Author Topic: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord  (Read 116440 times)

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Offline sdd56

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Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
« Reply #150 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
« Last Edit: February 06, 2017, 06:24:14 am by close2u »
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Offline close2u

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Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
« Reply #151 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

Offline Patrick123

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Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
« Reply #152 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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Offline ahelton

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Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
« Reply #153 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!

Offline tdunster

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Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
« Reply #154 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.

Offline SiegeFrog

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Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
« Reply #155 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.
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Offline Buckeye1971

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Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
« Reply #156 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.

Offline Drubbing

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Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
« Reply #157 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.

Offline Omar

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Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
« Reply #158 on: February 16, 2017, 08:59:52 am »
I agree with Drubbing; technique is the key.

Offline DarrellW

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Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
« Reply #159 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.
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Offline tdunster

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Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
« Reply #160 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.



Offline tdunster

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Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
« Reply #161 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.



Offline willvt13

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Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
« Reply #162 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.

Offline sdd56

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Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
« Reply #163 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.
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Offline tobyjenner

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Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
« Reply #164 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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