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JustinGuitar Courses and Support => Beginners Course (BC) Lesson Specific Questions => Topic started by: justinguitar on October 07, 2009, 12:09:55 pm

Title: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: justinguitar on October 07, 2009, 12:09:55 pm
Lesson Link: http://www.justinguitar.com/en/BC-161-F-chord.php

Questions...
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Tim Mason on February 19, 2014, 03:29:47 pm
Most of the question that are asked in this thread are answered in the fuller lesson Justin gives on E-shaped barre chords here : http://justinguitar.com/en/IM-111-EShapeMajorMinorBarreChords.php (http://justinguitar.com/en/IM-111-EShapeMajorMinorBarreChords.php). He recommends it during the 'Dreaded F Chord' lesson, and it's well worth visiting for the beginner.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Rolandson on September 05, 2014, 10:01:15 am
10 month and I still have pauses in a song when I change to the F chord. I can change to to F chord over 60 times but it's still slow for songs. Good thing is that I can change it without looking on my hand but still it's not good enough. Any advice besides the one minute changes?
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Tim Mason on September 05, 2014, 10:06:20 am
Slow down the tempo for the song, then build up. But the F chord takes time, takes time, takes time ...
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Rolandson on September 30, 2014, 09:41:13 am
those are my one minute changes.
F sounds better.
What do you thing?
(http://i1224.photobucket.com/albums/ee367/Rolie_XXVI/Unbenannt-1.jpg)

Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Rolandson on October 02, 2014, 09:03:07 am
Ok. I did my one miute changes every day for 2 weeks or more. played everyday the F chord. I thought yesterday I will never canplay that F chord good.

Today I played people live here by Rise gainst and hurt by Johnny cash.
I don't know what happened but I can play the F chord pretty good without looking.

Did anybody of you had the same expirience?
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Rossco01 on October 02, 2014, 09:13:16 am
Good on you Rolandson. I have had this experience on previous chords most notably C which I found a bit tricky...the muscle memory just wouldn't stick for ages. There does seem to come that point where it just clicks and from then on things get a lot easier. Throughout the course I've found the 1 min changes will only take me a certain distance to learning a chord and then I need to incorporate into a song that uses it a lot so I can also "switch off" from thinking about making the switch and the hand try to do it on its own.

I have to admit though that the F chord (and I'm not even trying to do a full barre just the mini) is still proving difficult for me. I think part of my problem is that although I'm up around the 60 changes min (although not consistently with quality) my other chords are so far ahead in fluency that when I incorporate it into a song I'm still searching for it and its a lot slower to move to.

Still everyone says its hard and I know based on other chords that I'll get there and then I'll wondered why I found it so hard.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Rolandson on October 30, 2014, 10:34:48 am
The F chord on the second fret with a capo sounds clear. The F on the first fret not so much. It sounds good a few times but not all the time especially the B and E chord.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: H M Murdock on November 19, 2014, 02:35:25 am
I like this lesson even though it's the hardest I've done so far. I'm struggling with the F but I also had the same thing with changing to a G quickly and managed to crack that one in the end through sheer practice and stubborn refusal to be beaten by it so it looks like gritting the teeth and getting on with it for me.

Some of the things in the text on the lesson that have definitely helped me:-

Low action - I have 3 guitars, one of which had the action really lowered by the local shop (for £10) and it really helps in all chord changes, especially this one. I'm still very slow with the F but on the other 2 guitars far slower still.

Try it higher up the fretboard - This worked for me really well in the beginning and I found it much easier to get the pressure down on the barre. I still have some way to go in finger strength for the F but trying higher up at first seems to warm the muscles up before practicing at fret one. Works for me.

Sound before speed - I know it's been said over and over but it's so true with this one. I spent a lot of time just making sure all the strings rang out clearly each time no matter how slow I was. The speed will come with time, probably with one of those Eureka moments like the G chord did.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: mike42 on November 19, 2014, 04:08:11 am
H M Murdock,

That's all good advice and exactly what I would recommend. Eliminate any setup problems; start with barres up at the 5th-7th fret area; and take your time, understanding that it's going to be a while before the F chord feels natural.

This is probably the most frustrating lesson for people working through the BC. It takes a combination of finger strength and dexterity, and it's going to take a while before most people are able to play the full F cleanly.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Tim Mason on November 19, 2014, 06:37:48 am
Just to say that once you get there, it's really worth all the investment. I've fallen in love with barre chords.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: H M Murdock on November 19, 2014, 10:21:56 pm
Thanks for the positive feedback  ;D

Being temporarily between jobs with plenty of spare time I decided to have a "bite the bullet day" and got up this morning with the determination to crack the F chord. All day I've done 15mins each hour to practice the F chord (plenty of decent breaks between) from 10am this morning through til 6pm tonight. Simple plan really, do 15mins then walk away for 45mins at least. By 6pm I was getting the F chord first time every time but it's been tough, I won't deny that, and in my own case it took a lot of effort.

Some may question why push myself so hard? For me it's a tough one to learn and I have no idea whether I could be working again at the drop of a hat (you know agency work can be like) so whilst I had the time and opportunity to put the hard work in I went for it. For all I know I could get a phone call tomorrow and be on long shifts that may limit my practice time so may as well get this one under my belt whilst time is on my side.

I'm a very happy boy with the progress tonight. Sure, I still can't form an F chord with any speed but I'll work on that in each practice session for a few minutes and it'll come. It's right what everyone says, hang in there and it'll happen  ;D
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: sswissam on November 21, 2014, 09:18:09 pm
Hey guys, i found it more  comfortable to raise my first finger a bit so im pushing the first 2 strings with my first knuckle which results in my first finger sticking up a bit but the chord sounds clear that way.This seems a little easier for me though it still took about 2-3 weeks to get it right.
My question is am it doing it wrong? Is this a bad habit that will make problems for me later?
Would appreciate the help.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: FPS on November 21, 2014, 09:33:26 pm
That's the way I get all the strings ring clearly as welll. Don't think it's a bad habit. It's rather taking into account inidvidual anatomics.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: tobyjenner on November 21, 2014, 10:46:25 pm
Guys might be worth your while taking a quick peak at the Intermediate Course and this longer lesson
http://www.justinguitar.com/en/IM-111-EShapeMajorMinorBarreChords.php
I adopted the raised first finger to get things ringing clearer but dropped the position considerably after watching this more in depth lesson on the barre  8)
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: mike42 on November 22, 2014, 01:04:21 am
My finger hangs quite a ways off the fretboard and it has caused no problems. I have fairly large hands and it takes far less pressure to get the notes ringing when I move my finger up. If it works for you I wouldn't worry about it.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Drubbing on November 22, 2014, 02:01:52 am
Being temporarily between jobs with plenty of spare time I decided to have a "bite the bullet day" and got up this morning with the determination to crack the F chord. All day I've done 15mins each hour to practice the F chord


A whole day? That's positively Black Devilish…

It'll take more than that, look on it as a medium term project and cut yourself some slack. I plugged away at the F for well over 6 months. I could form and strum the chord fairly quickly, but changing to it from another, or trying to use it in songs was the roadblock for a long time. Just keep it in the practice schedule.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: TheCasual on November 22, 2014, 12:12:19 pm
I agree with Drubbing.

It took me around 10 months to get open chords to barre chords solid and natural.

Don't tire your hands out to much by focusing to much on barre chords.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: H M Murdock on November 22, 2014, 05:22:12 pm
I know what you mean guys, I just wanted to get the fingering right. As for the speed? That'll take quite a while I'd guess. I achieved what I set out to do that day, getting it sounding right. Now I'll just incorporate a chord change involving F into each 1 minute chord change practice and speed will come with time.

If it takes 10 months or 10 years to be as quick as other chords isn't the  issue for me, I know I can play it cleanly now and that was my initial goal. It kind of breaks a barrier when you crack something that's known to be tough and boosts the confidence.

Whether it be the F chord or anything else, persevere and you get there. One day it'll suddenly just click into place and I'll be able to do the F quickly. You'll know when that day comes when you see a news headline saying "Guitarist arrested for doing naked cartwheels with a flying V strapped to his back" :)
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: yonda1960 on November 23, 2014, 07:07:49 pm
Finally nailed quick, accurate, changes to the F chord today. Been at it solidly for a couple of months now, and its always been a bit of problem. Key for me was to relax and form the shape in the air before placing it down.

Now I can finally play some of those songs in stages 7 & 8 of the beginners songbook without my F chord sounding rubbish.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: blueguern on December 16, 2014, 10:47:05 pm
Hey Guys, I seem to have got the F barre down OK now but I have been trying to do the F chord that barres just the B and high E string and am fining it hard to get those two strings to ring out nice and clean. Any tips or tricks for me to try. I can do it but my chord shape is pretty bad with my hand layindgdown towards the headstock. It does ring out Ok but not sure if this is OK or there is something better.
I know Justin says if it sounds good........ but it just looks wrong ............. HELP.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: tobyjenner on December 16, 2014, 10:51:17 pm
Blue

As your obviously in BC6 at the moment, you may not looked ahead to the intermediate course. This is the first lesson and Justin spends about 20 minutes on the E shaped Barre - F maj to us BCers - and its a more in depth lesson to the one in the BC.

http://www.justinguitar.com/en/IM-111-EShapeMajorMinorBarreChords.php

Hope this helps.....it did for me in the end 8)
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: blueguern on December 17, 2014, 09:16:17 pm
Hey Toby, thanks for your comments. It's not the full barre chord that I have any problem with it's the small F chord, described by Justin as "old school". It's just my first finger on the high E and B strings that I am having a bit of trouble with. I watched the video you suggested and then went and watched the F chord video. I raced upstairs to the music room and tried to copy Justin;s hand shape. Not possible, my old fingers just will not copy his hand shape. I suppose I will just have to continue doing it my way, it works but it doesn't look much like Justin's grip.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: stitch101 on December 17, 2014, 09:32:53 pm
Blue can you post a picture of the way your are playing chord. As long as you are getting the note to
ring out and your not hurting your hand it should be fine.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: mike42 on December 18, 2014, 01:36:46 am
Hi blue,

A picture would be helpful so we know how your hand position looks right now, but something to try is to move your thumb a little closer to the headstock (so it's around the first fret area) and rotate your hand so your 1st finger is pointing close to vertical.

Also, it's fine if your 1st finger touches the G string since your second finger is fretting the G at the second fret. I usually try to position my 1st finger so the first knuckle is about at the edge of the fretboard. If you get that positioning right it should take a lot less pressure to get those 2 barred notes ringing out at once.

I have no idea if either of these tips will solve your particular issue, but I hope it helps!
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Les3002 on January 03, 2015, 10:21:33 am
I've got a question for the guys who took a few months to master using the F chord in songs. Did you stay at stage 6 or move on and just keep it in your schedule?

I've been at stage 6 now for two months, I can play F fine but changing to it is still pretty slow (mid forties on 1 minute changes). I'm getting pretty frustrated with it, not sure whether to move on or just stick with it?
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Joerfe on January 03, 2015, 10:33:46 am
I've got a question for the guys who took a few months to master using the F chord in songs. Did you stay at stage 6 or move on and just keep it in your schedule?

I've been at stage 6 now for two months, I can play F fine but changing to it is still pretty slow (mid forties on 1 minute changes). I'm getting pretty frustrated with it, not sure whether to move on or just stick with it?

Take your changes to and from F to around 30 single changes per minute.
Make sure you can form the chord and land all fingers more or less at the same time (air changes).
Then I would move on. Incorporating the F into songs is a tough one and it takes time. Make it a habit to play songs that include the F even though changing to the chord is tough. For me it worked nicely and functions a bit like the "forced changes" drill.


\m/ rock on \m/
end Jesper
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Mikey d on January 03, 2015, 01:40:52 pm
Hey Les,
Move on ..... You'll get more practice on the F chord when you start the intermediate stage and barre chords. Keep at the F chord but learn new stuff too.....
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: tobyjenner on January 03, 2015, 10:41:23 pm
Take your changes to and from F to around 30 single changes per minute.
Make sure you can form the chord and land all fingers more or less at the same time (air changes).
Then I would move on. Incorporating the F into songs is a tough one and it takes time. Make it a habit to play songs that include the F even though changing to the chord is tough. For me it worked nicely and functions a bit like the "forced changes" drill.


\m/ rock on \m/
end Jesper

Les take Joe's good advice. If you doing 1 minutes changes around 40 at the moment, just carry them forward to the next stage and keep working on them while learning new stuff. Playing the barre in songs will be very difficult but it will come eventually and a mikey says its covered in the IM.

I got really hung up on the F and floated around Stage 6 for the best part of 6 months - my criteria being play it clean on my acoustic in addition to my 'lecktricks! Ended up losing confidence big style and then nothing seemed to worked. Advice from the forum helped me back on the road but I now realize I should have kept on working that one problem AFTER moving on. Would not want anyone to follow my mistakes  8)
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: BlueBootyCat on February 22, 2015, 10:37:15 am
I'm a newbie, slowly working through the lessons - hard work, but fun - and this is my first post

I thought I'd post a couple of things I found really helped me in getting the F barre chord. (And I think the first one would be worth mentioning in the lesson!) I hope these help other people...

Firstly, you don't need a lot of force on the barre finger. This was the breakthrough for me. I read on another site that if you're really having to apply a lot of force, you're doing it wrong. 'Technique' not 'brute force' is what's required. No more force required than a 'normal' fingering, it said. If you can't get the barre right with 'normal' pressure, then keep adjusting that finger until you can.

Secondly, it helped me to raise the neck from where I'd normally play. Hopefully, as the practice takes effect, I can lower it again.

Advice from a newbie, eh?! What next?
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: pt3r on February 26, 2015, 01:53:52 pm
...
Firstly, you don't need a lot of force on the barre finger. This was the breakthrough for me. I read on another site that if you're really having to apply a lot of force, you're doing it wrong. 'Technique' not 'brute force' is what's required. No more force required than a 'normal' fingering, it said. If you can't get the barre right with 'normal' pressure, then keep adjusting that finger until you can.
...

Very True! I have been practicing my F chord every day and now start to feel like I can repeatedly play it cleanly in chords sequences through air changes. I also noticed that the better I got at playing the F chord the lighter my touch became upon fingering the chord, this goes basically for all my chords; the chords that I struggle most with are invariably the ones that require the heaviest fingering to sound cleanly.
And this is really problematic with the bar chords since this heavy fingering caused my hand to tense up which resulted in worse sounding chords
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: daveband on March 06, 2015, 08:21:05 pm
I'm at the (early) stage where the first few F's don't sound too bad, then my forefinger seems to tire off and it sounds like *brap* :D  Also, practicing it for more than a few minutes gives me a pain in the wrist, of all places.  That's a signal to do something else... which for me is to pick up something I've been slacking off (slap self), learning and practicing some strum patterns.  It's great to get to the stage where there's so many more things to do.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: tobyjenner on May 08, 2015, 08:12:31 pm
A Possible Handy Tip Mods - If you think this would be better placed elsewhere please move 8)

Despite the fact that I'm currently working on Intermediate Module 1, I thought I'd share a discovery I made earlier in the week with regards to that oh so difficult E-Shaped Barre chord and especially the F major  :(

Why here ? Well I hit Stage 6 in November 2013 and struggled to get this chord sorted, in fact I plateaued for the best part of 6 months, before regrouping and moving on. Never managing to play that chord on an acoustic until this week.

I've been able to play the barre F on my Electric for a while but still can't get it in time in songs, despite 1 minute changes of 60+.

So here's the tip that may help you get that barre down if you're struggling.

Use the edge of the middle finger joint (the metacarpophalangeal joint) to barre the 1st and 2nd strings. You may need to make some small adjustments but by doing this I've consistently been hitting a clean F major on my acoustics, countless occasions during the last week, including changes from open chords back to the barred F  ;D ;D

This might seem obvious to some folks but its taken me 16 months for the penny to drop. So if I can save anyone that amount of grief and heartache I'm only to pleased.

I'd recommend anyone at this stage not only watching the IM1 lesson on the E-Shaped Barre Grip
http://www.justinguitar.com/en/IM-111-EShapeMajorMinorBarreChords.php
which Justin recommend in this stage lesson.

But also ...................

The 1 Minute Changes lesson in IM2 - which demonstrates changing from barre to open.
http://www.justinguitar.com/en/IM-122-1MinuteChanges.php

It was during this second video that I noticed the position of Justin's middle finger joint and realised mine had been more over the 3rd and 2nd string, making the muting of the bottom 2 strings much harder. I think I'd focused on his finger tip before and emulated fretting the 6th string with a much higher position (ie 6th string level with the middle of my finger nail - I have smallish hands). Dropping that middle joint did the trick. The other benefit as I'm no longer stretching my finger up and across the fret, is that I'm no longer cranking my wrist as much, making it less tiring to play. And the more I play the chord the less pressure I seem to need. NB I've only just revisited the 'acoustic' barre having started the IM early April.

If you're doubtful, just rub the edge of that joint with you thumb and you should feel a bony protuberance which is wider than the rest of those bones either side of the joint. IMO its this convex section of the joint that makes the barre easier.

Anyway if this help someone - job done  8)
(http://i1368.photobucket.com/albums/ag167/tobyjenner/Hand%20Joints%20and%20Bones_zpsp4wl1zug.gif)
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Boobook on May 13, 2015, 09:51:37 am
Hey Toby, I think you mean the joint between phlanage 1 and phalange 2 (the next one up from the one marked in red). The metacarpo-phalangeal joint is the one that joins your finger on to your hand.

And yes, it's so much easier to get a clean chord with the side of that joint! Now to work on the changes...
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Joerfe on May 13, 2015, 11:52:47 am
Guys, take a look at this video. It has helped me to get cleaner barré chords.
http://youtu.be/vzYfdYtoFf4
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: tobyjenner on May 13, 2015, 12:01:55 pm
Hey Toby, I think you mean the joint between phlanage 1 and phalange 2 (the next one up from the one marked in red). The metacarpo-phalangeal joint is the one that joins your finger on to your hand.

And yes, it's so much easier to get a clean chord with the side of that joint! Now to work on the changes...

Doh.................you are so right Boobook. Its clear enough on the diagram!!!! Hope its working for you.

Joe thanks for the vid but I'm 99% there now  8)
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: tobyjenner on May 13, 2015, 08:41:44 pm
Just in case I confused anyone with that incorrect joint name, a thousand apologies. Yes it should be the 2nd Proximal Inter Phalangeal joint (PIP).

I've delete the diagram in photobucket, hoping the image would be removed. But just remember it the side of the MIDDLE Joint.

Boobook at least its helped you get your barre down, so at least thats one positive.

Memo to self - QA, QA then QA. QA again the preview check and post.

Sorry peeps 8)
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Boobook on May 14, 2015, 04:22:47 am
@ Joerfe, good video for a different take on barre chords :). The classical dude emphasises keeping the finger flat, not rolled, and arching it backwards to fret all the notes...certainly works for him!
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: vedderfan94 on July 27, 2015, 02:24:22 am
Does it matter if my finger is hanging over the edge of the fretboard? I have been practising the F barre chord for a couple of weeks and just can't get the 2nd string ringing out no matter how hard I press down or the angle my finger is at, the rest of the strings are fine. I figured it must be to do with the part of the finger above the 2nd string not being hard enough. I can get all the strings sounding good like this though:

http://imgur.com/a/8I0eX

Is this ok? I've seen people do it on some tutorials on youtube but wasn't sure if it was a bad habit or something
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Joerfe on July 27, 2015, 01:00:42 pm
Vedderfan, your index finger looks fine to me. Make sure you are pulling your albow slightly backwards to create pressure.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: randomlock on July 27, 2015, 03:57:02 pm
hi , i have started learning F chord . For now i am playing it on the 5th fret ( which is A chord) and it sounds good . My question is when i barre the fret with my index finger does every string should sound clear or only the string which is not used to make E chord shape i.e High E , Low E and B . because when i only barre the fret , the third string(G) is muted but when i play the full chord it sounds clear as i use my other 3  finger for A,D and G .
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: stitch101 on July 27, 2015, 04:34:28 pm
You'll want all the strings to play clean with the index finger. The reason is you'll be learning chords
like the Fm and Fm7 once you get to the Intermediate Course. These chords have more strings barred
with the index finger.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: randomlock on July 28, 2015, 01:00:12 pm
You'll want all the strings to play clean with the index finger. The reason is you'll be learning chords
like the Fm and Fm7 once you get to the Intermediate Course. These chords have more strings barred
with the index finger.

Cool thanks  :)
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Saskia on August 14, 2015, 10:03:56 am
@tobyjenner

Thank you sooooo much!!  ;D

I've been having my fretting finger way too low. Causing my wrist to hurt real bad and my hand to completely roll over the the left. I am still unsure of the exact position you are talking about but have been able to find my own perfect position now making all 6 strings ring out clear. Super excited!

You taking the time to write your post is much appreciated! It sure saved me a few weeks if not months!! And the bonus... I don't even need to use lots of pressure  :)

Good luck everyone, I thought this would be a drama chord, but it IS possible!
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: hilts17 on August 14, 2015, 12:55:35 pm
The biggest thing that helped me with the F chord was getting a professional setup by a luthier. The action on my guitar was pretty high, making barre chords difficult. The day I got my guitar back from the luthier, I could play a perfect full barre F chord instantly. For anyone who has not investigated getting a setup done, I strongly encourage looking into this. It made the world of difference for me.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: tobyjenner on August 14, 2015, 06:46:01 pm
Saskia

Glad to have been of help, just wish I'd discovered this myself 18 months ago ! Hilts also makes a good point, as I've had my Washburn HB30 and Encore acoustic set up by a luthier in Rennes since my post and that barre is even easier now. It made such a difference I'll be taking my StratSquirer and RSA acoustic back to be set up next month, in fact I'll probably get the HB32 done as well :)

Cheers

Toby
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: rickt975 on September 05, 2015, 12:28:38 am
F chord sucks, I mean I like the sound of the chord, but it sucks. My 3rd crack at the begginers course, and I'm back at stage 6, and the F chord, but I'm at an average of about 45 changes per minute and keeping at it. To the guys who have it down, is it as hard to learn changes when it comes to the other barr chord shapes?

Thanks ahead.


[mod edit ... Certain words and phrases deleted... Please do not try to bypass the seear filter .. Thank you]
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: tobyjenner on September 05, 2015, 08:11:19 am
Strangely having started IM2, and after nearly 2yrs struggling the E-shaped major barre, I've found it easier having learnt the minor 7 and 7min. May be coincidence as I've really been working on it over the last couple of months but working on the other chords, seems to have helped the major drop into place.

1MCs are still 45-60 depending what I'm changing to but I'm now beginning to get it to work in songs as well - just about.

As a lot of folk have said for some of us it just takes time -a a lot of time

Cheers

Toby
 8)
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Rossco01 on September 05, 2015, 09:57:36 am
Time and solid practice essential Toby. Also I'd get it into songs asap as that makes things a lot easier. My1 min changes from barre to open are pretty good as a result of that but it can still be challenging in some songs to move fluently between open and barre. What've found slightly frustrating is that for it gets more difficult beyond fret 8 . By that stage the angle on my arm is getting a bit tight so keeping the barre on is trickier
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: tobyjenner on September 05, 2015, 01:48:26 pm
@Rick

If you've not seen these already, check them out as they should help you a lot, especially the 1 MCs from IM2

http://www.justinguitar.com/en/IM-111-EShapeMajorMinorBarreChords.php
http://www.justinguitar.com/en/IM-112-1MinuteChanges.php
http://www.justinguitar.com/en/IM-122-1MinuteChanges.php

You will get there, so stay with it  :)

@Rossco

Yes so true but I think for me it became more physiological, as I could play the shape with mid 40 1Mcs but just could not get it to drop right in songs, so I followed Justin's suggestion of subbing the Fmaj7.

What frustrated me most was back when I started playing 19 yrs ago, the two songs I could play were Hotel California and Little Wing both featuring F or F# and Bm. Never had an issue back then but at Stage 6 it just would not gel. Funny as I flicked through an old pocket chord book of mine a few weeks back and found an ancient post-it with the chords for those songs. So I've been using LW as a IM2 song mixing up barre majors, minors and open chords AND its finally working. If I can get those Accents sorted I'll be able to play HC with the correct rhythm - after 2 decades lol!

T 8)
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: rickt975 on September 07, 2015, 06:33:56 pm
I did check out IM111, has lots of tips which are helping, especially with bending my wrist too much, I was doing exactly that. I'll watch the others as well. I've been using little F for playin songs which sounds pretty good, but I'm determined to get the barre down so I'll just keep strumming away at it. I think it maybe a confidence thing as well, when I do D7 to C7changes, another one I struggle with, I find not looking at my fretting hand helps?? Maybe I just need to let it flow.

Thanks guys.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: musicman84 on September 14, 2015, 05:41:50 pm
Hey everyone,

I just started on stage 6 of the beginner course, and I'm already looking for other songs on YouTube etc. that don't have the F chord in them  :-\ I've been practicing the chord in between one minute changes and other songs I've learned, but should I just stick with the course and not venture off into other things? I don't want to avoid the F chord because I know there are a lot of songs that have it. I guess I'm just a little impatient and constantly want to learn new songs. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: stitch101 on September 14, 2015, 06:40:17 pm
The F chord is a challenge for every one. There is no avoiding it because it is an E shape barre
chord. So unless you plan on never playing Barre chords there is no escaping it.
Don't let the F chord hold you back. There is nothing wrong with learning other things at the some
time. But don't neglect the F just because it's hard.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: musicman84 on September 15, 2015, 04:26:12 am
The F chord is a challenge for every one. There is no avoiding it because it is an E shape barre
chord. So unless you plan on never playing Barre chords there is no escaping it.
Don't let the F chord hold you back. There is nothing wrong with learning other things at the some
time. But don't neglect the F just because it's hard.

Thanks for the advice Stitch. I won't let it hold me back. I really like the song Mr. Jones and have been wanting to play it for awhile, so that's good motivation for me. Even though it still sounds good with a four fingered Fmaj7  ;)
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Joerfe on September 15, 2015, 07:58:35 am
There really is no way around it so you should just go ahead and implement it into the songs you play. Accept that the songs will be less than perfect when changing to and from the barre F and it will come slowly along the way.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Sweed77 on September 15, 2015, 03:18:11 pm
@ musicman84

Yeah, you really can't ignore F as it is a major bar chord shape and once you know it a whole world of songs open up for you to play.  It is the base for all other bars that come after.  Also being able to slide your hand up and down the neck just looks cool 8)

The epiphany for me playing bar chords came in this article ( http://douglasniedt.com/TechTipLittleJennifersSecret.pdf ) about why a 7 yr old girl could play a bar chord but an adult man could not.  The answer is arm strength and not thumb\hand strength.  Once I read it and followed the advice I was up and playing almost immediately.  The only thing that held me back was being able to accurately place my fingers on the fret board which of course is easily fixed with 1 minute changes. 

Read the article and follow the advice and you should be up and playing soon.  It will feel funny at first but in a very short time it just becomes muscle memory and you do it without even noticing.



Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: wbertacchini on September 15, 2015, 06:15:57 pm
Another tip to see if the set up of your guitar is causing the problem is to put a capo on the first fret. Play the f cord with the bar on the second fret. If you can play it there, the set up is definitely your problem.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: musicman84 on September 16, 2015, 02:00:34 am
@ musicman84

Yeah, you really can't ignore F as it is a major bar chord shape and once you know it a whole world of songs open up for you to play.  It is the base for all other bars that come after.  Also being able to slide your hand up and down the neck just looks cool 8)

The epiphany for me playing bar chords came in this article ( http://douglasniedt.com/TechTipLittleJennifersSecret.pdf ) about why a 7 yr old girl could play a bar chord but an adult man could not.  The answer is arm strength and not thumb\hand strength.  Once I read it and followed the advice I was up and playing almost immediately.  The only thing that held me back was being able to accurately place my fingers on the fret board which of course is easily fixed with 1 minute changes. 

Read the article and follow the advice and you should be up and playing soon.  It will feel funny at first but in a very short time it just becomes muscle memory and you do it without even noticing.

Cool, thanks for posting  :) I already feel more comfortable playing barre chords. I've been learning Selling the Drama by Live on my electric, and it has the Bm7, C, and D barre chords in it. They're sooo much easier to play on electric than acoustic!
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: tobyjenner on September 16, 2015, 09:31:43 pm
@sweed

That was a very interesting article, I'll have to give it a go to see if it improves my barres. Remember reading something similar a while back but never actually tried, as I was beginning to make progress back then. Might be one of those ureka moments! 8)
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: eggyh73 on September 24, 2015, 01:40:46 pm
I'll need to read through that article and see if it helps me to learn the F chord. I've been practising stage six for three weeks now and while my attempt at playing F is "better" it's still not right. Depending on my barre finger position I'm either muting the b string, or if I adjust my finger to let that ring clearly then I can't hold down the thick E.

I've also managed to strain a muscle in one of my fingers attempting to play the four string version of F. Bizarrely enough I find the five finger version much easier! 

Changing finger positions to any of the three F chords shown in the book takes me an age though. I can see me being stuck on stage six for a good while. I'm managing to practice for 60-90 minutes a day five/six times a week. At the start of the year I found learning easy and possibly hung around on stages 1 through 3 longer than needed. Since then I've struggled a bit more. Changing to the B7 chord still causes me some issues when playing it in songs.

I take it that it's normal for the learning to become more difficult and slower as you progress through the course?
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: randomlock on September 24, 2015, 03:33:36 pm
I'll need to read through that article and see if it helps me to learn the F chord. I've been practising stage six for three weeks now and while my attempt at playing F is "better" it's still not right. Depending on my barre finger position I'm either muting the b string, or if I adjust my finger to let that ring clearly then I can't hold down the thick E.

I've also managed to strain a muscle in one of my fingers attempting to play the four string version of F. Bizarrely enough I find the five finger version much easier! 

Changing finger positions to any of the three F chords shown in the book takes me an age though. I can see me being stuck on stage six for a good while. I'm managing to practice for 60-90 minutes a day five/six times a week. At the start of the year I found learning easy and possibly hung around on stages 1 through 3 longer than needed. Since then I've struggled a bit more. Changing to the B7 chord still causes me some issues when playing it in songs.


3 week is nothing mate . The first thing to improve your F chord is to see if all the strings are ringing clearly that Justin tells whenever he teaches new chord shapes . This is very important for F chord . So if you are muting the B/high E string , focus on strum-pick-strum first and not one-minute change . When you can play F chord clearly , then start practicing the chord changes . If your barre is not clear or you are still struggling with ring/pinky , slow down and repeat again .

Quote
I take it that it's normal for the learning to become more difficult and slower as you progress through the course?

No , its quite the opposite for me .
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: SiegeFrog on September 24, 2015, 07:07:50 pm
I take it that it's normal for the learning to become more difficult and slower as you progress through the course?

Everybody is different and trip up on different things. Everyone struggles with F, but some more than others. I too found the big F easier than small F, but you'll need both, so practice them both. Once you pass Stage 6, there aren't so many chords to learn (except power chords which is just one shape and the variations of G, A, D, and E) but there are more techniques to learn instead (12 bar blues, fingerstyle). You don't know what's going to be hard for you until you try it. Progress at your own pace.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: rajvignesh95 on October 17, 2015, 09:11:45 pm
so I've been trying to get this right for 3 months. While trying the barre I just always end up muting my b string no matter how much pressure I give. Looks like the fleshy part of my index finger in the middle of the barre mutes it. If I try a f min chord I end up muting both b and g strings. Please help me get this right. I'm losing hope if I could ever play a barre chord. Anything I can do to get it right?
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: stitch101 on October 17, 2015, 11:00:23 pm
Try moving your i dex finger either up a little or down a little. The string may be in a crease in your finger.
Also try playing it at the 5th fret. This is an A chord but it's easier to play and get it right then go back down
to the F.
Have you ever had yor guitar set up by a tech. This will also make the F chord easier to play.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: SunBurstUK on October 20, 2015, 08:07:04 pm

 I am just starting this F chord and going with the hardest way in the second book! HI all long time no type :-)

 I am unsure as to how I should use the first finger to barre the chord. The image shows to only press down first finger on 6E 2B 1E and to have a gap between the strings. when I try to do this it's nearly impossible, please tell me I am doing this wrong and that I am meant to hold the first finger down fully flat so it presses all strings down with first finger, and just move it like a capo instead?

(http://www.fastguitartechniques.com/Content/Images/barre_F_major_root.gif)


thanks all! the dreaded F  ::)
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: lunarscope on October 20, 2015, 08:17:00 pm
Hold finger flat as you can to ensure strings 1,2 and 6 ring clean as the others are fretted by your other fingers. As Justin says: "roll index finger slightly so the outside edge (nearest thumb) is pressing the strings" as that part of the finger is tougher.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: SiegeFrog on October 21, 2015, 07:14:02 am
I'm also just starting the F chord and find I can usually ring the big F clearly but having a devil of a time switching from C to F or G to F. I know, practice, practice... etc. Still, there is something in the fingering of the F chord that really makes it hard. The barre F chord is still beyond me at this point.

It's unclear from your post if you're doing Big F or small F, but if you're doing big F, then realize that you have a third finger anchor on the change from F to C. It might be more correct to say it's a pivot finger because it's not like using the anchor fingers between open chords. However, it will make the change easier. For F to G, using Justin's Folk G makes that change easier even without the anchor. Realize though, that these hints can make it easier, not easy. It took 2-3 months to make these changes relatively cleanly.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: xyzzyfl on October 21, 2015, 12:48:02 pm
It's unclear from your post if you're doing Big F or small F, but if you're doing big F, then realize that you have a third finger anchor on the change from F to C. It might be more correct to say it's a pivot finger because it's not like using the anchor fingers between open chords. However, it will make the change easier. For F to G, using Justin's Folk G makes that change easier even without the anchor. Realize though, that these hints can make it easier, not easy. It took 2-3 months to make these changes relatively cleanly.

I'm using the Big F. I do see the relationship between the F and C chords on the third finger and will work on keeping that finger down. Regarding the G,  I do see the fingering similarities with the F. I guess I'll need to train myself to use a different fingering for it .

