The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #47191   Message #702924
Posted By: MikeofNorthumbria
02-May-02 - 11:55 AM
Thread Name: Elizabeth Cotten on Martin Carthy BBC4
Subject: RE: Elizabeth Cotton on Martin Carthy BBC4
Hi Bullfrog Jones!

Sorry to be picky, but you are slightly misinformed.

Hendrix was left handed, and played on a right-handed guitar - but with the strings reversed (1st where the 6th should be, and so on). Quite a few other southpaw guitar-slingers do do this. The thickest string is farthest from the ground for them, as it is for us. So the chord shapes which their right hands make are essentially the the same as the shapes made by the left hands of right-handed pickers.

It's much rarer to find someone who plays left-handed on a normally strung right-handed guitar, like Libba Cotton - Albert King was the only other example I could think of. Doctor Isaiah Ross played open tuning with a slide,which is a different technique, and must be easier to reverse. Whereas Ms Cotton was finger-picking in normal tuning, and thus playing the thinnest strings with her thumb, while plucking the basses with her fingers. Just thinking about it makes me feel dizzy - but she made it sound beautiful, bless her!