5 Ways to Play the F# Minor Chord | National Guitar Academy (2024)

Want to learn the F# minor chord? You’re in the right place. We’re going to show you how!

In this free guitar lesson you will learn:

  • 5 quick & easy ways to play the F sharp minor chord.
  • The no1 secret to mastering guitar chords quickly.
  • 2 essential tips and tricks which will your help your chords sound amazing.

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5 Ways to Play the F# Minor Chord | National Guitar Academy (1)

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The two most common ways to play an F# minor chord are:

  • F# Minor. (Em Barre Shape.)
  • F# Minor. (Am Barre Shape.)

Both of these chords use barring technique.

Pro Tip: You’re going to want to be in tune for this lesson. (Minor chords sound nasty when out of tune.) We love the Snark ST-8 clip-on tuner. It’s small, easy-to-use and extremely accurate.

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All tuned up? Let’s go!

F# Minor (Em Barre Shape)

We refer to this barre chord as the ‘Em shape’ because the heart of this chord uses the E minor shape.

Let’s compare. Here’s an Em chord:

5 Ways to Play the F# Minor Chord | National Guitar Academy (2)

Learn how to play an Em chord here: Em Guitar Chord – 4 Easy Ways To Play This Essential Chord

Here’s an F# minor (Em Barre Shape):

5 Ways to Play the F# Minor Chord | National Guitar Academy (3)

Can you see how this barre chord uses an Em shape?

To play the F# minor (Em Barre Shape):

  • Barre your first finger over ALL the strings on the 2nd fret.
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 4th fret of the A string. (5th string.)
  • Place your 4th finger on the 4th fret of the D string. (4th string.)

This chord can also be called, ‘F# minor. (Root on the E string.)’. This is because the root note is chord is on the low E string. (6th string.)

Learn more about root notes here: Guitar Notes Explained: A Guide For Beginners

F# Minor (Am Barre Shape)

In the guitar world, we refer to this as the ‘Am barre shape’ because it is based on an Am chord.

Here’s an Am guitar chord:

5 Ways to Play the F# Minor Chord | National Guitar Academy (4)

Learn to play this chord here: Am Guitar Chord For Beginners

Here’s an F# minor (Am Barre Shape):

5 Ways to Play the F# Minor Chord | National Guitar Academy (5)

Notice how the Am shape is used in BOTH chords.

To play this barre chord:

  • Place your 1st finger on the 9th fret. Barre from the A string (5th string) to the high E string. (1st string.)
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 11th fret of the D string. (4th string.)
  • Place your 4th finger on the 11th fret of the G string. (3rd string.)
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 10th fret of the B string. (2nd string.)

Quick Tip!

Whenever you see a ‘#’ in music. Pronounce it like this: ‘sharp’.

So for the F# minor chord. You would pronounce it like this: ‘F sharp minor chord’.

In music you can write out a minor chord in a number of different ways.

Here are a few classic examples:

  • F#m. (In this case, the lowercase ‘m’ stands for ‘minor’.)
  • F# minor.
  • F sharp minor.
  • F# minor chord.

Each of these are correct. However, for today’s lesson we’re going to refer to this chord as ‘F# minor’.

Let’s learn some easy ways to play this chord.

Pro Tip:If you want to play chords with more clarity, you’ll need a pick that compliments your playing. We recommend picks that are relatively thin but with a bit of stiffness. Thin picks can be flimsy, but thicker picks can be hard to handle for beginners.

The Dunlop 1mm Nylon Maxgrip Picks are some of our favourites to play with, and we highly recommend them for beginner guitarists.

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1) F# minor (Semi-barre chord)

This F sharp minor chord is perfect for beginners as it only uses 3 fingers. It sounds amazing on an acoustic guitar.

5 Ways to Play the F# Minor Chord | National Guitar Academy (6)

  • Place your 1st finger on the 2nd fret of the low E string. (6th string.)
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 2nd fret of the D string. (4th string.)
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 2nd fret of the G string. (3rd string.)
  • Strum ALL the strings.

Download our lead guitar cheat-sheet to make things easier

It's hard to understand whichscales work with whichkeys.

So we created a cheat-sheet! A key and scale-finder that you can use again and again.

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2) F# minor (3 finger version)

If you’re a beginner guitarist, you must learn this chord. Here’s why:

  • It only uses 3 fingers.
  • It’s great for developing finger dexterity.
  • It sounds pretty, perfect if you want to add some high-end sparkle to a guitar part.

5 Ways to Play the F# Minor Chord | National Guitar Academy (8)

  • Place your 3rd finger on the 11th fret of the G string. (3rd string.)
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 10th fret of the B string. (2nd string.)
  • Place your 1st finger on the 9th fret of the high E string. (1st string.)
  • Strum from the G string. (3rd string.)

Playing this chord can be tricky as you have to skip a few strings. Learn how to skip strings while strumming here: How To Skip Strings While Strumming

3) F# minor (4 finger version)

This F sharp minor chord is full of body and depth. You’re guaranteed to stand out from the crowd when you play this chord.

5 Ways to Play the F# Minor Chord | National Guitar Academy (9)

  • Place your 3rd finger on the 7th fret of the D string. (4th string.)
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 6th fret of the G string. (3rd string.)
  • Place your 4th finger on the 7th fret of the B string. (2nd string.)
  • Place your 1st finger on the 1st fret of the high E string. (1st string.)

.

How do I learn guitar chords quickly?

The fastest way to learn guitar chords is to learn ‘stepping-stone’ chords.

Stepping-stone chords are easier versions of advanced guitar chords.

Here’s an example:

5 Ways to Play the F# Minor Chord | National Guitar Academy (11)

Notice how each stepping-stone version uses LESS fingers.

Why should I learn stepping-stone chords?

Stepping-stone chords enhance your finger dexterity and technique. They are a progress accelerator.

By learning easier chords first, you are building your skills as a guitarist. So when you come to learn more advanced chords, you will find it SO much easier.

To learn more stepping-stone chords, go here: 14 Easy Guitar Chords For Beginners

How do I play guitar chords?

Here are 3 quick & easy tips which will help you master guitar chords.

1) Keep your thumb on the back of the neck

When you play guitar chords, you must keep your thumb on the back of the neck.

Make sure that your:

  • Thumb is in the middle of the guitar neck, pointing towards the ceiling.

Like this:

5 Ways to Play the F# Minor Chord | National Guitar Academy (12)

2) Use the tips of your fingers when you fret chords

Using the tips frets is the best way to fret guitar chords. Try and fret the chord as close to your finger nail as possible.

It’s vital that you don’t use the fleshy part of your finger, as this can block other strings.

3) Keep your fingers straight

When you fret guitar chords, try and keep your fingers as straight as possible.

Your first knuckle must be at a 90 degree angle. The rest of your hand should arch over the fret board.

Like this:

5 Ways to Play the F# Minor Chord | National Guitar Academy (13)

Learn how to play chords here: How To Play Guitar Chords: A Beginner’s Guide

What’s the best way to remember guitar chords?

The best way to remember guitar chords is to:

Squeeze your fretting hand every time you play a chord correctly.

This triggers your muscle memory and teaches your hand to remember the chord.

However, be careful. You must play the chord right BEFORE you squeeze your hand. If you don’t, you will be teaching yourself the wrong chord.

5 Ways to Play the F# Minor Chord | National Guitar Academy (14)

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