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Home Chord Mania How to Play the F Chord on Your Ukulele

How to Play the F Chord on Your Ukulele

Fundamentals and tips to master this very useful chord

by Frances Lin

So you want to learn how to play the F chord on your ukulele? If the answer is, “yes,” it is likely that you just learned the universal C chord which is usually the first chord we learn as beginner ukulele players. Although the F chord is not the first chord to learn, it is up there in the top five chords that are helpful to know. Many songs demand that you know the F chord, especially beginner songs. Don’t be scared! Once we teach you the fundamentals you’ll see how easy the chord is to play. Read on for step-by-step instructions on how to play this important chord like a pro!

How to Play Chords? The Basics

Before we dive into learning how to play the F chord, let us review the strings on your ukulele. Your ukulele has 4 strings. Going from the top string (the one closest to your head) to the bottom string are the notes G-C-E-A. When you play a chord, you will be pressing on the strings. For the F chord, you will be pressing two strings (the G string and the E string). Where on the string? That is the next step in this process, but hang in there. We need to practice plucking our strings first! If you are looking for some key fundamentals on chord charts and strings, you may want to visit here where the basics on how to play the “C” chord can be helpful.

The Four Strings on Your Ukulele (G-C-E-A) 

Look at the diagram that shows the four strings to get an idea of the construction of a ukulele. Remember, G-C-E-A. You can even sing the notes as you pluck each string. Give it a shot! Hold your ukulele, and pluck right where the neck meets the body of your ukulele, singing the pitches from each pluck. You just played four notes! If you are brand new to the ukulele, you can learn about how to hold a ukulele here and about learning a new song that uses the F Chord! You can learn about how to hold the neck with your left hand as well. You may also want to review the names of each part of your ukulele. Understanding your ukulele’s structure is paramount in learning how to play:

Understanding the Fretboard to Play Chords 

Now let’s tackle the fretboard. In the diagram, you see a fretboard which is the board that runs along the neck of your ukulele. There are horizontal lines that reach from one end of the neck to the other side. If you want to play the F Chord, you need to know where to put your fingers from your fret hand so you can press the G and E strings down. Look at your fretting hand. Your forefinger is finger 1. Your middle finger is finger 2. Your ring finger is finger 3, and your pinky finger is finger 4. Chord charts will tell you which fingers to use on the bottom of the chart.

If you’re interested in learning more about ukulele chords, strumming patterns and more, feel free to go to our site and see everything we’re offering for you, the ukulele player that’s ready to big and become a pro!

Placing Your Fingers on the Fretboard to Play the F Chord 

Look at the following chord chart. You see black dots and numbers on the bottom for the F chord. Starting from the top of your fretboard (the part nearest to your pegs), you will see the first fret. Right above the line that borders between the first and second fret is where you will press down on the string with finger 1 (your forefinger) on the E string (the second string from the top). You are almost there! Now just above the line that borders between the second and third fret, press the G string (the first string closest to your head) with finger 2 (your middle finger). Press down firmly. You are almost ready to strum your first F chord.

Plucking and Then Strumming Your First F Chord 

Before strumming, I like to do a test by plucking the G-C-E-A strings one at a time. If you hear it loud and clear, you are pressing hard enough. If you hear a flat sound and if the notes are not clear, you probably have to press a bit harder. Try plucking each string until you can hear each pitch clearly. Now you are ready to strum! Using your right forefinger or thumb (depending on how you learned), strum the F chord. You did it! You just played your very first F chord. Strumming can be challenging at first, but you need to learn the fundamentals of proper strumming if you have not mastered that yet.

If it feels awkward to you, remember what I said about my first time playing the F chord. Everything feels funny when you first start playing, but trust me, once you continue practicing, it will be second nature to you. I really enjoyed knowing this chord for my second song that I learned, Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours.” I still play the song now just to warm up or whenever I just feel like singing a light song. You are on your way! You just learned your first F chord which is probably the second chord you are learning in your musical tool kit. Keep practicing, and you will go from beginner to pro as quickly as you want! If you want to learn more chords, you can also get this FREE CHORD CHART with a collection of the most common ukulele chords to learn. 

Consider joining the UkeLikethePros (ULTP) community as it will offer you so much to strengthen your musicality. I am a proud part of the ULTP nation, and I have learned so much from other musicians around the country. Happy strumming!

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