2 to 3 months... OK, I'll be more patient with myself. Not an easy task!  ;)
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: SunBurstUK on October 21, 2015, 12:55:24 pm


 ok, done that have a issue with one string not ringing clearly so now to work on that one, it's quite a stretch that F chord. I am practicing it on different guitars I like to try it on a few. I did notice playing an electric is much easier then an acoustic. I like both

 thanks for the tips all lets curse at the F chord together no wonder its called F chord! ;)
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: SiegeFrog on October 21, 2015, 04:26:40 pm
Regarding the G,  I do see the fingering similarities with the F. I guess I'll need to train myself to use a different fingering for it .

Though the Folk G is an easier change, you should practice both. You never when you'll need them. I do know that in a couple of song lessons that go F to G (a very common change), Justin demonstrates and remarks that Folk G makes the change easier.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: northshore on December 05, 2015, 01:58:54 pm
Looks like old posts have gone, but after 2 years (practising generally several times every week) have a consistent barred F. Not perfect though. In the end focusing on chord changes didn't help me much as hand shape wasn't coming naturally at all. Songs made the difference, and getting the hang of G's without using index finger makes a few chord changes simpler.

In case it helps found coldplay's message good for practice (a lot of G - F -C), and others with a Bm barre. Bob dylan's lay lady lay also good as mostly e- and a- shaped barres, although not so easy to actually play well. And making sure guitar is vertical, not tilted back.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: m_c on December 07, 2015, 12:00:39 am
If you want a chord progression to practice, F Am C and G are used in plenty songs, and is what I used for practise.
Two songs I can think of right now are, Hey Soul Sister by Train with a capo on the 4th fret, and Sink Florida Sink by Against Me uses them with no capo.

I find one minute changes are good for learning the shapes/fingering, but I don't truly learn the chords until applying them to songs or chord progressions. I suspect that's because when you're doing one minute changes, your main focus is your fretting hand, but once you move to chord progressions, you have to rely on your fretting hand just knowing where the chord is with far less thought, as you can't concentrate on that alone.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: SunBurstUK on December 07, 2015, 07:23:47 pm


 I ran out of my usual string gauge and have some  medium gauge13's on ( I know a bit too heavy for a beginner) I have had my truss rod adjusted to allow the guitar to settle. I asked how much and umm the nice looking young guy said don't worry took it out back and fixed it for me! being female has it's perks!  :) but, said next time when I change from 13's to lighter it'll cost me £7.00 ( I can't argue with £7.00 to have it done less then I expected as they said it only needed adjusting a small amount. to come back in 30 minutes... I did it's made the world of difference, this is my second set up but with a different guitar, I am still struggling with the F barre of course but it's easier on my fingers. I realise 13's not for beginners. I didn't get on with d'addario lights nice strings but felt too thin, might have to try thicker gauge in those :-)
 
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: stitch101 on December 07, 2015, 07:57:29 pm
If your guitar is set up properly 13s are no harder to play than 12s. Maybe a little harder but not much.
They are harder to do bends on but as for playing open chords and barre chords they take a little more
pressure but are thicker so don't need to be pressed down as far.

When playing the F barre chord are you placing your index finger as close to the fret as possible?
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: bradt on December 07, 2015, 08:00:44 pm
If the strings feel comfortable to you, then use them. The idea of light strings for beginners is a generalization really. I think it works for a lot of people, but not everyone.

When I switched to mediums, I found that most chords (F included) were easier to fret. For me, light strings just didn't provide the feedback I needed. I just couldn't really feel them under my fingers that well, so I found myself squeezing harder just to feel the strings better. With heavier strings, I get that feedback. I can feel the strings under my fingers much more easily, and actually found myself not fretting as hard because of it. It was really noticeable on the F chord.

That's probably not the case for most people, but it is for me. It may be for you as well. There's no rule that says any set of strings is always going to be better for a certain player, so go with what works for you.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: SunBurstUK on December 07, 2015, 11:43:51 pm


  I'm using d'aquisto strings in 13's Tony Rice they are nickel, bright clear sound. issue with strings buzzing still after set up, I was told it's technique and also, sensitivity ( I don't know his technical terms were said so quickly, some of it went over my head, while I was nodding!) ;D. with 9's fingers kept skidding off  strings. I have an issue with G string. I it has to go to the 2nd octave always on all guitars I own. I never get a G string to tune right till then so I tend to tune the G first then B E and back to top again. Perhaps my ears don't like it lower and I don't like the g string feeling slack >:(.I may be over tightening strings if going up an octave?. interesting I like the heavier strings too, the sounds nicer too you have to admit that one :-)
 only issue with 13's is that the thickest E string locks into the bridge pin ( plastic ones and the pin after use, has to be snapped to remove it, so the strings are a bit too thick for my guitar and I need to go thinner, when I can afford some new strings again sigh*. I am unsure how to remove the bridge pin without breaking it in two when string lodges in it.
 F barre:
   I am pressing the strings down low  with index finger and laying it towards the neck in a c shape,  I am still getting E B to play slightly muted, I realise it'll come with time. no my finger isn't completely flat it's to one side, I try not to do it but, it's the only way I can barre an F. My 2nd finger is middle of 2,3,4th fingers are in middle of fret I keep trying to slide those over with my other hand to reposition them.I am correcting myself a lot.
 I am trying to do the changes by practising the first song 'please forgive me' such a classic song! and apt for the fact the chord sounds bad atm lol!  ;)

 Thank you both :-)
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Viridini on February 20, 2016, 03:10:54 pm
This week it happened! Ha ha. Happy to report that I finally got the B string to stop buzzing, and all my notes are clear on the barred F!! Didn't think I'd ever get it. For me the final trick that did it was REALLY tucking the elbow in, like 1/4 of the way across my body. That allowed me to more easily get the index finger properly to the side. Now to work on barring the 7th fret.  :-\
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: lunarscope on February 20, 2016, 03:34:49 pm
Well done. I've been stuck on stage 7 for three months, trying to get my full barred F clean during chord changes.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: hilts17 on February 20, 2016, 03:36:34 pm
This week it happened! Ha ha. Happy to report that I finally got the B string to stop buzzing, and all my notes are clear on the barred F!! Didn't think I'd ever get it. For me the final trick that did it was REALLY tucking the elbow in, like 1/4 of the way across my body. That allowed me to more easily get the index finger properly to the side. Now to work on barring the 7th fret.  :-\

Congrats! It feels great to finally get that darn F doesn't it? I can play a clean F now but working on the speed to change chords to it is another battle.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: JetCityCobra on March 20, 2016, 03:14:11 pm
With my original teacher, I learned the F chord, but didn't really "get it."  I have practiced it on and off for about 6 months and just moved to Stage 6 of Justin's course earlier this week.  I was still having a few issues getting all the strings to ring out, notably when I got the 6th string to ring out, the 1st and 2nd would be muted and visa versa.

I finally figured out this morning that my index finger was being lazy and curving just a bit.  It takes a bit of conscious effort to force that finger to stretch out and remain perfectly straight even when laying it over just that little bit to use the side of the finger to barre with.

What an amazing breakthrough and I made a beautiful sounding F Chord!!!  Now to practice it right and really start with those one minute changes.  Kudos to all the fantastic advice in this thread. 

 :)
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Shaolindelt on March 20, 2016, 03:50:09 pm
I started from scratch with Justin's course. The "dreaded F chord" wasn't that bad actually.  In all fairness, tough to change back and forth to in a song, but actually playing it wasn't that hard.  I did try it in my first month and failed miserably, so kudos to the placement in the course ... It worked really well for me when I got there in the proper time.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: SunBurstUK on April 14, 2016, 05:11:17 pm


  The dreaded F became easier for me since deciding to put my usual guitar to one side and get a professional set up on my acoustic. Although, I have had little time to work on it as went in hospital again.  >:(
  but I am finding that I am using the strength o my arm shifting my weight so im pulling my elbow back into my ribs almost to get the F.Im not pressing down on the strings as hard as I was im using Elixir 12s atm and they seem pretty good bet.only thing I had issue with was waiting for the strings to settle in.
 I sadly sold the electric strat that was my friends but, its gone onto a friend, the electrics in it were dieing and the fret board needed a luthiers touch so, its ok its sad its gone to someone else but, its in good hands they are as happy with it as my friend was I was.miss the guitar sitting there in my room and feel pretty bad its gone. yet, I dont have the know how on electrical issues to fix it up. it would have cost a lot and he knows someone who can fix it for him cheaply. I just warned him treat it very well or I cant let you buy it. explained the story behind it and as he knew my friend who passed away he gets why its special.

 im still on F chord but songs coming together so I can now at least hit the f and get a few missed F chords. ( I know I am taking ages on this chord!) but I have a lot going on and I am making jewelry and at tarot classes etc too...so im doing a lot else right now :P I want to get my company KrysylysArts off and running sometime. I'm clearing out clutter to make space for the new to come in. im a jeweler. tarot reader really, energy healer im pretty much spiritual. ( no I haven't preached on tv this is different :P) and its always been on the back burner, but guitars just as important.

 still thinking of selling my other guitars I have two now where the F when you press it down doesnt hurt my fingers and a couple where its murder and you  could slice cheese with the strings.

ok take care things to do again.

enjoy the weekend its on the way soon enough



 
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: inspain on April 26, 2016, 04:39:20 pm
Hi,

Can someone just confirm for me, that the thumb should be behind the second finger more or less while playing the barre and not further up the neck? I read it on the A-shaped Barre chords page after hunting around, and on another site on the net but wanted to make sure. Thanks!
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: hilts17 on April 26, 2016, 04:57:27 pm
Hi,

Can someone just confirm for me, that the thumb should be behind the second finger more or less while playing the barre and not further up the neck? I read it on the A-shaped Barre chords page after hunting around, and on another site on the net but wanted to make sure. Thanks!

I'm not on the Intermediate course yet but I did go to the lesson for it and Justin definitely says "Remember to keep your thumb round that back (very roughly it should be on the other side of the neck to the 2nd finger - but everyone is a little different so don't stress if yours is not!)."

Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Shaolindelt on April 26, 2016, 05:13:22 pm
I'm not on the Intermediate course yet but I did go to the lesson for it and Justin definitely says "Remember to keep your thumb round that back (very roughly it should be on the other side of the neck to the 2nd finger - but everyone is a little different so don't stress if yours is not!)."
I've seen lots of comments about thumb position lately and I ignored mine pretty much all the way through until I needed to work on leverage for barre chords.  It wasn't a huge change, but I did realize that if my thumb was a little off, I couldn't roll my index finger up correctly to barre all the strings.  Probably the only time my thumb position has come into question except when I've tried muting over the top on the low E with my thumb. 
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: inspain on April 26, 2016, 08:34:14 pm
Thanks Shaolindelt and hilts17. It seems behind the 2nd finger is the way forward then :) I'm getting there...
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: SunBurstUK on May 09, 2016, 02:13:37 pm


 F chord isn't perfect for me but I can now get it to ring out. I am using 12s elixirs martin strings. had a full
set up switched guitars im playing on acoustic. I no longer have my electric guitar friend has it  :(
 Things that have worked for me with F chord
playing the G chord with pinky when moving to F.
keeping the first finger slightly curved but not so the C shape is greatly visible
putting thumb not so high up on the neck and keeping it behind second finger.
putting the 2nd.3rd,fourth fingers down before the first finger goes on.
using 12's lights on my acoustic..
getting a full set up.
doing chord changes within the songs not as 1 minute changes. I move from chord to chord that way.
( I dont recommend you to follow my plan but Justin's this is just how ive got to play an F) im not the pro here so I dont recommend following my plan as others know so much more then I do and have a lot of hands on experience with F. im just umm winging my way a bit with F still. at time sit can still sound like a 'strangled cat' :o --no animals were harmed during this post--- ;D

have fun!
 
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: purdy on July 20, 2016, 11:59:00 pm
Hello everyone,
so I have recently been playing this chord for about a week now.  When I bar with the other fingers in their appropriate positions it sounds awesome.  However, if I bar alone - just the bar nothing else.  Not all the notes ring out.  However, when I have the bar with the fingers to make an F-chord the open strings ring out (high E, B, and low E) making a proper F chord. Should I be able to have just the bar and hear all the strings ring out properly? 
P.S. If you were wondering....
If I had to do another type of barre chord I would probably just maneuver my fingers and such around to where the proper strings ring out. 
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Drubbing on July 21, 2016, 11:29:22 am
Trying to barre all strings alone is hard. It's also very rarely needed, and certainly not in beginners stages. Just focus on making the proper barre consistently
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: purdy on July 22, 2016, 02:33:25 am
Is it okay to make somewhat of a C shape with my first finger barring? It works if I make that C shape with my 1st finger instead of having it more like an I.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: stitch101 on July 22, 2016, 03:11:56 am
That's how I do my barre chords and roll the index finger over a bit.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: DarkHorse on July 23, 2016, 12:14:47 am
I'm on stage 8, been doing changes involving F for two months now as I've kept it in my routine. Currently doing F to "rock G", F to "big G" and F to A mini barre grip (the final one just for technique purposes). All around 65-70 per minute.
I'm still not slipping it into songs that easily though depends on the tempo. I keep forming the E shape with 2,3,4 first then getting the barre down - I'm going to begin working on putting the 4 down at exactly same time. Habits certainly die hard!
For those struggling with F it is a real pain, and probably will be for months and months! But I've realised once I intermediate level the barre chords will be relatively easy, and if you can play power chords and F nicely you will be able to play any major,minor,maj7, dom7, min7 chord instantly in at least two positions with practice.
It's still far from natural for me yet but I'm seeing the benefits. Keep at it!
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: purdy on July 23, 2016, 05:06:34 pm
Yeah I make that C-shape but as far as I can tell I haven't really been instructed to do so... It works though. Has anyone else used this C-shape and how did it turn out for you?
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: derek.knight on July 24, 2016, 09:12:34 am
Maybe more of an open bracket ( than a C, but yes I do that. Now a few months further on, I can often get more of an I, but I don't stress about it too much. If I can barre the right strings and form the shape without holding up my strumming (which I'm still not too good at), then it's all good in my book. Certainly practice is the key


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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: QuantumHazard on August 21, 2016, 01:45:47 pm
Hey guys,
I have been working on my F Chords for about 4 weeks. Most of the time I manage to get it ringing out clearly or with a little buzzing that isn't to bad. My changes are at around 35-40 per minute, however I hit a plateau recently. Me being a analytical person tried to figure out the problem and I think I found it.
While reading through the forums I found out that you are supposed to lay down the index finger (the bar) first and then the e-shape, is this correct? I have been doing it the other way around leading to the index finger coming down very late thus resulting in the plateau (my guess). So should I practise my changes with this order from now on, the ultimate goal being to be able to put my fingers down at the same time?

And some other questions:

I find it way more exhausting to put down the bar first, is this normal?
Should I try to be able to bar all six strings? So that later on the min7 chords won't be a problem?
And how does playing on a classical guitar affect the difficulty of playing bar chords? Some say that it is harder because of the high action while others argue that it is easier because of the softer nylon strings.

Thank you in advance for all answers!


Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Deserter on August 21, 2016, 10:11:42 pm
Hi everyone, I've been practicing my F chord for about 4 months and I have come to a point where I hit a wall which I can't seem to break no matter how hard I try.

So the thing is that I can't seem to be able to press the 6th string hard enough to get a nice clear sound on it, instead, when I do the chord and play each string individually, it just comes out with a lot of buzz or muted. So I thought, well maybe just press harder and I should get it, right? Nope, If I do that not only my thumb will fatigue quickly but either the 1st or 2nd string (usually the 1st) will get muted and if I try to change the position of my first finger then I'll just come back to the part where the 6th string is muted. And this is pretty much where I've been during the past months.

So yeah, any suggestions? I'll appreciate it.

Also this ONLY happens when I barre at the first fret, second fret afterwards I can get all strings sound clear enough.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Sweed77 on August 22, 2016, 01:26:54 am
Hi Deserter,

Have you tried arm strength?   From my post earlier in this thread..

 The epiphany for me playing bar chords came in this article ( http://douglasniedt.com/TechTipLittleJennifersSecret.pdf ) about why a 7 yr old girl could play a bar chord but an adult man could not.  The answer is arm strength and not thumb\hand strength.  Once I read it and followed the advice I was up and playing almost immediately.  The only thing that held me back was being able to accurately place my fingers on the fret board which of course is easily fixed with 1 minute changes. 

Read the article and follow the advice and you should be up and playing soon.  It will feel funny at first but in a very short time it just becomes muscle memory and you do it without even noticing.
 
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: doggedwon on August 22, 2016, 05:44:06 am
Excellent article Sweed. Thank you sharing.  I'd heard of that technique before but had forgotten it in middle of all the other things I'm trying to learn.  The only other thing I would add to what the article explains is that the more angled up the neck of guitar is, the easier it seems to be to hold the bar.  For me (a newbie), the most difficult position to play a bar chord is with the neck of the guitar parallel to the body of the guitar.  When I can remember to pull that neck up to about 45° I immediately get clearer bar chords.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: gregflyn on September 14, 2016, 04:58:28 pm
I'm just starting out, and perhaps this is a little premature. I'm somewhere between learning the big boy F and the Traditional F, but on either one, if I nail it, when I move to the next cord the strings just sound dead. This doesn't happen, well at least not to my ear with the other cords that have open strings. Am I just not holding the cord long enough and changing fast enough? Thank you.


