Dreaded F chord

I have read many posts and the trouble everyone seems to have starting out. I can honestly say I hate this chord. I have tried and tried to be consistent. I have tried the tips but my biggest challenge has been muscle memory. 75% of the time when doing it slowly I can get my fingers in the correct position. However, trying to concentrate on the index finger position makes my ring and little finger quiver and I slip off the High E and A strings. Practice make permanent but I’m starting to fear I will never get this and must resort to Fmaj7 as the alternative. I won’t give up but very, very frustrating. Thanks for letting me vent. Enjoy all the posts. Stay strong.

Hey, hang in there, I remember the days of battling the dreaded F chord very well. I’m so glad I stuck with it. For me, it took a number of months before it started to sound ok.

I will not give up. I’m determined to learn this chord before I hit 69 in November. Hopefully it won’t take that long. When I do, I will shout it to the high heavens. Thanks for the encouragement Tony.

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It’s a great one to have in your bag of tricks, a gateway chord to so much more barre chord goodness.

I learned the F chord over a year ago, and it’s still my most challenging chord grip. I use the F/C instead of the mini-F because I think it sounds the best of all the variations. I’m still playing around with my index finger position to get the e and B strings ringing as clear as possible. Lately, I’ve been using my index finger at more of a 45-degree angle and using the area between the tip and pad to fret both e and B strings. I’m on Level 3, and I still do one-minute-changes with the F at every practice. :scream:

I can actually fret the F barre chord cleaner than any of the “open-position” F variants LOL!

That being said, even though it’s the one chord that I’m most likely to not get perfect, I have gotten MUCH better at it with the combination of one-minute-changes and practicing songs and chord progressions with the F in them.

Luckily, were learning guitar, not racing LOL!

It is a struggle. I have been working pretty hard on it for ages it seems. I can get it “consistently some of the time” :rofl: now.
The bigger problem is that it is a bit slow on the draw.

To get a head start, I looked ahead and have made a few preliminary tries at the two fingered A barre Justin teaches. That one will require major surgery, I think. :roll_eyes:


It’s going slow for me. I could almost immediately finger the chord and get all the strings to ring out but changing to it is torturous. But I decided to do a One Minute Change exercise to see how I was going. 17 changes from D to F in a minute. Now I have a baseline and I can gauge my progress against.

I think measuring your progress is important. Some of it is slow and barely noticeable but it happens. If nothing else, think back to how hard something was when you started and how well you can do it now. When you don’t think you’re progressing, it helps to remind you that you are even if you can’t see it from day to day.

Been on, the Fxxxx Chord for about two week. Working hardly on it I can get all the string to ring EXCEPT the B :frowning:

Yeah, the A shape is definitely more demanding but not impossible. I tried it for the first time probably a year ago, been tinkering with it on and off and by now it’s much easier, though not always perfect.

I’ve got a tendency to bend my little finger behind the neck so as to provide more pressure with my ring finger. It may be a bad habit, but then it’s a useful bad habit.

After a month or so I can get all the strings ringing sometimes…

Either the high E or B are not sounding and if they are, then the low E gets muted… :frowning:

The mini F is a complete no go.

I can fret it up the fretboard, third fret for a G or fifth for an A better. The A shape is easier…

Though forty years ago I could do both and play 12 bar blues using pinky finger to alternate playing a higher note as I strummed.

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Eh, I wouldn’t fret much. I learnt to do the F chord only within a couple of months period with like 10 or less minutes of practice, i.e., for the F chord all respective strings to ring out each time I play it. Take another month for the chord changes to reach near 60 changes per minute. And sometimes it still sounds sloppy, cause my index finger tends to move somewhat. Meanwhile, while playing songs, I substituted the barre chord with its open-chord variations. I mean, no one says you can’t. I’m now playing the acoustic version of “Over the Hills and Far Away” by Nightwish, and there is a Bm barre chord in Pre-chorus. I ain’t doing the barre chord yet, I’m just doing its open-chord equivalent. Shrugs

I think, I’d be worried only, if within a year or more you can’t do barre chords.


Because the F chord is movable, I found it much easier to practice the shape higher on the neck (between frets 3-7) and then move down to that first position (some songs I would swap the typical ‘big’ G chord for a Barre over that position just to practice the transition). The higher position requires less stretching and can also take some guitar setup issues out of the equation; it makes it easier to focus on technique in a relaxed position.

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Thanks to all for your encouragement. It means a lot just to know there are many who have been where I am and have persevered. I know I can do this and I will.



Love it. Thanks.

Managing a few clean F chords today, even mini F.
Just keep trying, even if on the back burner.

Thanks. It helps to have the encouragement. Some days are better than others. Consistency to make it ring true is the goal then using the One Minute Changes to make it work for future songs.

Hit my first clean F chord today successfully hit it another two in a row afters , I was in shock lol

I’m sure it is going to be some time before changes happen but time practice and patience will pay off down the line I hope

Way to go. I’m still working at it. Hit it cleanly a few times in a row then miss it a few times. Practice makes permanent. Keep up the good fight.

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Same here. I always mute the B string