#1
Hi, newbi here, what is the secret to playing the open F chord? I know practice, practice, practice but this chord is a tough one for me. Any tricks that worked for any of you. Thanks
#2
Aside from practice, practice, practice?

More practice.

It takes time, but you'll get there in the end.
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#4
After less than 2 weeks of practice(maybe even less) you will be looking back to this post and trying to figure out why the f you ever had trouble with the F chord, I assure you. Of the main chords on first position (excluding 7ths, diminished and so on) the F is the hardest to get used to because of the bare, but it's an invaluable skill to have. Just practice, it will come in time.
#5
How do you find the open C chord?

I ask because the only thing I could really suggest, other than practicing of course is getting used to that chord as they're relatively similar. A couple of minor adjustments from an open C and you get an F.

In tab form a C:

e|---0----
B|---1----
G|---0----
D|---2----
A|---3----
E|---------

and an F:

e|---1----
B|---1----
G|---2----
D|---3----
A|---------
E|---------

You can see from this that the shapes are pretty similar (so long as you're not looking at Barre Chords yet) so once your fingers get used to the C the F should follow pretty naturally.

Hope this helps, and don't let it deter you if it takes a while!
Last edited by turtles_head at Feb 20, 2012,
#6
Use the side of your first finger, where the skin is not as thick. Try to "twist" the neck, as it were. If all else fails, become very adept at quickly installing and removing a capo.
Yeah
#7
Quote by TehDutchDude
If all else fails, become very adept at quickly installing and removing a capo.


Let me translate.

If you can't be bothered to practice the F chord then take the easy way out even though it's not practical at all.


Repetition is key
#8
It's a tough one for every beginner. As people above said, practice (repetition) does the trick.
But you should also make sure you're actually using the correct left hand posture for such a chord with a bar-which is the Classical Grip Posture.
You can find explenation on the two different left hand postures in this video, and probably in many other places.
Short posture article and video here:
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1091796
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#9
Practice.

Its gonna sound like crap but eventually, youll just get it somehow and if you do it enough it just happens without even thinking about it. Ah, the beauty of practice.
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#10
Not sure if we're talking about a barred F here, or only a 4 string version.

But I sometimes don't even "bar" a "barred" F chords. Confused?

What I do is wrap my thumb around the neck to press the 1st fret on the low E string then use my first finger to press on the high B & E string, the remaining fingers are used to make the E-chord shape.

Oh, and practice!! It'll eventually come quite naturally. Try to use as little force as required as this chord in particular will strain you wrist pretty bad.

Hope that helps.
Last edited by josephgriffiths at Feb 21, 2012,
#11
Quote by 2bsticks
Hi, newbi here, what is the secret to playing the open F chord? I know practice, practice, practice but this chord is a tough one for me. Any tricks that worked for any of you. Thanks

The F chord is the toughest chord for a lot of people, I've noticed. If you're just getting started, you probably don't have the finger strength to press down firmly enough to sound all of the barred notes cleanly.

Personally, I like to lay my index finger sideways and crooked slightly so that my first knuckle is pointing towards the headstock. For some reason, that seems to help me distribute the force from my finger a little more easily than laying it on there flat.

Just remember that barre chords are tough and you're just beginning. It took me forever to get them right and I was very discouraged by the difficulty until one day it just happened and everything sounded properly.
#12
best advice I ever got on all tough chords I got on this site and it still works wonders for me.

Whenever Im struggling with a new chord shape or a transitition I slow it down bigtime. Like paint dry slow. Also I make sure each string I want to play is ringing clearly. Finally once I have that I release the tension on the strings, but dont remove my fingers (essentially muting the strings). Then I bare down. Release, bare down... all while leaving your hand in the chord position. I will do this every 4-5 seconds for a minutes (say 15-20 reps). Play the chord progression again really slow, and when I come back to the tough one do it incredibly slow and repeat that tension exercise.

F and B, as well as their minor and 7ths are the most important chords you will learn. The open the entire fret board and you can do 1000 cool things with those chords up and down the fretboard. Stuff that looks really slick and sounds great but is incredibly simple
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#13
Thanks for all the tips, I am plugging away. Also the action, although not too bad down towards the headstock (or is it up?) sorry, I'm a drummer by trade, having the action lowered a bit. The guitar is a Telecaster I bought used to me the action seems a bit high.
#14
Quote by josephgriffiths
What I do is wrap my thumb around the neck to press the 1st fret on the low E string then use my first finger to press on the high B & E string, the remaining fingers are used to make the E-chord shape.


Hope that helps.


If my guitar is slung low, I use my thumb for the low F.

I had loads of trouble with barre chords, now they are the easiest to play. It's all about practice like most have said.