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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: SiegeFrog on September 14, 2016, 06:54:26 pm
This is a result of the nature of bar chords versus upen chords. Let's say you play a progression that goes C, Am, F, G. When you transition C to Am 3 of the 5 notes are the same, so those ring out while you do the transition. Similarly, for G to C. However, when you go Am to F, as soon as you put the bar down you mute all the sound from the Am. Also, when you go F to G, as soon as you lift up your fingers the guitar goes silent.  In addition, you probably aren't very confident with F yet, so you're probably playing at a slow tempo which magnifies the effect. As you get faster, you will minimize the effect. It will never sound exactly the same as a transition between open chords, but it will be a lot less noticeable at 120 BPM than at 60 BPM.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: gregflyn on September 14, 2016, 07:06:01 pm
Thank you SiegeFrog, I was thinking that. Just wanted to confirm. I'm only approaching the 60 BPM.


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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: captainamerica on December 07, 2016, 05:12:46 pm
1) In this video at 3:31 Justin refers to additional videos on barre chords that are "about 20 minutes" long on his site.  I searched around the site but could not find any; are they only currently on DVDs?

2) Also, I'm finding the "old-fashioned" F to be fairly manageable, but would it be worth spending the time pursuing/practicing the full bar chord F if I can do the 60s version, meaning will it be a more useful fingering down the road?  I ask because even if I'm practicing several hours per day, I still have to try and be selective on what I'm working on; theory, songs, strumming patterns, etc. 

One could spend years, if not decades, on Justin's site and not work through all of his ancilliary videos like here: http://www.justinguitar.com/en/TE-000-Technique.php

Just mind boggling how much info he's put up here, remarkable job I must say.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: stitch101 on December 07, 2016, 05:40:38 pm
The video Justin refers to is in the intermediate course E shaped barre chords which the
F chord is the first one. Here's the link.

http://www.justinguitar.com/en/IM-111-EShapeMajorMinorBarreChords.php

The old-fashioned F is all you needed if your going to be playing folk songs like Neil Young
but it always good to know multiple way of playing chords.

So it's depends on how far you want to take your playing there are lots of people you get
by with Cowboy chords(another name for open chords) and a capo.

Quote
One could spend years, if not decades, on Justin's site and not work through all of his ancilliary videos like here
This is so true. I've been playing since 1975 and have learned a lot from Justin's site. I wish I had the
time to dedicate to music like Justin does.
Playing music is a life long journey and the best gift you can give yourself.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Joerfe on December 07, 2016, 07:30:45 pm
Regarding barre F and "folk" F. I find that I use both more or less to same extend.
Some times one makes more sense than the other depending on which chord progression you play.
The "folk" F is also a great chord to move up the fretboard. Move the shape to cover the 5th to 7th fret and you have a nice sounding A chord. Or 3rd to 5th fret for a G chord.
I love that shape!
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Dr Winterbourne on December 08, 2016, 08:44:15 am
The video Justin refers to is in the intermediate course E shaped barre chords which the
F chord is the first one. Here's the link.

http://www.justinguitar.com/en/IM-111-EShapeMajorMinorBarreChords.php

The old-fashioned F is all you needed if your going to be playing folk songs like Neil Young
but it always good to know multiple way of playing chords.

So it's depends on how far you want to take your playing there are lots of people you get
by with Cowboy chords(another name for open chords) and a capo.
This is so true. I've been playing since 1975 and have learned a lot from Justin's site. I wish I had the
time to dedicate to music like Justin does.
Playing music is a life long journey and the best gift you can give yourself.

It sounds really nice to slide from the G into the A. I use a move like that in the instrumental breaks in When the Levee Breaks.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: lihp8270 on December 14, 2016, 11:09:47 am
I am having a bit of trouble with this.

Admittedly only been at this a month or so.  But I can do the big bad F further down the fret board.  For example, with a capo on the 2nd fret for Can't Help Falling In Love, and barring at the 3rd.  I can get a really nice clean chord.

But playing at the nut, I struggle to barre the 1st fret properly.  If I get enough pressure on the Low E, the High E mutes, if I correct for the high E, the low E mutes.  Is this a finger strength issue?  Is the action too high at the nut?

This is on acoustic by the way, on an electric I can also barre fine at the 1st fret.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Rossco01 on December 14, 2016, 11:19:51 am
It might be the action but barre chords are usually harder on an acoustic than on an electric until they become second nature. It has in all honesty taken me the best part of two years before barre chords have become - almost - something I don't think about too much when playing songs and even then they aren't as easy as open chords. It just takes time.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: tobyjenner on December 14, 2016, 01:51:56 pm
lihp8270

If you've not had your acoustic set up properly, I'd recommend you get that done. I spent about 6 months on stage 6 trying to get the barre clean on acoustic and demoralized restarted the BC. Decided to get my Encore set up at a "local" shop and bingo barre F sorted. Never looked back  ;) Best to rule the guitar out and get the action adjusted and everything set up correctly, it will make a big difference to your playing.

Toby
 8)
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: captainamerica on December 15, 2016, 12:43:55 am
For god knows what reason I have found the F, even the full barre version, not that tough.  Easy? Definitely not, but doable. 

Now that C7, its a chord from the devil himself...
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: close2u on December 15, 2016, 06:53:42 am
I can do the big bad F further down the fret board

Playing the F-shape barre chord further along the guitar neck is easier and much more achievable. It is a long established method of practicing and building up the technique. Practice the chord at fret 5, fret 4, fret 3 etc until your fingers and everything work properly. Take your time ... a week or two on each part. Eventually you will manage at fret 1.
Even if your action is high and your nut slots are badly cut.

Of course, if your guitar is hard to play, getting these issues fettled by a good tech will only help.
But for now, keep playing higher up work your way back down.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: captainamerica on December 15, 2016, 03:39:24 pm
In the F chord lesson, Justin mentions he mentions 2-3-4 for the E chord as an alternative fingering coming to/from the F, which I think was a good one and incorporated into my exercises.

In that same vein, has anyone tried using a 1-3-2 for the A chord minor coming to/from the F, rather than the 1-2-3?  It means only having to bring 3rd finger down one string while standing finger 1 up from the mini barre, and finger 2 can just slide along the same string.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: joueur de guitare on December 15, 2016, 03:59:36 pm
Quote from: captainamerica
In that same vein, has anyone tried using a 1-3-2 for the A chord minor coming to/from the F, rather than the 1-2-3?  It means only having to bring 3rd finger down one string while standing finger 1 up from the mini barre, and finger 2 can just slide along the same string.

That's the way Justin teaches Am

See video, and text. 

http://www.justinguitar.com/en/BC-121-Am-chord.php (http://www.justinguitar.com/en/BC-121-Am-chord.php)

The chord box on the video is 'wrong', Justin says so himself on the vid @2:55 in. ;)

It's shown the right way in the Beginner's Course book p54.

You should also try to get all three Beginner's Course F chord shapes down, not just that one. See this vid.

http://www.justinguitar.com/en/BC-161-F-chord.php (http://www.justinguitar.com/en/BC-161-F-chord.php)
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: captainamerica on December 15, 2016, 04:52:28 pm
That's the way Justin teaches Am

See video, and text. 

http://www.justinguitar.com/en/BC-121-Am-chord.php (http://www.justinguitar.com/en/BC-121-Am-chord.php)

The chord box on the video is 'wrong', Justin says so himself on the vid @2:55 in. ;)

It's shown the right way in the Beginner's Course book p54.

You should also try to get all three Beginner's Course F chord shapes down, not just that one. See this vid.

http://www.justinguitar.com/en/BC-161-F-chord.php (http://www.justinguitar.com/en/BC-161-F-chord.php)

The red popup box that mentions the wrong fingering appears at :52 in the video (which ends at 2:55).

He teaches that Am should have the same fingering shape as Emaj; 1-2-3; what I was proposing was in the "incorrect" diagram on the video when transitioning to/from F.  This would work for either the full F or the minibar one, both of which I'm polishing up.  Though I do like the mini-bar version better, it sounds better to my ear even though I'll pick/strum both versions and the notes all ring clear.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: joueur de guitare on December 15, 2016, 05:40:26 pm
You wrote 1-3-2 fingering. Here:

Quote
In that same vein, has anyone tried using a 1-3-2 for the A chord minor coming to/from the F, rather than the 1-2-3?

the way Justin shows is 1-3-2, What you seem to be proposing is using 1-2-3.


(http://www.justinguitar.com/images/BC_images/121-Am-chord.gif)(http://www.justinguitar.com/images/BC_images/113-E-chord.gif)
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: SiegeFrog on December 15, 2016, 08:14:20 pm
I guess you could use that alternate fingering for Am, but I never tried it. I think of Am as such a fundamental chord that I would need a really good reason to alter it. Going minibar F to Am allows a first finger anchor. That's enough for me.

Of course I'm someone who's never used that 234 fingering for E either outside of practice. When I've encountered E and F in a song I stick with regular 132 fingering. If you're doing air changes you use anchor fingers less and less.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: shadowscott007 on December 15, 2016, 09:57:33 pm
The short term benefit for things like the alternate Am fingering is just that.  A short term benefit.  A better investment would be to take the time to get the standard grips down.  Once you do, the 'savings' for most of the non-standard grips evaporates.

Shadow
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: BabyBlue on January 19, 2017, 07:31:34 pm
I hope it's OK starting a new topic - I think this is a bit different from the other recent F-chord thread
Anyway, I've been working in Stage 6 for about 3 1/2 weeks.  I'm not nearly there with the "full barre" F chord, or even the slightly modified one.   But, I do one-minute changes, and try to play a few of the songs that have F in them, with mistakes of course.

In past stages, I've found that sometimes it helped me to move on to the next stage if I felt stuck on one thing.  But I know the F chord is all-important.  I'm wondering if I should move on to the next stage with the Sus chords (which I already know a little bit) and just keep trying those songs?  Or just plug away at stage 6 for as long as it takes me to master the F chord?
Thanks for any input! :)
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: SiegeFrog on January 19, 2017, 10:09:37 pm
You're not going to master the F chord in a month. I think for most beginners, F is a work in progress from stage 6 until consolidation or beyond. My suggestion would be to plug away at Stage 6 for maybe twice as long as you're averaging the other stages (don't forget the tied strumming pattern) and then move on. Keep working on F and changes with it. Once you get to consolidation, take stock of where you are with it.

Personally, I worked with F about 6 months before it was consistently clean and then probably another 6 months before working it into a song was pretty fluid. Others' experiences will vary.


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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: m_c on January 19, 2017, 11:35:59 pm
As SeigeFrog says, don't let it hold you back.

The F chord can take a while to get competent with, so as long as you keep it as part of your practice routine, don't worry too much about it.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: bo-jingle on January 19, 2017, 11:51:34 pm
I think it sort of depends.  Progress is okay, getting stuck on something is okay too.  After all it is a learning process.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: JakeBugs on January 20, 2017, 12:10:24 am
hitting the bar chord on the first fret is pretty hard at first so try practicing it up higher up the neck (it's easier) and then gradually move down one your hand is stronger
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: bo-jingle on January 20, 2017, 02:51:27 pm
I think new learners should be aware that with electric guitars or acoustic guitars there is no real need in musical performance to play all 6 notes in a chord at the same time all of the time.  As people learn more and turn up the volume sometimes the skill is in choosing what notes to play and how to sequence them in rather than playing them all at once - and what notes to mute and how to mute.

I admit those skills are probably beyond the basic learning kind of steps.

So, interim conclusion: everyone probably struggles with the F chord like forever.  The question is: did you use the F chord as it ought to have been used?  The question needs a context answer too.  And nothing stops you from returning to the F chord later on as part of selective consolidation?
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: tobyjenner on January 20, 2017, 07:12:11 pm
BB

Don't sweat about the F barre chord for now, as its an integral part of stage 1 of the Intermediate, so that should given an inclination that this puppy takes time. If you're ok with the other stage 6 stuff the move on.

If you've not had a look already check out IM Lesson 1
https://www.justinguitar.com/en/IM-111-EShapeMajorMinorBarreChords.php
Its twenty minutes long so give you a lot more than the stage 6 tut.

As others have said try the barre further up the neck. Even go so far as the 7th or 8th fret as a root. Think barre not F barre. Play a C (8th) or B (7th) E shaped barre chord and work slowly down to that swine of a first fret and the F in F !!

Took me months and months - some of my sanity is still out there  8)
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: BabyBlue on January 20, 2017, 10:38:15 pm
Thank you, Tobyjenner for the lesson link.
And thanks to everyone who replied.  I feel better now. :)
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: bo-jingle on January 21, 2017, 02:45:49 pm
You asked a good question - and where would a forum be without good questions?

Maybe it is helpful to think of two separate parts in music: studies (sometimes called etudes) and performance.  :o

Every musician needs studies and studies help with performance.

While it is great to ace everything it is equally important to know when I can't ace something and then I have to do a fudge or find a workaround.  All of those are sort of essential in the musician repertoire - and remember keep on jangling, or was it jingling? ...  ;D
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: mikeb2102 on January 25, 2017, 06:12:08 pm
I learned a few chords a while ago and gave up when I came to F. I've just recently started learning again (a few days) and for some reason everything's sort of clicked. I can change through the open chords pretty quickly. Changing to F is a stumbling block, I know I'm quicker than when I tried it a few years ago, but it's not as quick as I'd like it to be. I'm going to just keep going through the changes every day and hopefully the F chord change will eventually come good. I'm in no rush, so if I stick at it before moving forward in the course then so be it.

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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: m_c on January 25, 2017, 06:52:08 pm
Mike, don't hold of from moving onto the next stage of the course, just because you've not got good at the F chord. Realistically, to get good at it can take months, and staying stuck on the one stage for that long is likely to lead to loss of motivation.
Don't be afraid to move onto, just remember to keep the F chord as part of your practise schedule.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: mikeb2102 on January 25, 2017, 07:23:12 pm


Mike, don't hold of from moving onto the next stage of the course, just because you've not got good at the F chord. Realistically, to get good at it can take months

I've still got the songs from stage one and my strumming needs a bit of work. So I figured I'd focus on them and still practice my changes, then I'll move on. By the time I've worked on those things my changes with F should be quite good. I'm managing to finger F and play it cleanly, it's just my speed changing to it that needs a bit of work.

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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: PeteR on January 27, 2017, 09:16:20 pm
I hope it's OK starting a new topic - I think this is a bit different from the other recent F-chord thread
Anyway, I've bee...

Just keep at it or keep coming back to it. You will get it eventually. Took me 2 years to get it reasonable and another 10 to get it (not quite) perfect.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: bo-jingle on January 28, 2017, 06:14:21 pm
Sometimes learning stuff is a bit like the layers of an onion.   :'(

You can go round and round on the same layer and it is all very much the same.  Might even get stuck on that layer like forever and an eternity - and that is not a bad thing if its what a person wants to do.

But when you move on up to another layer well you get to the same or similar spot you will have moved on.

Thus jangled Bo-jingly, or was it This jingled Bo-jangly - well tsk! never mind?
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: mikeb2102 on January 28, 2017, 08:10:34 pm


Sometimes learning stuff is a bit like the layers of an onion.   :'(


I read that in Shrek's voice "onions have layers"

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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: bo-jingle on January 28, 2017, 09:56:40 pm

I read that in Shrek's voice "onions have layers"

Jigger!  I thought I had turned the mike off too  ::)
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Unicorn on January 29, 2017, 10:08:26 am
Never sure whether a fellow struggler is a good person to take advice from, but...

I find I progress more if I DON'T get stuck on one thing I cant do.  Your hand gets tired in one place.  Coming back from a while away, I can play some quite fancy jazz chord accompaniments like Summertime, but can't play "3 little birds" (not quite true - but the first couple of times my hand ached from holding an A chord all the time, instead of changing chords, and I muffed a couple of changes.)
So variety - don't get stuck - for interest and pain reasons.  If it hurts, you play it badly, and that is demoralising.
Finally - try not just going up the neck, but using a capo so you can play the open chords in a sequence too
 :)
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: caprica on January 30, 2017, 05:12:46 am
You don't need to worry about the full barre until intermediate where barre chords are covered properly.

Just work on the mini barre version as part of your chord change practice. It will come when you get the strength and finger isolation.

Fwiw full barre chords took me months of practice and even now there are still bits I am cleaning up.  I found using power chord based rock songs as a good way to build my barre strength

Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Omar on January 30, 2017, 09:27:59 am
I too am struggling with F chord. Only B string buzzes because it goes underneath my finger's joint. I'm trying different techniques and I'm sure I'll nail it soon.

Good things take time :)
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Curtis Suter on January 30, 2017, 05:16:50 pm
I was watching a Youtube video tutorial for a song and he reference the F chord and said that it begins with F for a reason!  ha ha
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: dmpol18 on January 30, 2017, 06:32:01 pm
Triple check for the finger side pushing, not soft flesh part of the finger.
If you haven't an electric guitar - get dirty cheap squire bullet and practice on it with 9th string.
Learn getting barre chords with a thumb on 6th string around the neck.
Start doing min7 barre on 8th fret and graduaally get down on the neck.
3 times per day for 5-10 mins.
Push guitar strings while watching movies.
Reasonable amount of push ups from the floor and pulls on the horizontal bar are good for you playing.
Also try push ups on your fingers with knees on the floor in the beginning if you can't do it.

