F Chord In Guitar: Playing MethodsPosted by Mike Schuck
Learning how to play the guitar can be tricky at times! There are many ways to learn your chords, and it depends on what level you are looking to advance as to which is best for you. Some may feel that just picking up any chord book or video lesson and learning them quickly is the best way to go, but this isn’t necessarily the case.
There are certain easy songs that use only basic chords and melodies, so why not pick those out and really understand how they work? By doing this, you will have an easier time unlocking the secrets of more complicated music later!
Another option is practicing using fake books or software programs that make it very easy to insert chords. While nice, these guided lessons don’t always include the importance of determining whether or not the notes within the chord are in order. This is something that most musicians take for granted, but if you want to truly master your craft, you must know how to do it.
Write down the chord chart
The next step in your journey as a guitarist is learning how to play chords. Chords are probably one of the most important concepts for guitarists, which makes them very popular!
A chord is three or more notes that sound good together. For example, the first chord we will look at is called the major chord. It has three parts: the root note (also referred to as the tonic), the second scale degree (or sus2) tone, and the third scale degree (tonic) tone.
The root note is typically written as an open string with a dot above it. The second tone is usually a lower pitched string two steps away from the root note, and the third tone is a higher pitched string three steps away from the root.
By combining these tones together, you get the major chord effect. To play the major chord, just pick any string that starts with a natural (unmuted) fifth fret pitch and press all three strings simultaneously. This creates the roots, second, and third notes of the major chord.
You can now add color to your playing by adding other notes to the chord. Add the fourth, sixth, or even ninth notes of the minor scale to create some new chords. Or choose another related key to mix up the music even more!
These additional notes make your song better because they give it variety. When musicians use chords well, it helps tell the story of the piece being played.
Find the F chord on the fretboard
The first step in playing any of the guitar chords is to find the chord you want to play! This process is called finger-picking, and it can be kind of tricky at times if you do not know what to look for.
You will need to familiarize yourself with the location of each string on your instrument by going through our guide for beginner guitar strings. Once that is done, then you can begin learning how to play some basic chords.
The trickiest part about finding this key chord is knowing where to look on the neck. Because there are so many different shapes and styles of guitars, every guitarist has their own place to learn where these chords sit on the neck.
There are several helpful tools that can help you identify which notes make up a specific chord. Most music theory courses include a chart or diagram showing all the possible chords written out and using numbers to indicate which fingers go onto which strings.
This way, you do not have to remember which position each note is located in and whether or not they are next to each other.
Practice finding the F chord on the guitar
The first note of the F major scale is also known as the root position, or sometimes referred to as the tonic. To play in the root position, you simply pick up the guitar string at the top (tonal) end and then lower it until your index finger touches the middle of the fretboard. This notes becomes the base for all other chords that follow.
To play an F chord using this notes, start by playing the second highest note on the guitar neck —the third degreeof the F minor scale. Then drop down one more step on the guitar fret board to reach the F major scale, which is the F major chord!
Practice changing chords like this several times to get the hang of it.
Learn how to play the F chord
The first thing you will need to know is what key your song is in. Knowing this will determine which notes are used as chords and what guitar strings these chords use.
For example, if your song is in A major then the note A would be considered a chord because it is part of the music. An A chord would use the index finger as the bass (lowest) pitch and all other fingers as higher pitches.
The second scale we look at here is the F natural minor scale. This can be used as a transition piece between the A major scale and the G major scale. Let’s review the notes of this scale starting from the root.
F - E - D - B - # - 0 - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9
These eight notes make up one full octave that equals 256 possible frequencies or tones. We can refer to any of these notes as an interval. For our purposes, we will focus only on some intervals such as perfect fifths and majors.
A perfect fifth is two whole steps or tones separated by a half step. In this case, the two notes are either A and C or G and D. A perfect third is three tones that are spaced out as semitones, ones that have no gap. These are usually referred to as minor thirds or sometimes called a harmonic minor third.
Touchpoints in F chord guitar
The first thing you will need to know about playing an F major chord is that it has three touch points. These are the notes that coincide with the chords name, such as G-D-F for the F major chord.
The first note is the root, which is usually written as a small letter g. For the F major chord, this would be the note G.
The second note is the third, or middle tone, which is usually written as a large capital D. For the F major chord, this would be the note D.
And lastly, the fifth is the final note of the chord, which is always an f. This one depends on what key the music is in. In the example above, there was no key so we just use an f sound.
These three notes make up the whole structure of the chord, and all three must be played at once to play the chord correctly. When musicians talk about timing they refer to when these notes are being hit.
For instance, if the 1st (root) note is not properly timed then it becomes the 2nd (third) note and vice versa. This does not work for the chord!
When learning how to play the F chord, try practicing by using either a metronome or someone else’s song to check your timing.
Ways to progress using the F chord
The first way to progress is by changing how you play the chords. There are two main ways to do this with any given major chord, for example. One is to go down one step in terms of tone or quality.
The second option is to move up one step in term of position. This means that instead of playing the third note as the root, you play the fifth as the root. To make it more clear, think about it like putting your hand through the middle finger hole of a guitar string.
By moving up one step in position, what happens is you get a higher pitch than normal. A high pitched sound is called a sharp (think double-bass) and a lower pitched sound is a flat (think bass drop).
Using our example above, the first option would be to take the third degree of the chord and lowering it one whole step. So, the third would become the fourth, the fourth becomes the fifth, and so on until you reach the root!
This is an easy way to learn how to play the F chord because now every part of the chord has its own place and role. You can also use these concepts outside of music theory such as going from III to IV at the end of a song.
Songs that use the F chord
Many songs start with an open position of the guitar where either the root, or first note is the F-chord.
Tips for playing the F chord
The second way to play the F major chord is using your hand position first, index finger along the bass string, middle finger on the third fret of the top string, and ring or pinky finger on the fifth fret of the lower string.
Your thumb can be either up or down, depending on how you like to play the guitar. Some people use their thumbs as barre chords, which is great to know!
After all these fingers are in place, you simply slide your left hand across the neck towards the right side until all three fingers meet at the same time. Then push upwards with your index finger to produce the note G. Repeat this process for other notes within the chord to learn how to play it correctly!
This technique is called hammer-ons and lacing. Both are very important skills to have if you want to truly master the chord structure of music.
The Jam Addict team is a revolving door of writers who care about music, its effects on culture, and giving aspiring artists tools and knowledge to be inspired and keep on creating.
If you have any questions or concerns or just want to drop us a line, don't hesitate to contact us! We always appreciate the feedback.