FREE Interactive Left Handed Guitar Chord Diagrams

Neal October 6, 2013 68

When you run across a left handed guitar player on your friendly neighbourhood guitar forum asking for advice on starting out you always have the obligatory post from some genius who thinks he has the most important advice in the world to give.  “Um…dude…the chord diagrams will be backwards…how will you figure out chords!?!

They act as if you need a PHD in particle physics in order to have the brain capacity to read something backwards…it’s pathetic.  Chord diagrams are something you will use very briefly when starting guitar and then probably never look at again, afterall…once you learn a chord, that’s you learned it!

For those of you who are new to guitar and a little unsure, I have put together a simple left handed guitar chord chart which shows you the essential open chords that every new guitarist should learn.  The chart is interactive, so you can listen to the chord just be be sure you are playing it right.  I’m confident that once you learn these you will have no problem reading normal chord charts and you’ll wonder why you found it so difficult in the first place! ;)

I may expand on this at a later date, but for now it shows the most common open chord shapes only.  Click on the diagram to hear the chord to ensure you are playing it correctly!

Note: You will need Adobe Flash Player to view this, so if you are on an iPad or some other device incapable of displaying Flash here is a printable non-interactive version you can download

Give it a few seconds to load and see below for a quick explanation on how to read it correctly.

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 numbers located underneath the diagrams (1-4) are you finger numbers.  Your fingers are numbered as the following:

  • Index : 1
  • Middle : 2
  • Ring : 3
  • Pinky : 4
  • Thumb : T (thumb isn’t used in any of these basic chords)

The red dots indicate where you should place your fingers and the white dots tell you that the string should be played ‘open’, i.e do not fret any notes. An ‘X’ above a string indicates that the string should not be played.

Let me know if you feel I left out any important beginner’s chords!  Make sure to also check out our free left handed powerchord chart as well as our other left handed guitar lessons!

68 Comments »

  1. wayne August 20, 2010 at 10:23 pm - Reply

    Hi, do you have a printable version of this chord chart ?
    I usually use power chords in place of real chords as i have short skinny fingers.
    But i guess that means i need to practice more and for longer.
    Thanx, wayne

  2. Mark A. November 30, 2010 at 4:42 am - Reply

    Can you do diagrams of power chords left handed?

  3. wayne November 30, 2010 at 8:44 am - Reply

    Hi Mark these are a few of the common 2 finger Power chords,
    F 1 G 3 A 5 B 7 ————E string————————————————————
    —– 3 5 7 9 ———-A string——- C 3 D 5 E 7 —————-
    ———————————————————D string———- 5 7 9 ————

    there 24 from the 1st to 12th frets on the E and A strings.use your 1st and 3rd fingers.
    Here is a little power chord practice called AC DC is EC
    AC DC, AC DC, AC DC slide down to E slide up to C "let all the Cs ring.a little.
    Tony Iommi is the Dark Lord of Power Chords and Iron Man is a great power chord song to learn.

    • wayne November 30, 2010 at 8:52 am - Reply

      Sorry my diagram got scrambled for an A put your 1st finger on the 5th fret E string and 3rd finger on 7th fret A string.

  4. Devon January 13, 2011 at 2:23 am - Reply

    Do you think you could make some left handed scale charts for common scales such as minor pentatonic? I find the right handed versions a real pain to read.

  5. rick February 8, 2011 at 4:08 pm - Reply

    this left handed interactive cord chart is cool. ive dabbled around briefly with guitars but got bored trying to simplify something i knew nothing about.i now have me an accoustic lefty, and things are going fairly smooth.time and dedication will pay off now for sure.send me any free beginners notes and ideas,please!

  6. wen June 2, 2011 at 4:17 pm - Reply

    hmm question here, does having small hands affect the way i play the guitar?

    • Neal June 2, 2011 at 4:23 pm - Reply

      Not unless they're rediculously tiny. If they're really small you might find you have limitations, but there's usually always a solution – find an easier fingering, get a shorter scale guitar, use a capo etc… These chords might feel difficult at first but you will quickly adapt and the reach of your fingers will improve.

  7. Steve August 29, 2011 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    Just discovered this site today. I hope to put it to good use.
    I’ve been wrestling with learning lefty for a long time. Then I had a “moment”.
    For those of you trying to use right handed diagrams, or books, here’s a quick little hint I’ve found very useful.
    Get some white out, a black pen, and cover the right handed dots, or circles on the diagrams. Then take a pen, and draw them in at their proper opposing left haded positions. This removes the step of trying to convert right handed lessons into left handed playing byt turning them into left handed lessons before you even start. Do this one lesson at a time as you go through a book, then do your lesson. If you have an instructor check with him/her before doing this. ;-)

  8. joe October 10, 2011 at 6:57 pm - Reply

    finally ,a lefty site,,got any mandolin chord charts for leftys..?

