This is a guitar question you WON'T get everyday...

by Ryan Buckley
(Twin Falls, ID)

This is going to be tough to get a grip of so read slowly.

I am right-handed and I started out playing guitar right-handed.

Here's my problem. I played guitar for 2 years and ended up breaking my left fingering hand pretty bad. After it healed the doctor told me that I'd never be able to move those fingers as fast as I could ever again.

This tore me apart so I gave up on guitar for a 6 months. I soon learned that I could still hold a pick in that hand and my wrist was still fine so I could do some alternate picking....

So, I decided to learn how to play lefty. And remember that I'm a right handed guy. At the time I couldn't afford a left-handed guitar.

And here's where the problem is. I played left-handed on a right handed guitar for a year and I'm as good as I was when I played right handed. The con's are. Cut-off's aren't always suited for me on my electric guitars, The strings are reversed so I had to relearn that. The only 2 pros are when I read tabs I can match the low E string with my guitar, and lower deep chords are much easier to hit.

My question is...Should I buy a left-handed solid body electric, and relearn guitar yet again...Or should I stick with the Hendrix style.

I've asked many people such as my old private guitar teacher and all he told me was that it was my choice. Well I'm not a professional so I'm asking a pro to recommend me on this one.

I know this isn't a question you get asked a lot so take your time on this one.


Hi, Ryan--

First of all, I am totally amazed at and impressed with your ingenuity and your tenacity. I really doubt if I could have done the same thing.

As far as advice, I agree with your teacher that it is ultimately your choice. I am inclined to think that it could be a good thing to stick with what you are doing if the limitations are ones that either don't hinder you that much or are ones that you can overcome. (I tend to think that YOU could do ANYTHING!)

Think of it this way--you are UNIQUE among guitar players. That could be a giant advantage for you.
You are the kind of player that I would want in MY band! Let us know how it goes as you progress.

The very best wishes,

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Nov 05, 2010
lefty rules
by: Mike

I'm left handed, always have been. learned to play guitar on my friend's spare, right-handed instrument. I just picked it up and turned it upside and learned which strings to press on what frets. Been playing this way since 1974 and semi-pro for 20 years - it's a different approach but at least I can play any guitar (except one that is strung left-handed, ironically). There's a few set backs such as cut aways, volume nobs getting in the way and fingerpicking is near impossible but I can flatpick as good as anyone. Thing is, I have only ever seen about four people who play like this... we are rare.

Feb 05, 2009
by: Anonymous

Your right. That's not a question you get everyday. You should stick to Hendrix style man.
Nobody ever play like that anymore. It would be very awesome man.

Like Lynne said. You are trully UNIQUE to guitar players. I would also want you in my band (If I had one)

Good luck man. You should stick to hendrix though.

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