F# Guitar Chord

F# Major (F#, A#, C#) is another one of those guitar chords that lacks "easy" voicings for newbies to pick up quickly. It's also one of those chords that you shouldn't overlook, because just when you think you won't be needing it, it'll pop up in a song and be critical to your playing. So, in the interest of preparing you to be an effective guitarist, we'll be showing you how to nail F# Major and its varied voicings, tricky though they may be!

How to Play F# on Guitar

While there are a few open position voicings for F# Major, we won't be starting there today. Instead, we'll first be taking a look at one of the most commonly-employed methods of playing the F sharp major guitar chord, the barre:

F# Guitar Chord

  • Use your 1st finger to bar the strings at the 2nd fret
  • Place your 2nd finger 3rd string/3rd fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 5th string/4th fret
  • Place your 4th finger on the 4th string/4th fret

As you can see, this is just a straightforward, "E-shape" barre chord. No tricks or surprises here, so if you've already perfected playing your rudimentary barre chords, you should be secure in playing this voicing (part of what makes it so popular).

F# Guitar Chord Easy

There's also the "A-shape" barre chord for F# you can play up at the 9th fret, if you prefer:

F# Guitar Chord Easy

  • Use your 1st finger to bar the strings at the 9th fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 4th string/11th fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 3rd string/11th fret
  • Place your 4th finger on the 2nd string/11th fret
  • Mute string 6

F Sharp Guitar Chord

If you're craving a different sound, however, there are a pair of complex open position voicings you might want to try instead:

F Sharp Guitar Chord

  • Place your 1st finger on the 6th string/2nd fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 2nd string/2nd fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 3rd string/3rd fret
  • Mute strings 1, 4, and 5

F Sharp Major Guitar Chord

F Sharp Major Guitar Chord

  • Place your 1st finger on the 5th string/1st fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 6th string/2nd fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 2nd string/2nd fret
  • Place your 4th finger on the 4th string/2nd fret
  • Mute strings 3 and 4

The difficulties here will be muting the strings you don't need (obviously). On our first variant, you can easily avoid playing the 1st string if you have good control of your strumming hand, but the 4th and 5th strings will require a subtle touch from your 1st finger to keep them muted.

On the second variation, you won't have to worry about the 1st string, but you will still need to use your 1st finger to help dull those two inside strings to keep them from making a noise.

F Sharp Guitar Chord - Easy #2

Practice, as the old saying goes, will make perfect, but while you're ironing out your technique with these two, keep in mind there's one final (and easier) open position voicing you can also use:

F Sharp Guitar Chord Easy

  • Use your 1st finger to cover strings 1 and 2 at the 2nd fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 3rd string/3rd fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 4th string/4th fret
  • Mute strings 5 and 6

This voicing shouldn't give you too many issues, and if you look closely, you'll see this is just a pared-down version of the barre chord version of F Sharp Major we introduced you to earlier. If you can play the barre, you can play this chord too.

F Sharp Guitar Chord - 6th Fret

Now let's mix things up for the finale. If you're ready for a stretch, try this voicing at the 6th fret:

F# Guitar Chord 6th Fret

  • Use your 1st finger to cover strings 1, 2, and 3 at the 6th fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 2nd string/7th fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 4th string/8th fret
  • Place your 4th finger on the 5th string/9th fret
  • Mute string 6

It'll take some effort to get your pinky up the fretboard, but the result will be a rather smooth-sounding version of F# that'll "wow" your audiences (if they can pick up on the finer points of technique, that is). There are plenty more voicings to discover, but we'll wrap things up here so you can get started on learning these chord shapes first.

Time to Start Woodshedding

F# Major chord might not be the friendliest chord on the guitar, but it's well within your ability to grasp, so long as you stay dedicated to learning. These voicings will be good for patching up any holes in your chord game, so stay on target and stay focused on mastering them all.

When you're ready, start exploring some of the other F# variations there are as well (like the 8th and 9th fret non-barre voicings). As always, good luck, and happy practicing!

Next Lesson:

Fm Guitar Chord

Instructor: Dwight H.
From big bands to rock ensembles, and even R&B groups, Dwight has played with them all. He's been teaching guitar for over 10 years. When teaching, he draws from his experience on stage, injecting the knowledge of what it takes to be a gigging musician into every lesson.
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