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How to play the F11 chord on guitar

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The F11 chord

The F11 chord, pronounced F eleventh, is a sophisticated and jazzy variation of the F major chord. It incorporates the 7th, 9th, and 11th notes of the F major scale, creating a rich and complex harmony. The F11 chord is commonly used in jazz, funk, and R&B music to add depth and color to progressions, and can often be heard in smooth jazz compositions.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common F11 chord. We've also included other versions below.

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Finger placement for F11 chord

The F11 chord is typically played as a barre chord on the 1st fret of the guitar.

Follow these finger positions to play a F11 chord on your guitar:

  1. Use your index finger to barre the 1st fret, covering all six strings.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the 5th (A) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 3rd fret of the 4th (D) string.

To strum this chord, play all six strings together in a downward motion, ensuring that each string rings out clearly.

How to play an easy F11 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the F11 chord, try playing an F major chord without your index finger. This leaves the high E string open, which adds the 11th note to the chord. Place your middle finger on the 1st fret of the B string and your ring finger on the 2nd fret of the G string.

How to play a F11 bar chord

The F11 chord does not have a popular barre chord shape. The most common way to play an F11 chord is using open strings, like this:

  • Place your index finger on the 1st fret of the 1st (E) string
  • Place your middle finger on the 1st fret of the 3rd (G) string
  • Place your ring finger on the 2nd fret of the 5th (A) string
  • Leave the 2nd (B), 4th (D), and 6th (low E) strings open
  • Strum all six strings

Common F11 chord progressions

The F11 chord, also known as F major 11, is a jazzy and sophisticated chord that adds a dreamy and complex flavor to progressions. It's often used as a passing chord to add tension and release, or as a substitute for the regular F major chord to create a more nuanced harmonic palette. Here are some common chord progressions featuring the F11 chord:

  • I - III7 - VI7 - II7 - V7 (F - Am7 - Dm7 - Gm7 - C7)
  • I - VI7 - II7 - V7 (F - Dm7 - Gm7 - C7)
  • I - VII7 - III7 - VI7 (F - Em7 - Am7 - Dm7)
  • II7 - V7 - I - VI7 (Gm7 - C7 - F - Dm7)
  • III7 - VI7 - II7 - V7 (Am7 - Dm7 - Gm7 - C7) Used in "Fly Me to the Moon" and "Autumn Leaves"

Drills to master the F11 chord

To master the F11 chord on guitar, try this simple drill: play each note of the chord individually, starting with the lowest note and working your way up. Focus on producing a clear, crisp sound for each note. Once you can play each note cleanly, practice strumming the chord, making sure all the notes ring out together in harmony.

Another helpful drill is to practice transitioning to and from the F11 chord. Choose a simple chord progression that includes F11, and practice moving between the chords smoothly and efficiently. With consistent practice, you'll soon master this rich, jazzy chord.

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Songs that feature the F11 chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the F11 chord.

  1. Hey Jude by The Beatles (F, C, G, D, F11, Dm, Bb)
  2. Let It Be by The Beatles (C, G, Am, F, C/E, Dm7, F11, C)
  3. Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkel (C, F11, Em7, F)
  4. Bennie and the Jets by Elton John (G, D, Em, F11, C)
  5. I Want It That Way by Backstreet Boys (F11, Dm, Gm, C)
  6. Eternal Flame by The Bangles (G, Bm, Em, F11, Am, D)
  7. Daniel by Elton John (C, F11, Dm7, Em7)
  8. Telephone Line by Electric Light Orchestra (Em, F11, G, D, A)
  9. Tiny Dancer by Elton John (C, Em, F, F11, Dm7, G)
  10. Someday by Sugar Ray (D, Bm, G, D/F#, F11, C, A7sus4)

How a guitar teacher can help

If you feel stuck in your playing, it might help to take personalized guitar lessons with an expert guitarist. Taking lessons with a pro gives you access to the skills, feedback, and motivation to reach your goals.

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