How To Play F Chord on Guitar: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide

EASY Way To Play An F Chord on Guitar
[DISCOUNT] SAVE 10% ON The Mastering Framework

How to play the F chord? Said EVERY BEGINNER KNOWN TO MAN! Minor, Major, ASUS – here are all the different ways you can play an F chord on the guitar

The F Major chord is a chord shape that usually messes with beginners quite a bit. You’re basically playing right next to the nut, so this can make things trickier – the frets feel larger and the tension is higher.

Making a barre chord this high up is always tricky for beginners.

And this is annoying because one of the greatest sounds your guitar can make is a properly barred F Major chord – it sounds glorious.

Being able to properly play an F Major chord is something you’re just going to have to get used it – it does take practice but it is fairly easy to lock into your muscle memory.

But don’t feel bad. Even the greats – like Billy Gibbons – struggled getting to grips with the F chord.

But a barre chord isn’t the ONLY way to play an F Chord. Oh no, there are quite a few different ways to play an F chord on the guitar, as well as loads of variations like F power chords and F SUS chords too.

In this guide, we’ll outline ALL the different ways to play an F Chord on your guitar.

How To Play F Chord: The No Barre Method

If you don’t want to barre your F chord, there is an alternative way of playing the F Major chord, although you will have to mute out both the low and high strings. Here’s how to play an F Chord (Major) without barring.

easy f chord no barre guitar

The great thing about this F Chord shape is that you can quickly transition into a C Major chord and as anyone that plays guitar knows, C to F sounds divine (especially if you then go to G).

All of these chord shapes essentially happen in the same place too, so there are barely any major movements.

If you’re looking for a non-barre method for playing an F chord, this is the easiest and simplest one to start using.

This easy F chord uses four fingers, with your first and second fingers sitting on fret one (B string) and fret two on the G string.

Your third and fourth fingers then sit on fret three on the A and D strings. Just remember to mute your low and high E strings.

Does This Easy F Chord Sound As Good As Barred F Chord?

Because you’re losing the low E string, the easy F chord does lack the punch and overall tonality of its barred big brother (the properly barred F Chord). It still sounds good, though, especially when tossed in between some other open chords like a C or a G.

If you’re going for a heavier sound, however, you will want to use the proper barre chord version of F – it incorporates both the low E and the high E string and it delivers more low-end thanks to the low E string, and more tonal nuance. I much prefer the barred version of F than the easy version.

What About Playing F Power Chords?

If you cannot manage a full barre chord for your F chord, or you’re looking for a heavier, more minor sound, go with an F power chord shape instead. You can do this with use two fingers, no barring necessary. If you’re playing faster, heavier music the F power chord is likely all you’ll ever need anyway.

F Power Chord

How To Play F SUS 4 Chords on Guitar

If you want to add more nuance to your playing and your overall sound, incorporating SUS chords is a very simple hack to make your guitar stand out in the mix. Here’s how to play a variety of F SUS 4 chords on the guitar.

how to play The F Sus 4 Chord

What is an F SUS 4 Chord?

An F SUS 4 chord contains the notes F, Bb, and C, whereby you take the 1 (the root note),m the fourth, and the fifth notes of the major scale to create a chord.

This effectively creates an F Major chord shape and the omission of the 3rd and 4th give it its “suspended” feel, hence the name SUS = suspended.

SUS chords like the F SUS 4 Chord are great for adding tension to your playing. To relieve the tension, you simply resolve back to the F Major chord.

For instance, try this chord progression: F Major > F SUS 4 > F Major . Sounds good, right? Nice and nuanced and packed with tension. This is exactly what SUS chords are designed for.

Don’t Fear The Barred F Chord

I know doing a full barre for F Major can feel impossible when you first start out. But getting it down is essential to your playing, especially if you want to play rock and metal music.

And while you can and will be able to get away with a two-finger F power chord, it is well worth learning to play both F Major and F Minor in their full-barred shapes (see below).

F Minor and F Major Guitar Chords

To practice the fully barred F Major / Minor chord, spend a good 20 minutes every day switching from a G or C chord to a fully barred F Major or Minor barre chord.

At first, your fingers won’t know what they’re doing.

After a week, you’ll have it pretty much nailed. Just make it a focus of your practice every day until you have it down – do not RELY on the easy F chord shape. It doesn’t sound as good.

