F Chord Changes

Time to start working some F chord changes! Even if your F chord is still a work in progress!

View the full lesson at F Chord Changes | JustinGuitar

I’ve discovered that in changing from C to full bar F (and F to C) I am much faster and more accurate if I use my third finger as an anchor. Is there any reason why I shouldn’t utilize this technique as a beginning student?

If it helps with this tricky chord change then use it.
Cheers :blush:
| Richard_close2u | JustinGuitar Official Guide & Moderator

I’m still having a hard time laying down all my fingers at the same time when changes chords for most chords. How can I get better at this?

Welcome to the community @pcwilliamson

I struggle with this as well. What has been helping me, and this is my own method, nothing more, is to change up the order I lay down my fingers and be very intent on how I do I that.

So, for example, on the F Barre cord (I have this issues with more than just this cord!) I instinctively want to place my ring and little finger first, followed by the middle, then lay down the Barre.

I have been spending time carefully placing the barre first, until it seems smoother, then I do it again laying the middle finger first. Rinse and repeat as necessary.

I find then, that when I go back to just playing the cord, my fingers are closer to the same timing than before. This also helped on my D cords, they were tough! I am now working on the B7 this way. Not to mention just going back to one minute changes and trying to speed up.

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It’s definitely easier for me to put the barre finger first (but roughly, just resting there where it shoul be), then the the rest of the fingers, and then apply the pressure on the barre.

Welcome @me_the_mar !

I worked for a long time on the F barre and developed a pattern where the 4th and 5th strings were fretted first, with the barre and 6th string way last.

Seemed ok for a bit, but then I started trying some finger picking and realized my last finger down was often the first string plucked!

That isn’t going to work, so I am retraining, concentrating on getting the 6th string first and am slowly moving towards the goal, which is all fingers at the same time.


Yes fingerpicking a barre chord certainly shows up the weak buzzy notes that go unnoticed when strumming!

I place the barre first immediately followed by the other three.
At first I had all strings sounding clear apart from the B string which refused to play clear.
I found that making the barre finger as straight as possible and shifting it up so the finger end was protruding over the top of the neck worked straight away. It encreases the amount of pressure you extert on the 2nd (B) and 1st (E) strings. Plus I made sure my thumb was under the middle of the neck to be able get the most pressure possible.
Now it’s a matter of getting changes to and from F -which is the tough part!

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I’ve experimented with every possible way to see which is easier…even using my thumb for the low E string, but that just mutes most of the other strings. I’m getting faster with the pointer finger barre, it just takes daily practice. Also, I look at the song I’m learning and practice the fastest, most clearest way to switch from the previous chord played. This often determines which fingers I place on the fretboard first, if that makes sense.

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The most natural way to learn changes with F is to start with C, imo. You can break it down to an order of things that has to happen. If you do a preliminary 4 down strumming of C you can get a timing down so that when you get to that 4th strum concentrate on moving your 2nd finger down a string as the strum ends (try and have it moved by the end of the down strum). At the start of the up stroke practice bringing in your pinky into position as you rotate into laying down your index just above the first fret (eventually this will happen in a very quick and fluid motion). I suggest not pressing at all until you start your strumming of F. I find the grip movement is easier without any pressure at all. Just let the fingers glide. Breaking it down into this sort of order has helped me to have two fingers in position quickly with the other two following in very short order. After C try Am. It’s similar.

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Anecdote here, I found I was stumbling a lot with finger positioning until I tried to mute the low E with my thumb. I noticed, like you, how tricky is was to not mute with all other fingers. It really forces you to play on the tip of the fingers straight down. What I found was really helpful is noticing that the hand motion for the change is greatly helped if the neck is cradled between the thumb and index. That was a realization I made because I tried to learn to mute with the thumb. It was so beneficial to help me play on the tip of the fingers that I use the muting of the low E when playing C to get a feel for that sort of fingering. Trying stuff makes you discover stuff. That I would argue is an important lesson.


Thanks for passing on your tips and experience @LunaC

Cheers :smiley:

| Richard_close2u | JustinGuitar Official Guide & Approved Teacher

I can do the f barre chord without problem but having issues with the mini bar chord should I really need to learn the mini f even if I can do the full f barre chord ?

Hello and welcome to the Community.

Mini-barre 4-string versions are useful.
If you can do the full barre they are not essential.
But they are useful.
Keep them in your practice but do not have them as a 10-minute chunk of time.

Hope that helps.
Cheers :smiley:
| Richard_close2u | Community Moderator, Official Guide, JustinGuitar Approved Teacher

RedSchuhart : I wished I could send you flowers!! I have been struggling with my F chord for so long, not being able to make my B string ring I’ve been trying to make the barre with the side of my finger, bit to no avail. And now, with your method, it works! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
And, Justin : yes placing the fingers first and the barre after definitely works better for me. Now, on to practicing chord changes.

I´ve been working the F bar for 2 weeks and most of the time it sounds good but the Mini F its a struggle… at this times it seems impossible to do it…any tips for the mini F.

Since I’m struggling with the “mini F” as well, I find that fingering the full F barre but only playing the D, G, B & high E strings is my personal answer to this problem.
“If you can’t slay the beast, find a way around him!” ;0)

Before I got to this lesson, I have been trying to learn Blue Oyster Cult Don’t Fear the Reaper and blow me if the cord changes in that are pretty much the chord changes used in this lesson.

Just a thought for you…

Don’t fear the F chord :wink: :rofl: