#1
from the first fret position. i'd post a picture, but that feature doesn't work.

i am wondering if maybe some people will ever be psychically able to play that chord properly.
for instance: my index finger is pretty long and boney, which i think is the problem. i can eventually hold it in place. but my index finger will not clamp down no matter what.
so i can't get the B and/or high E string down properly. even if i use my strumming hand to push down my fretting index finger.

this is a problem i notice only on the acoustic, that's why i bring it up here. i play an acoustic, steel string in standard tune.
begginer geetarest.
#2
Are you a newer player? If so it's just a matter of developing the finger strength. Acoustic guitars tend to be strung with a higher gauge and their action isn't always as low as electrics. You might want to tune down a whole step while you get more comfortable with the technique and then slowly build your way up. Or, grab a capo and play lower down the neck until you're used to it. Your actual fingers rarely tend to be the problem and muscle memory tends to solve this on its own with time.
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#4
megano28 
Quote by megano28
Are you a newer player? 

If so it's just a matter of developing the finger strength. Acoustic guitars tend to be strung with a higher gauge and their action isn't always as low as electrics. You might want to tune down a whole step while you get more comfortable with the technique and then slowly build your way up. Or, grab a capo and play lower down the neck until you're used to it. Your actual fingers rarely tend to be the problem and muscle memory tends to solve this on its own with time.

yes. 

well, that makes sense. i didn't think about the muscle thing. thanks. 
begginer geetarest.
#5
Quote by Tony Done
The nut might be too high. Press a string down between the 2nd and 3rd frets, and look at the gap between the 1st fret and the  string. It should barely discernible; the highest of mine are about the thickness of a sheet of paper, and the lowest touch the fret.

I'll have to look at that. that sounds like good advice too. thanks
begginer geetarest.
#7
I like to play F at the first fret with the thumb fretting the low string, the index finger fretting the high strings, and the last three fingers where they'd normally be on the barre chord. I think it's easier to play and gives the player a lot more options. If you don't like thumbing the low string, this isn't for you, but otherwise, give it a try. 
Death to Ovation haters!
#9
Nut height is the major factor.  Beginner's adjustment in practice of course.  
How you hold the guitar and wrist are also important factors.  Try tilting the neck up near a 45 deg angle, you will have to bend the wrist less.  Roll the index to the CC (counterclockwise/left ) side slightly.  Also practice Bb as it's a little easier and a good tuneup for F.
#11
 Practice different angles with your hand and thumb.  I never made an F the other way. To me it's harder to catch the high e and b strings with the index finger. 
Use the barred G and A instead of the open ones, on songs that you already know.  This will help build your strength. The hardest one I found was the B flat. 
Good luck! Hope these suggestions help you. 
#12
I had the same problem when I started out. It is a matter of building finger strength. For a finger workout I do this:
E--------------------------------------------------------- 1 2 3 4
B--------------------------------------------- 1 2 3 4
G---------------------------------- 1 2 3 4
D ---------------------- 1 2 3 4
A ----------1 2 3 4
E 1 2 3 4

Go down the whole fret board like that and go in reverse too. It helped me build up my fingers. Hope it helps man.
"Music became a healer for me. And I learned to listen with all my being. I found that it could wipe away all the emotions of fear and confusion relating to my family." Eric Clapton
#13
Quote by Blackwaterson89
I had the same problem when I started out. It is a matter of building finger strength. For a finger workout I do this:
E--------------------------------------------------------- 1 2 3 4
B--------------------------------------------- 1 2 3 4
G---------------------------------- 1 2 3 4
D ---------------------- 1 2 3 4
A ----------1 2 3 4
E 1 2 3 4

Go down the whole fret board like that and go in reverse too. It helped me build up my fingers. Hope it helps man.

Any time someone asks me how to play guitar, I show them this exercise (though I do have them start at the 5th fret) and tell them to practice it every day.

(Obviously, this is not the ONLY thing I tell them, but this was the relevant part)
#14
Blackwaterson89 thanks. i got some very good exercise tips from joe satriani as well with chord exercises, but i can barely play them. maybe i'll just use this one you showed first for now. 
begginer geetarest.
#15
You'll get it eventually.. Start playing songs that are all Barre chords that u slide up and down the neck.. maybe you'll only be able to play for a 30 seconds like that at first until your hand tires out. But if you keep at it day after day soon you'll be able to play back to back songs of Barre chords
#16
Something that happens a lot when people try barre chords, is that they force the energy to the tip of their finger instead of spreading it out evenly, this happens because people 'feel' that they have to put down a lot of pressure, which isn't entirely true. Precision is what you need. There are a few tricks, but some can take some getting used to. For starters, pay attention to where the joints in your finger are, compared to the strings you're fretting. Joints tend to be a 'gap' in the line, so can't be used to press down. Slightly position your finger so that there are no gaps trying to press onto strings, they can't. If you have very boney fingers, you can actually use that to your advantage if you rotate the finger slightly onto the side. This line of your finger can put down a lot of pressure, without it bending in a way that prevents you from fretting.

The second part is not so easily seen, but it can be felt, it is also quite a bit harder. To properly regulate the pressure on the finger from the tip to the knuckle, you have to imagine stretching it backwards, and then pressing down from the hand. If you just try to press down as if it were fretting a note, all the energy will press down on the tip of the finger, lifting the rest up off the strings. So instead of doing that, which will arc the knuckles up and away from the strings, preventing you from putting pressure onto it, stretch backwards. The complicated part of this is that you're doing opposite movements with muscles that are close together, which can make it hard to differentiate between them, but this works for perfect barred chords.
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Last edited by FretboardToAsh at Mar 25, 2017,
#17
PatchworkMan  I do this as well, and I highly recommend it.  It also opens the door for other playing options.

