F#m Chord Guitar

On this page I am going to show you 5 ways for how to play the F sharp minor chord in guitar. 
I'll show you the easiest way to play the F#m chord, how to play the F#m chord with barring, and well as the F sharp minor bar chords.  We'll also get into popular chords that go with F#m, popular songs that use the F#m chord, and what notes are used to make up the chord. 

Why is the F#m chord so hard?

The F#m chord is a bit harder than other chords because there is no open position for this chord. Which means you got to learn how to play bar chords! Don't worry, I'll show you some easy ways to play the F#m chord on guitar!

F#m Guitar Chord

F#m in easy

First place your 3rd finger (ring) on the 4th string 4th fret, then lay (bar) your 1st finger (index) on string 1, 2, and 3 on the 2nd fret.

Be sure you thumb is splitting the difference between your fingers so your hand can stretch and so you have leverage for the bar.  Drive your 3rd finger directly into your thumb while your 1st finger presses to the sides

** If your thumb is curled or on the outside of your 1st finger your fingers wont stretch!

Not sure on how to read a chord diagram or want to learn more chords?  Click here

How To Strum The F#m chord

To strum the F#m guitar chord without strumming strings 5 & 6, you're going to need to get really good at missing these strings when you strum of course comes with a lot of practice!

I also lightly rest my wrist of my strumming hand just before the first strum to feel where I am. It's very quick and most people don't realize I am doing this. - But I only do this on the 1st strum. Once you get the first strum right it's easier to then strum by feel missing strings 5 & 6. 

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F#m Chord Tips

The 1st tip to learning the F#m chord is to get it memorize and trust your picking hand. If you are constantly trying to remember the chord or having to look back and forth between your picking and fret hand progress will be a slow and painful process. 

The 2nd tip is to to make sure your thumb is behind your first and second fingers. You don't want your thumb on the outside of your index finger as this will cause your hand to not be able to stretch or work properly.

 
The 3rd tip is for bar chords. When playing bar chords and your index finger (1st finger) needs to do execute the bar you want to apply pressure to the side of your finger. If you squeeze directly in your finger will bend and the strings on your knuckles wont ring out!

F#m Chord Without Barring

This next position for the F#m chord will move you one step closer to playing a F sharp minor chord.

To play the F#m in this position  place your 1st finger on 5th string 9th fret, place your 3rd finger on 4th string 11th fret, place your 4th finger on 3rd string 11th fret, place your 2nd finger on 2nd string 10th fret. 

To avoid strumming string 1 & 6 you can have your index finger slightly higher on the finger tip so that the finger tip touches the 6th string. 
For the 1st string, if you have good technique and are not jutting our your wrist your hand may mute the 1st string without you needing to do anything. 

This next position for the F#m chord may be a bit tricky even though it's not a bar chord. It's a bit less common but it's a great chord to learn as you'll be able to get different sounds out of your guitar vs what everyone else does.
To fret this chord place your 1st finger on the 4th string 4th fret, your 3rd finger on the 3rd string 6th fret, your 4th finger on the 2nd string 7th fret, and your 2nd finger on the 1st string 5th fret. 

You'll want to use the same strategy as mentioned above to avoid strumming the 5 & 6 strings. 

F#m Bar Chord 

Now we are going to move on to bar chords and you are going to learn how to play the F#m bar chord properly. I am going to guide you through different variations of the F#m bar chord with easy variation getting progressively harder. 

Just so we are clear, when you use one finger to press multiple strings this is called a bar chord or sometimes spelled barre chord. 

This C#m chord is just like the variation you learned but now we are going to bar using your 1st finger. Fret it just the same as above but have your index finger lining FLAT and pressing to the side so the 5th and 1st string can ring out. 
 

** Note, even though I break down the fingerings 1 by 1, to play chords properly and make smooth transitions this all must be done with ONE motion. 

F#m Bar chord

Continued

In this last variation of the F#m bar chord we are going to cover here is sometimes called the "Em" shape in reference to how the Em chord looks in open position. 

If this is confusing don't worry about it. I don't want you to become a "shape" player but it's a common reference so I thought I'd mention it here. 
To fret this place your 1st finger on the 6th string 2nd fret your 3rd finger on 5th string 4th fret, your 4th finger on 4th string 4th fret.  Then lay your 1st finger down across all the strings. 

To help leverage I recommend using your 2nd finger to help your 1st finger push down.

Yes, you were already prepared for this one! As you can see from the first F#m you just learned above, all we did was add the bar on the 6th string 2nd fret. 

Now you know how to play the F#m chord in guitar! 👊
Scratch that, you are a F#m chord pro as you know a lot of ways to play the F#m guitar chord!

Easy Songs That Use The F#m Guitar Chord

Darius Rucker - Wagon Wheel
Nirvana - Come As You Are
Backstreet Boys - I Want It That Way

F#m Guitar Chord Progression

Here's a few chord progressions that sound great that use the F#m chord. Feel free to change up the orders and experiment with the sounds!

F#m - E - D - A
F#m - Bm - A - E 

A - D - F#m - E

Bm - G - F#m - D - Em  
C#m - F#m - G - C#m
D - A - F#m - G

If you need help learning these other chords, click here

What Keys Have A F#m Chord? 

Major keys that use a F#m chord:
Key of E Major
Key of A Major
Key of D Major

Minor keys that use a F#m chord:
Key of C# Minor
Key of F# Minor
Key of B Minor

What Are The Notes Of A F#m Chord?

A F#m chord or F# minor chord consists of 3 notes that are derived from the F#m scale.
F#   G#   A   B   C#   D   E

When you number the notes of a scale they are called SCALE DEGREES. So to make a F# minor chord we need the 1st, 3rd and 5th "degrees."

1         2       b3      4       5       b6      b7 
F#     G#     A       B      C#      D       E 

All minor chords use the 1, b3, and 5 notes of a their corresponding scale. 

When these 3 notes are being played harmonically (played at the same time) you are playing a F#m chord.

Now you may be wondering, why did you add a "b" (flat) to the 3, 6, and 7? This is beyond the scope of this lesson but for simplicity sake, all minor scales have the 3rd, 6th, and 7th notes lowered down a half step.  We'll have other lessons where we'll go in-depth on this. For now lets just stick to learn the F# minor chord. 

Now, notice from the chord diagrams, ONLY the notes F#, A, and C#  are being used?  If you have another note such as an G# note or a D note it is no longer a F# minor chord!

That being said, you can have multiple F#, A, or C# notes as show in the chord diagrams. Try playing the chords but only strum a few of the notes. Notice the chord will sound "thin" if there are only one of each note. By adding in more of the same notes you make the chord have more depth. You may even think of it as a darker or lighter shade of the same color.

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