How To Play F# Chords On The Guitar

Updated August 15th, 2023 . 

Published Categorized as Chords

During the process of learning various guitar chords, you’ve found some could be played on open strings. However, that’s not the case with F chords such as F#. Most commonly played on the second fret as a root six bar chord, F# chord is another one that may prove difficult initially, but will be used later on in many songs you’ll want to play. If you’re ready to learn everything there is to know and then some about playing F chords, grab your guitar and let’s get started.

Table of Contents

How Do You Play F# Chord on Guitar?

As you learn more about playing F# chords, you’ll find there are many ways you can do so. However, the two most commonly used are the E Barre Shape and the A Barre Shape. Since barre chords can be hard for beginners to learn, you’ll need to put in plenty of practice time.

Beginning with the E Shape, it’s called this because it’s based on an open E chord. To play it, barre your first finger across all strings on your guitar’s second fret. Next, put your third finger on the fourth fret of the fifth string (A), with your fourth finger on the fourth fret of the fourth string (D). Finally, your second finger goes on the third fret of the third string (G).

As for the A Shape Barre, it’s based on an open A chord. To try it, barre your first finger on the ninth fret, extending from the fifth string (A) to the first string (high E). Your second, third, and fourth fingers will then go on the 11th fret on the fourth (D), third (G), and second string (B), respectively.

Since both of these barre F chords are tricky, don’t be discouraged if you can’t play F# chords perfectly immediately.

How To Play F# Chords On The Guitar_Six Strings Acoustics

What Chords are in F Sharp?

When learning the F# chord, you’ll learn it is a Major chord that is the first chord in the key of F# Major. The seven chords in the key of F# Major are F#, G#m guitar chord, A#m, B, C#, D#m, and E# diminished.

Like all Major chords, the F# Major chord has certain intervals from the root note, those being Major third, minor third, Perfect fourth, then back to the root note.

What is the Difference Between F and F Sharp?

When you play an F note and then an F# note, you’ll notice a slight difference. In musical terms, F# is one half step higher than F natural, which can also be referred to as E sharp. A useful tip to remember is that notes that have differing names but still sound the same are known as enharmonic notes.

Are F# and GB the Same?

Technically, the answer to this question is yes. While the seven chords in the key of F# Major have been listed above, Gb Major has its chords listed as Gb, Ab, Bb, Cb, Db, Eb, and F. Since the notes are enharmonically equivalent, it would be almost impossible for you to play an F# major scale out of context and figure out if it was F# or Gb.

Is F# the Same as G-flat?

To confuse you some more, this question is answered with both yes and no. As for the yes part, both F# and G-flat have the same number of accidentals, meaning F# has six sharps and G flat has six flats. Because of this, composers get no real advantage using one over the other when writing music.

However, they are not technically the same in that the sounds vary slightly depending on the instrument being used. For example, guitarists almost always use F# chords, while clarinets and saxophones tend to use music written in G flat.

Is F# Major a Key?

Yes, F# Major is in fact a key, with the F# chord being the first chord within the key. Since it is used so frequently on guitar, you may be wondering if there are easier ways to play it than those mentioned at the beginning. Again, the answer is yes.

For example, the F# chord two-finger version has you placing your second finger on the third fret of the G string (third string), then your first finger will barre over the second fret of the B and E strings (second and first strings). Not only will this help improve your technique down the road, but also help you add some extra pizzazz to the early songs you will be playing.

If you’re up for a three-finger version, you’ll learn an easy F sharp chord that has a blues sound and will have you sounding like Eric Clapton in no time. For this version, your third finger will be on the 11th fret of the third string (G), with your fourth finger on the 11th fret of the second string (B). As for your first finger, it’s on the ninth fret of the first string (high E). Once all your fingers are in place, strum from the third string (G).

How To Play F# Chords On The Guitar_Six Strings Acoustics

Songs with F Major Guitar Chord

Now that you’ve been practicing different variations of F# chords, you’re no doubt ready to try out your newfound skills on some popular songs. If so, you may have a hard time deciding which song to play first.

If you like hard-driving metal music, you may want to unleash your inner Slash and try out Guns ‘n Roses “Sweet Child O’ Mine” or “Patience,” both of which have excellent acoustic versions. For fans of the legendary Stevie Wonder, his hit song “Superstition” is a textbook example of how F# chords can turn a song into a classic. Other great songs you may want to give a listen to and try include “Sky Full of Stars” by Coldplay and “All Star” by Smashmouth.

By learning the many different F# chords, your guitar-playing skills will help you stand out from the crowd, whether you’re in a band or going solo.

By Nate Pallesen

Nate is just your average (above average) guitar player. He's no Joe Satriani, Jimi Hendrix or Jimmy Page - wait this site is about acoustic guitars (sorry) He's no Django Reinhardt, Chet Atkins, or Michael Hedges, wait? who!? He's no Robert Johnson, Eric Clapton or Ben Harper - more familiar? Anyway you get the point :-)

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