The Many Ways To Play A First Position F Major Chord

F Major Chord on Guitar
We are pleased to feature a guest post by Gary Heimbauer, writing on behalf of Guitar Tricks and 30 Day Singer.

The F Major chord is one of the most challenging chords to play on the guitar, especially for beginners. When you are just learning how to play guitar, the F barre chord can be a daunting obstacle at the early stages of your journey.

For many, barre chords are avoided for years, or for a lifetime! But even for professional musicians that have no problem playing the F barre chord, it’s not always the best choice, and sometimes a more simple version of this guitar chord is a better fit.

Here I’m going to share with you a few options for playing an F chord in the first position of the guitar.

How to Play F Chord on Guitar

Let’s start with the basic F triad that is in the first position, which you can see below in Image-1. The numbers are the fingers you should use on each note. So the ring finger (3) is on the D string, the middle finger (2) on the G string, and the index finger (1) on the B string:

Easy F Guitar Chord
Image-1

This triad is great to play, but the problem is that when strumming it, it’s hard to avoid some of the open strings. The next step is to add the A string into the mix, and then we can mute the two outer strings with the flesh of our fingertips!

With this chord, we should be able to strum all six strings, but only hear the middle four strings!

First Position F Chord Options
Image-2

Now the one thing lacking with that chord voicing is that it doesn’t have a powerful low F root note, which is on the first fret of the low E string.

A great way to play that low F root note without having to barre, is to use the thumb, while playing the first triad we went over with the ring, middle and index finger. Again, we can now mute the A string and the high E string with the flesh of our finger tips!

F Guitar Chord Variations
Image-3

Now that we have these alternate voicings down, we can add to each of them a mini two string barre by using our index finger tip to play the first fret of the B and high E string at the same time!

F Major Chord Progression
Image-4
F Chord Guitar Finger Placement
Image-5

F Major can be a difficult chord to play since it’s right up against the nut. But with these alternatives under your belt, you’ll be able to tackle any F you see coming down the pike!

If you’re a visual learner, this video is a must-watch for mastering the F chord with these alternatives.

YouTube video

Final Words

Whether you’re a beginner looking for a simpler way to play the F chord on guitar or an experienced player seeking new voicings for your progression, these alternatives will help you master the F Major chord in the first position.

Grab a guitar chord chart to help you with finding these different voicings. F major first position is definitely a basic guitar chord, but these variations and alternatives will add some spice, and some ease to your playing.

Like what you’ve learned? Pin this graphic to your Guitar board and share it with fellow guitar enthusiasts!

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About the Author

Guitar Instructor at Guitar Tricks | + posts

Throughout Gary's career, from School of Rock, to Public School Modern Band Teacher, to Director of Curriculum at Little Kids Rock, there has been one single mission - to empower students to discover, play, and create music on their own terms. His role is simply to be the best guide he can be.

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