As a newbie on the guitar, one of the hardest and most frustrating chords you’ll encounter is the F barre. It’s nothing like other beginner chords such as A or G or E. Instead, you’ve gotta contort your fingers into an awkward position that strains your hand and wrist.
Even when you get it “right” – the F chord often sounds bad. And for many amateur players, quitting is the easiest option. In fact, the F barre chord is one of the most popular exit ramps for guitarists.
And if you’re also struggling with this chord, you might be tempted to quit as well.
But before you do – there’s one more practice hack you should try. Below is the method I used to lock down the F barre chord on guitar. But it also works with other tough chords – including E on the ukulele.
1. Pick a Target Song That Uses F Major
The first step is to choose a song that uses chords you already know + F major. If you’re reading this, you probably have a tune in mind already. But for demo purposes, we’ll use “And I Love Her” by the Beatles. And the version we’ll be playing uses the 6 beginner guitar chords – Dm, Am, F, G, C, and Em.
2. Find Other Songs with the Same Chords
Using this free search engine, you can quickly find other songs that use our 6 target chords. Just do a search of Dm, Am, F, G, C, and Em – and you’ll discover several hundred songs that use those exact chords.
Eventually, moving to and from this barre chord will become automatic.
And as an added bonus, you also walk away with 10+ new songs to add to your repertoire. That’s not a bad return on investment – given that you only really learned a single new chord (F major).
So give it a try. If you’re struggling with F (or any tough chord), head over to the Chord Genome Project and start finding songs to practice.
Good luck. And happy strumming.