Monday, September 1, 2008

Left Handed Guitar Chords vs. Right Handed Upside-Down Chords

I was checking out some sites that link back to Left Handed Guitar Player, and came across a left handed message board. Someone was looking for a web site that features chords and/or tabulator for the left handed guitar player. One of the posters left a link to this site and asked if this helps. Of course some know-it-all responded by saying that this site is pretty much useless. He said something to the effect that the chord diagrams that I have on the side bar are ineffective and wrong. In particular the C chord. He said that it was wrong because it is actually a C/G chord. He said that the photos don't match the diagrams, and that the diagrams are right handed diagrams.
Here's the deal. The pictures and diagrams do match because I am playing a right handed guitar, I also play the right handed Bass guitar and mandolin this way, thus right handed diagrams. The only difference is in knowing which fingers to use to make the chords. They are printed beneath the diagram. This site is not about playing a left handed guitar, but rather playing a right handed guitar left handed-upside down. I may have failed to name the strings on the diagram, but if you know anything about it, the nut of the guitar is always shown at the top of the picture and you can figure out that the far left string is the low E and the far right string is the high E. The diagram matches the picture.
When I first posted these pictures and diagrams I said that this the way that I make these chords. So what if it is a C/G. That's the way that I play a C and it sounds like a C. They are not etched in stone and there is not a published syllabus for learning to play a guitar left-handed upside down that I know of. What I print are only suggestions that you can take or leave. If you choose to play the guitar in this manner, it might be easier to use my suggestions. If you came here looking for left handed guitar lessons then yes this site may be "useless" to you but not everyone. I get lots of e-mail thanking me for this resource and I very much appreciate it.
People want to learn the guitar because they want to be able to make music. How they get there is up to them, not some snob with an opinion about what is right and wrong. Many people have defied the odds when told that they were doing something wrong. I named a few in a previous article so I'm not going to beat a dead horse.

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Ben Willis demonstrating the "left handed upside down guitar method".


A chord

B Chord

C Chord

D Chord

E Chord

F Chord

G Chord

B Barre Chord

D Barre Chord

Contact Info

E-mail Ben Willis at
bwillismusic@gmail.com