How To Play The F Bar Chord

Want to learn how to play the F bar chord? You’re in the right place!

F Bar Chord

In this free guitar lesson you will learn:

  • 6 essential ways to play an F bar chord.
  • 6 quick & easy tips which will make your barre chords sound amazing.
  • The no1 secret that will accelerate your guitar progress.

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The two most common ways to play an F bar chord are:

  • The E shape barre chord.
  • The A shape barre chord.

Let’s learn them.

F Bar Chord (E Shape)

In the guitar world we refer to this barre shape as the ‘E shape’ because it is based on an open E chord.

To learn how to play an E chord, go here: 4 Easy Ways To Play The E Chord On Guitar

Here’s the basic E chord shape:

E Chord

(If you don't understand the above image please read our article "How To Read Guitar Chordboxes In 60 Seconds". It will make everything clear!)

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Here’s an F bar chord which uses the ‘E shape’.

F Bar Chord

Can you see how both chords use the E shape?

The only difference is that the F chord, uses a barre across the first fret.

To play this F bar chord:

  • Barre your first finger across ALL strings on the 1st fret.
  • Place your 3rd finger on the A string. (5th string.)
  • Place your 4th finger on the D string. (4th string.)
  • Place your 2nd finger on the G string. (3rd string.)
  • Strum ALL strings.

F Bar Chord (A Shape)

We refer to this barre chord shape as the ‘A shape’ because the heart of this barre chord is based on an open A chord.

Learn how to play an A chord here: 3 Easy Ways To Play The A Chord On Guitar

Let’s compare, here’s an A chord:

A Chord

Here’s an F bar chord (A Shape).

F Bar Chord A Shape

Can you see how the ‘A shape’ is used in BOTH chords?

To play this F bar chord:

  • Barre your first finger over the 8th fret from the A string (5th string) to the high E string. (1st string.)
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 10th fret of the D string. (4th string.)
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 10th fret of the G string. (3rd string.)
  • Place your 4th finger on the 10th fret of the B string. (2nd string.)

Why do barre chords work?

Barre chords are the quickest and easiest way to play chords in ALL keys. The best thing about barre chords is that they are moveable shapes.

This means that you can play a major chord in all 12 keys off of 1 chord shape.

You can do this on the E and A strings.

Moveable Barre Chord Shapes On The E String

To change the key of the F bar chord, all you have to do is:

Move the barre chord to a different fret.

This changes the root note of the chord and changes the key of the chord.

Here are the root notes on the low E string:

F Bar Chord

You can move the ‘E shape barre chord’ to ANY of these frets to change the key of the chord.

For example, to play a G barre chord, move the F bar chord to the 3rd fret.

For now, don’t worry about playing each chord on EVERY fret. Just concentrate on the:

  • 3rd fret. (G Note.)
  • 5th fret. (A Note.)
  • 7th fret. (B Note.)

On most guitars each of these frets will be marked with a small dot on the side of the neck. To remember this, just remember the word ‘GAB’.

Once you’ve mastered each of these chords, then have a go at playing sharps and flats.

Moveable Barre Chord Shapes On The A String

We can apply the same concept to the A shape F bar chord. All you have to do is:

Move the barre chord to a different fret.

To change the key of the chord, you must know what each note is on the A string, here they are:

F Bar Chord

For now just concentrate on playing barre chords on the following frets:

  • 3rd fret. (C note.)
  • 5th fret. (D note.)
  • 7th fret. (E note.)

You can find each of these frets on the fret markers on the side of your guitar. To remember where each note is, just remember ‘CDE’. This will help you find each barre chord.

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What is a barre chord?

Barre chords share the EXACT same role as a capo. Capos are used to clamp down specific frets across the fret board.

With a barre chord, you’re doing the same thing however you are using your first finger to barre instead.

Here’s what a barre chord looks like:

barre chords

Barre chords help you extend your knowledge of guitar chords. To become an intermediate guitarist, you must know how to play barre chords.

