The first time I heard this song was with Donny and Marie. Now 40 years later I heard Jimmie Vaughan version of the song. And it really rocks! So I decided to put together a lesson How to Play I’m Leaving It Up to You.

How to Play I’m Leaving It Up to You Guitar Lesson; In this guitar lesson How to Play I’m Leaving It Up to You this is what you will learn.

  1. How to Play I’m Leaving It Up to You
  2. The How to Play I’m Leaving It Up to You Chords
  3. Strumming and Rhythm
  4. Bonus Video Tutorial
  5. Bonus Tab for I’m Leaving It Up to You Chords

All for free. So if your ready to learn how to play I’m leaving it up to you on guitar. Then grab your guitar and lets get to it.


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How to Play I’m Leaving It Up to You Chords

The chords are D G C A , and lots of little peaces that spice things up. So let’s start with showing these chords in the chord diagrams. If you need to know how to read a chord diagram read; How to read chord diagrams.

How to play the G chord.

  • Second finger on the 6th string at the 3rd fret
  • First finger is on the 5th string at the second fret
  • Third finger is on the 1st string at the second fret
  • When playing the G chord you can strum all the strings.

Finger position to Play the D chord.

  • Your first finger is on the G string at the second fret. The third string.
  • Second finger on the E string at the second fret. On the first string.
  • Third finger third fret of the B string. Which is the second string.
  • When playing the D chord. Strum from the 4th string down. Don’t play strings 5 & 6.

How to position your fingers for the C chord.

  • Place your first finger on the 2nd string at the first fret.
  • Your second finger is on the second fret of the 4th string.
  • Then your third finger is on the third fret of the 5th string.
  • When playing the C chord you don’t want to play the 6th string.

Strumming and Rhythm

To play this song it has a 50’s vibe to it. So you want to pick the bass notes when playing the chords. Or if you are totally a beginner you could just strum the chords that would work too. So if you were just going to strum the pattern would be D D U D U D U. OR Down Down Up Down Up Down Up.

Playing this way is more like a 50’s early 60’s vibe. And that is starting with the D chord. There is some picking prior to the chords. But not to worries I will show you that too. But first lets learn the chords and how to pick the bass notes.

Starting with the D chord you want to pick the 4th string open. Meaning don’t fret any notes. Then strum the D chord. Then pick the A string and strum the D chord. It does that two times.

Then the chord progression goes to the G chord. After placing your fingers in position to play the G chord. Pick the E string, strum the G, and then pick the A string. And strum the A chord. You do this two times.

Related Article: How to Play Wipe Out on guitar by the Surfaris.

Playing an Alternate Bass Line

Then on the C chord after setting your fingers in position to play the C. You want to pick the bass note of the C. By picking the A string you are covering the C note with your pinkie. So you want pick the 5th string and then strum the C chord.

Take your pinkie and move it up to the 6th string at the third fret. Pick the E string and then strum the C chord.

There is also the A chord. When you play the A chord you want to pick the A string. You know the 5th string, and strum the A chord. Pick the E string; The 6th string. Strum the A chord. This is how you pick the bass notes and play an alternate bass line.

Now that you under stand how to play the chords. It would be pretty boring just to play those chords. So lets add some picking in between the chords. To spice things up.


How to Play I’m Leaving It Up to You

Okay in this song we are going to mix in some lead and rhythm. This is going to make for hours of fun, playing this song.

Here we go, and be sure to get the tab to help with learning all the bits and pieces. Start on the first string, Placing your finger at the 3rd fret. And picking the E string two times.

Use your finger to push the string a little sharp. Not a bend, just a little nudge. Then cover the 5th fret with your third finger. Pick the E sting, the first string.

Then you go back to the 3rd fret on the E string. Pick the E string. Play an open E string, and then the 3rd fret on the B string. The second string.

Next play the 4th fret of the G string. Which is the third string. The 3rd fret of the B string, and 3rd fret of the E string. Use your first finger to bar the B and E string. (Strings 2 & 1)

Related Article: First Position Chords.

Spicing Things Up with Guitar Licks

Pick the B string, the second string. Still at the 3rd fret and 4th fret of the G. Pick the G string again. Move up to the 3rd fret of the G string and pick it. Move up another fret, to the second fret of the G string and pick it.

You are moving a half step each time and picking that note.

Pick the open G string. Next play the 2nd fret of the D string. Play an open D string. And place your finger back down on the D string at the second fret. Pick the D string. End this lick by picking the open G string.

After that use your second finger at the 2nd fret of the G string, and slide up to the fourth fret. With your first finger place it on the 3rd fret of the B string. Pick the B string. With that second finger still at the 4th fret of the G string. pick the G string.

