Re Having problem with F and F# chord.

by E.Koreman (Jan 22, 2011)

First things first. You are most probably talking about F major and F# major in a certain inversion and I guess it is something like x-x-3-2-1-1 and x-x-4-3-2-2. Right?

Learning guitar is not about learning a bunch of chords. When beginning you'll learn some basic grips that you will use all over the neck. When you are comfortable picking them at the base you will pick them elsewhere too and you'll learn how these grips relate to each other. Basically all major chord grips are based on F, G and C (major) grips and combinations of them. Every combination gives another inversion and at certain positions you may invoke open strings as well.

The typical F major and F# major (as you are most probably working on) are basically the same regarding the grip. While advancing you will discover that there are a few ways to pick it, depending on what you are playing or what the chord progression is, but when just beginning first try x-x-3-2-1-1. Your index finger on the thin B and E string covering the '1s'. Then your middle finger on the '2' and then your ring finger on the 3. If you move this grip 1 fret up the neck you'll get the F# major. One fret further it will be G major. And so on.

As you progress you will put your index finger on 4 or even 6 strings (barre). Personally I stick with 4 and use my thumb very often, covering the bass E string and silencing the A string, or include it as well. I used to have difficulties with strict barre chords. Now it doesn't really matter anymore, but using the thumb still does give me much more freedom over other frets and strings. This however is not the recommended way to learn to play. When practicing barre chords you are working on your muscles which you will need in anything. Be aware that learning to play an instrument includes developing your body.