The F# chord (F sharp Major) is most commonly played on the 2nd fret of the guitar, as a root 6 bar chord. None of the notes in the F# chord can be played on open strings, so there is no way to play F# as an open chord.

The F# chord is enharmonically the same as Gb Major.

Some Quick F# Chord Theory

  • The F# Major chord contains the notes F#, A# and C#.
  • The F# Major chord is produced by playing the 1st (root), 3rd and 5th notes of the F# Major scale.
  • The F sharp Major chord (just like all Major chords) contains the following intervals (from the root note): Major 3rd, minor 3rd, Perfect 4th (back to the root note).
  • The F# chord is the first chord in the key of F sharp Major. The seven chords in the key of F sharp Major are: F#, G#m, A#m, B, C#, D#m, E# diminished. 

10 Ways To Play The F# Major Chord

If you’ve come to this page just to view some chord diagrams for F#, here they are.

F# Chord 10 Shapes

Standard F# Chord Shape

The most common way to play the F# chord is the root-6 barre chord, starting on the second fret.

F Sharp Chord Guitar

Easy F# Chord Shape

While the root-6 barre chord shape is the most common way of playing the chord, it can be useful to learn the easier version of the chord, especially when starting out. The Easy F# shape involves playing three strings, using the first three fingers.

Easy F Sharp Chord Guitar

How to Play the F Sharp Major Chord (Step by Step)

  • Place your first finger on the second fret and barre all six strings.
  • Place your third finger on the fourth fret of the fifth string.
  • Place your fourth finger on the fourth fret of the fourth string.
  • Place your second finger on the third fret of the third string.
  • Strum all six strings.

The instructions above are step by step instructions for playing the most common F# Major chord shape. These instructions can actually be super helpful when you feel like you’re interpreting the shape incorrectly. By going through the F# chord instructions step by step, you can verify that you’re playing the chord correctly.

Barre Chord Shapes for F Sharp

The F# chord can be played as a barre chord by playing a root 6 barre chord shape and starting on the 2nd fret or by playing a root 5 barre chord Major shape and starting on the 9th fret:

F Sharp Barre Chord Guitar

F# Major Triads

Playing the F# chord using barre chord shapes is the most common way of playing the chord. However, it is also useful to explore the chord using triads (including inversions). The F sharp Major triad can be voiced in the following three ways:

  • F# Major Triad (Root Position) – F#, A#, C#
  • F# Major Triad (1st Inversion) – A#, C#, F#
  • F# Major Triad (2nd Inversion) – C#, F#, A#

Here are six different ways to play the F# Major triad (including inversions).

F Sharp Major Triad Guitar

Which Keys Have The F# chord in Them?

The Gb chord can be found in the following keys:

  • The key of F# Major (F#, G#m, A#m, B, C#, D#m, E#dim)
  • The key of C# Major (C#, D#m, E#m, F#, G#, A#m, B#dim)
  • The key of B Major (B, C#m, D#m, E, F#, G#m, A#dim)
  • The key of D# minor (D#m, E#dim, F#, G#m, A#m, B, C#)
  • The key of A# minor (A#m, B#dim, C#, D#m, E#m, F#, G#)
  • The key of G# minor (G#m, A#dim, B, C#m, D#m, E, F#)

Alternative But Useful F Sharp Chord Shapes

The following shapes are alternative ways of playing the F sharp Major chord shape. They’re not the most common F# shapes, but used enough to include here as interesting alternatives.

Alternative F Sharp Chord Shapes Guitar

F# Chord Substitutions

The F# chord can often be substituted with the F# sus 4 chord, the F# sus 2 chord and the F# add 9 chord. The F# chord can also be used itself as a substitute for more complicated chords, such as the F# Major 7 chord, the F#7 chord, and other extension chords which have F# as the root note (it can’t be used in place of minor chords though!).

Which Scales Can Be Played Over the F# chord?

The most common and effective scales that can be used to solo/improvise over the F# Major chord, or to create melodies for the purposes of song writing are:

  • F# Major pentatonic scale – This scale will almost always work over the F# Major chord, in any context.
  • F# Major scale – This is the ‘default scale’ of the F# chord.
  • F# Lydian mode – This scale can be used over the F# chord in certain contexts to add a jazz flavour.
  • F# Major Blues – This scale is particularly useful in a Blues context.

Further Reading

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