How to Play F Chord on the Guitar – Easy Steps for Beginners

The F chord is one of the easiest barre chord and pretty difficult to play for beginners, but once you get to master this chord, it opens up all sort of shapes. There are many ways to play an F Major chord starting from the Barre chord, abridged and open string but the most used is the standard F major barre chord.

In this article I am going to teach you the easiest way to play the F Major barre chord and how you will be able to play this chord properly. We will make the pretty difficult chord into a pretty easy chord by the end of this lesson so let’s jump to it.

F Major Barre Chord

The F Major barre chord is the most common used chord specially for those who have advanced guitar skills but also will be the stepping stone for beginners to play other barre chords. Take a look at the chord diagram below.

You have to use four fingers to play this chord. First finger will be the barre to hold the notes on the first fret. Third and the fourth finger will be on the third fret and the second finger is on the second fret. Check image below.

This F barre chord is the most common and contains all the notes. This makes it the fullest version of the chord.

Playing the F Major Barre Chord

Playing this chord will be fun and easy specially if there will be an easy step by step guide on how to start playing this chord so let us jump to the step one right away!

Step one: Finger 1 (index)

The first thing you need to do is to place your index finger (Finger 1) across all the strings on the first fret and press the notes. Remember that your barre is only focus on pressing the first fret 6th string, 2nd string and the 1st string. You will understand later why you only need to focus on those strings. Your index finger should be placed near the first fret bar (ridge) so that it will be easy to press and ring properly. See image below.

The red line on the picture is the fret bar and as you can see, the index finger is touching the fret bar. Remember that if you pull your finger away from the fret bar it will give you a hard time to make a sound.

Step two: Finger 2 (Middle)

The second thing that you need to do is to place your 2nd finger on the 3rd string, 2nd fret. Take note that if you are not doing a barre and just pressing single notes, you can place your finger at the middle of the fret or you can also place it next to the fret bar, either way you can do both. See picture below.

As it shown in the image, finger 2 is placed right next to the fret bar but it doesn’t require you to only press next to the fret bar. You can either press the note at the middle of the 2nd fret or place it right next to the fret bar. Remember to curl your 2nd finger for the 2nd and first string to sound properly.

Step three: Finger 3 (Ring)

As a beginner, this finger will give you a bit of a hard time on pressing the note because it is the second weakest finger when it comes to playing guitar, but guess what? Everything is achievable with the right training, persistence and patience so do not give up, it is just a chord!

The third thing that you need to do is to place your 3rd finger on the 5th string, 3rd fret. Take note that every note that you play is important so always remember to curl your finger properly to produce a good sound. See image below.

Here is an example image of the 3rd finger pressing the 5th string on 3rd fret. As you can see the finger is placed on the middle of the 3rd fret far away from the 3rd fret bar and a bit nearer to the 2nd fret bar but that does not really matter and you can do either ways when not pressing a barre.

Step four: Finger 4 (Pinky)

Pinky is the weakest finger and needs a lot of time and practice to use it in playing guitar but it is just a matter of time before you can truly use your pinky finger. Of course, you need to dedicate a bit of your time if you want to step up your skill.

The last thing you need to do is to place your 4th finger on the 4th string, 3rd fret. Curling your 4th finger is important so that the string above and below your 4th finger will sound properly. See image below.

The best thing to do is to not force your 4th finger to press the note. It will straighten your finger down to the other notes and that would be the very reason why other notes does not sound. Also, remember that we are talking about your weakest finger and that is why I highly suggest that you should place your finger next to the Fret bar so that it will be easier for you to press and to produce a sound.

All Together Now

The very last thing that you must do is to put all the notes, fingers, all together now. Try strumming your chord and make a sound out of it! See the full chord below.

As I said earlier, 1st finger should only focus on pressing the 6th, 2nd and 1st string. The reason is that your 2nd, 3rd and 4th finger is already pressing the 5th, 4th and the 3rd string. Don’t give too much trouble on your 1st finger.

Does not Sound Properly? No Problem!

I know at first that making a sound out of this chord will be crucial for all beginner guitar players. All you have to do is practice the chord every single day and very soon you will get use to the chord and make a sound out of it!

If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

All the best,

Randyford Molano

founder of Guitar Chords & scales


8 thoughts on “How to Play F Chord on the Guitar – Easy Steps for Beginners

  1. Marius says:

    Wow amazing article. You saying that it is one of the easiest barre chords, but I remember when I was learning how to play a guitar I could learn chords A, C and G so easy, but I was struggling with barre chords. F chord was so hard to learn for me. My fingers some day were on ”Fire” and maybe three times I quit of leaning this chord, but it is so popular and you can find it in nearly every song, so I had to learn it. I wish I could have your training years ago when I was struggling to learn F chord, that would save me so many hours! Your training is great for beginners explaining easiest way how to learn this complicated chord.

    1. Randyford Molano says:

      Yes marius, one of the easiest because of its popularity. People tend to learn easily when they are learning the popular ones even if it is complicated to play.. I hope that you continue on playing guitar and enjoy the music. If you still have any question please feel free to leave a comment below. Thank you and have a nice day.

  2. NLBolton says:

    This is a great post! Easy to follow and great pictures that really help visualize what you are describing in text.

    One note – Was the period at the end of the first paragraph in Step Three supposed to be a comma?

    Thanks for sharing… it makes me want to tune and play my guitar right now.

    1. Randyford Molano says:

      Yes.. i did it very specific on my instruction for people to really understand the atep by step on learning the chord. About your concern, i will check on that later. If you still have concerns or questions please feel free to leave a comment below thank you…

  3. T says:

    Great information, Thanks! I have been wanting to learn to play the acoustic guitar for some years now (I have an old one that needs new strings). The pictures make it look so easy.

    You mentioned practicing everyday, How many hours would you recommend for a beginner to practice?

    1. Randyford Molano says:

      Hi! If you have an old guitar then probably you have to change the strings. Its easy to learn guitar if you dedicate yourself and give time. 1 to 2 hours is ok as long as you do it everyday.. 1 hour practice each day is way better than practicing 8 hours a day once a week. If you still have question please leave them below and ill be happy to answer your question. Thank you

  4. Doug L says:

    Randy I like your post on how to play F chord on the guitar. I picked up a guitar once thinking I would learn how to play but seemed a little more than my fingers were ready for. I like the way you have made it very simple to follow along and learn how to play one finger at a time and with the pics make it very easy.

    1. Randyford Molano says:

      Hello Doug, The problem is not your fingers, But your mind. Change the way you think and probably you will learn. Just like learning something that you really love or passionate about. You don’t think negatively because you wanted to learn so badly. I Started playing guitar when i was 12 years old on a standard size guitar. Imagine, my fingers were small and had a hard time playing a chord. But I did not think twice in continuing my guitar journey. Thanks for appreciating my article. If you ever need a hand on learning some more basic guitar chords or barre chords please leave a comment below and i would be so glad to answer you back. Thank you.


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