Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thanks For The Support

When I started this left handed blog a year and a half ago, I really didn't know what to write about. I thought that I would only have enough information to write a couple of posts, but here we are at 33 articles and getting bigger. I hope someone has benefited from at least one post.

I started writing this blog to share my experiences as a musician who plays the guitar in an unorthodox way, left handed upside down with a right handed guitar. I've since found that there are many "closet lefty's" out there from my e-mails and comments section. There are also many beginners who want to play the guitar left handed. I've said many times that the decision is up to you beginners. I have never said that you should play this way or that it is better than the alternatives. This is actually the alternative. The standard way to play the guitar is either by playing a right handed guitar right handed, or by buying a made for left handed guitar. Left handed guitars aren't as expensive as you may think. They're easy to find on the Internet. I would prefer to test drive one first which you can't do on the Internet.

I've had my share of criticism for not going with the fold and simply learning to play right handed or using a left handed guitar. It's too late. I've been playing upside down for thirty years and that ain't gonna change now. Just an aside for you guys who like to leave comments with snide remarks and a link to your guitar site. It won't be published. If you want a link from me just send an e-mail and ask. It's that easy. You don't have to Spam the comments section. I usually allow links from comments but I can tell when it's a phony comment just for the purpose of leaving a back link.

Now that I've got that off my chest, I want to thank my regular readers for their support and I hope that you are learning something. You don't have to go with the flow if you don't want to. If you have a particular problem let me know and maybe I can help. I didn't have help when I was learning because people looked on my style of playing the guitar as a novelty. I'm not the only one out there anymore because the Internet is bringing us together. Another note to the naysayers. We are not complaining or claiming to have a disadvantage. One more thing. This blog was rated number 24 of the 100 best guitar blogs on the Internet by the web site Street Musician based on Technorati and Alexa ratings, (as I pat myself on the back).


  1. There are many reasons to play guitar left handed. I am right handed, but I suspect genetically left handed, as I find that when fretting with the right hand visually it is easier to see in my mind what to do next.

    1)Using the left brain is better for the fretting hand as logic is good for planning and logic is less likely to be influenced by the minor electric influence of the strings.

    2)Using the right hand for fretting makes sense. Why would anyone ever fret with the non dominant and weaker hand? This slows you down with the fretting and then your picking hand is too strong so the fretting hand cant keep up. Why would anyone do this? Talk about a pissoff!!! I always wondered why I felt enraged after fretting with my left hand. Its even more so the faster you can pick with your right hand.

    Unless you are left handed, I wouldnt even bother fretting with my left hand. Some may say that the electricity in the strings gives depth and ideas from the electricity affecting the left hand and hence the right brain, I say that I only benefit in that it pisses me off. I think shredding originated because people were pissed off by fretting with their left hand. Fretting with the right hand means that your body's creative side is protected from the damn electricity, unless you are tapping or finger picking. Otherwise there is no effect. I pick and tap because then it pisses me off and then I shred pick with my left hand while fretting right. The next endeavor Im going to do is to tap and fret with eight fingers.

  2. looks like I'll be bookmarking your blog. My kid left behind two guitars and i was looking for a way to string them for my left handed self. now, it looks i may not have to. thanks in advance for your wisdom and guidance.

  3. This is so great, thanks so much for blogging about this. I'm a right-handed person but when I picked up the guitar for the first time, I played it "backwards" without knowing it. I've been known to do a lot with my left hand so I guess guitar playing is one of them. I didn't want to only rely on using left-handed guitars, I wanted to be able to pick up any guitar and play it. But, in doing so I had no idea where to start to learn this way. Your blog is like a life-saver, thanks again!

  4. Thanks for this! I'm a lefty about to learn and I think I've been sold on this method. I have to admit that I have this deep-seeded fantasy of watching an awesome band and having the leader call out into the audience for that once in a lifetime chance to go onstage and jam out with them. Should that ever happen, what do I say, "Sure! Do you have a lefty guitar?"

    I know it's goofy, but hey, a girl can dream, can't she!?!

  5. Thank you so much for posting this. I really didn't know if there was such a thing as a special left-handed guitar. I used to be right-handed, but when I was nine years old I had a stroke, and naturally, it was on my right side. I had to learn how to do things with my left hand, like write. While I can serve a volleyball and bat right-handed, I have to do everything else with my left because right's still really shaky if it has to focus on something as important as writing, balance a full drink, play a tricky piano part, or, of course play guitar. I was beginning to get discouraged when I went online and searched for left-handed guitar-playing and found this blog. Picking with my right hand is extremely difficult, especially with those fast chord progressions, but as soon as I switched the guitar over to the other side, I found that of course my left hand could do it faster. Of course, this would leave my half-impaired right hand to do the important fretting, but it is at least good enough to do that.


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