F Chord Cheats

3 ways of playing the F chord - WITHOUT a barre :) Awesome chord substitutes for you to explore!

View the full lesson at F Chord Cheats | JustinGuitar

Is it just me or is the Mini F harder than the proper barre chord? With my first finger properly barring the first two strings, the rest of my fingers lay flat across the frets. With fingers 2, 3, and 4 properly fretted my first finger lifts off the E string.

A week of experimenting and I still haven’t managed to ring one out properly. My barre F is coming along nicely, but I feel like the Mini is important for faster changes.

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I have a similar experience! My index finger doesn’t bend back at all at they last joint.

I am starting to figure it out, though. One thing is letting my thumb move lower on the back of the neck so I can round the other fingers better, but the biggest thing for me has been NOT mashing the index finger down trying to press the strings. A lighter touch actually works fine (probably like a lot of things, including guitar playing…) and allows me to keep my middle finger off of the second string.

Try playing with your pressure and find the least pressure that lets the notes ring out.

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Still working on this small F. Slowly getting it.

My new discovery!

To get it to ring out on all stings I need to adjust my index finger so that the tip just touches the third string. Otherwise I drag my middle finger down enough to mute the second string.

Along with a little effort not to let all my fingers lean back (or. Push them a little closer to perpendicular to the fretboard) it seems to work.

The downside is that changing from an Amin or Cmaj cord, like in “Sound of Silence”, I have to adjust the whole index finger rather than just laying it over the high e.

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Joshua also check your thumb is not pointing up to the tuners, that will make the fingers collapse a little :sunglasses:

True that! Thanks! I am pretty good with avoiding the headstock point, but I do tend to set my thumb a little high on the neck and it helps to drop it down a bit to pinch the first two strings between thumb and index.

This could be my problem here, I’ll definitely keep an eye on it. Thanks!

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I actually prefer the sound of the F/C over the F.

It is definitely not just you @TimeWizard … similar comments have been made by many over the years. Learn both 6 and 4 string variants.
Cheers :blush:
| Richard_close2u | JustinGuitar Official Guide & Moderator

Man, I’m so glad I found this comment here. I thought for sure I was doing something wrong…

Thanks Justin, I guess I`m one of the lucky few that got that one down quick. The way you explained it was perferct

Love the Fmaj7 sound, and find it quite easy to get to/play

Need to practise the full F barre tho

@TimeWizard - Both mini F and Barre F versions are hard for beginners. I would suggest really watching Justin’s hand position when making Mini F. I think the trick for me was realizing that Mini F requires your fingers to be on a more severe angle than even a C chord requires. Mini F is extremely hard with hand/fingers perpendicular to fretboard. Barre F is very perpendicular to fretboard - like most of the other open chords.

okay - so… after quite a while of trying the mini barre F, I’ve decided to post. It’s certainly easier than it has been in the past, but it’s still not a no-brainer for me. It’s very difficult, have to push down hard and mash my thumb against the neck.

I noticed something recently. In one video, Justin has his first ringer straight from mid-knuckled to tip while playing strings 1 and 2. I can’t even get to that position.

I play with my first finger completely crooked, bent at each knuckle. I have to play 1st and 2nd strings on the edge of my finger practically, and pushed up against the first fret so it feels almost as if i’m hugging that first fret with my finger.

It would help to have 2 pics of the mini barre, one from the top, the other from the side to see how people play it.

Any advice would be quite welcome! thanks!

  • Vinnie

I’ve always used the mini F. If the little finger mutes the 6th string, you’re off. To the races

FMaj7 to C is so painful but so simple! Lol. Some Nights by Fun in Rocksmith is simply F to C to G over and over but at a pace I am NOT ready for but man taking the sink or swim approach instead of the usual chord perfect is actually helping push past the ‘I’m not good enough to do this’ mentality.


I’ve been playing the Fmaj7 for years, I just wasn’t sure what the name of it was. I love the sound of it.

Man i hate the mini F chord xD My wrist hurts so fast and I just can’t seem to NOT mute the B string with my ring finger. If I hold it so I don’t do that I somehow cant manage to push enough down with my pinky on the thinnest two. Arrrrgh. This will be a long road for me.

Just like with the full barre F, try the mini barre further along the neck.
Especially at fret 5. There you can also play the open A string for a 5-string mini barre as at fret 5 it is an A mini barre.
Hope that helps.

Cheers :smiley:

| Richard_close2u | JustinGuitar Official Guide & Approved Teacher


This is great advice. If I start at fret 5, I can get the mini-F shape to ring out on all 4 strings. Then I can work back to fret 1 without much discomfort. For some reason, it’s easier than just trying to get fret 1 to work.

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