#1
I have recently obtained an acoustic guitar as a gift and have gone crazy with teaching myself the basics such as tab reading and the chords. I can even play simpler songs such as Wagon Wheel by Darius Rucker. However, I have had an extremely difficult time playing the different variations of the F and B chords. If anyone has any tips for playing these or any kind of exercises to recommend they would be gratefully accepted.  
#2
I had a hard time with a proper F-major chord at first, too. So here's what I did. And you can master your B chords with the same gradual build-up. 

Create a placeholder. A real chord but easier. Because I initially struggled with F-majors, I'd just play an F-major7, which is far easier to finger. 

This F-major7:

--0--
--1--
--2--
--3--
--x--
--x--

Same degree of difficulty as a first-position C chord, right? Like a C but your second and third fingers each drop down one string. Then, when you get comfortable with using that as your F, start adding to that formation one step at a time to complete the F-major. Get your first finger on the 1st fret high E string (hey, it is an F note, after all). Get your third and pinkie fingers on the A and D strings, 3rd fret; it's just like fingering a C chord with four fingers getting those G and C notes on the 6th and 5th strings. By the time you start forming a full F-major barre chord with your first finger fully on the 1st fret, you've already trained your three other fingers for barre chords; they'll comfortably assume that "E" shape.

And remember that the easier-to-finger F-major7 chord is still an F. It still sounds great. Your "placeholder" F chord isn't forever. It will stay only until you've built on top of it. But it works more than well enough for you to play an F in a chord progression.
 
“High fly ball into right field. She is… gone!" - Vin Scully
Last edited by Standard_A440 at Apr 3, 2017,
#3
snakecrusher007 
You can check some Youtube lessons, for example: 


Barre chords seem hard for the new players, but it's a matter of practice, just practice more and soon it won't be a problem.
#4
Barre chords are always tough for beginners(and even for experienced players). Like said above, the Fmaj7(4 finger version with pinkie) is a common and decent sounding substitute for a proper F barre chord. For the B I use a double barre with my index(strings 1-5) and ring finger(strings 2-4) and find it pretty easy that way. When you first start you will probably end muting the high E but it still sounds good. After a lot of practice you will learn how to position and bend/angle your fingers to play it cleanly. Like anything else with the guitar - practice, practice and then more practice makes almost perfect. Everyone's fingers are different, you may need to experiment with the positioning of your index finger to where it frets the strings cleanly. You may need to move it up or down and tilt it to it's side. Sometimes curving it like a C also helps. You have to hold a barre pretty hard and positioning the thumb just in front of the barre on the neck helps. When making the chord change to a barred chord, I find it a smoother transition if I focus on the getting the 3-4-5 fingers down and the barre seems to come naturally. That was one of the biggest tips that helped me because I did the opposite when I first started- focused on barre finger first and then put down the other fingers and that didn't work. 
#6
snakecrusher007 I am self taught, and the best advice I can give is to start with songs that you love and know inside and out. Make sure its a song that is played on an acoustic guitar. Neil Young is a great way to start. when I started I had only books to look at, but they had the picture of the chord so I would just practice with the chord until I got the pressure and strum to sound clean, then move on to the next chord. Then I would practice my chord change while doing my best to keep the pressure and strum correct. 

Today I can just go to you tube and type "How to play________" and more often than not you will get multiple videos to watch with some pretty great lessons. 

There is also an app called "Yousician" I started using for getting into lead, but there is also lessons for rhythm as well. It is the best tool I have seen s far. 

Good luck.
#7
Quote by Standard_A440

And remember that the easier-to-finger F-major7 chord is still an F. It still sounds great.  

 I beg to differ. I get the concept of using Fmaj7 as a placeholder, but it's not the same chord and not necessarily interchangeable. Better to play a half F barre (xx3211) If you *must* use the Fmaj7 fingering, then be sure to mute the high E string. That is a correct F chord, containing the notes F, A and C.   To play B, I would recommend another non-barre fingering such as (xx4442) until the full barre is mastered.  
Last edited by tommymc at May 1, 2017,
#8
For me, a full barre has always been easier than barring just the bottom 2 strings. The 4 finger variety of the Fmaj7(C note added) sounds good in place of a F barred IMO. In fact I'd say it's more commonly used than a proper F. The normal 3 finger Fmaj7 however sounds a little weak as an F substitute. For me an F barre chord isn't any more difficult than any other barre chord and if it is, I suspect the culprit is high nut action.