I guess.
#7
Quote by Twist2009
Hi Stephen thankyou for your reply. My thumb is on the middle of the back of the neck I found that way myself it helped me put more pressure onto the strings! I do not intend to go near an electric guitar until I have learnt alot ont he acoustic

I practice about 30 minutes per evening at the moment, hopefully I will be changing that to one hour a night soon. I just hope it does click I cannot ring all the strings clearly in a bar at all.


thats a good ethic, thats what i did as well. stopped a lot of bad habits from forming.
ya 30mins is a bit short for massive breakthrough, hours pretty good, try and play songs with F chords in them like little wing by jimi, this will increase your changing speed and finger strength at the same time, and it also fun.
remember to try and learn techniques at the same time as songs so you get a reward when you master them!
keep going man and if you a teacher is always helpful.
#8
There's another fingering for that chord that may be easier for you, so long as you realize that you will also need to perform the F with the full barre at times. See, it depends on the chord shapes just before and just after this one that dictates which way you can go.
But first, some fun stuff for you. Have a look at your chord diagram again. Think about this, why stress out your brain and fingers by trying to press down all 6 strings with your forefinger when all you really need to be pressing down with that one is the B and high E strings. You've already got the A, D and G strings covered by fretting those at the 3rd, 3rd and 2nd frets, respectively. So, try a mini-barre across only the B and high E strings with your forefinger, then the rest as normal. It's actually a much easier way of performing it, but it does take some practice to pull off. I've got to roll my forefinger back onto it's side a bit in order to get this one. But, it's faster to transition to from most of the open chords. Heck, it's almost the C chord shape, so it fits.
Now, back to what I said earlier about chords before and after. If you'll be going to or coming from a barre G, or maybe a B shape, you might want to keep to the full barre shaped F since they are already that shape, just on different frets.
You'll get the hang of this over time and be able to see which one you should use for any given piece at a glance. Just offering you a viable alternative that I know works. Luck to ya.
#10
Hey, I've had the same problem since I started playing. A year and a half later and I'm just now starting to get it. I can play them clearly, but I'm not fast getting to barre chords yet. Just be patient and let it come to you. Barre chords are really frusterating, but once you get them down you can play SO MUCH MORE MUSIC!

One thing I found very helpful was playing songs in all-barre style. So, instead of playing in standard open chords, use the barre versions of the chords in your song. This will increase your hand strength faster than anything else I can think of. Once you get to the point that you can play all-barre with ease, you can move on to open and barre songs. This will help with your switching speed.

A nice easy song that will help with some picking/sliding as well as barre chords is banana pancakes by jack johnson. Fun little song, and all of the chords are barre.

Good luck, and welcome to UG!
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Last edited by Natrone at Dec 6, 2008,
#11
hey there

i remember trying to learning this too, and it really is all practice

aside from what has been mentioned, one thing that i figured out (and maybe you have too), is that you don't really need to bar all six strings with your index finger to get the appropriate sound. the 3 middle strings (a, d, g) are taken care of by the rest of your fingers. therefore, you only need to worry about applying pressure to the top e, bottom e, and b string.

then you can almost just arch your index finger, because you aren't worried about holding down the middle three strings.

hopefully that helps, after i figured this out, it was way easier. of course, after you've mastered this, it is nice to bar all six strings, in case you want to play around with chord variations and stuff....you can probably worry about that later.
#12
Just keep practiseing and don't succumb to the weaknees of an electric guitar, your skills will be more thourly developed on the acoustic.

Oh and for hard barre chordes try the B
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#13
Lol.

TS, I've been playing nothing but barre chords for the last few days. I can actually feel my hand getting stronger
Quote by necrosis1193
As usual Natrone's mouth spouts general win.

Quote by Silverstein14
man, Natrone you're some kind of ninja I swear


Quote by gregs1020
plexi


i realize the longshot that is. little giant to humongous one.


Rest In Peace Stevie Ray
#14
Thankyou for all your advice guys much appreciated. Looks like I will just keep practising! As for only barring three strings I have been trying this but finding it hard to arch the finger.

Cannot wait when I can finally get a bar chord down correctly!

Cheers
#15
^ 2 strings. Forget about the low E for the time being. You can still get a nice sounding F chord without it. By adding it just gives you a fuller low end to the chord, but it's ok without the low F note as well. Which is precisely why I suggested you try the mini-barre of only the B and high E strings. You don't need to rest your forefinger across the whole fretboard to do it, just the tip across those two strings, then fret the remaining notes as normal. Give that a try once.
#16
that f chord is a heck of a challenge when you are a learner, i remember when i first started learning , i used to play songs with no f chord , because i was like omg, its too difficult, but i made myself do it, and now i dont even realise the effort i put into it, i learnt to play on a spanish guitar (VERY WIDE NECKS) but thankfully my parents bought me a nice 6 string hohner guitar, and it was so much nicer and easier to play on. i currently own a yamaha accoustic, and i love playing it.ive had many guitars over the years, but this one i enjoy the most. ive been playing for like 15 years.
#17
Try putting your finger more up where your knuckle will be just on the edge of the fretboard.

It will be very hard to finger if you have the edge of your index finger on the E string.
#18
Quote by Rickjames730
Try putting your finger more up where your knuckle will be just on the edge of the fretboard.

It will be very hard to finger if you have the edge of your index finger on the E string.


Yes my finger is over the edge of the fretboard by quite a bit anyhow.
#19
Welcome to UG!

The F is probably the hardest chord to barre because it's right next to the nut and it requires you to barre all 6 strings. Your struggles with it now will definitely reward you later on though, so keep trying at it.
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#20
start high up on the neck and get the barre right, and then move down until it gets impossible at the first or second fret, then start up high again and move it down, it gets easier and easier
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#21
try this till you get better

e 1
B 1
G 2
D 3
A x
E x

once you can do that then try the barre chord F
#22
You could always try using your thumb to play the bass note which means you only need to barre the e and b strings.
#23
don't worry man, the closer you come to the nut the harder it is to barre. i am in the process of learning bar chords right now and im getting decent at them. just start at the 6th or 5th fret with the same shape as the F chord and when you get it clean at for example at the 5th fret move on to the fourth and so on. the one thats causing me problems is B though its a weird stretch because you have to press hard with your index finger and at the same thing move all of 3 other fingers one fret...but i'll get it with time.
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