Hi to all from Alan - and a brief introduction

I’m new here, started a few weeks ago. I’m wanting to learn acoustic guitar and become a musical bard :slight_smile:, playing simple songs, and hopefully creating small tunes. My inspirations are The Amazing Devil, Fish in a Bird Cage, Damh the Bard, Will Wood, Shafer James, and stuff like that.

I’m currently on beginner module 2 I think. All about the Emajor, with A and D. I’ve had a look at the next one, with the E and A minor, and intro to a basic strumming pattern.

I was just completing my 1-minute chord change and got up to 117 and felt proud, looked at the computer and realised I’d forgot to press the start button. But I did manage to just break the 60 mark. That cheered me up because I was averaging around 35-40 for a while.

But! I was browsing the internet and came across lots of folk going on about the F chord and how it could take a year to get right. This was a downer to me. Is the F chord that hard?

I have settled to stick with Justin and this community and not go skipping across other sources for now. And I’ve also made my mind to take it easy, practice daily, and don’t expect instant greatness.

So, that’s me. Thanks.


Welcome to the forum Alan

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Great philosophy!

As for the F chord, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Its a first step into barre chords which can make it tricky but there is an alternative and easier way to play it which you can use while learning. You will discover all this in due course.

Best of luck with your guitar journey.

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Hi Alan :wave: welcome to the community, you’ve got the right idea, take it easy and practice daily :+1: have fun :v:

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Hello Alan, and a warm welcome to the community :hugs:.

Taking it slowly but steadily is exactly my approach, too.
The F chord is quite a challenge - at least for me. I’ve been practicing it for half a year now, and still don’t manage to do more than 30 one minute changes :see_no_evil:. BUT it’s definitely getting better :wink:. On the electric it’s a bit easier than on my acoustic with 12gauge strings on…

In the meantime, I concentrate on songs without this chord - and there are masses :star_struck:.

So, just keep on following Justin’s course and have fun :smiley:.

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I agree, don’t think too much about it. The F is hard because it requires the initial fiddling to find the right spot for YOUR fingers with the added annoyance that it is the closest to the nut and therefore takes the most strength to hold down.
I’m in grade 3, module 19. I don’t have the barre F fast yet. It is clean, but not fast. I just haven’t needed it yet, so I have very little practice to speed up my transitions.
The other options for the F tend to need a stretch that is more than we use in every-day life, so it takes a while to get there as our hand adjusts to the new demand.
The thing I found most useful was gaining finger independence. I’m thinking of #3 in this post I did:
Older Beginner Fret Board Issues - I can't land my fingers on a chord at the same time - #15 by sequences
Don’t over-do that exercise as it can set up a repetitive injury if you do. Maybe 5-10 times each finger should get you going and eventually (several weeks) you will be moving without other fingers trying to follow and be able to extend and retract to any string. That independence will help a lot for the style you are aiming toward. After you get where that is comfortable, regular playing may be enough to keep your fingers nimble and you can drop the exercise from practice.


Welcome, @oafool !

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Hi Alan,
Welcome here and I wish you a lot of fun :sunglasses:
The F-chord is difficult for many people, and then sharing the “pain” is a good solution,so you read that a lot. But there are enough who have mastered it within a month with daily exercises (like me :smiley:) , and then have other grips that take them a year (like me :tired_face:)
Greetings ,and did I say have fun ? Have fun :sunglasses:


Welcome Alan. You have made a good start. Don’t worry about the F chord thats for the future, some people it quickly, others not.

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Welcome Alan,
Enjoy the journey

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Hey Alan, welcome to the community, glad to hear you are making good progress. For me, getting serious about learning guitar and getting on with it was one of the really good decisions I’ve made in my life. Particularly rewarding albeit frustrating at various times. So very worth the effort.

I’d say the same thing applies to the full barre F chord. I don’t know why, but I was obsessed from the very start with learning the full barre version and not the easier alternatives. It didn’t take me anywhere near a year, but it was some months of frustration before it started to work.

Your mileage may vary and it’s up to you to work out if you want to use the full barre version or the easier ones. I was at a jam just yesterday and several of the less experienced players there were using the easier alternatives and it sounded just fine.

So why, pursue the full barre version? It’s a gateway to much other barre chord goodness. Lots of songs I wouldn’t even try as a beginner because of the barre chords are now well and truly available to me.

If the difficulty of the F barre chord affects your motivation, take the easier option. You can always move to the full barre chord later or not at all.

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Never heard of any of them. :sweat_smile:


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Welcome Alan.

I’ve heard all the horror about the F chord, too. I’m not there yet so I have decided to pretend it doesn’t exist for now. Let’s not panic just yet! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: :joy:


Thanks for the warm welcome, folks! It’s good to see a mix of people to share and learn from. I will drop the worry of the F-chord and concentrate on the lesson practice in front of me.

I enjoy it when I start a lesson, can’t do anything good with it, then after a few practice periods it comes together. Then after a few more days I seem to go backwards, panic, calm down, and it suddenly gets better than before. I enjoy the videos you folks post which gives me motivation that one day, given practice and time, I could do similar.

@sequences I will put your exercises into slow practice, thanks.


Hi Alan,
welcome from an other beginner :wave:
60 chord 1-min-changes, that’s quite a number for a few weeks practice :+1: . It took me 6 months to get there. Enjoy :smiley:

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Welcome Alan,

Enjoy the ride mate, stick close to Justins lesson’s, and reach out here anytime.

And the F chord? Don’t buy into the hype. You’ll have it nailed before you know it. :+1:

Cheers Shane


Welcome Alan! :wave: Hope you have fun! :slight_smile:

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I know, right. It was a one-off performance. Today I managed 48. I take it as it comes.


Yes, I’ve decided to stick with Justin and not hop like a bee to different flowers - tempting though it is. The temptation comes thinking mixing teachers will produce faster results. The results will come with consistent practice and getting the fingers to agree to their assigned jobs.

The F-chord! I brought into the anxiety, fear, and dread… and I don’t even know what the F it is. All in fun time, and I’m sure it’ll be fine now I’ve been calmed down by this community.

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Hi Alan welcome.

This is often my experience, a renewed feeling of difficulty precedes a subsequent feeling of easiness with the skill I’m practicing.

As the others have said don’t worry about the F chord. If you can flex your index finger to do open chords and extend it flat over the six strings you can do it. It takes some time to find the right position and develop the strength in the hand. It’s like any other guitar skill. I don’t even remember how and when I started doing barre chords. Although I still need more work with them, currently some open chord grips are harder for me than most barre chords.

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