Saturday, August 23, 2008

Playing Left Handed With Other Musicians

I used to play left handed guitar quite a bit with other musicians. Though I have always played a right handed guitar that I flipped over, the other musicians never had a problem comprehending what I was doing once they got used to watching me play.
I played a lot of bluegrass music when I was younger so that meant playing several jam sessions with various instruments. I even played rhythm to a penny whistle once.
Musicians notice immediately that I am playing a right handed guitar left handed and are usually amused at watching me play left handed. It is sort of a novelty, but once they catch on, I am told that the chords that I am making actually look similar to right handed chords.
I don't play with other musicians anymore but probably will again in the future. I record my own music and send it out over the Internet. Everything I do now days is overdubbed. I play all of the instruments on my songs. I also play left handed bass guitar and left handed mandolin. They are right handed instruments, and I play them upside down just like I do the guitar.
I didn't need a left handed guitar teacher to learn how to play. What ever I didn't pick up on my own, I learned from right handed players. It's not that hard to interpret what someone else is playing and I never considered it anymore difficult than a right handed guitar player learning to play. People think that it's a handicap and it's not.
Here is the point. If you are considering learning to play a right handed guitar left handed upside down, don't be intimidated because it's not that hard to do. The chords are easier to make for me, but you may have to concentrate on an upstroke with your left hand when playing rhythm guitar with other musicians. Some people will enjoy having you in their band because of the novelty. Audiences notice this and are amazed. If you can play some good lead licks, they are that much more amazed and will tell their friends.


  1. Hi Ben thanks for your efforts on the leftie guitar cause.

    I'm a new player and blogger and your photo and chord gallery idea is a real help.

    Wish you well withit all

  2. Hi there,

    I just can't explain you how useful yous site has been... Please keep up the good work!



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

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