How to play

How to play the F#11 chord on guitar

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The F#11 chord

The F#11 chord, pronounced F sharp eleventh, is a sophisticated and jazzy chord that adds richness and depth to harmony. Notable for its inclusion of the 11th scale degree, this chord is often used in jazz, fusion, and R&B music to create lush and complex sounds. The F#11 can be heard in songs like "Maiden Voyage" by Herbie Hancock and "Breezeblocks" by alt-J.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common F#11 chord. We've also included other versions below.

F#11 guitar chord diagram

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Finger placement for F#11 chord

The F#11 chord is typically played as a barre chord on the 2nd fret of the guitar.

Follow these finger positions to play a F#11 chord on your guitar:

  1. Barre your index finger across all six strings on the 2nd fret.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 3rd fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 4th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 4th fret of the 2nd (B) string.

To strum this chord, start by strumming all six strings together in a downward motion. You can then experiment with different strumming patterns to suit the rhythm and style of the song you're playing.

F#11 guitar chord with finger positions

How to play an easy F#11 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the F#11 chord, try playing the notes F#, A#, C#, and G# individually on separate strings. This avoids the need for a complex barre chord shape while still allowing you to play the essential notes of the F#11 chord. Practice playing these notes cleanly and consistently.

How to play a F#11 bar chord

The F#11 chord is more commonly played as individual notes rather than a barre chord shape on guitar. While there may be some less common voicings that use a barre, I don't feel confident describing a standard F#11 barre chord shape that would be appropriate for beginners.

Common F#11 chord progressions

The F#11 chord is a sophisticated and jazzy voicing that can add a touch of elegance to chord progressions, often evoking a dreamy or contemplative emotional atmosphere. Here are some common chord progressions featuring the F#11 chord:

  • I - III7 - vi7 - II7 (F#11 - A#7 - D#m7 - G#7)
  • ii7 - V7 - I7 - IV7 (G#m7 - C#7 - F#11 - B7)
  • iii7 - VI7 - ii7 - V7 (A#m7 - D#7 - G#m7 - C#7). Used in "Stardust" and "Lush Life".
  • I - VI7 - ii7 - V7 (F#11 - D#7 - G#m7 - C#7)
  • ii7 - V7 - iii7 - VI7 (G#m7 - C#7 - A#m7 - D#7)

Drills to master the F#11 chord

To master the F#11 guitar chord, try playing each note individually, focusing on clarity and tone. Once comfortable, practice transitioning between the notes in different sequences, such as F#-C#-E-G#-B or F#-B-G#-E-C#. This will help your fingers develop muscle memory for the chord shape.

Another helpful drill is to play the F#11 chord as an arpeggio, plucking each string one at a time from lowest to highest or vice versa. This exercise will improve your finger dexterity and help you memorize the chord structure more effectively.

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Songs that feature the F#11 chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the F#11 chord.

  1. Creep by Radiohead (G, B, C, Cm)
  2. Paranoid Android by Radiohead (G, Gm, C, Cm, B♭, E♭)
  3. Crash Into Me by Dave Matthews Band (E, F#m, A, B)
  4. Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) by Green Day (G, C, D, E)
  5. All Along the Watchtower by The Jimi Hendrix Experience (Cm, G#, B♭, F#)
  6. Everlong by Foo Fighters (D, A, Bm, G)
  7. Shallow by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper (Em, D, G, C, Am)
  8. Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana (F, B♭, A♭, D♭)
  9. Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin (Am, C, D, F, G)
  10. Wonderwall by Oasis (Em, G, D, A)

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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