With focused practice in a 3 months period you should get
Basic Reading Music & Notes and playing single notes melodies in the first position
Basic Open Chords
Minor Seventh & Suspended Chords
Basic 8th notes Strumming Patterns and Accents
Barre Chords on the 6th & 5th Strings
Strumming with reading text / chords above it

Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: BabyBlue on January 30, 2017, 10:13:31 pm
Thank you, everyone.  I have been following caprica's advice of using the mini-barre F chord, playing songs in level 6.
I am thinking about the electric guitar idea, but my plan was really to become.... can I say competent?  I daren't say good... on acoustic guitar before I branch out that way.  I know many teachers say to start with electric, but I love the sound of acoustic and have a really nice Martin that I enjoy playing as often as I can. And I'm a rock 'n roll girl but I found that many genres can be played on the acoustic.

Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: MCosta84 on February 02, 2017, 01:55:34 am
I don't get it...can play the barre F easy enough, but for some reason I cannot find a position where I can keep the high E from going dead while still making the stretch for the rest of the chord. Got any alternative practice ideas to fix it?
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Wheelin Rev on February 02, 2017, 02:58:53 am
I don't get it...can play the barre F easy enough, but for some reason I cannot find a position where I can keep the high E from going dead while still making the stretch for the rest of the chord. Got any alternative practice ideas to fix it?

I run into that problem quite a bit. I don't have any quick fixes other than to suggest slowly repositioning your hand until the dead string starts singing. But off course, you probably already do that now. Cheers! Dave
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: DarrellW on February 02, 2017, 08:02:32 am
I have the same problem with partial barre chords, it's seriously hindered my progress trying to learn the Stairway intro (being strict about how many strings need to be fretted).
As above you need to find a position where you get the strings ring out and get it imprinted into muscle memory - I'm not quite there yet but definitely improving.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Matt125 on February 02, 2017, 09:23:16 am
Are you having trouble with this chord?
(https://www.justinguitar.com/images/BC_images/161-F-chord-no65.gif)

Make sure that your first finger is butting up against the first fret.  This way much less pressure is required and it's less likely that the first string will be muted.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Patrick123 on February 02, 2017, 01:15:47 pm
I too have struggled with the mini f chord in the past. Just keep at it. Like others said it's all about muscle memory. You will get it.

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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: captainamerica on February 02, 2017, 06:00:44 pm
I have opted to use the mini-bar F with all four fingers rather than the bar-F as I feel it sounds better, but that's JMO. 
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Patrick123 on February 03, 2017, 01:24:04 pm
That's one of the awesome things about guitar. The stuff we can learn is endless.

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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: simon3142 on February 04, 2017, 09:40:04 am
So far no one has mentioned FMaj7 which Justin recommends as a cheat that often works in a song.
From Mattt's diagram the first finger just plays the C, leaving the E to ring out.

The next step is to lower the first finger to fret the E string as well.
I think it is important to realise that for this chord, the first finger doesn't have to be at a right angle to the fret. It is easier if the first finger is at an angle to the fret, what ever is comfortable, maybe up to 45 degrees.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Patrick123 on February 04, 2017, 09:36:56 pm
You are correct Simon the Fmaj7 is a good chord as well

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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: MCosta84 on February 04, 2017, 11:59:40 pm
Oh, I use the Fmaj7, but I am on stage 6 now which is all about the F chord so that is why I am focused on that chord in this post.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: simon3142 on February 05, 2017, 10:12:19 am
Oh, I use the Fmaj7, but I am on stage 6 now which is all about the F chord so that is why I am focused on that chord in this post.

I see the FMaj7 as a transition step to the mini F chord. It is easiest to finger the FMaj7 chord first and then lower you first finger to cover the E string. It will probably go down at an angle to the frets which is fine.

If you try to make the mini bar first and parallel to the frets, it makes fingering the other notes awkward. (of course I don't know if that was what you were doing).

Once you get the hang of it you will just put the finger down together.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: chix2 on February 05, 2017, 11:43:04 am
one thing i might add, that may have been overlooked but can help massivly string gauge and action set up. mine are set too low action and i like elixir strings electric  9-42 and 10's extra lights on accoustic. without a set-up a cappo on the first or second fret can help too. hope that helps
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: sdd56 on February 05, 2017, 09:04:55 pm
Hi - as I am just starting with the "dreaded F", I am wondering whether it would be worth having a set up on my Yamaha acoustic. I have no concept of how the action compares to other guitars, so I am wondering if anybody else has any experience with this guitar?

I have put Elixir extra lights on it, but still struggle with the full barre, although I have only just got to stage 6 so that is probably to be expected regardless of the action.
Thanks, Stan
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: close2u on February 05, 2017, 09:38:43 pm
Use a different approach.
Either capo at a fret up the neck - 3-6 say - and practice your f shape barre with that.
Or
Play the f shape barre further up the neck - frets 4-7 say - until you improve then move down one fret at a time
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Patrick123 on February 08, 2017, 01:46:43 am
I agree, a proper guitar setup so that the action isn't too high will help alot with learning the f chord

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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: ahelton on February 09, 2017, 11:39:44 pm
I've been working on the full-barre F chord for 8 months and it still struggle with it some. I'm on the consolidation portion of the Beginner's course, but the F Chord remains one of the primary things that I practice every day.

One thing that helped me a little was changing my strings. I have a Taylor 110 acoustic and the stock strings that came on it were .12 gaugge. Switching to the D'Addarrio .11 gauge has made playing barre chords quite a bit easier. However, much of it is just practice...over and over and over again.

My main struggle now is hitting the first beat when I switch from another chord to the F Chord. I've really had to focus hard on forcing my hand to switch chords faster. As I've improved, I've noticed that my switches are much more minimal now than when I first started. When I do it best, my hand only moves as little as necessary to land the chord and play it correctly. It slowly but surely becoming a more "natural" movement. I'm glad I've stuck with it!
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: tdunster on February 16, 2017, 03:05:46 am
The F- Barr Chord is easy.  It has nothing to do with guitar action or string gauge - it is all about technique and practising to perfect that technique.

Something extra I would suggest is to find a song you like that uses the F-chord and practice it until you can play it effortlessly.

For me it was Bob Dylan's Hurricane.  At first that switch from Am to F was a killer - in fact I thought it was impossible.  After many many hours a day playing the song it just clicked one day.  Now I play it without thinking about it.

It's all about practice.  There are no short-cuts.  You put in the time , follow the book, and you will be rewarded. Some people get rewarded earlier than others - but it will happen - you will be able to play the dreaded F Barr.

After 14 months dedicating two hours a day to the Beginner Book and a further six to eight hours a day on transcribing  / playing songs I'm only just moving onto the final chapter of the book.
I think far too many people are expecting to progress too quickly of are perhaps moving onto the next chapter when they really haven't become proficient enough on the previous ones.

It's not a race or about comparing yourself to others.  It's about having fun.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: SiegeFrog on February 16, 2017, 06:42:51 am
The F- Barr Chord is easy.  It has nothing to do with guitar action or string gauge - it is all about technique and practising to perfect that technique.

Let's be serious now: The F chord is not easy. That's counterproductive to tell people. Yes, once you get it you get it, but by no means is it easy. Em is easy. F is hard. That's why there are a zillion replies in this thread and very few in the Em thread. Additionally, it's easier on an electric than an acoustic, and string gauge and action can make a difference. To suggest otherwise is dishonest. Then, once you get it, you have to figure out how to change to and from it in a song. By your own admission, you struggled with it as well. How long did you struggle with Em in comparison.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Buckeye1971 on February 16, 2017, 07:17:51 am
Quote
The F- Barr Chord is easy.  It has nothing to do with guitar action or string gauge - it is all about technique and practising to perfect that technique.

Sorry, gotta agree with Siegefrog and call B.S. on this. Aside from some Jazz chords and the B chord, F is the worst. Actually, it probably is the worst if you consider that by the time you get to the B chord and jazz chords you are at least somewhat proficient at playing guitar (also, you have the necessary callouses, strength and flexibility) and the hill to climb to master those chords is not as steep.
Also, string gauge and action make a huge difference. Going from acoustic to electric prove this point.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Drubbing on February 16, 2017, 08:54:11 am
The F chord is not easy. Search any teaching site anywhere and you'll find a consensus on this. I took to fretting without much difficultly, but the F was a long term project for my acoustic guitar. Electric was somewhat easier.

It's a combination of technique and strength - applied in the right way. Beginners place too much emphasis on strength alone and wonder if they'll ever get it.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Omar on February 16, 2017, 08:59:52 am
I agree with Drubbing; technique is the key.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: DarrellW on February 16, 2017, 09:12:01 am
+1, all barre chords are more difficult to get clean than any open chord purely because you have to fret more than one string with a finger that has joints that present different heights to fret the strings; until you have learned to get around this they are hard. Once you have got it they are easy but still more difficult than open chords.
The string gauge is less critical than you might think but the action is very important, a properly set up decent quality acoustic is not much more difficult to play than electric, string bending is easier but that's about it.
I play with 12's on my acoustics and 10's or 11's on my electrics and find them great for the things I want to learn and play.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: tdunster on February 19, 2017, 05:13:42 am
Learn songs that have the F-Barr in them - that way it will make the grind a bit of fun

Twist and Shout
House of the Rising Sun [Traditional]
Cruel to Be Kind [Nick Lowe]
Cheap Wine [ Cold Chisel]
All Along the Watch Tower [Dylan]
Hurricane [Dylan]
Smells Like Teen Spirit

and many more.......

Don't worry about the whole song if its too hard just do the part to and from the F chord changes.

Young children can play f-barr chords on 12 gauge strings once they get the technique right - so strength and string gauge is only an excuse for people that don't put in the time and effort.

In some ways light gauge strings are more difficult than heavier ones because they have less tension and move sideways - which changes the pitch of the note.  Low actions are also troublesome when it comes to effectively muting strings or indeed fretting out on bends.

Don't let it get you down if you can't get it right away - it just takes time - but once you do get it it opens up a whole new world.

I actually have more trouble with power chords than I do Barre Chords.

We are all different.


Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: tdunster on February 19, 2017, 06:03:27 am
Also, string gauge and action make a huge difference. Going from acoustic to electric prove this point.

A poorly cut nut is a bigger killer to a beginners ability to play barr chords than the type of guitar.

I've had friends make similar complaints only to play my acoustic and go I can't believe an acoustic with 13's on it is so easy to play.

Nothing a file, some feeler gauges, and a truss rod adjustment cannot fix - and if it's a fret issue well hopefully warranty should cover it.

But I wouldn't want to avoid acoustics because they are harder to play - it's just not that simple.


Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: willvt13 on March 20, 2017, 08:18:33 pm
SDD56, I also have a Yamaha acoustic. I just had a setup done and it is a great improvement. When I first started on the full barre F, I had difficulty with the chord shape, practice fixed that. I was able to do the full barre, but the quality was inconsistent. I had a setup done (the action was high) and the quality of the chord is tons better! Technique is important, but a poor setup can make the frustration much worse than it needs to be. I would at least have the setup checked. A good guitar tech/luthier will be able to tell you if a setup will be of benefit with a quick measurement.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: sdd56 on March 21, 2017, 08:42:12 pm
Thanks Will - that is interesting.

For the moment I have put the full barre on hold while I try to get the mini-F up to speed.
I will probably practice the full barre on my electric. When and if I can get the technique correct I will look into a setup for the acoustic.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: tobyjenner on March 22, 2017, 09:30:20 am
I'd just like to offer some sorely learnt advice to anyone reaching stage 6 and taking on the Dreaded F. If you've not done already get your guitar set up especially acoustics. Take it to a shop and get it done by a pro first time and maybe tweak it yourself after that if your confident.

If I had done this I'd would have avoided months and months of heart ache and frustration. Wouldn't want anyone to go there if I could help it.

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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Laila on March 22, 2017, 09:40:31 am
Toby, how can I check if my guitar is properly set up? I have had it in to a store to lower the action, but I have no idea how to check anything else.

I'm pretty handy otherwise and fix my own bikes and gear, but guitar is a blind spot. So I have no way of checking if I have a "good" setup or not.

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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Buckeye1971 on March 22, 2017, 10:19:05 am
Toby, how can I check if my guitar is properly set up? I have had it in to a store to lower the action, but I have no idea how to check anything else.

I'm pretty handy otherwise and fix my own bikes and gear, but guitar is a blind spot. So I have no way of checking if I have a "good" setup or not.

Sent fra min C6903 via Tapatalk


There are many youtube videos that can help you determine if your guitar is set up properly. I  would suggest checking them out. The videos will explain it better than we can describe it on this forum because there are quite a few "problems" and "fixes that may or may not be required. :)
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Laila on March 22, 2017, 01:13:38 pm
Ok, Buckeye, will do.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: tobyjenner on March 23, 2017, 09:53:51 am
Laila

Somebody posted a good explanation / guide on the forum a couple of years back. Can't remember who but it covered measurement and how to go about checking things out. From what I recall it was fairly comprehensive so someone may remember the post or saved it. The more I think about it it may have been Shadowscot could be wrong though.

Toby


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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Joerfe on March 23, 2017, 10:24:52 am
I've used this to great results. But as mentioned I recommend having it set up by a pro the first time. After that you only need to adjust.

http://thbecker.net/guitar_playing/guitars_and_setup/setup_page_01.html
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: stitch101 on March 23, 2017, 02:54:06 pm
That's a good link Joerfe. One of the better set up pages.

Setting the neck relief first is the best tip. To many people use the truss rod to set the action which is
wrong, wrong, wrong. It can also damage your guitar.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: danni on May 17, 2017, 08:28:52 pm
I started in January with the beginners course and moved through the stages rather quickly...until the F chord came up. It was like hitting a wall, for weeks and weeks I was not able to get one good chord, let alone any chord changes.

But I really have to say: everything you wrote here is true. It does get better if you practise patiently and put the time in. When I was the most frustrated I stopped working on the F particularly and picked three songs with F and just practised those and I think it helped to somehow relax and not think about it so much anymore. 10 days ago I did my first real F with all the strings really sounding out. Amazing! I started the chord changing exercises again and now I am up to 30 changes from C to F.

I never thought this would be possible... I am really excited now and confident that from 30 I can go to 60. Just thought I wanted to share this with you, cause your comments here really helped when I was most frustrated  :)
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: PeterU on May 17, 2017, 09:33:20 pm
That's brilliant and really encouraging as having started about the same time as you I've hit the same wall but instead of tackling it just yet, I've decided to do a mini consolidation instead working on chord sequences from 80 bpm up to 160 bpm to perfect some key chord changes and work to fully automate my strumming patterns. 

My aim is to master all I've learned so far so I can just focus on the dreaded f chord on stage 6 in a few weeks time.

Friends who are accomplished guitarists all suggested that and it seems to make tons of sense and just means stage 6 is all about F!

I've also mastered the DDUUD pattern from stage 6 again to get it under my belt, actually learnt it so I could play BEG and Killing Me Softly.

I'd suggest to anyone worrying about F to go back and revise and Master all before.

It also has the benefit that stage 6 can be balanced between hard graft on the F and enjoyment by playing songs which you've mastered which also keeps spirits high!

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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: SiegeFrog on May 18, 2017, 04:12:59 am
I took the opposite approach. I actually started trying F back in Stage 4 and 5. I didn't try to use, just form it. I just added it to the strum pick out strum exercise. I thought it would help build up some hand strength. Once I got to Stage 6 it was a lot easier and I started doing 1 minute changes with it. It still took a while, but I feel like I got a head start. There are lots of ways of approaching it.


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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: DavidP on May 18, 2017, 06:33:39 am
I've also mastered the DDUUD pattern from stage 6 again to get it under my belt, actually learnt it so I could play BEG and Killing Me Softly.
PeterU,

I'm sure I'm going to kick myself black and blue ... but what song is BEG   ???

Please put me out of my misery  :-[

Cheers
David
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: batwoman on May 18, 2017, 06:45:00 am
PeterU,

I'm sure I'm going to kick myself black and blue ... but what song is BEG   ???

Please put me out of my misery  :-[

Cheers
David

It's about a girl who doesn't have blue eyes  ;) who laughs and runs and skips and jumps in the misty mornin' rain   8)
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: PeterU on May 18, 2017, 06:47:45 am
That's the one. Brown Eyed Girl. It's brilliant for getting the C to G change and tied strumming pattern. It's quick too at 151 bpm at full pelt. 😊

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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: DavidP on May 18, 2017, 08:07:41 am
Thanks Batwoman and PeterU

As I thought ... how did I miss that  :)

And yes, I agree, an excellent song to practise "old faithful" and stage 1-3 chords.  I celebrated when I could more or less play along with Justin in his intro rendition of the song in the lesson video.

My biggest challenge is getting those three bars of D sounding good before the sha la las star.

And still struggling to sing it ... some lines come out ok and others not so much.

