#1
Hey all. I come to this site all the time and finally noticed how great the forums are. Maybe you guys can give me some advice.

I've been playing guitar for a year. Learning on a strat. I love it. Teaching myself with online videos and it's all working great. I practice every day and honestly, or teaching myself, I think I'm pretty good. I wouldn't consider myself a guitarist but I definitely feel like I'm moving past the beginner stage.

But one big problem. F chord is driving me nuts. I know this is generally the hardest chord to learn. But like everything else I've learned I want to perfect it before moving on to avoid problems later. I'm being patient. I know there are easier variations but I want to learn the barre version. I can make the chord ring out perfectly. The real problem is chord changes. I'm just way to slow going to F. Going from F is fine. But I just can't get any faster. I've been practicing it for months and I want to nail this finally. Any advice?
#2
Just keep practicing. Slow at first. VERY slow at first. This took me a long time too. I was in awe with people blazing through chord changes with F, but after a while you get used to it and it's not hard at all. Keep practicing!

-Nick
If a pizza has a radius of "Z" and a height of "A" it has a volume of pi(z)(z)(a)
#3
Thanks Nick. It's what I keep hearing. I wish there was a little light at the end of the tunnel. At least let me ask this...does anybody have a method for the change? Is there a finger you lay down first for positioning? Ring finger? Or do the barre first? Or is just all at once?

Thanks again.
#4
I think it doesn't really matter which fingers you plant first. What matters is the muscle memory that you get from practicing. After you get that, everything will just fall into place. When practicing it, you want to start off slow, like Nick said. So, for example, you can slowly finger the F chord, and then when you get more confident, try to go faster at having your fingers in place.

I personally only got F down after 1.5 years of playing. Though, I didn't touch F at all within that time, so I probably got good at it while learning other techniques. With regular practice, you should be able to get it down within weeks at most.
#5
As I'm switching to the Fmaj barre I seem to be moving all fingers into position simultaneously. As was said before, just practice the chord changes slowly and make sure your fingering is correct with your thumb properly located behind the neck and no muted notes.
#6
How are your barre chords further up the neck?
Actually called Mark!

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#7
When I took lessons, one thing I learned (one of few), is you should practice doing the chord at once, instead of putting the fingers down individually. Just keep practicing, learn some songs with the F chord in it? You'll get it eventually =) It took me forever to be able to play it clearly, keep going at it mate d(^.^)b
#8
Quote by steven seagull
How are your barre chords further up the neck?


Actually, the chords seems to ring out better for me further up the neck. Any explanation for this?

Although I have to say that I usually can ring it out really well in general. My problem is the speed on the changes.
#9
It's easier to fret further up the neck, therefore it's easier to hold down a barre chord and get it to ring out cleanly.

All you need to do is practice, after all the chord shape is exactly the same wherever you play it. All that's changing is the resistance from the strings so the more you practice and work on them the easier it'll gradually become.
Actually called Mark!

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#10
Depending on the chord you are changing from there may be some common fingers you can keep planted while you move the rest into position which can make it easier.

From CMaj -> FMaj for ex. The ring finger would remain on the 3rd fret 5th string.
#11
Quote by stugots945
Hey all. [...]

But one big problem. F chord is driving me nuts. I know this is generally the hardest chord to learn. But like everything else I've learned I want to perfect it before moving on to avoid problems later. I'm being patient. Any advice?


It took me months to get the F barre chord to ring properly. The trick is to keep your fingers, wrists and arms relaxed, at all times. Finger speed comes with time -- but you have to /start slow/. Only work on getting faster once you can play a chord progression with F barred absolutely dead-on perfect.

Here's an exercise: Play A major, now play F barre. Start slow, make it sound perfect. Then speed up until you can play them without thinking about it -- your fingers are doing all the work, not you. You can exchange A major with any other chord, say, E major, or C major.

Failing that, two cheats:

1. You can try and learn to play the F chord (or any other barre chord for that matter) the Jimi Hendrix way. That is, using your thumb. See http://www.theloneguitaristblog.com/beginner/jimi-hendrix-teach-rhythm-guitar/ .

2. You can try and cheat, by only playing certain notes. See http://www.notplayingguitar.com/2009/08/easy-ways-to-play-f-chord-with-no-bar.html .

That doesn't mean you shouldn't learn how to properly play F barre, though!

Hope this helps,
Willem
#12
Thumb up for practicing the proper way!
I hate my rhytm guitarist "cheating" on F. I can never tell what he's holding. Aaargh! It's so annoying to me! I'd buy you a beer for playing Fmaj properly!

Just play..in a couple of weeks you'll get better at changes.
#13
Practice, Practice, Practice. It took me a while to get that chord to. I never could have a smooth transition into the chord. Practice makes perfect though.
***Guitars***
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***Amps***
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#14
Thanks guys. Sounds like what I'm dealing with is all normal. I should've mentioned, I have no problem going from Cmaj using an anchor finger. I can also go back and forth between F and Emaj just by sliding my last 3 fingers. Although, after a few times it feels like my fingers aren't as sharp on the strings as I'd like. As if they got sloppy and slipped off the tips of my fingers. Still trying to work on that. And all of it. Thanks again for the advice.
#15
Mate, you'll go for months with seemingly no progress but the truth is you probably are getting quicker you just don't notice because you practice so often, then one day it just clicks!

Keep at it, it's well worth it!
#16
You guys have all been great on here. Mind if I ask a couple more technique questions?

1. Is it okay if your middle finger sorta "locks" when playing this? Sorta stiffens up rather than staying curved?

2. How much pressure should you be putting on to make this ring out? I feel like I'm pressing my thumb pretty hard against the neck. I've heard this is normal and necessary and that the muscles will eventually strengthen up and you won't feel tired.

Thanks a ton guys.
#18
the F chord is a tricky animal because most of the time you will use it before and after an open chord. usually, playing up the neck you go from bar to bar chord and its not as hard, but here you have to bring your index finger, which is usually low on the fret board, and bring it all the way up to bar, that is why its difficult.

At first your fingers wont have enough strength, so it will feel tight. your midle finger locks up because you are using its tendons to help the index finger. When you practice it long enough, you will have enough strength in your index finger, thumb and forearm to bar without flexing your middle finger. So just keep practicing (at first just hold the bar as long as you can, rest and repeat)

Finally, make sure when you bar, you are pinching the strings, applying equal pressure from both sides. and make sure your middle finger doesnt help by pressing against the index finger.
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