One of the most common topics I get questions about is how to play F barre (or bar) chords. This chord seems to trouble just about every guitar learner at some time.
Bar chords are difficult and usually take some time to master. And it's unfortunate that F both one of the most difficult bar chords to play and often one of the first that players attempt to learn.
It's far easier to start learning bar chords further up the neck. Using the same shape as F you could play an A major at the fifth fret or C major at the eighth fret with less difficulty.
An Easy F Chord With No BarreBut for those of you that just have to play an F chord, here are two positions you can use to play an easy F chord with no barre.
The first requires only three fingers but includes all the notes of the F major chord - the root (F), major third (A) and fifth (C).
x|---|---|---| 5 |-1-|---|---| 3 |---|-2-|---| R |---|---|-3-| x|---|---|---| x|---|---|---|
Play this one with your first finger at the first fret of the 2nd string. Lean the finger down slightly so it mutes the first string. If you don't mute this string the extra note will make an F major 7 chord. This can fit in some situations but will sound strange in others. Let your ears guide you and if in doubt mute this note out.
Another Easy F Chord With No BarreThe second position shown below is almost identical but adds an additional fifth (C) note in the bass. In this formation your second, third and fourth fingers are in the same position as they would be if you played an F barre chord - it's a good way to train for it.
x|---|---|---| 5 |-1-|---|---| 3 |---|-2-|---| R |---|---|-4-| 5 |---|---|-3-| x|---|---|---|
If you haven't yet mastered the F barre chord then these two easy F chords with no barre should come in handy.
Keep in mind that there is always more than one way to achieve your goal on the guitar. Learn how chords and scales are created and get to know your fretboard well and you'll be able to find lots of alternatives to help you solve all your guitar playing problems.
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