However, a 9/10 guitar instructors will specifically say not to do this and that it's bad technique...But look at some of the players who did this: John Mayer, Jimmy Hendrix just to name a few.
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#18
Quote by fagelamusgtr
PatchworkMan  I do this as well, and I highly recommend it.  It also opens the door for other playing options.

However, a 9/10 guitar instructors will specifically say not to do this and that it's bad technique...But look at some of the players who did this: John Mayer, Jimmy Hendrix just to name a few.

I understand why instructors don't like it, but there's so much you can do with that fingering, especially at the lower frets. At the first fret, you can hammer on and pull off with the middle finger, or you can leave the first string open for an Fmaj7. And at the second fret, the open first string gives you an F#7.
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#19
If you're new you might also want to use a lighter string gauge on your acoustic since it does take time to develop finger strength. Swapping to a lighter gauge will make it easier for the time being and allow you to play more often and for longer, which is ideally want you want when learning a new instrument.
#20
Judging by a lot of your previous threads, you seem to be a new player. All these things you're finding difficult, don't worry about them (especially your theory problems, which you really shouldn't be worrying about right now). Barre chords are something that all beginners struggle with, you'll get it eventually. The most important thing to understand is to be relaxed, when you strain your fingers you're only making it harder, and you'll risk fatigue, or worse, injury. There's nothing wrong with your "boney" fingers, your fingers have close to nothing to do with your ability to finger chords, all of your strength comes from your wrist and fore arm. Keep everything relaxed, and use your wrist to apply pressure to the strings, not your fingers. You can also experiment with different fingerings, I usually don't barre the whole chord, instead I just mute the low E with the finger that's holding the low C, and barre the two high strings. Just keep at it, all your problems will go with time and practice.
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Last edited by Jimjambanx at Mar 26, 2017,
#21
Quote by babysmasher
You'll  get it eventually..  Start playing songs that are all Barre chords that u slide up and down the neck.. maybe you'll only be able to play for a 30 seconds like that at first until your hand tires out. But if you keep at it day after day soon you'll be able to play back to back songs of Barre chords

i am getting better at it, since posting those question. for a while it seemed like there was no improvement. thanks for the advice. 
begginer geetarest.
#22
Lloyd_rogers good to hear.. I'm going through the same thing again.. I put off learning he 12 bar blues because I didn't think my hand could make the stretch.. but it is getting better every day, but it is frustrating
#23
Quote by Tony Done
The nut might be too high. Press a string down between the 2nd and 3rd frets, and look at the gap between the 1st fret and the  string. It should barely discernible; the highest of mine are about the thickness of a sheet of paper, and the lowest touch the fret.

+1 on this. High nut action is very common on new guitars and makes playability a lot harder, especially an F barre chord. 
#24
Quote by Blackwaterson89
I had the same problem when I started out. It is a matter of building finger strength. For a finger workout I do this:
E--------------------------------------------------------- 1 2 3 4
B--------------------------------------------- 1 2 3 4
G---------------------------------- 1 2 3 4
D ---------------------- 1 2 3 4
A ----------1 2 3 4
E 1 2 3 4

Go down the whole fret board like that and go in reverse too. It helped me build up my fingers. Hope it helps man.

That is also the absolute best test for a guitar you're considering buying. I've noticed what when some newbie kid strolls into Guitar Center to test drive a guitar, he'll shred some gawd-awful crap that's probably the only riff he knows. And he plays it plugged into the loudest amp in the store, turned to 11.  When I see someone who knows what he's doing, he'll do something like that before he even thinks about plugging it in. That reveals bad spots in the neck much better than playing "Smoke on the Water" badly. 
#26
Quote by Lloyd_rogers
gerdner i've been trying that exercise. it is pretty helpful. but so boring. 

Guitar isn't always fun. It is an effort out of labor and love. Give it time man.I switch it up with scales to help to practice scales.
"Music became a healer for me. And I learned to listen with all my being. I found that it could wipe away all the emotions of fear and confusion relating to my family." Eric Clapton
#27
When making the F bar, curve your first finger slightly with the middle of the finger slightly higher than either end of finger. Roll the finger slightly helps also
#28
Quote by Blackwaterson89
Guitar isn't always fun. It is an effort out of labor and love. Give it time man.I switch it up with scales to help to practice scales.

That's for sure. It can be very frustrating but very rewarding. The time curve is different for everyone. Sometimes you feel like you are spinning your wheels but when you look back at where you were a year earlier, then you realize that songs that were difficult then are easy now and songs/chords you couldn't play then are the songs you are now mastering.  
#29
Play an open F and practice the barre chords further up the neck.   As your finger strength improves you can attempt the F again.
#30
Everybody struggles with F. Even the half-barre version is difficult for most people to play at first. Just keep trying, everyone here has given good enough advice. You just need to build up your finger strength. Play through some exercises and keep learning other material and soon you will find yourself just be able to do it. 


And some acoustic guitars are a pain in the ass to play. I always lower the action as much as possible without sacrificing tone, which unfortunately is not very much compared to electric guitars. But practicing on an acoustic is the best way to build finger strength, so just keep it up
#31
F barre first fret is a pretty lousy chord voicing to use in most cases.  You can beat yourself up playing it or choose 1/2 dozen more interesting voicings that are also easier to play at 1am during your 4th set of the night.  Go with what works.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

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#32
tendonitis is my biggest problem now. probably more so the f'ing F chords fault. but i can play it much better. 
begginer geetarest.