The F# Minor chord (F#, A, C#) is simple enough in regards to the notes it contains -- just those three are easy to remember. Where the difficulty comes into play, however, are the voicings you'll need to use on your guitar to play F# Minor. Outside of one "easy" version, you'll have to make use of various barring, stretching, and muting patterns in order to pull this chord off correctly, so here's hoping you've been honing your technique; it'll come in handy as we explore the many ways to play F# Minor.
Since we mentioned it during our intro, we might as well touch on that "easy" way of playing F Sharp Minor first. All it takes is three fingers at the 2nd fret, and doesn't require you to mute the strings in any way:
It's almost like playing an open position A Major chord, with some slight alteration in where your fingers go, so if you've already mastered that A Major shape (which you should have if you aren't a beginner), this version of F# Minor should be easy to conquer.
Now, let's talk about the way most guitarists play F# Minor -- using a barre chord. There are two ways to go about it at the 2nd fret, and one barre you can try at the 9th fret. If you're familiar with barre chord shapes, you might already have a good idea of what these voicings will look like. Let's start with the "Em-shape" barre chord on the 2nd fret:
The "Em-shape" barre chords are among the easiest to play, so as long as you can form a proper bar with your 1st finger, getting your other fingers into position shouldn't pose too much difficulty. If you want a bit of a challenge here, though, you can try this subtle variation on this barre chord that incorporates the 4th finger:
And if you're looking for a higher-pitched sound for your F#m barre chord, that's where the "Am-shape" comes into play, all the way up on the 9th fret:
With that, you should have a handle on the most common ways to play the F# Minor chord on your guitar.
If you're looking to up the ante, though, you can take your mastery of this chord to the next level by looking at a few more of the non-barre voicings scattered across the fretboard. Let's head back to open position first:
That stretch -- both up and across the fretboard -- might make this variation difficult at first, but should become easier as your fingers develop in strength and dexterity.
For a voicing that will require careful strumming/muting instead, take a look at the 6th fret:
You'll have to stay right on the money while you're strumming to avoid those outside strings for this voicing, or use your fingers to help dull the strings so that they stay muted as you pluck away. These two non-barre voicings should be enough to keep you occupied for now, but when you start feeling even more confident about your skills, don't forget to look to the additional F#m variants on both the 7th and 9th frets.
The fastest way to improve your skills is by continuing to play your guitar. True mastery comes with loads of repetition, so don't skimp on daily training time. As always, good luck, and happy practicing!
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