The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #80980   Message #1480731
Posted By: PoppaGator
09-May-05 - 11:46 AM
Thread Name: Tips for teaching a lefty guitar?
Subject: RE: Tips for teaching a lefty guitar?
I used to think Henrix played "upside down and backwards," and have been guilty of perpetuating this mistaken belief by stating it more than once in Mudcat posts.

However, I recently watched the "Woodstock" movie closely enough to observe that Jimi played lefthanded with the guitar strung in the opposite manner from "normal," so his fingering was an exact mirror-image of a conventional right-handed player. (I was fortunate enough to see closeups of a passage where he was playing simple first-position C/F/G chords ~ so much of his playing was either more complex or made up of single-string runs that not many of his right-hand positions are so easily recognized.)

One thing that may have helped perpetuate the "upside-down" myth is that Jimi played "regular" guitars (Stratocasters, mostly) rather than custom-built lefty models, so the instument always looked upside-down, with the cutaway on the top side instead of the bottom.

Now, Elizabeth "Libba" Cotten, former housekeeper to the Seeger family and fingerpicker extraordinare, composer of "Freight Train" and "Oh Babe It Ain't No Lie" ~ she was a true upside-down-and-backward lefthanded player, playing her alternating bass with index and/or middle fingers and the treble/melody part with her thumb. Amazing.