Cheers
David
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: danni on May 20, 2017, 04:29:25 pm
That's actually such a good idea, I skipped that song, back on that stage I was still playing my old guitar that did not have a cut-away. I will go back to that intro now, great idea!
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Christopher on June 29, 2017, 11:48:51 am
I have two guitars one is a Squire Classic Vibe Tele and the other one is a Epiphone Les Paul. The Telecaster has 9's on it and the Les Paul has 10's.
   The Telecaster is much easier to play the F chord on than the Les Paul. Does string gauge play a part in how easy it is to play an F chord?
   Should I put 9's on my Les Paul or just suck it up and continue ?
  Thanks
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: mikeb2102 on June 29, 2017, 12:28:09 pm
I have two guitars one is a Squire Classic Vibe Tele and the other one is a Epiphone Les Paul. The Telecaster has 9's on it and the Les Paul has 10's.
   The Telecaster is much easier to play the F chord on than the Les Paul. Does string gauge play a part in how easy it is to play an F chord?
   Should I put 9's on my Les Paul or just suck it up and continue ?
  Thanks
I don't think the strings make any difference. I've got different sets of strings on my two guitars, ones an Epiphone SG and the other is a Yamaha F310 and I can play F on both. I think it's just down to practice, although I've only been playing 6 months and someone who's been playing longer might have a different opinion. I use my acoustic to learn the chords then I switch to my electric and it seems easier because of the thinner neck

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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: DavidP on June 29, 2017, 12:37:10 pm
I have two guitars one is a Squire Classic Vibe Tele and the other one is a Epiphone Les Paul. The Telecaster has 9's on it and the Les Paul has 10's.
   The Telecaster is much easier to play the F chord on than the Les Paul. Does string gauge play a part in how easy it is to play an F chord?
   Should I put 9's on my Les Paul or just suck it up and continue ?
  Thanks
Christopher,

My understanding is that the lighter the gauge string the easier it will be to play.  Couldn't comment on exactly how much easier it would be going from 10s to 9s.

It is also conceivable that the different shape neck (curvature, width and thickness) may also play a part.  My (limited) understanding would be that the feel of a Tele vs the LP will be significant and that may also contribute.

And when it comes to string guage, I believe that it will also have an effect on the tone of the guitar.  I believe that part of what contributes to Stevie Ray Vaughan's particular tone is the fact that he played with really heavy gauge strings on his electrics. So not just something for acoustic players to think about.

Cheers
David
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: jono on June 29, 2017, 01:43:08 pm
I find 9's on a Les Paul are too floppy and rattle a bit.
Les Pauls with 10's on do seem a bit harder to do barre chords on than strat / tele, especially near the nut, probably as there is more tension to overcome with the thicker strings and the nut being an immovable object holding the string away from the fret.
I think you need to suck it up, bending the barre finger helps.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: PeterU on June 29, 2017, 02:01:29 pm
Tip I've used for the guys at work who play in bands is to practice on the fifth fret then gradually move to the first as the technique and strength builds and to concentrate on the thumb bring at the bottom half of the neck. Both working for me. I'm on 10s on a Squier Strat with a low action set up by a pro. Just my two penny worth ...

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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: rsophiuchi on July 04, 2017, 10:10:27 am
https://1drv.ms/i/s!AmJQinICk2JcgQH5vxzJ12_inciD

Hi everyone,

I've uploaded an image of me playing the middle size F chord. As you can see, my index finger is at an angle instead of being vertical. As I am quite small, my arm is extended a long way when my hands are at the end of the fretboard and I can't angle my wrist to get my index finger straight. Is it OK to play the F chord like this at the moment?

I realise this will be a problem once I start playing barre chords. Is it likely that my hands will become more flexible or are barre chords likely to remain a problem for me?

Thanks very much.
Regards,
Susan
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: DavidP on July 04, 2017, 11:00:45 am
Susan,

I confess to also being a beginner, so this may not be the soundest advice ...

Have you tried angling the neck of the guitar up a little ... more like a classical position.  I have seen pictures of people playing steel string like that and it may bring the first fret in a little closer and create a better angle ... not sure if the angle will help or not  :)

I don't think there are absolutes.  If it is comfortable, stable and allows you to be relaxed and make the grips effectively, then probably OK.  But maybe there are other implications, perhaps for the right hand if the angle of the strings changes when strumming or picking.  Don't know.

But it can't hurt to try?

And somebody will correct if the guitar neck must be absolutely horizontal.

Cheers
David
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: mikeb2102 on July 04, 2017, 11:08:29 am
Hi Susan have you tried doing a full barre F? If so, how does that feel?

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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: rsophiuchi on July 04, 2017, 12:13:17 pm
Thanks David, I will try it.

Mike, I can't do the full barre F. The angle is too difficult for me to keep my index finger vertical. I tried it for a while, but I ended up with a sore wrist.

Thanks,
Susan
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Drubbing on July 04, 2017, 12:26:08 pm
You need to tilt the neck up, this make the angles easier. A horizontal guitar neck is not mandatory, or achievable for some.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Laila on July 04, 2017, 12:42:46 pm
Susan, if your wrist gets sore you might want to try out a guitar with a shorter scale at some point. I have a Taylor GS Mini and it's easier for those stretchy things.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: LievenDV on July 04, 2017, 12:59:12 pm
the shorter scale won't do so much.

- When trying, make sure you have a good posture with elbow and wrist!
- try a barre on the 5th, 6th or 7th fret; you'll have enough space but less tension to push down.
- It takes LONG! my first barres were especially hard on my thumb. doing a few strums and my thumb would feel liek it was buring for a sec. it is, literally, starting from zero. like learning to walk or ride a bike. You can pull off the first meter some day and see it as a success. As you go on, you keep improving.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Laila on July 04, 2017, 01:36:49 pm
the shorter scale won't do so much.


Why is that, Lieven? I'm certainly no expert :-) but it seems logical that if you have shorter arms a guitar with a shorter neck will give a better wrist position, and it feels that way to me too. (I'm not talking about the thumb muscle burning, which is more of a strength and technique thing than position).
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: LievenDV on July 04, 2017, 02:25:32 pm
Why is that, Lieven? I'm certainly no expert :-) but it seems logical that if you have shorter arms a guitar with a shorter neck will give a better wrist position, and it feels that way to me too. (I'm not talking about the thumb muscle burning, which is more of a strength and technique thing than position).

You are not wrong but I said that because that changing guitars is trying to handle the symptom and not the cause. having the impact of a bad technique or postured camouflaged by changing guitar doesn't change the habit.
It might be easier to find a posture but you achieve the same result when practicing on other frets and gradually working towards the first fret.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Drubbing on July 04, 2017, 02:53:59 pm
As Lieven says, this is a common problem for many beginners. Finding ways around them is not the answer.

Millions have learned to play standard scale guitars and get competent at the F chord. Shorts and small scale are for specific purposes, not shortcuts to learning to play.

Besides, the necks is 12-14 frets long. Nothing to stop beginners learning barres further up, and moving up the neck as they develop technique. Far cheaper and more practical than buying a small guitar.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: rsophiuchi on July 04, 2017, 02:56:15 pm
Thank you for all of your advice. I'll try angling the neck and moving down the fretboard, and then just keep at it.

Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: rsophiuchi on July 05, 2017, 08:14:43 am
I just managed to get a full barre F to ring out on the fifth fret so I'm very excited. I'll work on slowly moving it up.

Thanks for the help and encouragement!
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: DavidP on July 05, 2017, 08:31:14 am
Three cheers Susan !!

One of the many important things in playing guitar is to be as relaxed as you can possibly be ... fingers, hands, arms, shoulders, whole body.

So as you are practising this E shape barre chord, periodically scan your whole body to identify any points of tension ... then consciously work to relax.

And also work on using just enough force for the chord to ring ... try relaxing the pressure little by little to find that point where notes start to sound dead ... the less force used, the less tiring.

Proper practice always pays off

Cheers
David
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: DarrellW on July 05, 2017, 09:08:53 am
Well done Susan, it just takes practice and observation of things that make it easier, couldn't agree more with David, tension is you worst enemy; relax :)
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: rsophiuchi on July 05, 2017, 12:02:34 pm
Thanks David and Darrell. I'm not very relaxed when I'm it doing at the moment so I'll pay attention to that.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Sweed77 on July 05, 2017, 02:09:10 pm
https://1drv.ms/i/s!AmJQinICk2JcgQH5vxzJ12_inciD

Hi everyone,

I've uploaded an image of me playing the middle size F chord. As you can see, my index finger is at an angle instead of being vertical. As I am quite small, my arm is extended a long way when my hands are at the end of the fretboard and I can't angle my wrist to get my index finger straight. Is it OK to play the F chord like this at the moment?

I realise this will be a problem once I start playing barre chords. Is it likely that my hands will become more flexible or are barre chords likely to remain a problem for me?

Thanks very much.
Regards,
Susan

Susan,

Up until recently I only used the full bar F as I found trying to do the small or medium F was actually harder.  My problem was the same as yours, I couldn't  get my index finger straight across the first two strings.

About a month ago I started working on an exercise that required I use the small F.  I finally found the only way I could get it to work was to angle my index finger as you are doing in your photo.  Not only does it work for the mini-bar is also lets me angle my other two fingers to avoid any unwanted muting.
I haven't found a downside to doing it this way yet.

Congrats on getting the full bar to ring and keep working your way up the neck.  Also if you haven't read this maybe take a peek, http://douglasniedt.com/TechTipLittleJennifersSecret.pdf .  I found it very helpful in getting me bast bar F. 

Sweed
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: tobyjenner on July 05, 2017, 06:53:20 pm
FWIW getting the index to barre the B and e strings is all that's required for those cut down F chords but does it really need to be straight ? As long as those two strings are barred and sounding clean, a slight angle won't hurt. We all have different physical abilities and sometimes have to compromise but regardless of the angle, if they're clean they're clean.

Toby
8)
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Joerfe on July 05, 2017, 07:40:04 pm
Well, in time you will have to be able to get clean notes more or less all the way under your index finger. I am thinking Minor 7 chords here.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: rsophiuchi on July 06, 2017, 12:43:39 pm
Thanks for the tip, Sweed. I haven't seen that before so I'll give it a go.

And thanks, Toby. I can get that mini barre F well enough with my finger angled to play in a slow song now.

I'll keep working on the full barre F. Fourth fret today but it takes me so long to get it correct that it will be a long time before I can actually play it in a song.

At least I can see progress finally so I'm happy.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: stitch101 on July 06, 2017, 03:36:45 pm
Susan since your learning the E shaped barre chords up the neck you may as well know what they are.
Index finger at the
5th fret is an A chord
4th fret is an Ab/G#
3rd fret is a G
2nd fret is a Gb/F#
and the dreaded F chord at the 1st fret.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: rsophiuchi on July 07, 2017, 12:49:03 pm
Sweed, I tried that tip about using arm strength and it worked! I can make a full barre F now, even though it's still very clumsy. Thanks so much!

Stitch, thanks for the info. I was so focused on the F, it hadn't occurred to me that I was actually making other barre chords.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: mikeb2102 on July 07, 2017, 02:31:40 pm
Sweed, I tried that tip about using arm strength and it worked! I can make a full barre F now, even though it's still very clumsy. Thanks so much!

Stitch, thanks for the info. I was so focused on the F, it hadn't occurred to me that I was actually making other barre chords.
Once you've managed the F barre it opens up all sorts of possibilities on the fretboard. I'm learning a song at the moment and it uses open chords and barre chords, I've even substituted some of the open chords for barre chords as I find it easier to change to them. I'm only 6 months into the course so I'm not too far ahead of where you're at now

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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: tobyjenner on July 07, 2017, 06:34:51 pm
FWIW jumping ahead to the first lesson of the Intermediate Course which is a 20 minute lesson on the E-shape barre chord, is always worth while if you're struggling with that dreaded F.

https://www.justinguitar.com/en/IM-111-EShapeMajorMinorBarreChords.php

Toby

 8)
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Sweed77 on July 08, 2017, 12:09:45 am
Sweed, I tried that tip about using arm strength and it worked! I can make a full barre F now, even though it's still very clumsy. Thanks so much!

Stitch, thanks for the info. I was so focused on the F, it hadn't occurred to me that I was actually making other barre chords.

I'm glad it worked for you Susan  :)  In a very short time you won't even notice you are using your arm to make the bar F, it will just feel natural.  Like any chord the clumsy feeling will go away with practice.  You've taken a major step in your guitar playing journey, congratulations. 
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: BCDC on August 20, 2017, 06:29:46 pm
There has been some discussion in this thread regarding using your "two arms" to play barre chords as outlined in the PDF below.

douglasniedt.com/TechTipLittleJennifersSecret.pdf

Is this REALLY a recommended method?

I understand that the guy who wrote this article is recommending it, and that a handful of people on this thread have found it useful, but does the broader guitar community actually recommend this method?

It seems a little dodgy to me!
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: m_c on August 20, 2017, 09:34:00 pm
There has been some discussion in this thread regarding using your "two arms" to play barre chords as outlined in the PDF below.

douglasniedt.com/TechTipLittleJennifersSecret.pdf

Is this REALLY a recommended method?

I understand that the guy who wrote this article is recommending it, and that a handful of people on this thread have found it useful, but does the broader guitar community actually recommend this method?

It seems a little dodgy to me!

Nothing dodgy about it.
You're just using some upper body strength to help get some pressure behind the barre and take some strain away from your thumb, not trying to snap the guitar in two.
If you're putting that much pressure on that you're pulling the guitar out of tune (it's actually a way to get tremolo effect on a fixed bridge guitar), then you're using too much pressure to just play a barre chord.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Damien on August 21, 2017, 12:48:30 am
10 month and I still have pauses in a song when I change to the F chord. I can change to to F chord over 60 times but it's still slow for songs. Good thing is that I can change it without looking on my hand but still it's not good enough. Any advice besides the one minute changes?
Hi there, there IS an end to the frustration! And it sounds like you are on the right pat . The answer is of course more practice! Spend extra time switching from various chords to F don't be concerned about the key or whether it "fits" soundwise. You just need to switch to it during your dedicated practice time. Over time your wrist and hand muscles will adjust and it will become as normal as a Am. muscle memory is a phenomenal thing, but it does require some dedication and practice time. But before you know it, you'll be catching it every time. All the best


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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Henry Krinkle on September 24, 2017, 01:09:08 am
Been working on the F for a few weeks now and am relatively pleased with my progress.  1 minute changes in the 50 range (haven't tried them all yet, just the first recommended ones) and plan to spend another week or so and then move on.

But that's not why I'm posting. Practicing the changes, I discovered one thing that helped with all the changes: when switching to F, first focus on the placement of the middle finger.  Once set, forming the chord around that finger gets much easier, at least for me.

This may or may not help but figured I'd pass it along.

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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Henry Krinkle on September 24, 2017, 01:12:24 am
Also, is there a nice form for 1 minute changes with the F like the one for all the other chords?  I didn't see one in the course materials (online or on the CDs with the book.

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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: joueur de guitare on September 24, 2017, 09:01:47 am
Also, is there a nice form for 1 minute changes with the F like the one for all the other chords?  I didn't see one in the course materials (online or on the CDs with the book.

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https://www.justinguitar.com/en/BC-169-PRACTICEstage6.php (https://www.justinguitar.com/en/BC-169-PRACTICEstage6.php)

Also Stage 6 of the Beginner's Songbooks . Scroll down.

https://www.justinguitar.com/en/BS-000-BeginnersSongbook.php  (https://www.justinguitar.com/en/BS-000-BeginnersSongbook.php)
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Henry Krinkle on September 24, 2017, 06:41:21 pm
Thanks for the reply but I'm still not seeing it.  I'm looking for a grid-form like the one on page 98 or=f the coursebook.  It covered all combinations of learned chords up to, but not including, the F chord.  I liked that I could keep track of which chord changes no longer needed focused practice.  Not sure if the form exists beyond that lesson.  I could make one myself but figured I'd make sure I'm not just overlooking something.  Thanks again.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: PeterU on September 24, 2017, 06:58:51 pm
Henry. I'm learning f chord too and have been thinking about what to so. I must admit I think you're probably wasting effort by focussing on changes that aren't used much if at all. I'm just concentrating on f changes (full barre) to am g c dm and em - the latter only because it's in the drugs dont work. Ive been told these will cover 80% of what we need at this stage.

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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Henry Krinkle on September 24, 2017, 07:15:19 pm
Henry. I'm learning f chord too and have been thinking about what to so. I must admit I think you're probably wasting effort by focussing on changes that aren't used much if at all. I'm just concentrating on f changes (full barre) to am g c dm and em - the latter only because it's in the drugs dont work. Ive been told these will cover 80% of what we need at this stage.

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I hadn't really thought of it that way but suspect that you're right. My instinct was to be a completionist but it's really not necessary.  That will make things much easier.  Thanks!
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: PeterU on September 24, 2017, 07:28:35 pm
I've found with earlier changes that I've forgotten them by the time I need them. G to B7 for example and now G to Dm so I'm being more pragmatic now. Glad it helped.

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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: SiegeFrog on September 25, 2017, 07:24:23 am
F to Am is also an important change to work on.


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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: ferret on September 28, 2017, 08:21:35 pm
I got frustrated with a F barre changes to any other chord, especially during real playing, i.e. complicated strumming, not just simple down strums etc. Got me really frustrated, could not keep up. Then I started practicing following progression, Am F C F G F D F E F and so on, F every second chord. With a metronome, started at 60 bpm 4/4, two strums per bar. Day after day, week after week, slowly increasing speed. Took weeks and months but now I can quite comfortably play F full barre, with reasonable accuracy, my fingers land in the right places most of the time. Just need practicing, it'll come.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: PeterU on October 16, 2017, 09:06:26 pm
Could I have some tips on when to move on to stage 7 please.

