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  • Making an F with Fat Fingers

    Posted by Robert M on April 30, 2021 at 6:30 am

    When I attempt to make an F Chord and use my index finger to cross the E and B string and then put my middle finer on the G my index finger comes off the E or my middle finger touches the B. Either way I cannot get a clear chord on these lower 3 strings…. I am frustrated. In this case it is not a stretch issue, just cannot get my fingers out of the way of each other. In attempting to make this chord I am also pressing too hard or trying to roll my fingers this way or that an end up hurting the tips of my fingers. Any ideas or help?

    BigMoge replied 3 years ago 8 Members · 9 Replies
  • 9 Replies
  • Loraine

    April 30, 2021 at 8:44 am

    Hi Robert – Unfortunately there isn’t an easy answer to your question. It is going to take practice and lots of it. My suggestion is keep building muscle memory and finger strength through practice, and you will one day play a clear mini-F. I find that to play a clear mini-F barre chord, I have to roll all my fingers (including those on the G & D) and angle them towards the headstock. That puts just the right amount of tension on my fretting fingers and rolls the index finger level on the B & high e. Make sure that your G&D are fretted on the tips of the fingers before angling them first. I’m not sure where you are in lessons, but there is the Next Six Chords immediately following the 30 days to play, and that covers the mini and the full F barre chords. Under the skills section there is also a course, Better Barre Chords, which also might be beneficial. But the best answer is to just keep practicing it (daily if possible).

  • Jill_M

    April 30, 2021 at 6:54 pm

    @Robert M and @Loraine, I also have struggles with F and Loraine, I tried your instructions and I have had more success tonight than all the weeks trying to get his chord. Thank you!

  • Michelle-PSL

    April 30, 2021 at 7:32 pm
  • Alfred

    May 1, 2021 at 12:20 am

    For fat fingers the best answer (but not the quickest or most comfortable to learn) is to follow that link Michelle gave you and learn barre chords. Barre chords will open up a whole new world for you.

    Some other choices are to play the Fmaj chord and leave the e string open. It will sound different but should fit most situations. You could also move the d shape chord up 3 frets and just play the top 3 strings (g b e string)

    • Alfred

      May 1, 2021 at 4:06 pm

      (that should have been FMaj7 chord sorry didn’t notice the typo)

  • David_Leo

    May 1, 2021 at 3:31 am

    I am a fellow “fat fingerer” so I can relate. You may ultimately find it easier to play a full barre F chord

  • Cadgirl

    May 1, 2021 at 4:51 am

    You might want to invest in a guitar with a wider neck near the nut. Someone on the site made this recommendation… Take a capo and drop it down 4 or 5 frets so you have a wider neck area. See if that helps. A wider neck of 1 7/8” (47.6mm) might help you out. Keep in mind Classical guitars are wider. I bought a Cordoba ½ size and the neck (near the nut) is 48mm. Lot of room, nice soft strings to practice on too. Don’t think you have to spend a lot of money on a guitar either. Check out used or damaged guitars. Hope this helps.

  • Jill_M

    May 1, 2021 at 3:03 pm

    Thank you for your suggestions @Michelle-PSL, @Alfred, @David Leo, @Cadgirl.

  • BigMoge

    May 1, 2021 at 6:55 pm

    Hey Robert, I am new to TAC and was checking the forums because that’s what us newbies do, right? 😀 I have the same problem you described, pretty much because I spent a lifetime ignoring my left hand. Now that I want to use it, it like I have to start all over. Right now, the bane of my existence is the C chord. When I stretch my ring finger up to the A string, the others just kind of flatten out. What I discovered for myself is that, when I am having difficulty, I tend to angle the guitar back so I can see where my fingers are. I am also pushing way too hard ( This is probably the same for you because you mentioned your fingers hurt). Make sure your guitar is positioned correctly (I kinda work on faith a bit here myself) so it’s easier to arch my fingers and relax my hand. It’s way easier to say than to do but it has helped me to find a couple of the harder chord shapes. I am by no stretch of the imagination an expert, but I have noticed that when I start getting frustrated, I tend to push harder. I have to make a conscious effort to relax and it does help. Also, I notice the down strum sounds better than the up on these hard chords so I work on hand position for both up and down. It’s slow going but I’m taking up the guitar for my creative activity when I retire later this summer. Once I get all this work stuff out of my head, I should start seeing some real progress. Wishing you all the best in your journey.

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