“With the lure of leaving school, some people might find themselves in a world of swirl not knowing what to do. But I was pointed – I was going straight back to the house, going into my bedroom, picking up the six-string, firing up the record player and learning what was already in the grooves. I was fearless on that end, but learning to play that agonizing F chord was miserable!

Billy Gibbons – ZZ Top

F Chord Variations For Guitar

While the standard F major barre chord is a rite of passage for many beginners, its diverse alternatives can add depth and nuance to any musical piece.

This section delves into the various incarnations of the F chord, providing insights and techniques to broaden your guitar repertoire and enhance your musical expression.

F#m Guitar Chord (F# Minor)

How To Play F Chord on Guitar: The Ultimate Beginner's Guide
  • Type: Minor chord
  • Sound: Somewhat sad or melancholic
  • Formation: Place your fingers on the 2nd fret of the E2 (low E) string, 4th fret of the A2 and D2 strings, and 2nd fret of the G2 string. The B1 and E1 (high E) strings are played open.

F Chord Guitar (F Major)

How To Play F Chord on Guitar: The Ultimate Beginner's Guide
  • Type: Major chord
  • Sound: Bright and happy
  • Formation: This is a barre chord, which means you’ll use one finger to press down multiple strings. Place your index finger across all the strings on the 1st fret (this is called barring). Then, place your other fingers on the 3rd fret of the A3 and D3 strings, and the 2nd fret of the G2 string.

F#m7 Guitar Chord (F# Minor 7)

How To Play F Chord on Guitar: The Ultimate Beginner's Guide
  • Type: Minor seventh chord
  • Sound: A bit more relaxed and jazzy than the regular F#m chord
  • Formation: It’s similar to the F#m chord but with an added note. Place your fingers on the 2nd fret of the E2, D2, G2, and B2 strings. The A2 string is played open, and the E1 string is also on the 2nd fret.

F# Guitar Chord (F# Major)

How To Play F Chord on Guitar: The Ultimate Beginner's Guide
  • Type: Major chord
  • Sound: Bright and happy, similar to F but a half step higher
  • Formation: This is another barre chord. Bar all the strings on the 2nd fret with your index finger. Then, place your other fingers on the 4th fret of the A4 and D4 strings, and the 3rd fret of the G3 string.

F#7 Guitar Chord (F# Dominant 7)

How To Play F Chord on Guitar: The Ultimate Beginner's Guide
  • Type: Dominant seventh chord
  • Sound: It has a bluesy feel, often used as a transition chord
  • Formation: It’s similar to the F# major chord but with one note removed to give it a bluesy sound. Place your fingers on the 2nd fret of the E2, D2, and E1 strings, and the 3rd fret of the G3 string. The A4 string is on the 4th fret.

Songs That Use F Chord

One of the quickest ways to learn to play the F chord properly is to simply drill it into your muscle memory, and the quickest way to do that is to play the F chord A LOT.

And if you want to play the F Chord a lot and not get bored, you might as well learn some songs that use the F chord a lot.

This way, you’ll learn the F chord and a few new songs in the process. Double bonus!

Plenty of EPIC tunes use the F Chord. Nearly all modern rock and metal will have an F note at some point, though these will usually be power chords which are a lot easier to play as you only need to two fingers.

If you want to master the F barre chord, you will have to turn to pop music for some easy songs that you can learn quickly. Here are a few via AndyMusic to get you started:

  • Adele – Rolling In The Deep
  • Ho Hey – The Lumineers
  • Laid – James
  • Story Of My Life – One Direction
  • The Monster – Rihanna/ Eminem
  • Let Her Go – Passenger
  • Save Tonight – Eagle Eyed Cherry
  • Titanium – David Guetta

Do I like any of these artists? Absolutely not. But if you want to learn a proper F barre chord any of these songs is a great place to start.

If you’re an absolute beginner, have a go Save Tonight by Eagle Eyed Cherry – it’s a great tune, it is well known, and it is super easy to play.

🎸 Master Guitar Music Theory ⤵️

Think music theory is boring and dull? Think you don’t need it? Well, think again – learning even just a little theory will 10x your playing in a matter of weeks.

If you liked what you read above, check out these posts.

They’re all written with the beginner in mind. No jargon, no nonsense. Just the basics, explained in a way anyone can understand.


Master Your Music To A Professional Standard Even if You’re A Total Beginner

This step-by-step framework is the exact process I use to master music professionally. It is the culmination of 20+ years of experience, condensed down into a single, easy to follow workflow

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest