Easy Ways To Play the F Chord With No Barre


Ok so you`ve started learning the guitar and all is well in the world, you`ve learnt a few songs you`re sounding pretty slick and your friends think you`re awesome.

Only now you`ve decided it`s time to learn your favorite song of all time but what’s this F major barre chord ????? grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrraaahhhhhh.

Do not despair you’ve struggled I struggled my grandma struggled and even her grandma struggled, ok I`m exaggerating my great great grandma was a real shredder but my point is its a cross well all have to bare in the beginning and a stumbling block that can halt people in their tracks, some even give up.

Although at some point you are going to bite the bullet and tackle the barre chord head as its uses are endless and invaluable in some cases at this point we`re going to kick the can down the road for another day.

So why do we need to learn the F Barre Chord

So what’s the big deal with the F chord ? Well  F is the  root  of F major chord followed by A the major third and C the perfect 5th.

F is found in several major  and minor keys in the key of F Major it’s the i note the key of C its the iV and in the key of B flat its the V note.

Major Scales

 I                ii                     iii                   IV                   V                Vi                      Vii

C                D                    E                   F                     G                A                       B

              G                     A                 Bb                    C                D                       E 

Bb              C                     D                 Eb                   F                G                       A

 Minor Scales

 I                 ii                     iii                    IV                  V                Vi                     Vii

Dm              E                     F                Gm                 Am              Bb                      C

Am             B                      C                Dm                 Em               F                       G

Gm            A                    Bb                 Cm                  Dm            Em                      F

The scales that are listed above all contain F and are some of the most popular scales in modern music for artists to write songs in rock, pop, country and everything in between.

The cold hard fact is if you`re learning guitar the F chord is gonna  hunt you down quicker than Liam Neeson in Taken but there’s  no need to fear we have some cheats to combat things.


So why is the F barre Chord hard for beginners.

The reason simply is that for beginners it’s a massive stretch, you’re asking your fingers to perform something totally foreign, it’s like doing anything physical in sports. 

At first you will ache but once  you train your muscle memory things will get better.

Another factor that makes the F barre chord even harder is that it’s right at the bottom of the neck, this puts a lot of extra stress on a beginners wrist but with practice this becomes easier over time to the point you do it without thinking.

f barre chord diagramF Barre chord photo

Here it is the stumbling block for all beginners, the dreaded F Barre chord there`s no wonders we all struggle the pain of the stretch of the index finger with the extra twist of the wrist at the bottom of the next.

With practice this will become so easy you won`t even think about it i promise.


finger stretch

stretching fingers on neck

.Quick Tip When I’m training my fingers into a new chord shape, I will push my fingers over the back of the guitar neck until I can feel the stretch. I find this helps train your fingers and still do it today if I`ve not played in a while.

Easy Ways To Play The F Chord

Ok so let`s have a look at some less finger gymnastic ways to plat the F chord.

hand diagram



so just a quick word on understanding chord diagrams all the numbers seen on the diagrams relate to the numbered fingers on the left.




. The first set of chords here are all variations of the F Triad Chord.


F triad diagramF major7 Triad Chord diagramF Major diagram

f triad chord photo

This is the easiest F chord to play all essentially the same apart from a few minor differences the F triad and F Major  the only difference being the top E string being pressed with your index finger on the first fret and the Fmajor7 having the top E string being played open.

Be carful not to hit the unfretted strings, In some cases you may find these chords a little thin sounding and not giving you the beef that the F barre chord gives you but this is the place to start.

F/C  Thumb optional


f/c chord photo


This is by far my favorite f chord probably one of my favorite chords when ever i want an easy deep bassey F chord particularly when playing acoustic, this is far deeper sounding than the triad chords once you`re more more confident with this you can try putting your thumb on the first fret bottom E string.

The keen eyed amongst you will notice that this chord with the thumb is the same fretted notes as the F Barre chord but with out the index finger torture of barring the first fret.


F/C chord diagram


Simple F chord Exercises


diagram of f chord practice

This first simple exercise is just switching between F triad and C Major, this is a good starting point as you keep your first finger fretted on this first fret of the B string while only moving your 2nd and 3rd fingers up and down a string.

A added bonus to this exercise is you are also well on your way to learning John Lennon`s Imagine and Half the world away by Oasis.


diagram of f/c chord practice

This second exercise is switching between  the F/C chord and C Major  in this exercise you simply have to alternate placing your forth finger on the  forth fret of the D string and moving your second finger from the second fret of the D string to the second fret of the G string.

Start of slowly and gradually build up you speed un till your fingers are comfortable then you can start to add more chords to you practice.

diagram of G7 CHORD

A good chord to first introduce would be the G7 as you would not be changing the shape of the 2nd and 3rd fingers just dropping them down a string and  the progression of F C G is found in countless songs.


Songs That Use The F Chord

.The Passenger By Iggy Pop

Iggy pop the passenger chords

.Half the World Away By Oasis

Oasis half the world away

.Californication By The Red Hot Chili Peppers

.House of The Rising Sun By The Animals


house of the rising sun the animals chords

.One By U2

u2 one chords

The great thing about these songs is they`re all the same chords so if you learn one you can play them all.

 Other Resources

Here are some other resource ideas helping you on your quest to learn the F chord prices will  vairy.

Resource Type Description Pros Cons Rough Cost
Online Video Tutorials Free and paid tutorials available on platforms like YouTube or Udemy. Accessible, flexible schedule, visual learning. Quality varies, no personal feedback. Free to $100 for courses
Guitar Learning Apps Interactive apps like Yousician, Fret Trainer. Interactive, gamified learning, immediate feedback. Subscription cost, less personalized. Free to $20/month
Books and Print Materials Guitar chord books and instructional guides. Comprehensive, portable. No audio or visual aids, static content. $10 to $50
Private Guitar Lessons One-on-one instruction with a professional teacher. Personalized feedback, tailored lessons. Higher cost, scheduling requirements. $30 to $100 per hour
Group Workshops or Classes Learning in a group setting, often available at music schools. Social interaction, lower cost than private. Less individual attention. $100 to $300 for a series
Online Forums and Communities Platforms like Reddit or specialized guitar forums. Free, supportive community, diverse perspectives. No structured learning, quality varies. Free



So you`ve made it this far you`re not going to let the dreaded F chord hold you back and with these simplified chords and exercises it won`t.

Just be patient and take your time practicing the exercises above and do the light finger stretches. Start off slowly and gradually work up your speed until you can switch comfortably, don`t get frustrated, take a break if you need it.

Once you feel confident start adding other chords, you can even learn the songs I’ve suggested, just follow these steps and  I promise you will soon be playing the F without even thinking about it.

We can’t neglect the F Barre chord. We will have to face it sometime because of its importance but for now this will keep you inspired and your  progress moving.











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