Been at stage 6 for 2 months. Practice an hour a day 5 days a week. Mainly practice F Barre to G then Am and C. Got F to C nailed. Am at about 50 changes pet min. G to 40 but struggling to get G and Am accurate. Not fussed about others at this stage.

Also been doing one bar on F then one bar on Am etc now up to 120 bpm havinf started at 60 bpm. Play 3 strums per bar leaving 1 strum to change having got up to 4 at 100 bpm.

Have tried F Barre in some songs but having to slow down to change still.

Feel I need to keep moving forwards and fingers strong enough to put pressure down for power chords so not a strength issue.

What should I do? Any tips from those who've been here before me and moved on?

Want to play quickly but accurately so happy to go slow until it sticks.

Thanks.



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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: BCDC on October 16, 2017, 09:40:40 pm
I think you should move onto the next stage and continue to practice your F-chord. If you read this thread from start to finish, one thing is clear -- it will take much longer to get your F-chord changes down pat compared to other chords. It is time for new material.

I moved onto the next stage when I got my 1-minute F-chord changes >55. I simply carried my F-Chord practice schedule over to the next stage.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: PeterU on October 16, 2017, 09:43:20 pm
Thanks for your advice BCD C. Makes sense.

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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: willsie01 on November 19, 2017, 01:18:14 pm
After initial attempts I backed off of trying to form a full F barre chord.
I focused on practicing E shaped chords where my hand felt most comfortable, which was the A chord at the 5th fret. After I felt confident there (although far from perfect) I gradually worked my way down to the full F chord, where I am now much more comfortable. This took months of practicing to get where I am.


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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: tobyjenner on November 19, 2017, 03:02:07 pm
Peter

This 20 minute lesson from the IM will help but it does take time to master. I'd move on but keep practicing even if its for a few minutes each session. Took me several months.

https://www.justinguitar.com/en/IM-111-EShapeMajorMinorBarreChords.php


The advice for starting higher up the neck towards the bridge is good but avoid going higher than the 8th fret as things start to get cramped. B at the 7th is a good starting point. Get that sounding good then drop one fret back up to the nut, wash rinse repeat.

One thing I'd add (as your weapon of choice wasn't mentioned) if you are playing acoustic, make sure you have a proper set up and action adjusted. This is what cracked it for me.

Cheers

Toby
 8)
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: pastie123 on November 20, 2017, 11:38:27 am
I found a good workout for chords other than justin's one minute changes (which is also a great workout too) is too place your chord shape down then take off the chord shape and just lay down your fretting hand on the strings too mute them. 1- strum the chord 2- mute the strings and strum 3- repeat the process 4- gradually speed up.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: BCDC on January 25, 2018, 07:48:16 pm
Hi Folks,

Just like everyone else, I have found the F barre chord to be a bigger challenge than all other chords in the Beginners course. For the most part, I am happy with my progress to date, but my progress seems to have stalled and am looking for some advice regarding how to proceed from here.
 
I understand that the F barre chord is a long term project and that practice practice practice and more practice is the key to success. The advice I am looking for focuses on the TYPE of practice I am doing, rather than the need for more practice. 

Here is a quick summary of how I have progressed so far.

I started learning the F barre chord in late-September 2017. Once I could finger the chord successfully, I started doing 1 minute changes (i.e., F to C, F to D, F to Am, and F to G).

Once I achieved 60 changes per minute (early-October), I started to strum between the 2-chords using a metronome, starting at 60 BPM and progressing to a faster BPM when achieving competency.

Once I was able to strum between the 2-chords at 100 BPM (late-October), I started to play chord progressions from songs that I wanted to play (e.g., G F C G F;  F C G Am;  C F C F Am F C G). Again, I used a metronome, starting at 60 BPM and progressing faster when achieving competency.

Once I was able to play these chord progressions at >100 BPM (mid-November), I started to play songs.
Once I started to play songs, I noticed that I continued to improve until the end of November, but since then, I don’t seem to have improved further despite consistently including songs with F in my practice routine (10 minutes/session, 4 sessions/week).

At present, I am able to play songs using F barre, but I only seem to land a clean chord 50% of the time, and the other 50% I flub the chord and require finger correction on beats 1 and 2. 

Since my progress seems to have stalled, I am wondering whether I need to try something different to help me improve, because playing songs 10 minutes/session does not seem to be moving me in the right direction.

For example, I am thinking of going back to strumming 2-chords at a slow speed using a metronome (i.e., F to C, F to D, F to Am, and F to G) and progress again through the stages I have described above, but this time concentrating a little more on accuracy of finger placement and playing the chord consistently clean before progressing through the stages or increasing BPMs.

Alternatively, I am thinking of doing some concentrated practice on the F barre chord for 2'ish weeks. In this time, I would focus only on playing (a) select chord progressions from songs I wanted to play using a metronome, and (b) songs with F in it. I am thinking that this would give me an opportunity really focus on the F barre chord and get it dialed in. I successfully used this approach when learning Air Changes which made a huge difference in my playing. 

Sorry for the long post. For those of you who are still reading this, I am hoping someone could give me some good advice. Thanks in advance.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: PeterU on January 25, 2018, 10:15:49 pm
Hi BCDC.

I'm in exactly the same place as you so it would be great to hear from the experienced pros how they have overcome this.

I haven't got anywhere near 120 changes a minute yet - assuming you're counting f to c to f to c as 4 not 2. I don't think speed matters so much for f barre at this stage though and I have instead abandoned the 1 minute changes in favour of a different plan to try and break what for me is a similarly painful experience.

This is what I've been doing for the last few weeks having started in September last year and hitting a plateau and the inevititible frustration.

I have deliberately slowed down to speed up. I'm focusing on quality - just doing tons of changes mostly in the scale of C so all changes to Am, C, D and Dm (songs I want to play have both), Em and G. G is the killer - it's just not working well. No metronome no one minutes - just 100% attention on getting it right with no missed finger positions or buzzing notes, which is tough but I see no point going hell for leather and missing chords at this stage so I've gone back to basics.

It's working though and I've started to introduce the metronome at a slow 80 with the aim being that once I hit 120 with no missed notes and feel relaxed and comfortable I'll sign it off and move on!

I'm also learning slow tempo songs with f chord changes as a means of forcing the pace which has worked before when I hit the wall for example on c to g changes which I can now bash out at over 180 bpm. The Drugs Don't Work is an excellent one to work on as that can develop with different grips and rhythms later on. It's working well as its a 76 bpm song and I love the song which keeps me going when I get frustrated.

Every now and then I am putting in the one minute changes but I don't see much value in this if you're stuck on the quality of change - changing perfectly slowly and lots of times must help develop the muscle memory.

The big thing I've learned is that I can do this - but I'd also got lazy with my fret hand position so have also focused on that by moving my wrist down and round more to get a better grip when changing. And by pulling the neck into my body a bit I can get the barre sounding better.

But I'm a beginner and I would love to know how those who have hit the wall on f barre finally broke through!

For me, stage 7 is proving a huge test what with carrying over f barre chord. For me personally it's vital as I want to play blues, rock and eventually metal so need to get to grips with barre chords as all as the power chords and scales. I'm not moving on till I've cracked it!

Hope that helps.

Cheers and good luck!

Peter
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: DarrellW on January 26, 2018, 07:48:34 am
I really don’t understand this emphasis on speed, once you get over 60bpm it’s a bit academic, ok there are the odd occasions that may need faster changes but not until you’re well down the learning road.
Concentrate on getting them right and clean at a sensible speed but don’t allow this to slow you down too much, the F shape chord and when you get to it A shape bar chord are not easy, take it easy and don’t be impatient and rush yourself!
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: BCDC on January 26, 2018, 08:52:55 pm
@PeterU

Thanks for your reply Peter. I appreciate you taking the time to write about your experiences. 

Re: 120 changes a minute -- I was not actually referring to 1-minute changes here. When I mentioned strumming between 2 chords using a metronome at >100 BPMs, I was referring to strumming 4 beats per chord before changing to the next chord at >100 BPMs.

I like the concept of “deliberately slowing down to speed up”. That generally aligns with my first example of taking a few steps back and concentrating a little more on accuracy before trying to speed up. It is possible that I progressed too quickly and I have picked up some bad habits. Unless someone else offers some advice that makes more sense, I think I will head in that direction. Thanks mate!
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: BCDC on January 26, 2018, 09:05:30 pm
I really don’t understand this emphasis on speed, once you get over 60bpm it’s a bit academic, ok there are the odd occasions that may need faster changes but not until you’re well down the learning road.
Concentrate on getting them right and clean at a sensible speed but don’t allow this to slow you down too much, the F shape chord and when you get to it A shape bar chord are not easy, take it easy and don’t be impatient and rush yourself!

Darrell, unless I am misunderstanding you, the vast majority of songs have a tempo that is >60 BPMs, so unless you can increase your speed, you are stuck doing boring chord changes. I am not sure what songs you might be playing, but I never find an occasion when I don’t need faster changes than 60 BPM. The first song most people learn in stage 1 of the BC is Three Little Birds. The tempo of this song is very slow (i.e., 76 BPMs) but even that song is >60 BPMs. I personally use a metronome as a guide to help me get faster with chord changes in a systematic and controlled manner. 1 minute changes only takes me so far. Once I get to 60 changes per minute, learning how to change chords by strumming 4 beats per chord with progressively faster BPMs has helped me tremendously to achieve competence in making chord changes fast enough to actually play along with songs. I really don’t understand how you DON’T have an emphasis on speed. Of course, speed is not the only emphasis. To me, learning how to change between new chords is a complex interaction between speed and accuracy that I think we all try to balance in an effort to learn and become proficient at new chords.       
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: PeterU on January 27, 2018, 12:39:55 am
I agree.

Most pop and rock songs played in 4 / 4 are circa 120 bpm with a range between 80 bpm and 160 bpm. Personally I'd aim for songs which are 120 bpm for beginner level with good quality changes

Saying that I wouldn't think for a second the 1 minute changes on f should need to go above 1 a second when counting f c f c as 4 complete changes.

Playing songs and upping the tempo to the required level whilst keeping the beat consistent has to be the goal here.

It's about quality and speed by sometimes one needs more work say where speed comes at the cost of missing the notes you need to slow down a bit to speed back up.

Cheers

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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: DarrellW on January 27, 2018, 10:09:27 am
I’ve not said that you never need to change faster I said at that stage you don’t.
If you refer to the 1 min changes video at around 5:00 Justin says 60 single chord changes per minute is your aim to be able to play most of the BC songs, 60 changes/min = 60 bpm, so why would he say that?
If you’re way down the BC or Intermediate then OK you’re going to need to be able to change faster but in practical terms how many songs do you know that need more than 2 chord changes in a bar? I know of a few but not many. If you’re doing it for fun or as a personal thing OK, but I would rather be learning songs, in the early stages you need to learn what’s needed to play songs, it’s all too easy to overdo things that are not so important for your progress, I’ve done it myself, practicing scales up to 240bpm plus, never needed that speed for the stuff I play, conclusion - waste of time!!!
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: BCDC on January 27, 2018, 12:13:08 pm
Darrell, I think you have completely misunderstood this entire discussion. We have been talking about doing 1 minute changes until you get to 60 changes THEN using a metronome to practice chord progressions (4 beats per chord NOT 2 beats per chord) using either 2,3, 4, etc chords to get these chords changes up to a speed that is suitable to play songs. It is simply s stepping stone between 1 minutes changes and playing songs. I hardly see this as a waste of time when it is directly targeted at the primary goal.....playing songs!


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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: PeterU on January 27, 2018, 12:27:17 pm
Gents.

There's a really good method I'm using to cross the bridge from 60 changes a minute to playing at 120 bpm which for me is where I want to be at for the stuff I want to play with the f Barre chord.

It's where you play two bars over and over and gradually change up gear as you progress with accurate changes. It works like this.

Set the MN to 120 bpm at 4/4.

1. Strum on beat 1 change on beat 2 3 and 4. Loads of time to get a quality change  Strum beat 1 and repeat

2. Strum beats 1 and 2. Change beats 3 and 4. Repeat. Twice as fast.

3. Strum beats 1 2 and 3. Change on 4. Repeat.

4. Strum all 4 beats. Change at end of bar on up strum. Repeat.

5. Knock the MN up by 10 and start again but only when the changes are 100% accurate.

It's worked for me with c to g as each step up provides a brief period of consolodation before you push forwards at a faster pace.

What it does is effectively increment the tempo by 30 each time at 120 bpm so it's more progressive than 1 min in that respect and helps you focus on quality AND speed.

Just a suggestion but what matters most is how quickly you need to play for what YOU want to play - as Metallica once said Nothing Else Matters!!

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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: PeterU on January 27, 2018, 12:36:24 pm
I forgot to say you only move on to the next stage when you can make the change cleanly at that level.

So for example stage 2 goes strum strum change change strum strum change change.

Level three strum strum strum change strum strum strum change




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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: DarrellW on January 27, 2018, 01:10:24 pm
OK, you know best - obviously you know more than I do and better than I do.
After all I’ve only been playing on an off for over 40 years, how should I know what I’m talking about!
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: BCDC on January 27, 2018, 01:24:56 pm
Darrell. Have a good weekend mate.


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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: BCDC on January 27, 2018, 01:34:27 pm
Peter. Thanks again for your detailed post. I have never thought of doing it this way. The only potential downside I can see of that method is that there are large jumps between the steps when played along with a metronome at 120 bpm. For example, if I am reading this right, **theoretically** step 1 is the equivalent to changing between chords at 30 bpm (ie., 1 chord change per bar.; 120 bpm divided by 4), then step 2 at 60 bpm, then step 3 at 90 bpm, the finally step 4 is at 120 bpm. Perhaps the math of this is wrong, but you get the idea. THAT SAID......if it works for you, IT WORKS, and that is all that matters. I might give that a go myself for something different. Who knows, this may be the holy grail of learning chords! LOL.


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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: PeterU on January 27, 2018, 02:07:00 pm
I'd not thought of it like that. I see it as a way to gradually increase speed whilst ensuring accuracy whilst with the one min changes I tend to go hell for leather and make too much of a mess of the changes.

Try it and let me know what you think.

I've only been playing a year and have moved at various speeds to stage 7 so not much experience compared to others but I'm keen to look at ways to remove what for me has been a road block.

Cheers

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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: BCDC on January 27, 2018, 02:22:05 pm
Peter -- I agree with you, your method is a well reasoned and systematic way of gradually increasing speed. I applaud you for coming up with something that works for you. My method of increasing speed has been to strum on each beat (e.g., 4 strums on F, 4 strums on Am, 4 strums on F, etc) starting with 60 bpm, then increasing speed by 10 bpm's until I reach 100 or 120 bpms before starting to play songs. Your method has larger jumps in bpms at each stage, but it also introduces a different dynamic (not strumming on some beats) that might mitigate these larger jumps??. I am interested to try it. I see no downside in trying something different that someone else has found effective. I always pay attention to anyone who provides a well reasoned argument for doing things a certain way, regardless of their years of experience. Anyway, I guess you and I have discussed this topic to death now and we should move on to other things. Good luck in your guitar journey!   
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: PeterU on January 27, 2018, 03:05:47 pm
Thanks and you!

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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: PeterU on January 27, 2018, 03:16:09 pm
The only other thing I'd say with F Barre is it's only worth practising the following F Chord changes at beginner stage.

This is on good authority from some very experienced players.

These are all in the key of C and are C, Dm, Em, G and Am. The rest can wait.

No good practicing stuff you won't use much if at all 

Hope this helps

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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: SlashWannabe on February 08, 2018, 01:46:53 am
I have a weird problem with the F chord that I cannot seem to solve, no matter how slow I go. I have been doing the beginner course for just under 6 weeks now and just got to the F chord this week. I just want to know if anyone else experienced this issue and if it rectifies itself.

When I change to the F chord I put my bar finger down first with no issue and plenty of pressure but for some reason as I do this all my other fingers "kick upwards" first and then I place them. It makes changing the chord slow.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: PeterU on February 08, 2018, 05:46:59 am
By kick upwards do you mean slide off the strings - if so that happens to me too when my changes aren't quite right.

It's probably because you're not turning your wrist far enough round to hit the strings with your fingertips and maybe not turning your elbow into your stomach enough.

The mechanics of the f Barre chord mean it's necessary to be more square on and angled into the stomach to get a good Barre.

There's plenty of stuff on you tube on technique but from what you say this might be the cause?

Cheers

Peter

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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: close2u on February 08, 2018, 09:47:57 am
6 weeks to get to the F chord (which is on Stage 6) seems awfully quick. Are you / have you been consolidating each stage properly and using all the skills acquired along the way? One week per stage - Wow If you have but I have my reservations at your rush to learn and think yo may be getting too far ahead of yourself.
As to a full barre chord - learn to finger it at a higher fret .... somewhere between fret 4-8. Once you can manage that move down a fret at a time until you get to F.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: DarrellW on February 08, 2018, 10:17:07 am
One of the ways I’ve found good for learning chords and changes is to get the chord itself right first.
When I have to learn a new chord my ‘Go to’ is as follows, Form the chord and do a single strum, flatten you fingers lightly on the fretboard do a muted strum, form the chord again and do a single strum...... repeat repeat repeat
Start off as slowly as you need to and gradually speed up but don’t speed up until you get a clean change.
This will get the chord shape and position of your fingers ingrained, now changing between chords becomes much easier.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: SlashWannabe on February 09, 2018, 02:21:41 am
No, by kick upwards I mean I lift them towards the ceiling while putting the bar down and then bring them down onto the fret board to complete the chord shape.

