The F Chord Lesson on JustinGuitar

I’m no expert, aficionado or anything of the sort. Just thought I’d throw in my experience. Started playing in February of this year, so roughly 4 months ago. I got to module 9 gave it a go for a day or so and decided to SLOW down and sort of get the things I’d already learned down a bit more solid. During that time, I made an emotional purchase, I bought a “cheapy” Mustang as my second guitar. I noticed the action on this guitar was noticeably lower than the Strat i started with… On my third try on this guitar i had an F ringing out. Within a week I was using the F chord in songs and basically hit it every time.

My point isn’t for you to go out and buy a “cheapy” Mustang. I ended up lowering the action on my strat and now I can hit F chords on that one no sweat also… I put down the bar last. I can’t switch at full speed yet, but i can certainly use it during practice and rely on it ringing out properly.

A little background… I have short stubby fingers, the C chord has been the most difficult for me to get “good” at. I typically practice an hour per day after work. 3 or 4 of those practices are “structred” while the other times it’s just me picking up a guitar and playing along to the JustinGuitar App.


Keep at it. I have been working pretty hard on the F barre and e shaped bar cords in general for 8-10 months at least and only revelry is it all coming together.

It will come, be patient and when it does it is like a whole new door opens on what you can play. Super fun, totally worth the effort and swearing.


Keep at it.

Today I played Rhiannon at 100% speed with the F’s as barre chord. Not too bad, though not ringing on all strings every time.

See earlier posts in March and April where I was struggling to get it to sound on all strings at all.

Use elbow of strumming arm to put pressure on guitar to help push neck towards fretting hang and get the thumb right. Back of neck but between the barre and fretting fingers. Several comments regarding this in other F chord problem posts. You put extra pressure, by pulling with fretting hand to counter the elbow pressure.

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Interesting, I had a very similar experience. Module 9 was a bit of a road block so I paused and went back through all the previous modules to make sure I was really ready to proceed. I also used the pause to really learn some songs rather than just follow along in the app. I think both have been gratifying and useful. While doing that I periodically fooled with the F which I can now generally make but can’t yet switch to while playing. Almost ready to sit back down to #9. (NB another reason I paused was to redo lessons on web site rather than on app as I had done. I assumed they were identical, but web version is a little more thorough. Use web for lessons, app for songs.)

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The lessons are the one area I’m not big on with the app. I do need to put in some time on learning more songs “out” of the app. I have a couple, but I really love playing along with the app. :smiley:

I started tinkering with F chord while working with the C chord.

Nothing major, just every couple of days had a couple of attempts to make the chord on the electric. The first few attempts were abysmal, but eventually I was able to at least make the barre shape and get it to ring out (sort of).

Then I moved onto the acoustic, which I had properly set up, which helps tremendously. For the past few months I’ve practiced exclusively on the acoustic and can just about play songs with the F chord in them.

Having just moved back to the electric it has been a bit of a culture shock, it just feels weird with the narrower neck etc. But the barre chords are benefitting from the practice on the acoustic.

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This is the first time I’ve actually struggled with learning a new chord. My problem is string 1 and 2, but mainly 2. My finger appears to be too soft where it needs to press down and just doesn’t ring out. I can absolutely play the F chord if I clamp down, but only if I clamp down with enough force to basically break my thumb. I practiced for longer than I care to admit before putting the guitar down for a couple months, and now I’m back at it. What am I doing wrong?

Edit: I saw another comment that said move down a few frets, and that actually worked immediately, but how the heck do I get it to work at the top where I need to be?

The action makes an incredible difference. I have a Guild acoustic I bought in 1971. It sat in a case for 30+ years. I had no idea how badly I was screwing it up. I had the F down on my electric but could not come close on the acoustic. I took it to a luthier for a tune up. He took one look at it and said no one could play. It had dried out so badly that the top was bowed and the some of the frets were being pushed out. Fortunately it was repairable. He fixed the bow in the top and the frets then cut down the bridge and the nut. It is joy to play now. Anyone having a problem should make sure that the problem is not with the guitar. I am ecstatic that I solved my problem.

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I actually called Guitar Center a few hours ago because I just felt like the issue was the guitar since I had no issues with the electric. I knew acoustic was more difficult, but I shouldn’t have to break my thumb to do it. The tech there thought the same thing you were saying. I know I’ve only been playing for about a year (with some breaks in between), but even being new he said if I can play it further down and have no problems on electric then it’s something with the guitar. I’m bringing it in tomorrow and when I get it back I’ll post an update.

Teaching yourself sucks sometimes especially when you don’t have friends that play, you think you’re a horrible failure when in fact it’s your guitar. I guess it’s to be expected of a $100 Ibanez.

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