Beginner Guitar Course Week 7

Beginner whiteOne More Cup Of Coffee + #1 Reason beginners give up!

Today we start working on a new song as well as learn the #1 reason why most beginners give up; the mighty F chord.

If you can’t do something, as a beginner it is really easy to fall in to the trap of blaming yourself.

Almost all the time the reason you can’t do it is simply a misunderstanding, there is always a way!

Let’s find out how to play an F, without giving up!

Week 7 – Step 1 – 10 min

Today we look at the mighty F chord and find out how this awkward chord seem like an impossible hurdle. The irony is that it is impossible, but no one ever plays it!

Let’s look at the full chord and how, should we have to play it, always must find a way around it.

An F chord can’t be played as an open position chord, we have to play it as a barred chord.

The first place to look is just above an open E. Simply play an E chord starting on string 6, move all notes up one fret and you have an F. Like this:

E becomes F

But you can’t play that for many seconds right? Good news is, no one can! So don’t go thinking you can’t play guitar. Instead, let’s find a way around it!

Not only is it extremely tricky to press all those notes down that low on the neck, it won’t sound very good either. What to do when a chord doesn’t sound good is to take notes out.

Here’s some TAB to demonstrate a few ways around that big, clunky F.
E becomes F
The most obvious way around fretting the huge F is to just play the top four strings. You still need to make this a barred chord, but it’s only the top two strings so it’s not difficult.

The second chord of the second bar is the smallest version of an F, this is a great shape to employ when you play electric guitar.

The F/C is what I play most of the time during ‘One More Cup Of Coffee’, the C in the bass is so subtle that it almost sounds like a big F. You don’t need to play this as a barred chord, just use one finger for each note.

Finally, should you have to play a full F, break it up as the last chord show. First play the bass notes, then ease the pressure on the low notes, apply the pressure on the top for strings.

If you ever seen a guitar player fret the whole F, this is probably what they actually do.

During ‘One More Cup Of Coffee I play a few different versions of an F chord. See video below to see how I avoid it.

Beginner whiteWeek 7 – Step 2 – 20 min

A new song! As usual, let’s start with the basics, all the small details will be looked at in the next few sessions.

The chord progression for ‘One More Cup Of Coffee is simple, only four chords to worry about. We got Am, G, F and E, in that order for the Verse.

In roman numerals this is: VI – V – IV – IIIx. The E should have been an Em. For the Chorus the chords move: F to E. Here are the progressions:


| VI | V | IV | IIIx |   or   | Am | G | F | E |


| IV | IIIx | IV | IIIx |   or   | F | E | F | E |

There are a few extensions and different shapes used in the video, don’t worry about them today.

Here is the basic strumming pattern:
one more cup of coffee, rhythm guitar 16th notes
Just like for ‘Robin Hood’, we are dealing with a 16th note strumming pattern here. Ensure you get the up an down strokes right, play:

Down, down, up for the first two beats followed by: Down, up, down and down, down, up.

Apply this to the progression, one bar per chord.

Let’s compare this what it would have looked like at 8th note pace. Tap your foot twice as fast and now play this pattern, it should be identical:

one more cup of coffe 8th notes
We could also vary the pattern by adding a tie, like this:
One more cup of coffee rhythm lesson with tie. 2 bars
Back at 16th note pace it looks like this:
one more cup of coffee rhythm with tie
Try all patterns, tap at double and half time. Ensure the up and down strokes are all good.

When you feel comfortable, play along with the video.

Beginner whiteConclusion

Today we learned about the F chord and how the full shape should always be avoided. If you don’t it won’t sound good and is almost impossible to fret.

Following this we take the same strumming pattern and apply it to four different chords, one chord per bar as we play ‘One More Cup Of Coffee’ by Bob Dylan.

In three days time, a follow up lesson will arrive and we start looking at some details from this song.

See you then!

Dan (your guitar guru)