I am not a completely fresh to guitar beginner, just someone who has never stuck with learning it fully. Stages 1 to 5 I am doing 60 to 108 (my highest) changes (counting chord to chord as a change, not chord to chord back to original chord). They ring clear 99% of the time. I can do all the RUST patterns without thought and play the songs cleanly for the most part with some minor complexity to my strumming (aka not just D D D D). My biggest challenge seems to be the transition to B7, which just seems to be a matter of it being a tricky chord that just takes working on, but I can still do it over the 60 count. I don't see anything in my playing that suggests I have not grasped the skills so far (by no means am I saying I am good, but nothing suggests to me that I should delay progress).
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: SlashWannabe on February 09, 2018, 02:38:27 am
Maybe a video will explain it?

/watch?v=kK6tyrBb7zo
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: robsin on February 09, 2018, 10:22:57 pm
I had the same problem when changing from open to bar chords. My opinion is that it has to do with the speed of releasing tension from the open chord, I wanted to get off the chord so fast everything jumped up. What helped me was doing the changes very slow, excruciating  slow. So slow I could think about each one of my fingers and where they were going. I would watch them slowly release, lift off the strings, but just barely so (almost still touching) and each finger go from point A to point B. After a few minutes a day for 5-6 days I noticed a lot of improvement on the flying fingers. It's very much the same as the IM-114 Technique: Minimum Movement Exercise lesson.

I will say that after months, I still have problems getting my open to bar chord changes landed well, but the flying fingers are much better.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: PeterU on March 07, 2018, 11:44:30 am
Good news. I've almost finally cracked the horrid F Barre chord after 4 months of trying!

My breakthrough was a really simple piece of advice someone gave me which is to STOP PLAYING AND HOLD THE POSITION whenever I miss a change or it sounded messy and LOOK AT MY FINGER AND ARM POSITION - to see what is going on as it's usually a technical error.

By looking at video footage of others playing it correctly I noticed a simple error which I have now corrected.

The problem was that I  was not moving my arm enough and tucking it into my body so instead of landing the chord on my fingertips I was hitting the fretboard at the wrong angle. It also meant the Barre was buzzy so by angling the arm more into my body it forced my index finger more onto the bony side which has stopped the buzzing.

What I've really been doing until then was practicing errors and not correcting them early enough - not a good idea and really frustrating too.

I've also learnt a big lesson for the future - start slow, get it working perfectly then speed up!

Hope this bit of advice helps others who may still be struggling as I had been for many months!

Cheers

Peter

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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: DavidP on March 07, 2018, 12:24:46 pm
Good for you Peter and sound advice ... to start slow and practice what is correct, not errors
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: DevonS on April 02, 2018, 07:26:16 pm
Ahh, that F-ing chord! :D
I've got it down pretty solid... when I have four-and-a-half seconds to change to it.  ::)  But, I recall a couple months ago when my 1 min changes felt solid with other chords until I tried to play a song and it all fell apart.  I could never keep up.  Then, I found the "Music Speed Changer" on Google Play.  Life changing.  I spent a month or so playing a bunch of songs at around 50 - 75% of their normal speed and suddenly I could play at full speed without even thinking about it and other songs with the same dozen chords or so are easily learned!  Now this dang chord shows up and it's back to the drawing board.  I just started with Mr Jones at 50% and I still mess up the first strum or two going to F.  It's painfully slow, but I am already seeing improvement by not stopping strumming and forcing the change.

I've read this whole thread, and there are some great tips in here.  Mine is this:
- keep at it
- do the 1-min changes
- start playing songs with it
- force the changes and don't stop
- use a speed changer app
- don't get stuck

By stuck I mean that even if it isn't anywhere near perfect, keep progressing.  I'm most of the way thru Stage 7 now and love seeing more progress even though the F is still pretty brutal.  It's a big part of my practice schedule, but I'm not letting it hold me back!
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: rickt975 on April 26, 2018, 01:06:13 am
Your not alone. I got through it, but it sucks. Now I’m on A Barr shape!!!!
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: rockstarr on June 02, 2018, 01:00:57 pm
So to my utter disbelief followed by jump out the window excitement I got the F Chord right within 2 weeks of starting stage 6....yeaaaa

But everytime i do the chord strum pick and strum exercise the wedge between my thumb and index finger hurt real bad? So my q, is this just a strength issue that will improve over time or I'm doing something wrong

And after 3 weeks I still can't get air changes (all fingers at the same time) for F chord. So is this just a matter of practice or something more I need to do?

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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Rolandson on June 02, 2018, 03:31:53 pm
At rockstarr.

It is a matter of practice. I was at the same position like you and everybody else I guess in this community. You will get better if you practice the F chord as often you can.

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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: rockstarr on June 02, 2018, 07:28:25 pm
@Rolandson

Thank you. Yes I intend to do just that

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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: sairfingers on September 24, 2018, 12:25:05 am
Really struggling with big f. Can do it but not fast enough. Just more practice? Or any tips. Please don’t say use mini f as I already do that changing to/from c.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: stitch101 on September 24, 2018, 01:27:20 am
Practice it at the 5th fret. That's an A barre chord, it's easier because the frets
are closer together. When you get that down move down two frets (that's a G)
Then mkve to the F barre chord. These are all E shaped barre chords.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: sairfingers on September 25, 2018, 09:19:49 am
Thanks for that stitch. I’ve read through a lot of the advice on this thread. Glad I’m not the only one with the problem! Will keep at it and not avoid songs with an F which is a temptation. What I like about your suggestion stitch is that I’ll end up able to play barre A and G as well as barre F! (and all the other barre E shapes).
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Joerfe on September 25, 2018, 01:25:51 pm
Also, make sure your guitar is proper setup. Too much distance from fret board to strings is a killer especially regarding the barre F.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: tobyjenner on September 26, 2018, 08:00:42 am
Also, make sure your guitar is proper setup. Too much distance from fret board to strings is a killer especially regarding the barre F.

This especially true if you are learning on an acoustic. I struggled for about 6 months trying to get the E shape barre and that dreaded F to sound clean. Was ok on my electric but sucked big style on my acoustic. Took that for a pro set up and lowered action and bingo, no more problems.

Proper set up is the most important thing over looked when starting out. And don't think because you bought a new piece of kit that the set up is correct. My biggest advice to anyone starting the BC is get a set up done asap. Find a local (or in my case not so local) guitar tech/shop and have a proper set up done. Makes life so much easier on acoustics and will safe a lot of heart ache and frustration.  8)
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: sairfingers on September 26, 2018, 09:57:48 pm
But surely when you buy an expensive guitar - and I did - it should be perfect?  Ok you’ve given me food for thought. The shop said I could go back once it had ‘settled in’. At fret 12 I’ve got a 6mm gap between bottom of low E string and top of fret and from what I’ve read in should be 3mm ish? Am I right or just looking for excuses?
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: stitch101 on September 26, 2018, 11:21:29 pm
But surely when you buy an expensive guitar - and I did - it should be perfect?
Perfect for who? Guitars do come with a factory set up, wheather that is perfect for
you only you can answer that. What guitar do you have?
Martin guitar come with very high action for Blue Grass players (it's easier to lower
than raise) Taylor guitars come with what most people who say i fairly good to low.
Gibson guitar come great for my liking right out of the box but change as the guitar
loosens up from being played in a few weeks to months.
After a guitar leave the factory it go though a lot of changes in climate, humidity and
who know how many bumps along it's journey to the shop you bought it from.

6 mm does sound a tad high but that's not the end of the guitar that is giving you trouble.
If your having trouble with the F chord it's the nut that may or may not be to high.
The shop you bought it from should give you a free set up. The one I deal with gives you
up to a year to bring a new guitar back for a free set up.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: sairfingers on September 27, 2018, 02:59:25 pm
It’s a Martin D28 which I’ve only had for 6 weeks. Prior to that I had a Sigma on loan from a relative. I wasn’t doing barre chords then so I can’t really compare the action of the two guitars. Anyway thanks for your input and thoughts guys - I appreciate it. Practice, practice, practice. As I said before, I can make the chord, just not fast enough yet.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: sairfingers on October 01, 2018, 12:26:18 pm
Hi Guys. I’m getting there - stitch’s advice is great - do frets 5 & 3 then 1. The realisation that once you’ve cracked this shape you can play at least 12 new chords is motivation enough to stick at it!
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: sairfingers on October 18, 2018, 05:31:19 pm
Hi Guys. Just for the record and for the future information of others who will read this thread with the same barre F problem - I’ve got it. I can change to and from barre F at the same speed as my open chords (G C E A etc.). 5 minutes practice every day for 3 weeks using Justin’s one minute changes system. Also thanks to ‘stitch101’ I can play barre G and barre A just as fast. Yeah. Thanks guys. 👍👍
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: stitch101 on October 18, 2018, 06:53:07 pm
Congratulations but I hate to inform you that you can't just play the BarreF G and A
You can play all 12 of the E shape major barre chords.
Starting with the 1st fret F the 2nd fret F# the 3rd fret G. I'll let you figure out the rest
of the chord names as you move up the neck. You already know A, what's between
G and A? What comes after A?  Keep going fret by fret up to the 12th fret that one is E
same as the open E but 12 frets or one octave higher.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: sairfingers on October 18, 2018, 11:03:31 pm
Hi stitch. You’re right of course, but when you go up beyond fret 9 I think the guitar starts to sound a bit like a ukulele!
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: stitch101 on October 19, 2018, 12:03:57 am
That's where the A shaped barre chords come in handy but that's a whole
new set of lessons.  :)
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: sairfingers on October 29, 2018, 08:06:28 pm
Why do my replies keep disappearing??
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: close2u on October 29, 2018, 08:25:34 pm
Chit chat and a hanks and other non essentials in the Justin specific threads gets deleted.
To keep them usable and for navigable they have to be kept to Q and A only.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: willsie01 on October 30, 2018, 09:56:00 am
I can’t claim to play F great but I find it more comfortable these days after finding I have “fallen” into using my third finger, 2nd fret third string, as the anchor when forming the shape.
Incidentally, the A shape B chord is my new F chord. Hate it with a vengeance.


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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: sairfingers on November 03, 2018, 05:05:09 pm
Hi willsie. I think you’ve got your fingers and frets mixed up there!😃
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: DaveySpeedstar on February 17, 2019, 09:50:38 pm
I was having loads of problems getting the F Chird down. Mainly surrounding getting my first finger down on the first fret.
However I stumbled across a video on Rob Chspman’s channel publish 03/Nov/2018, concentrating on posture.  Nice that I’ve improved my posture I’m finding it a lot easier.
(I hope it’s ok referring to a tutorial on another site, but it was incredibly useful to me and hope it will be to  others)
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: hilts17 on February 17, 2019, 10:04:23 pm
However I stumbled across a video on Rob Chspman’s channel publish 03/Nov/2018, concentrating on posture.

I'm guessing this is the video you refer to? It's perfectly fine to refer to other resources.



Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: DaveySpeedstar on February 18, 2019, 12:28:06 am
Yeah that’s the one. I wasn’t sure as the forum wouldn’t let me post urls


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Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: CWatt on April 23, 2019, 11:15:50 pm
I've just started Stage 6 this week and trying hard to get the F chord under my fingers.  I was quickly able to get all the notes ringing clear using the F barre chord so have decided to stick with that more complex shape/version.  Getting all the notes in the chord to ring clear is one thing...changing to it is obviously quite another.

Today I watched Justin's video again for the 3rd time and it led me to stumble on something that's making it easier to change into the chord and thought I'd pass it along in case it helps anyone.

Toward the beginning of the video at the 01:50 mark he mentions the E chord shape that is naturally part of the F barre chord.  That sparked a thought.  I've been struggling with my pinky like a lot of us since the C7 chord was introduced.  It always feels a bit odd and really seems to have a mind of its own.  So, I thought wait a sec...what if I spent time playing some of the open chords (E, Em, E7, A, Am, A7, and D7) using only my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th fingers.  Would that help me gain some finger dexterity, get control over my pinky, and possibly make the F barre chord easier to change to?  Much to my surprise, it helped me quite a bit with my F barre chord change.  This little exercise has also had the side benefit of helping me with my B7 and C7 changes as well.  In fact, I'd say after just an hour of this exercise I feel more confident with using my pinky in general.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: stitch101 on April 23, 2019, 11:57:11 pm
Welcome to the forun CWatt.
That is a great tip and it will help you with all your barre chords now and
in the future.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: sairfingers on April 25, 2019, 05:46:55 pm
Hi CWatt. Read some of the earlier posts on this thread from stitch. He’s got some great barre F tips. He got me playing it. And best thing is, once you’ve got it, you can play a load of chords with the shape and it’s variations.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: PilgrimPod on August 23, 2019, 11:34:18 am
I've spent the last month just trying to get a clean sounding F barre chord with no success. Getting the B string to ring cleanly has been an impossible task. I've followed almost every bit of advice on this thread, watched Justin's other videos relating to it, scoured the internet for any other piece of advice to help me crack this nut but with no joy.

Roll the index, move it up, move it down, apply more pressure, elbow tucked in, use your back muscles yada yada yada...

The eureka moment for me, and it has been mentioned more than once in this thread... GET YOUR GUITAR PROFESSIONALLY SET UP!

Playing a clean F barre chord on my electric had never really been a problem but on my acoustic was a different story altogether. I assumed because I hadn't really had any issues at earlier stages playing open chords and getting them to sound nice my guitar was setup correctly. WRONG!

To those struggling, if you haven't had a proper setup done on your guitar visit your local guitar tech. The issue may not be in your technique but a poorly setup guitar. I got my guitar set up for £26 including a new set of strings and now have no more issues easily getting a nice sounding F barre chord.

Now all I need to do is work on my 1 minute changes with it! :D
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: Dziun on October 28, 2019, 04:48:05 pm
Hi guys, quick question. I noticed my pinky behaving kinda weirdly while doing the f chord. Should i ignore this? If not, then how should i fix this. Thanks!
(https://scontent-frx5-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.15752-9/73024292_557606671651802_8617603626019323904_n.jpg?_nc_cat=107&_nc_oc=AQmm2yIkrDcS88-KKxBMa74mQsTVM9IjJ7tXS_Zu3RQrtUhTjAY0I6cr1lme1DGv0nE&_nc_ht=scontent-frx5-1.xx&oh=972135a96e7f5bb4c40bf94942d0ab31&oe=5E2629F6)
(https://scontent-frx5-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.15752-9/s2048x2048/75561458_430901971136717_1430900923399405568_n.jpg?_nc_cat=109&_nc_oc=AQnOQLYd_u12CYyH_rPESdEeCsbxcrI0ExpRmGDx8jBVKaC2jqROuOL0-0NfRYgT97A&_nc_ht=scontent-frx5-1.xx&oh=87a462aa4ca6a699719208195c3f1486&oe=5E63117C)
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: soho22 on December 09, 2019, 07:00:38 pm
hi guys

 
my problem  is that when i try to do the F chord im doing the big bar one and i can do it but my problme is that the area which touches the B string just hurts too much that i cant hold the chord for long
i hope i can find a solution for that here :D
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: yaqeem on January 17, 2020, 09:24:35 pm
Hi guys, quick question. I noticed my pinky behaving kinda weirdly while doing the f chord. Should i ignore this? If not, then how should i fix this. Thanks!
(https://scontent-frx5-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.15752-9/73024292_557606671651802_8617603626019323904_n.jpg?_nc_cat=107&_nc_oc=AQmm2yIkrDcS88-KKxBMa74mQsTVM9IjJ7tXS_Zu3RQrtUhTjAY0I6cr1lme1DGv0nE&_nc_ht=scontent-frx5-1.xx&oh=972135a96e7f5bb4c40bf94942d0ab31&oe=5E2629F6)
(https://scontent-frx5-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.15752-9/s2048x2048/75561458_430901971136717_1430900923399405568_n.jpg?_nc_cat=109&_nc_oc=AQnOQLYd_u12CYyH_rPESdEeCsbxcrI0ExpRmGDx8jBVKaC2jqROuOL0-0NfRYgT97A&_nc_ht=scontent-frx5-1.xx&oh=87a462aa4ca6a699719208195c3f1486&oe=5E63117C)

Hi Dziun,

IMO  your pinky is bent a bit too heavily under you ring finger.
I'd play with hand positioning so your pinky would get a bit straighter.
Check out how Justin was doing it in the lesson:

(https://i.imgur.com/lxwlnX2.jpg)

FYI not an expert here, just finishing beginner course and I got my F chord to acceptable levels about 2-3 months ago :)
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: DarrellW on January 18, 2020, 12:36:46 am
I think that your 1 and 2 fingers are a bit too close to the frets so you’re having to squeeze your pinkie in, try moving them back slightly.
Title: Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
Post by: GregB on February 02, 2020, 07:01:11 pm
Well I’m quite amazed, I tried playing this dreaded chord yesterday and today I can play it. Now by play it I mean I can get all the strings to ring out on most occasions. I’m not sure my second finger is in the greatest position but now time to practice and improve. I’ve quite surprised myself.