Then you Place your first finger on the 3rd fret of the G string. We are going back down the neck. Towards the headstock. Once on the third fret pick the G string. Move up and cover the note at the second fret on the G string. Pick the 2nd fret, and then pick the open G string.

We are almost at the end of this riff. Now you go to the 2nd fret of the D string. The 4th string. Cover the string with your finger, and pick the D string. Next play the open D string. In a fast motion place your finger again on the D string and pick the D string. Ending with an open G string. The third string.


Playing the Chords

Next the verse begins. It starts with the D chord. You are going to pick the 4th fret and then strum the D chord. Then pick the A string and strum the D chord. It does that two times. Or two measures.

The next chord in the progression is G. Pick the E string, strum the G, and then pick the A string. And strum the G chord. You do this for two measures. Which is 8 beats.

When You go back to the D chord. I like to add some spice, some lead licks.

By picking out some notes that are in the melody. You add some excitement to the song.

Start by playing the open A string, the 5th string. Then place your finger at the 2nd fret of the A string. Pick the A string. After that pick the open D string. Place your finger at the second fret of the D string and pick the D string. Then play the open D string string again.

You are now back to strumming the D chord again. For a measure.

When Playing the D you want to play the open D string and strum the D chord. Then pick the open A string. Strum the D again. Pick and strum 4 times. The progression goes to the G.

In stead of playing the complete G chord. Just play the G note.

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Playing the G Note

This is the 3rd fret of the 6th string. Play the G Note and Pause. Then add some picking in there. At the 3rd fret of the high E string. Use your first finger to cover the string. Pick the first string. After that play the open E string. The first string.

Next on the B string cover the 3rd fret of the 2nd string. Play the B string. Pick the open B string. Moving to the G string. You want to cover the third fret on the G string. Pick the G string.

Move to the second fret of the G string. Pick the third string. And play an open G string. Placing your finger at the second fret of the D string. Pick the D string, and then remove your finger. Play the D string open. Cover the 4th string again and play the D string. Finally ending the lick by playing an open G string,

The verse repeats which is the same as what we just did. D G D G.

Once everything has played through, and you get back to the G chord. You alternate the bass line and strum the G chord.

Alternate Picking

Next there is some alternate picking. Starting with the open G string. Pick back and forth 1,2, 3 picks of the open 3rd string.

Next cover the D string at the second fret. Pick the D string two times. Remove your finger off of the 2nd fret and pick the D string 2 more times. And position your hand to play the C note.

Once your fingers are in Position Pick the 5th string and strum the C chord. Move your 3rd finger up to the 3rd fret of the E string. The 6th string. Pick the E string. Then strum the C again.

Then it goes to the G and pick and strum like you learned earlier. Next you want to walk down the fretboard. Covering your fingers on the frets as you go and picking frets 3, 2, on the E string. And then picking the open A string.

The next chord to play is the A chord. Pick the A string, strum the A chord. Then pick the E string open, and strum the A chord. You play that for 2 times. The next chord is D. When you get to the D you want to strum 10 times, down strums at a fast tempo. There is a pause and then it continues to the next verse.

Related Article: How to play Folsom Prison Blues.

After the Verse More Picking and Grinning

After picking a few notes. These notes are played by picking the first string. After that play the open E string. The first string.

Next on the B string cover the third fret of the 2nd string. Play the B string. Pick the open B string. Moving to the G string. You want to cover the third fret on the G string. Pick the G string. Slide to the second fret of the G string. Pick the third string. And play an open G string, ending by playing an open D string,

The Outro

The last two chords in this great guitar song are the D And G. They are played by strumming one strum of the D chord, and a strum of the G.

Related Article: I Fall to Pieces on guitar by Patsy Cline.


How to Play I’m Leaving It Up to You Tab


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Related Questions

How to Play I’m Leaving It Up to You Lyrics

I'm Leaving it all up to you 
You Decide what your gonna do
Now do you want my love
or are we through?

I was a full in the  band 
might of known it wouldn't last
now do you want my love 
or are we through

I've got my heart in my hand 
Oh baby I don't understand
what have I done wrong 
I worship the ground you walk on

I've got my heart in my hand 
Oh baby I don't understand
what have I done wrong 
I worship the ground you walk on 

That's Why I'm Leaving it all up to you 
You Decide what your gonna do
Now do you want my love
or are we through? 

Are we through

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How to Play I’m Leaving It Up to You Chords


If you just want to strum to a great song on your guitar then you need to know what chords to use. The chords are D G C And A. All major chords. Be sure to get the tab. Which is also in this post. This will help you while learning to play the song.

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Listen to the Actual Song I’m Leaving It up to You

Here is a link to the YouTube Version of Jimmie Vaughan singing this song. Off the Album Jimmie Vaughan Plays Blues Ballads & Favorites.