The F chord is comprised of the notes F, A, and C
In terms of intervals, it has a root, a major 3rd, and a perfect 5th
It can also be named or notated as F, FΔ, FM, Fmaj, or F major.
If you are just starting out on guitar or need a refresher on this chord, stick around.
In this article, I will show you the easiest ways of playing this chord on guitar, and give you some tips and tricks to make it work out as it should.
After leaving this page you will have learned the must-know shapes of this triad, and also a lot about how it works in context with other chords.
Hey, I will even give you a fretboard diagram so you can work out your own voicing!
Let’s get to it.
I know, barre chords suck.
This is probably the first version of this chord you will see in the wild, and this is one that has a nice ring to it.
The secret to playing the basic shape F chord is learning how much pressure you need to put on the barre to make the notes ring without your hand getting tired.
Something important to know is that you only need to fret the 6th, 2nd, and 1st strings with your 1 finger properly since the 5th, 4th, and 3rd strings are fretted in front of the bar.
So, no need for extra work where it’s not needed.
Here are some extra tips for getting it sounding right:
- Fret with the tip of your fingers
- Press the strings near the fret wire
- Learn how much pressure is the minimum required
- Have the thumb from your fretting hand at the middle or lower back part of the neck
- Arch your fingers
- If it hurts, take a break!
2 easy ways of playing the F chord
If the bar from the basic version is driving you nuts, go for some of these alternatives.
As you could see, these are the same shape, but with fewer notes being fretted.
The chord will work out the same, but its sound might be a bit lacking.
However, this is a great starting point for building muscle, and being able to play songs where this chord is needed.
There are no open voicings of the F chord
Sadly, there are no really useful ways of playing the F chord relying on open strings.
For doing so you will need to use a capo, for instance in the first fret, and then just play an E chord on its basic shape.
This is very common in a lot of songs.
Moveable voicings of the F chord
Apart from the basic shape, here are other movable voicings for the F chord.
As their name implies, these moveable voicings can be shifted along the neck getting you different chords of the same quality.
Pay attention to where the root note is for each of these voicings since it will be important when you use them to play in other keys.
F chord fretboard map
You can use this fretboard map to come up with your own chord voicings.
Just remember that you will need at least one of each chord note for it to be outlined properly.
Songs to practice the F chord
Lou Reed – Walk on the Wild Side
Adele – Rolling in the Deep
The Lumineers – Ho Hey
Scales and modes that have the F chord, and their chords
The following scales and modes have this chord inside them.
This means that it will “fit” among their other chords, however, given the context, the feeling that it gives will be shifted.
In some of these scales it will sound like a resting point, and in others more like a tension agent.
F major scale chords, F is I
Eb Lydian scale chords, F is II
D minor scale chords, F is III
C major scale chords, F is IV
Bb major scale chords, F is V
A minor scale chords, F is VI
G minor scale chords, F is VII
Inversions of the F chord
The inversions of a chord are just a different order for the notes that comprise them.
They are notated with a / before the indication of the note that should be used as the bass.
Triad chords have, naturally 2 inversions.
F inversions are:
Extensions of the F chord
Extensions are extra notes you can add to the chord to spice it up.
To know exactly which notes you can use you will have to check the key and scale you are playing in.
Some of the most common extensions of the F chord are:
Hello there, my name is Ramiro and I’ve been playing guitar for almost 20 years. I’m obsessed with everything gear-related and I thought it might be worth sharing it. From guitars, pedals, amps, and synths to studio gear and production tips, I hope you find what I post here useful, and I’ll try my best to keep it entertaining also.