The F Chord Lesson on JustinGuitar

The F chord is a struggle for most beginner guitar players, but together we can do it :)

View the full lesson at The F Chord | JustinGuitar

This is one tutorial where I wish there was a second camera over Justin’s shoulder on his fretting arm so I could see his thumb and the position of his index finger.

Ask and you shall receive!

I have been working with the dang F cord for a looong time now. I can get it to finally ring out well in a consistent fashion. It is just slow. I can’t yet get it to stay good over 60 bpm. But speed it a struggle for me in general.

I am also working with a few tunes using the small F, the one that is strings 1-4 only and the short barre over 1-2. Man, that might be harder for me than the full one. My index finger doesn’t band back at that last joint at all. But I am getting it. It is easier if I don’t press too hard trying to mash the high e, light touch, light touch, just enough.

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The best quote of this lesson:

“Today we’re going to check out the most appropriately named chord on the guitar, which is the F-Chord.”

Absolutely LOL’d out loud at that.


Occasionally I can get it right, but most of the time it`s a complete mess :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:.

One suggestion is to try the F chord a bit lower on the neck - just a fret or two higher. Once you get the shape sounding good, move it down a fret. Work on that until it sounds good and then move down again.


Struggling to get the chord right as well. It sounds okay for now, however my fingers lay flat towards the headstock. When I see advanced players play, they have their fingers at a right angle towards the board.

Any tips on how to get the fingers more in a right angle, raise them from the board?

Ummm. Yeah. This is NOT the chord I wanted to start learning… Can I put it off just a little longer? haha just kidding. This is going to be a tough one! Day 1. Lets go!

Welcome to all those not only working on the wonderful F Chord but a big Hi as you now enter into the world of the JustinGuitar Community. You may relate to this I just brought across from the old forum. :sunglasses:

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I learned the F-chord from a guitar teacher a long time ago (before picking up the guitar again recently) where I switch the 3rd and 4th finger. This is so ingrained in my brain it is difficult to change.

Are there any (dis)advantages of doing it this way going forward? In other words, is it worth it putting some efoort in re-wiring my brain to grab the F-chord the way Justin does? :slight_smile:


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Hi Jeroen and welcome to the Community.
The disadvantage I can see is that you’re having to stretch your shortest finger higher than it needs to.
Do you use the same finger pattern when you play A shape minor chords?


Thanks for the feedback. Yes, I play these as well with the pinky on the highest string. Never though much about it; but now I’m wondering if it could be a disadvantage for e.g. anchoring, some kind of sus chords etc…

Hi @timjthomas and welcome to the community.
You are right - many recommendations involve the suggestion to try the same chord shape at, say, fret 5 where the string tension makes it a bit easier.
One small note on conventional guitar terminolgy.
Moving towards the guitar body is considered ‘up’ and towards the headstock is ‘down’.
Cheers :blush:
| Richard_close2u | JustinGuitar Official Guide & Moderator

Hello @Witte
There are many disadvantages that I won’t write out as a full list and ask that you trust that correcting your ‘bad habit’ immediately will benefit you a lot in the future. Just work on it like you would work on learning any new chord. It will come in a week or two.
Cheers :blush:
| Richard_close2u | JustinGuitar Official Guide & Moderator

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Thanks @Richard_close2u. I would edit my post, but that does not appear to be an option.

I have done it for you Tim!

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Thanks! Will be an interesting two weeks :grinning:

I have tried and struggled for some weeks before i have discovered the same thing myself a few months ago.
Now i can play bar chords as easily as open chords.
Even F# might be much easier than F.

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for all the years I’ve been playing this chord, this tutorial was absolutely incredible to give me the BEST sounding F chord I’ve ever done

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The neck of the guitar I’m using is really wide and I don’t have extra large hands. So when I bend my finger a little, I need the entire length of my finger to cover all the strings. Then I’m using the really fleshy part at the base of my finger for the highest two strings. Makes it really hard to make them ring out! Definitely going to consider getting a narrower neck when I buy my own guitar!