Look at this link to see the Kiss classic "Beth" played acoustic by John Corabi
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UYzLf97KV4

It involves quick changes from Am to G to F. I never would have been able to play that a year ago but I played that yesterday with ease,
#16
Quote by 2bsticks
Hi, newbi here, what is the secret to playing the open F chord? I know practice, practice, practice but this chord is a tough one for me. Any tricks that worked for any of you. Thanks
Open F? An open chord is a chord where at least 1 string is not fretted. F is not played that way. You probably mean this:

e|-1-|
B|-1-|
G|-2-|
D|-3-|
A|--|
E|--|

Or this:

e|-1-|
B|-1-|
G|-2-|
D|-3-|
A|-3-|
E|-1-|

An "open" F would be something like this:

e|---|
B|-1-|
G|-X-|
D|-3-|
A|-0-|
E|-1-|

But no one ever plays it.
#17
Quote by MaddMann274
Practice makes perfect.

and F is not an open chord by the way.
He means the F where you only barre on the B and e strings and don't play the E or A. I personally find this form more annoying than the barre but do whatever you feel better with.
#18
Quote by SoulCrazyDemon
He means the F where you only barre on the B and e strings and don't play the E or A. I personally find this form more annoying than the barre but do whatever you feel better with.



Still not an open chord, dude.
#19
A) F is not an open chord unless you tune to F or capo 1 or something...

B) It's a barre chord.

One alternative that's a bit of colloquialism or "slang" type method is to use your thumb instead of the actual barre on 1.

There's nothing technically wrong with doing it that way, but purists may tell you it's "wrong."

I have found that some folks find it easier to play F and other barre chords this way, with the thumb covering the low e string, and it puts your other fingers in a better position anyway.

It's worth a shot. May work for you, maybe not. Hope it does! Good luck.
#20
Quote by Floss Ninja

One alternative that's a bit of colloquialism or "slang" type method is to use your thumb instead of the actual barre on 1.

There's nothing technically wrong with doing it that way, but purists may tell you it's "wrong."

I have found that some folks find it easier to play F and other barre chords this way, with the thumb covering the low e string, and it puts your other fingers in a better position anyway.

It's worth a shot. May work for you, maybe not. Hope it does! Good luck.


Some people call this the, "Hendrix Grip" since he either invented it, or used it extensively.

I use it out of habit, but find it causes more sideways deflection in the strings, (than a genuine barre), hence there is more of an off pitch sound to it.

OK, maybe that's just me. But, if I want accurate voicing, I use a grande barre, even at the first fret.

To the, OP learning a full barre chord right at the beginning, may seem quite daunting. That said, once you learn it, the whole fret board opens up to you. Worth the effort, IMO.

And I'll chime in on the basic theme here, "there is NO such thing as an "open F chord". It's a barre, plain and simple. There are no open strings sounding.

While it is true that you could play the top four strings and allow the A-5 to sound open. It's a crappy sounding voicing with a double 3rd. Learn the barre...
Last edited by Captaincranky at Feb 23, 2012,
#21
Speaking as someone who literally JUST got his F chord under control... F chord 101 is to use the side of your finger, yeah. But what works best for me is to use the side of my knuckle on my first finger to nail those annoying B and E strings down (especially that B).

I had a lot of trouble with it until I started getting a callus on the side of my first finger. Then the F chord got super easy. Mine's not perfect yet, but that frustration with the F chord is still fresh in my mind, and I know exactly how annoying it can be.

Keep practicing --> you get a callus on the side of your finger --> F chord is worlds easier
#22
Hey Poglia the first image you posted is the F chord I am struggling with. Sorry to call it an open chord. Seems to be sounding a bit better the more I do it. Just taking it slow. Thanks for all the tips folks.
#23
You can get calluses on the side of your finger? Hmm, I must not be barreing enough because I don't have them after a year of playing (acoustic) . But I can barre just fine
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Quote by theogonia777
well said

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bitch ain't no way they'll ever have telescopes that can see pluto

but we have telescopes that can see pluto so fuck that guy
#24
Practice!! Once you get the hang of it, you'll never know how you wasn't able to do it in the first place!
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#25
I use the classic Hendrix/Townshend method of using the thumb. I've played for 5 years now, it's just how i play chords. I'll explain. Do THIS chord:

1
1
2
3
x
x

NOW add a thumb on the first fret of the low E string for a bass note:

1
1
2
3
x
1(thumb)

You don't get the first 5th on the A string but I prefer that because it gives more space for extra notes. Also, you can do all those cool hammer-ons with your pinky. Once you know that... wait for it... wait for it...

PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!!! Good luck and happy strummin'!

P.S. Don't be intimidated by us guitar nerds. We're just as dumb as anyone else.
#26
Playing a non-barre F is also a good chance to practice muting unwanted strings. I like this position for that purpose. Simple, yet has the 3 chord notes in order:

x
1
2
3
x
x

Try different muting options, for ex. your thumb to mute 6th and 5th and the base of your index to mute the 1st one.
Tip for barre chord workout: make a bow with the finger so you don't press the unnecesary strings played by the other left non-barre fingers (in F case would be 3,4&5th), and the strength goes to the tip of the index and to the base knuckle, which you should try to pull back.
Don't do this for a very long time and make stretching excercises so you don't get hurt.
Interrupting your playing because of this can be frustrating!

Take care!
Last edited by zyryab at Feb 24, 2012,