The F Shape: Create chords and lead lines

The F chord is typically the first hard chord that many of us love to hate. You typically play it using a barre chord shape, but there are easier ways to play it. Here is the basic F shape that we’ll use in this lesson:

The F Shape


How it works

The black circle on the low E string is played with your thumb, and it denotes the chord you are playing. For example, when your thumb is fretting that E string on the 1st fret, you’re playing an F. As you move up the fretboard, the chord changes as follows:

  • 1st fret: F chord
  • 3rd fret: G chord
  • 5th fret: A chord
  • 7th fret: B chord
  • 8th fret: C chord
  • 10th fret: D chord
  • 12th fret: E chord
  • 13th fret: F chord (one octave higher than the first F)

It is important to note that you will probably want to mute all the other strings when you play this shape. In some cases, the open strings will fit with the chord, but typically not. You can also use your pinky to walk up and down different strings while playing these chords.