When I first started to learn guitar, it never occurred to me that chord diagrams were designed with right handed players in mind. I always managed to figure them out, but there was always that slight struggle to get them to make sense on my southpaw guitar.
Like me, many of you will just put up with deciphering regular chord diagrams – but why make it harder? Left handed guitar chords will help make learning that little bit easier.
For those of you who are new to guitar and a little unsure, I’ve put together a selection of 14 left handed guitar chords that every new guitarist should learn. I’ve also included an audio file for each diagram so that you can hear how each chord should sound when played correctly.
Learn Over 300 More Chords!
I’m so excited to share this with you! Once you’ve mastered these basic 14 chords, you’ll definitely want to check out our brand new and downloadable PDF. This eBook will teach you over 300 spicy new chords in a lefty friendly format – probably the only chord book you’ll ever need! Click here to find out more.
Left Handed Guitar Chords Diagrams
If you are brand new to guitar chord charts, head to the bottom of this page for a brief explanation on how to read the charts. If you’re viewing these on a mobile device, try using landscape mode to ensure that everything fits within your screen correctly.
Print Me! Click here to download a printable version of these chords! Right click the image to save it your your computer.
Explanation for Beginners
In case you are a complete beginner looking at these diagrams for the first time, let me briefly explain what they represent. The diagrams should be read as if you have your guitar standing up in front of you with the fretboard facing you.
The orange strip near the top of each diagram represents the nut, i.e. the thin strip of plastic on your guitar neck which holds the strings in place. For simplicity, each diagram only shows the first five frets of the fretboard.
The orange circles indicate where you should place your fingers, and the numbers on the circles (1-4) are your finger numbers. Your fingers are numbered as follows:
- Index : 1
- Middle : 2
- Ring : 3
- Pinky : 4
- Thumb : T (thumb isn’t used in any of these basic chords)
A ‘0‘ above the nut (the orange strip) tells you that the string should be played ‘open’, i.e do not fret any notes. An ‘X’ above the nut indicates that the string should not be played.
Tip and Tricks
Finger placement. Try to place your fingers as close to the fret-wire as you are able to. The reason for this is because if you place them too far back, the string is likely to buzz. It might be difficult at first, but over time it’ll become second nature.
Finger pressure. Try to use the lightest touch necessary for the string to ring through without any buzzing. Pressing down too hard will cause the note to become slightly sharp, making the chord sound off key.
Strum and pick. At first, pick every single note individually to ensure that no strings are being accidentally muted. You might not notice dead notes when purely strumming a chord.
Pain. If this is the first time you have tried to learn guitar chords, your fingertips are going to hurt – sorry! After a while calluses will form and you’ll wonder what you were crying about. Give it a few weeks.
Stay in tune. Always tune your guitar before playing.
Further Reading : Recommended Left Handed Guitar Tuition Materials
- Left Handed Guitar Fretboard and Chord Chart Instructional Poster
- Big Left Handed Guitar Chord Book
- Picture Chord Enyclopedia for Left Handed Guitarists
If you have any questions, or feature requests, please leave a comment below.