    • Neal October 10, 2011 at 7:06 pm - Reply

      Sorry, at the moment I don’t have anything like that – perhaps this page would be useful to you for now http://www.mandolincafe.com/cgi-bin/chords/ch-left.pl

  9. Lynn October 21, 2011 at 12:56 am - Reply

    hey i am new to playing guitar, and i have a left handed guitar… anything to help me out as a beginner that doesnt really know anything?

    • Neal October 21, 2011 at 10:08 am - Reply

      Hi Lynn, try the newbie guide http://leftyfretz.com/category/guides/newbie-guide/

  10. Mark Hobley October 30, 2011 at 4:45 pm - Reply

    It would be nice to get some printable left handed charts for New Standard Tuning.

  11. Tim San 55 December 28, 2011 at 5:25 pm - Reply

    I hate to be a pest and what is here is so good already.

    However, I would be grateful for a LH chord chart for use in Open G with confirmation of the tunings as I’ve seen a couple of different versions.

    Thanks !

    T

    • Neal December 29, 2011 at 11:53 pm - Reply

      A useful piece of software to grab is Guitar Pro. Set the guitar to Open G tuning and it will give you every inversion under the sun for all chords. A free alternative is PowerTab.

  12. ShadyC1986 January 13, 2012 at 1:29 am - Reply

    man its hard to play as lefty, all the people I know ever played right handed, so it meant teaching me their method was confusing for us.

    but it lacks a few scales such as the dorian an lydian
    maybe you could help an illustrate a diagram for me
    and possibly others who have this problem
    I seem to get too confused when it comes to this
    though I have learned a lot about pentatonics and blues
    notes but when reading about root notes an seeing it
    i need a mirror to reflect it through my mind ..

    help please !

  13. Andie Rickenbacker February 6, 2012 at 11:22 pm - Reply

    Do you have a chord chard for left handed barre chords?

    AR

  14. Marshall March 27, 2012 at 3:43 am - Reply

    Do you have any chord charts for the lefthanded bass, similar to the charts for the 6-string?
    I’m planning to take up the bass as a lefty, and as a beginner. Thanks!
    (Also having trouble finding lefthanded instruction books specifically for the bass guitar.)

    • Neal March 27, 2012 at 10:14 am - Reply

      Don’t waste your time on specialised left-handed books, they really are a waste of money. Get any quality bass instructional book/DVD and have at it. I may add some type of beginner bass diagrams at some point, but they’d just be there to help new players get off on the right foot. Do yourself a favour and switch to learning from regular material as soon as you can ;)

  15. Marshall March 31, 2012 at 1:42 am - Reply

    I am in fact a new bass player, yet to actually begin. Some beginner bass diagrams would be great to help get off on the right foot…

  16. kevin webb April 11, 2012 at 5:05 pm - Reply

    I found this quite interesting, but unfortunately (for me) I play the left-handed guitar with the strings the other way round i.e. top E at the top; Bottom E at the bottom or furthest away. The net result is I am completely unable to play some chords; but I can cobble together substitutes that work reasonably well. (I can also finger chords that a right hander – or a lefty with the strings reversed just cannot play. Makes it interesting; and does not pose too much of a problem. Thinking of writing an article or book for the few who are just like me. Only came across one guitarist of note in the USA who plays like me. We must be quite uncommon)

    • Neal April 11, 2012 at 5:39 pm - Reply

      Eric Gales is the player who first comes to mind that plays that way. Fantastic player, one of my favourites.

      You might also find http://lefthandedguitarplayer.blogspot.co.uk/ interesting. It’s a site run by a chap that plays the same way as you.

  17. Sami April 12, 2012 at 1:31 am - Reply

    This is great and helped me get a better understanding of things (I’m a beginner), so thank you! Do you think you could post one explaining like the order of the number of frets and such? Those confuse the heck outta me.

  18. Eddie April 21, 2012 at 11:33 pm - Reply

    Awesome, can’t wait to try these when I get my Guitar next week!!

    would you guys recommend this page? http://www.chordbook.com/guitarchords.php
    I just came across it. looks pretty helpful with finding out chords.

    • Neal April 23, 2012 at 1:40 pm - Reply

      Whatever works for you, just don’t get caught up in using left-handed chord diagrams. Learn to use ‘normal’ ones as soon as possible.

  19. Frank Quirindongo June 11, 2012 at 7:40 pm - Reply

    I love playing guitar left handed. When I took lessons years ago the teacher wanted me to play it right handed, He taught that would convince me that I was not able to read the chord chart. I proved him wrong. Every chart that He gave me I got them all correct. Therefore, the teacher had no choice but to teach me left handed. Either way I know how to read it right and left hand.

  20. renae a June 12, 2012 at 10:45 pm - Reply

    this interactive chord chart thing is amazing(just like the website)! its been about four or five days and ive almost got these chords down. now if only i were COORDINATED i could try to play something :( klutziness doesnt help much when it comes to guitar now does it????

    • Neal June 12, 2012 at 11:02 pm - Reply

      Take it slow and it’ll soon become second nature, everyone’s uncoordinated at first. Find some tabs for your favourite songs to make learning these chords more fun.

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