Sooner or later you are going to have to learn to play what are called bar, or barre chords. But at first, you will learn what’s called a “baby bar” chord — The F chord.
By the way, you will see both “bar” and “barre” as far as how this word is spelled. “Barre” is the official spelling (I won’t get into that.), but the “bar” spelling works too. People will know what you mean either way.
To play a bar chord, you have to “bar” two or more guitar strings with one of your fingers, usually with your first finger. What you are doing when you create a bar with your finger, is creating an artificial (pretend) nut.
There are basically two kinds of bars, the “grand bar”,and the “baby bar”. A “grand bar” will bar all of the strings, while a “baby bar” bars only some of the strings.
The first bar chord that one usually learns is the F chord, which uses a “baby bar” on the first two strings. Here it is:
[ x x 3 2 1 1 ]
To play this chord, you must bar the first 2 strings (the E and the B) with the side of your first finger. This will give you an “ouch” at first until you build up a callous on that finger. Then place your second finger straight down on the third string second fret, and your third finger straight down on the fourth string third fret.
You can do this. We all had to go through the same thing to learn this nasty little chord.
What you can try first, before using your second and third fingers, is to mess around with the baby bar on the first two strings first. Practice getting these two notes as clear as a bell before doing anything else.
After you get these two notes clear, add your second finger, and get all three notes clear. Once you get that, then add your third finger and get the whole thing clear. Remember that the fifth and sixth strings are not played on this chord.
Then after you learn this chord, practice switching back and forth between this chord and all of the other chords that you know.
The F chord is one of the hardest chords to learn for a beginner, but it’s worth the effort — You’re making music.