Quick Tip!

Most beginners spell barre chords like this ‘Bar Chord’. However, the correct way to spell it is like this, ‘Barre chord’.

Like this: ‘The F Barre Chord’.

How do I play barre chords?

The F bar chord is one of the trickiest chords in guitar players journey. However, it’s esssential to know if you want to enhance your guitar skills.

We’re going to show you 3 essential tips and tricks which will help you master barre chords.

Tip #1 Keep Your Thumb In The Middle Of The Neck

It’s essential that you keep your thumb in the middle of the neck.

Here’s why:

  • It’s the easiest way to barre chords.
  • It helps you fret chords correctly.
  • It makes barre chords sound amazing.

Many guitarists try to barre chords with their thumb over the top of the neck. This makes playing barre chords difficult.

Make sure that you place your thumb in the middle of the neck, with your nail pointing towards the ceiling.

Like this:

barre chords

Tip #2 Use The Edge Of Your First Finger

The easiest way to barre chords is with the edge of your first finger. This helps secure the barre chord in place and makes it easier to play.

Don’t the fleshy part of your finger, this makes barring chords difficult.

Tip #3 Use Your Index Finger And Thumb Together

Most guitarists make the mistake of trying to barre chords with just their first finger.

The best way to play barre chords, is to squeeze your thumb and first finger together. This will help you fret chords correctly.

Think of the mechanism on a clothes peg. If the two points are loose, your clothes won’t stay on the line.

However, when they come together your clothes can be held securely place.

If you’re thumb and first finger don’t work together, the barre chord will NOT be fretted correctly.

If they do work together, your chord will sound fantastic.

Bonus Barre Chord Tips!

Here are some extra barre chord tips from Mike which will help you take your chords to the next level:

What are the benefits of barre chords?

To become an intermediate/advanced guitarist, you must know how to barre chords.

Here are a few reasons why:

It Enhances Your Fret Board Knowledge

Barre chords are moveable shapes. Learning where you can move these shapes enhances your knowledge of the fretboard.

Learning this not only enhances your chord vocablurary, it also enhances other aspects of your playing such as lead and theory.

This is the best path to take if you want to become an intermediate guitarist.

Learning Barre Chords Enhances Your Technique

Learning to barre chords is difficult. However, if you can get past this road block in your playing you WILL become a better guitarist.

Easy Ways To Play The F Bar Chord

If you find playing the F bar chord difficult, try learning this version.

This chord is a ‘F Major 7’

 

  • Place your 3rd finger on the 3rd fret of the D string. (4th string.)
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 2nd fret of the G string. (3rd string.)
  • Place your 1st finger on the 1st fret of the B string. (2nd string.)
  • Strum from the D string.

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Bonus Tip!

Whenever you see chord that doesn’t have the word ‘minor’ or a lower case ‘m’ after it. The chord is ALWAYS major.

Here are a few examples of how a major chord can be written:

  • F Chord
  • F Major
  • F Bar Chord

If the chord was minor, it would be written like this:

  • Fm
  • F Minor

Easy F Bar Chord

If you’re new to barre chords, try this version of an F bar chord.

It’s perfect for beginner guitarists as you only have to barre 2 strings.

F Bar Chord

  • Place your 3rd finger on the 3rd fret of the D string. (4th string.)
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 2nd fret of the G string. (3rd string.)
  • Barre your first finger over the 1st fret of the B (2nd string.) and E string. (1st string.)

To learn more easy ways to play the F bar chord, go here: F Guitar Chord – 3 Easy Alternatives

Other F Bar Chord Shapes?

There are 3 other bar chord shapes you can play on the guitar.

Those are:

  • C Shape F Bar Chord.
  • G Shape F Bar Chord.
  • D Shape F Bar Chord.

These aren’t essential bar chord shapes, but learning these will enhance your dexterity and technique, fret broad knowledge and guitar skills.

