Playing F Major Further Down The Neck

Hi, does anybody have any tips when playing further up the neck. I am learning Sound of Silence with the capo at fret 6 and I just can’t do the full F major or the cheat F major without the third finger hitting the string below. I have moved my hand around but I am finding it’s causing some discomfort in my wrist so I am obviously not doing it right. Any advice would be appreciated as I have no idea how to remedy it. I can’t seem to get my fingers to curl enough and do the full bar/mini bar as well. TIA.


Most of these old folk songs from the 60s and 70s use the mini barre F. To practice getting it right up the neck try start with the C chord then when switching to the Mini barre F rotate your wrist and tuck your elbow into your side. This should allow you to curl your fingers a little more to avoid mutting the A string.


Thank you, I will try that. I didn’t think about moving my elbow in just contorting my wrist.

Another thought on this Emma.
Try placing the capo a little further back behing the fret wire. It does not need to be right up tight. By leaving a little room, and not having the physical obstacle so close in to your hand, you may find the little bit of extra space gives your hand sufficient freedom of movement to make the chord.


Thank you Richard, I will give that a go too. What Stitch has mentioned worked better but it still needs work.

Can you play the barre chord at fret 7 ok without the capo? (That’s a standard B barre chord, played with the E shape, btw).

If not, perhaps you can work up to it by playing an E-shape barre chord on a lower fret and gradually move up to fret 7.

If you can play it without the capo, then @Richard_close2u 's suggestion of adjusting the capo position may solve your problem.

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Not at fret 7, I can at fret 4 though. So maybe I need to start there and work down as you mentioned. Thank you.

BTW, I had a quick look at Justin’s lesson for Sound of Silence and @stitch is spot on: Justin plays the mini-F (just the highest 4 strings) for both the strummed and fingerpicked parts.

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@stitch @jjw1 @Richard_close2u

Update…and some progress.

I have been working on just the mini F, and I can fret it and play cleanly at the 7th fret where it’s supposed to be for Sound of Silence. I started at the first fret and kept working down each fret until I got it right.

It’s making my hand hurt at the moment, but guessing that will get better, and my thumb is pointing towards the headstock more than it probably should be. But it seems to be the only way I can bring my wrist around far enough.

Next step practice changes, and then put the capo on. I will try it further back @Richard_close2u when I do as you suggested.

It’s hard work this guitar stuff, but NGD tomorrow. Way before I need one but exciting all the same.

Thank you all for your help and advice it’s really appreciated.

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We need pics … you know that right! :wink:

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These were sent to me from the shop…can’t wait for tomorrow. You have your work cut out for our lessons :rofl: I have been practising All The Small Things on my SE Starla ready.


That looks lovely Emma. Happy NGD and good luck with SoS.

I assume from the comments about the F chord (and capo) you are playing the first part trad S&G and finger style. If you intend strumming from verse 2 substitute the first 2 Fs with an Fmaj7 and give your hand a rest and just play the barre or mini F on the “long” F (if that makes sense) :+1:


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Thank you and that does make sense. I have made a note and will give that a go next time. :grinning:

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With my vocals I have to drop the capo down to the 2nd ! Whole lot of room down there but know exactly how you were feeling ! :sunglasses:

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