Trying to figure out left handed power chords? Let’s get you sorted!
Power chords are brilliant because you only really need to learn one shape that you can then move around the fretboard to make other chords.
What Are Power Chords Used For?
Power Chords are really simple chords that are used in most styles of music, but particularly in heavy rock, punk and metal. They are usually played on amplified guitars with overdrive or distortion applied for a powerful sound.
Why Do Power Chords Sound So Good?
A key feature of power chords is that they are neither major nor minor (because the third interval is missing). As a result, you can play them over both major and minor chord progressions! So If you played an A power chord over an A Major chord, it will still sound like A Major. And likewise, if you played an A power chord over an A Minor chord, it will still sound like A Minor. Very cool!
What Is A 5 Chord On Guitar?
Power chords are also known as fifth chords, and this is how you should name the chords when noting them down. For example a G power chord would be written as G5. They’re called fifths because they consist of the root note and the fifth note of the major scale.
Here are a few examples of how a left handed power chord is made up.
|Power Chord||Formula||Major Scale||Notes|
And so on, and so forth… Pretty simple, right?
There are two common power chord shapes – the 2 note and the 3 note variation. The two note uses the root and the fifth, whereas the 3 note uses the root, the fifth, and in addition, the root octave.
In the charts on this page we will use the more common 3 note power chord. However you can easily change these into 2 note chords by simply removing either the highest or the lowest note, depending on the sound you are after.
I’ve indicated to play the chords using your first, third and fourth fingers but it’s also perfectly acceptable to use different fingerings – experiment and find out what works best for you. For example, many people will barre the two higher notes using their ring finger. Check out the image at the top of this page to see a power chord being barred!
Left Handed Power Chords
Check out the chart below which shows every chord up until the 12th fret. The only time the shape changes is the E5 chord as you’ll use the open E string instead of fretting a note.
The name of the chord is determined by the root note, which in the case of all of these shapes is the note that you play with your index finger.
The number to the right of each diagram indicates the fret that these should be played at.
More Left Handed Fifth Chords!
The good news is that you can now play a power chord anywhere on the low E string. Congratulations! But what’s more exciting is that you now actually know double the number of chords I’ve just taught you!
Remember at the beginning of this article that I told you that you can take this one simple chord shape and move it around the fretboard? Well I wasn’t lying!
The power chord shape remains exactly the same on the A-string, so just shift the pattern up a string and you’ve doubled your repertoire! For example, take your G5 chord that you learned earlier, shift the whole pattern up one string and you have a C5 chord. Easy, right?
Now as long as you know all of the notes on the A-string you’re good to go!
If you haven’t mastered the notes yet, you can check out my fretboard note diagram for help.
Just for good measure and completeness, here are all of the chords with the root note on the A-string.
All that’s left to do now is crank up that distortion and rock out! ;)
Be sure to also check out our interactive left handed chords chart!
Learn Over 300 More Chords!
Once you’ve mastered these power chords, you’ll definitely want to check out my popular and downloadable left handed guitar chords 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!
Further Reading : Recommended Left Handed Guitar Tuition Materials
- Left-Handed Guitar: The Complete Method by Troy Stetina
- Left Handed Guitar Fretboard and Chord Chart Instructional Poster
Now that you’ve mastered power chords, you’re in a great place to learn a ton of new songs! A good starting point would be to check out my list of ‘Forbidden Riffs‘. Although guitar store employees may be fed up of hearing these songs, every single one is an absolute classic, and most can be learned using powerchords!
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Do My Power Chords Sound Bad?
There are 3 reasons! Firstly, check that your guitar is perfectly in tune. Secondly, make sure that you are not pressing the strings down too hard, as this will result in the chords sounding out of tune. If neither of these are the issue then you can also check your guitar’s intonation.
If you have any other questions please drop me an email and I will get back to you.