F Bar Chord (C Shape)

We refer to this barre chord shape as the ‘C shape’ because the heart of this chord is based on a open C chord.

Let’s compare:

The C Chord

C Chord

F Bar Chord (C Shape)

F Bar Chord (C Shape)

Notice how the shape of this chord is EXACTLY the same as the C chord.

The only difference is that you’ve moved the shape of the chord up to the 8th fret, and you’re now barring over the 5th fret with your 1st finger.

To play this chord:

  • Place your 4th finger on the 8th fret of the A string. (5th string.)
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 7th fret of the D string. (4th string.)
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 6th fret of the B string. (2nd string.)
  • Barre over the 5th fret of the G (3rd string) and E string (1st string) with your 1st finger.

This chord is great for enhancing your finger dexterity.

F Bar Chord (G Shape)

We refer to this F bar chord as the ‘G Shape’ because it is based on an open G chord.

To learn how to play a G chord, go here: 4 Easy Ways To Play The G Chord On Guitar

Guitar chords

This chord is perfect if you want to enhnace your barring technique.

  • Place your 4th finger on the 13th fret of the low E string. (6th string.)
  • Place 3rd finger on the 12th fret of the A string. (5th string.)
  • Barre your first finger over the 10th fret of the G (3rd string), B (2nd string) and E string. (1st string.)

F Bar Chord (D Shape)

Although this F bar chord doesn’t strictly use barring technique. It’s essential to know if you want to enhance your chord vocabulary.

We refer to this barre shape as the ‘D shape’ because the core of this chord is based on a ‘D Chord’.

barre chords

  • Place your 1st finger on the 3rd fret of the D string. (4th string.)
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 5th fret of the G string. (3rd string.)
  • Place your 3rd figner on the 5th fret of the high E string. (1st string.)
  • Place your 4th finger on the 6th fret of the B string. (2nd string.)

What’s the best F bar chord?

None of these chords are better than the other. They are simply choices.

The best F bar chord is the one that feels the most comfortable to you.

We recommend starting with the E shape and A shape, then once you’ve mastered those. Experiment with each chord and see what feels right and sounds best to you.

How do I practice the F Bar Chord?

Here are two tips which will help you master the F bar chord.

Tip #1 Use Music To Practice Each Chord

The best way to practice a new chord is to use it in a musical situation.

Any time you see an F chord, try a new voicing.

For example, if the chord progression was:

C  Major | F Major

You could play the following voicings for the F chord:

  • F Major (E Shape)
  • F Major (A Shape)
  • F Major (D Shape)
  • F Major (C Shape)
  • F Major (G Shape)

barre chords

Tip #2 Practicing Moving Between Each Chord

A great way to practice the F chord is to move between each voicing.

Practice them in this order:

  • F Major (E Shape)
  • F Major (D Shape)
  • F Major (C Shape)
  • F Major (A Shape)
  • F Major (G Shape)

As you do this you will be gradually progressing up the fret board and enhancing your chord knowledge.

Looking for top practice tips? Check out this article by Guitar World: Top 10 Tips To Boost Your Practice Session

Find Out What You Should Learn Next With Our Guitar Map

If you want to understand where you’re up to in your guitar journey you should take a look at our Guitar Map. It will show you what you ‘should’ know by now (and also what you need to learn next to move forward as a guitarist).

Most people find that the Guitar Map shows them how everything fits together and best of all, it will help you identify gaps in your knowledge that are holding you back.

(There is often just one piece of information that holds people back, 1 key insight that they need to know so they can continue moving forward and improving in their guitar journey.)

We made the Guitar Map so people like you can quickly identify what you don’t know, that you need to know next. We hope that makes sense!?

NOTE: The Guitar Map is now included in our free special report: 'The 7 Steps To Guitar Mastery'.

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We'll send you a series of lessons that will move you to the next level of your guitar journey.

Learn how everything fits together quickly, easily and effectively. We share ninja tips (for instant fun!) but also timeless fundamentals that will deepen your understanding.

NGAEM

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