How to Play the F Chord on Guitar | National Guitar Academy (2024)

Table of Contents
How to play the F guitar chord properly F Major Some easier ways to play an F guitar chord F Major Learn 12 EASY beginner chords with our popular guide Get your own personalised guitar-learning plan 🎸 World-Class Guitar Courses 🌎 A 3-finger version of F Fmaj7 F Guitar Chord – String Selection The Best Easy Versions Of This Chord A super-simple, 3-string version of F Remember: F is a tough chord, so don’t worry if you’re struggling with it. Learning guitar takes time! A Pro Tip For Using Fmaj7 Common versions of F Here are some other cool-sounding F chords.What Type of Guitarist Are You?Take our 60-second quiz & get your results: Take The QuizJoin the world's best online guitar school 🌎Get your own personalised guitar learning plan(customised just for YOU).World-class online guitar courses. Learn at your own pace.Community Campus & Learning Forum - A friendly community! Connect with our team & students. 😊Beginner Song library with chordsheets, tabs and tips. (Songs suitable for all levels!)Regular live streams, seminars and Q&A sessions- Learn from world-class guitar educators. Get all your questions answered!Click here to learn more about National Guitar Academy membership Cool Guitar T-shirts 😎Look cooler! Check out our merch: Click here to see our merch storeWant free guitar tips and video lessons delivered to your inbox?Join over 100,000 guitar-learners and subscribe to our guitar-tips-by-email service. (It's free.)We'll send you a series of lessons that will move you to the next level of your guitar journey.Learn how everything fits together quickly, easily and effectively. We share ninja tips (for instant fun!) but also timeless fundamentals that will deepen your understanding. What Type of Guitarist Are You? Join the world's best online guitar school 🌎 Cool Guitar T-shirts 😎 Want free guitar tips and video lessons delivered to your inbox? Popular Lessons More Cool Guitar Stuff References

The F guitar chord is notoriously difficult for beginner guitarists. In this free lesson you will learn:

  • How to play the F guitar chord correctly
  • The best F chord for beginner guitarists to use
  • A simple 3-string version of the F guitar chord
  • 3 bonus tricks you can use to make your F chords sound better

Over 100,000 guitar-learners get our world-class guitar tips & tutorials sent straight to their inbox: Click here to join them

How to play the F guitar chord properly

Let’s look at the correct way to play an F guitar chord first, then we’ll look at the easier alternatives. Sound like a plan? Let’s do it.

Ok, this is how an accomplished guitarist plays an F chord. (By the way, did you know that the full name of an F chord is “F Major”? Most of the time people just call it “F”.)

F Major

How to Play the F Chord on Guitar | National Guitar Academy (1)

(If you don't understand the above image please read our article "How To Read Guitar Chordboxes In 60 Seconds". It will make everything clear!)

In real-life the F chord looks like this:

How to Play the F Chord on Guitar | National Guitar Academy (2)

As you can see this is a difficult chord – it’s simply not possible for a beginner guitarist to play an F guitar chord (in this way). Clearly we need to find easier alternatives, so let’s get to it!

Some easier ways to play an F guitar chord

This is the most widely-used easier version of an F chord on guitar:

F Major

How to Play the F Chord on Guitar | National Guitar Academy (3)

As you can see, we no longer need to totally barre the first fret, so that’s a huge relief for a beginner guitarist. Even so, this chord still requires solid concentration and a good level of dexterity to play.

If you’ve been playing the guitar for only a few hours this will still be a very difficult chord for you to assemble quickly and consistently. We need an even easier alternative.

Learn 12 EASY beginner chords with our popular guide

How to Play the F Chord on Guitar | National Guitar Academy (4)

Stop struggling. Start making music.

Learn beginner-friendly versions of every chord.

This is our most popular guide and it will improve your chord ability quickly! 😎

Get your own personalised guitar-learning plan 🎸

Get a custom guitar-learning plan here: Click here for GuitarMetrics™

A 3-finger version of F

Ok, now we’re getting to a lower barrier of entry. This chord is called “Fmaj7” (pronounced “F major seven”).

Fmaj7

How to Play the F Chord on Guitar | National Guitar Academy (5)

As you can see, this is significantly easier than the first version of F that we looked at.

In a moment we’ll look at the easiest-of-all ways to play an F guitar chord, but firstly there’s an important point I need to flag to you.

F Guitar Chord – String Selection

Note that when playing both the above versions of an F guitar chord you should only play strings 1-4. Your strumming/picking shouldbegin on the 4th string.

(Remember that an ‘X’ on a chordbox diagram means “don’t play this string”.)

Let’s have a quick refresher on string numbers:

How to Play the F Chord on Guitar | National Guitar Academy (6)

If you play the fifth string (the A string) when playing either of the aboveF guitar chords it won’t kill the chord (it’ll still sound ok, just) butif you accidentally play the 6th string (the E string) it will wreck the chord.

