Barre F Chord

Alicia Willis

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Okay y’all, HELP !
I hate this damn chord. Yes, it sounds awesome but to me it’s a pain in the ass to play and transition to. Especially if I’m going from like a D to the F barre. I hate it so much, and everything I’ve seen and done doesn’t help. 😭
Any tips or tricks to help me out would be GREATLY appreciated !
 

Andrew Saunders

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Nov 11, 2019
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PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE!
Seriously it feels so unnatural at first but with time it is so easy and you probably wont get it overnight, I certainly didnt. If you have trouble with stretching try the shape at higher frets (for example a C chord at the 8th fret).
 

Ed Seith

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Yeah. I get it. I think it’s easier to start higher and get the chord down, then work it down to the first fret, where it’s hardest to master. Start with the A barre chord:
5
5
6
7
7
5
You’ll notice it’s the exact same shape. The beauty of barre chords is that they move. Master it in the 5th position, then work on getting it in the third. Then the second. Finally, you’re ready for the Big Dog. It may take some time, and you’ll find that first finger hurts a bit.
Make sure you’re rolling that finger a little, too. You don’t need to use the flat, fleshy part of the finger for the barre – tip it back a little and let the bonier side of the finger (the side closer to the thumb) help you out.
 

Firsty Lasty

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Nov 11, 2019
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When I was new to guitar I struggled with barre chords with no success for about a month and then one day I could suddenly do them easily, so I know what it’s like to have trouble with this.
The reason this F chord is giving you trouble is simply due to a lack of experience. Once you get the feeling of how to play it, it will quickly become comfortable and easy.
Here’s something to try to help figure things out- get comfortable playing 133200, just strum it and relax, and then figure out how to comfortably move from there to get the index finger in place to play the first fret on the first two strings. You’ll likely find that simply trying to lay your index finger down flat doesn’t work very well, but if you move the bottom of your hand closer to the neck that will naturally help you get in position.
 

Syn Gates

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Hi Alicia, ya that one is tricky. I usually use an open voicing for any song needing an F major.
Option 1(my go to for 99.9999% of everything)-
1 -(I bar my index finger over
1 – 1st fret of E and B string)
0 – open/not fretted
3 – pinky finger
3 – ring finger
(1)- thumb is optional if you want or must play the root
The above is an F sus2 chord that sounds super lush and open.
Option 2(Spanish sounding especially following an E major chord, less universally used, more specific application)-
0
0
2 -middle
3 -pinky
3 -ring
1 -Index
The above is an F major 7 #11.
Very cool for any Lydian application but sounds particularly Spanish imho.
It’s always good to be able to play an F barre chord especially if there’s a song you’re learning that calls for it or if you’re writing something that your ear tells you specifically needs that voicing.
HOWEVER, I personally have never used an F barre chord for anything and if you need basic major and minor chords that utilize every string, I personally opt for open chord voicings which means that at least one string in the chord is “open” or not fretted.
Open chords take a lot of experimenting by taking something like a Barre Chord and “opening” some of the strings. This is a pain because you have to refinger the chord usually and this will take a lot of time and practice. Nothing awesome is easy and Open Chords are fucking AWESOME!
Thanks “Truth” for the Tab inspiration





This reply was modified 4 months ago by  Syn Gates.


This reply was modified 4 months ago by  Syn Gates.


This reply was modified 4 months ago by  Syn Gates.


This reply was modified 4 months ago by  Syn Gates.


This reply was modified 4 months ago by  Syn Gates.


This reply was modified 4 months ago by  Syn Gates.


 

Jak Angelescu

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I would love to see you upload a video of you doing this, my dear girl. I’ll tell you this much. When I first learned barre chords I told myself “I’d rather suck and never progress than learn this. It hurts. It’s hard. And my fingers feel like they’re dying.” Sliding with barre chords is very difficult as a beginner. I easily remember doing it. Are you practicing along with a song or just practicing alone? You know, I embarrassed myself at my first gig doing punk rock stuff because my fingers wouldn’t slide right and my barres suuuuuuucked. But oh well!
I’m not sure what part you’re having trouble with. Does your wrist start to hurt? Do you not know how to play it properly? Is it hard to hold the chord and get a sound to ring out?
The F barre chord on the first fret is a pain in the ass to play for any beginner or anyone with small fingers. I find that the dip of my index finger knuckle just so happens to perfectly lay over the G string on barre chords: Which means because of my finger length, there’s no fatty flesh that I can just easily push on to the string with but rather a “gap” effect which makes me have to press down harder or my G string doesn’t ring out well. I also have to adjust my index finger slightly so this doesn’t happen.
my classical guitar teacher taught me a tip about barre chords and it helped so much. Maybe it’ll help you! 🙂
Tip: When you “grab” your chord position, let your arm kind of “hang” with the hand being anchored. The gravity pull from your arm will slightly add more pressure to the chord naturally without bending the chord out of tune.
For transitioning: I’d practicing going from a Dmaj barre to an Amaj barre just to get the feel of what the fingers are suppose to do when the chord changes. Then after that it’ll be a lot easier to get the slide and position change down 🙂
 

Alicia Willis

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Hey guys ! I’m unable to “like” comments it seems to let you know I’ve seen them but I’ve read all of your wonderful feedback !
Syn, thanks so much for your amazing explanation and I’m going to try your suggestions for sure !
Jak, you mentioned what part I’m having trouble with. I actually wanted to learn a song very near and dear to me and it had the chord in it. I can play the chord well, though after a few goes it does get sloppy….but my major issues is transition to it quickly! I’m thinking maybe more practice as it’s not a chord I’ve played often to be comfortable with.
And for shits and giggles if anyone’s interested in the particular song it’s “snuff”—-the lyrics hold special meaning for me and I’m dying to play it correctly lol.
I’ll also add for those who may not know (I mentioned it in a video I uploaded) I recently had back surgery so I can’t sit and play for long like I used too. I took a hiatus from learning and playing for awhile so I’m trying to get back into the swing of things !
I sincerely appreciate everyone’s recommendations and I’ll definitely be working on it if it’s only a few minutes at a time !
 

Ids Schiere

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Have you tried it with the thumb over the top? That’s usually how I play bar chords because it means you have an extra finger left to add embellishments to your chords(Jimi Hendrix, John Mayer and John Frusciante do this all the time and I think SRV does too).
You can also leave out the root entirely, in the end you have the bass player for that root note anyway😜
Either of these two options, especially the leaving out the root one should make it a bit easier to play that F chord like that. Since you only have to bar the high e and the b string.
 

Dominik Gräber

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So, I don’t know if this is any help for you but I just share what I felt recently regarding transitioning to an F. I play a lot of rock and metal and I think using lots of powerchords will get you used to the basic shape of the F Barre. I can form a powerchord in my sleep by now and the transition to a Barre F is only a minor from there.
Other than that it is really a matter of developing strength and using the chord often to get it down. I hope that helped in some way 🙂
 

Calvin Phillips

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Alicia your voice isnt as bad as you made it out to be. Just saying!
Love the sound of your guitar too. Totally how the g to f can be a challenge. That slide on all 6 strings. For more pressure on the index I find if I lean my wrist and drop my thumb behind the fretboard it gives me a little more pressure (due to the gravitational pull). It also will help your finger breathe a little more on your slide. I’m assuming by the time you master the song you’ll have the strength built up to where you wont even have to drop your wrist to add pressure.
 

Alicia Willis

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Thanks Calvin ! I’m going to try that for sure !
Also, thanks for the comment about my sound. The sound carries so weird with it that sometimes it sounds odd in video, but I’m glad it came across ok !