Thursday, April 17, 2008

Left Handed Upside Down Isn't Right For Some Lefties

In the past month or so. I've been doing searches of other left handed web sites to exchange links, get to know people and maybe find other articles and opinions about playing a right handed guitar left handed. I would eventually like to get perspectives of other musical instruments besides the guitar, but the guitar will remain the basis of this site.
When I tell other web site owners about the method that I use to play the guitar, most are enthusiastic and supportive about it but a few have been downright puritanical and almost outraged that I have the nerve to support and encourage playing a musical instrument in such an unorthodox manner. I usually get a line like, "although I admire how you personally beat the odds I cannot condone the encouragement of playing the guitar in such an orthodox manner when there are guitars made for the left handed musician". These are left handed musicians saying this.
I don't have a problem with this. It is only their opinion. Neither do I have a problem with a lefty choosing to play a left handed guitar. I played the violin right handed when I was a kid and still do. I do have a problem with fellow lefties who seem so supportive but refuse to acknowledge that there are other alternatives than simply buying a more expensive made for lefty instrument. Here's a scenario, you show up at a party where someone is playing the guitar (right handed of course) and they ask you to play a tune. You don't have your left handed guitar with you so the only guitar that you can use is the right handed guitar. Unless you restring it on the spot or play it upside down you can't play. I wouldn't have this problem because I can play it upside down.
I think that the few lefties who feel the way that I described are musical purists who can't fathom someone learning how to play an instrument that doesn't use a prescribed method of learning. In other words, no one has ever written a curriculum, music book, or instructional method for the way that I play. There are no acknowledged experts in this style. People have done some amazing out of the main stream things with instruments like the guy (his name slips my mind) who sets the guitar on his lap and plays it like a hammered dulcimer using his fingers as hammers. I saw a guy with one arm playing an electric guitar strumming the frets with his pinkie as he made chords with his other fingers. I wouldn't discourage someone with two arms from playing this way if they wanted. Most people learn how to play by some prescribed method because it has proven to work and that's good. Then again there are some of us who would prefer to do things our own way and we can also have successful results in the end. Just watch the videos of Albert King and "Libba" Cotton on my Notable People Who Play Right Handed Guitar Left Handed post and see.
Please post your comments and visit my web site at http://benwillismusic.com

1 comment:

  1. Agreed, I'm left handed and an old wrist injury makes it impossible for me to form the chords with my left hand. I also want to be able to pick up a guitar anywhere and at anytime and go for it, hence playing a right handed guitar upside down is the best option. Can't play much at all yet paha, but this is the only way that I see any point in trying tolearn, cheers.

    ReplyDelete

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

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