For tips on how to do this well read my free lesson:How To Skip Strings When Strumming

How to Play the F Chord on Guitar | National Guitar Academy (7)

The Best Easy Versions Of This Chord

A super-simple, 3-string version of F

This version of an F guitar chord is fantastic for children and adults with learning difficulties or smaller hands:

How to Play the F Chord on Guitar | National Guitar Academy (8)

This version of F doesn’t sound as good as the earlier versions, but it’s passable, and it will act as a stepping stone towards the better-sounding F chords.
.

Remember: F is a tough chord, so don’t worry if you’re struggling with it. Learning guitar takes time!

The F guitar chord is one of the very toughest chords for a beginner guitarist to play, so don’t worry if you find it challenging. That’s perfectly normal.

With this in mind, I tell my new students to skip all songs that feature an F chord until they’ve been playing guitar for at least a month.

After 4-6 weeks most people have mastered simpler chords like Em, G, Am, D and C. By that stage they have developed enough control and precision in their third finger that they can perform the above easier F chords without it being too tough.

For the vast majority of adult learners, Fmaj7 should be the first goal. It sounds great and is much easier to play than a full F chord.

A Pro Tip For Using Fmaj7

Note how closely a Fmaj7 chord resembles the shape of a C chord? This is one of the things that makes Fmaj7 a handy chord to know, because F and C are common bedfellows, they crop up together often, along with G.

You can combine Fmaj7, C and G in the following way. It sounds great and allows you to maintain a similar handshape as you play. (This makes things easier for you and allows you to play with more fluidity.)

Check this pattern out. When you have F and/or C and/or G near to one another, try playing F like this:

How to Play the F Chord on Guitar | National Guitar Academy (10)

…and C, as normal, like this…

How to Play the F Chord on Guitar | National Guitar Academy (11)

…and use this version of G (called Gsus4)…

How to Play the F Chord on Guitar | National Guitar Academy (12)

This is a great example of using broader chord knowledge to make things easier and sound better. (You’ll do this a LOT as you progress as a guitarist!)

Common versions of F

How to Play the F Chord on Guitar | National Guitar Academy (13)

Now let’s look at some sevenths:

How to Play the F Chord on Guitar | National Guitar Academy (14)

Here are some other cool-sounding F chords
.
How to Play the F Chord on Guitar | National Guitar Academy (15)

What Type of Guitarist Are You?

Take our 60-second quiz & get your results: Take The Quiz

Join the world's best online guitar school 🌎

  • Get your own personalised guitar learning plan(customised just for YOU).
  • World-class online guitar courses. Learn at your own pace.
  • Community Campus & Learning Forum - A friendly community! Connect with our team & students. 😊
  • Beginner Song library with chordsheets, tabs and tips. (Songs suitable for all levels!)
  • Regular live streams, seminars and Q&A sessions- Learn from world-class guitar educators. Get all your questions answered!

Click here to learn more about National Guitar Academy membership

Cool Guitar T-shirts 😎

Look cooler! Check out our merch: Click here to see our merch store

Want free guitar tips and video lessons delivered to your inbox?

Join over 100,000 guitar-learners and subscribe to our guitar-tips-by-email service. (It's free.)

We'll send you a series of lessons that will move you to the next level of your guitar journey.

Learn how everything fits together quickly, easily and effectively. We share ninja tips (for instant fun!) but also timeless fundamentals that will deepen your understanding.

How to Play the F Chord on Guitar | National Guitar Academy (17)

Popular Lessons

How To Learn Guitar: An 11-Step Programme For Beginners

10 Easy Songs For Beginners

How To Strum A Guitar

How To Choose The Perfect Beginner Guitar

Guitar Notes Explained: A Guide For Beginners

How To Play Lead Guitar

3 Easy Ways To Play Bm

More Cool Guitar Stuff

Learn about National Guitar Academy: About Us

Join us on Facebookfor daily guitar tips.

Listen toourLearn Guitar Podcastfor rapid guitar progress.

Check out our free chord lessons.

Get our best guitar tips & videos

Where should we send it?

Get our best guitar tips & videos

How to Play the F Chord on Guitar | National Guitar Academy (2024)

References

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Rev. Porsche Oberbrunner

Last Updated:

Views: 6404

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (53 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Rev. Porsche Oberbrunner

Birthday: 1994-06-25

Address: Suite 153 582 Lubowitz Walks, Port Alfredoborough, IN 72879-2838

Phone: +128413562823324

Job: IT Strategist

Hobby: Video gaming, Basketball, Web surfing, Book restoration, Jogging, Shooting, Fishing

Introduction: My name is Rev. Porsche Oberbrunner, I am a zany, graceful, talented, witty, determined, shiny, enchanting person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.