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Interviews With Famous Left-Handed Guitarists

Some of the worlds best-known guitarists talk about their technique, influences and of course, problems sourcing great left handed instruments

Elliot Easton of The Cars
talks about being a left handed guitarist

Found this great piece from Elliot Easton, the lead guitar player in The Cars. With over 30 million sold records under his belt, Elliot is well respected in the guitar world, both as player and composer - and, of course he is a left hand player.

Here he talks about his influences and being a lefty. Hopefully this will inspire left hand guitar players out there.

I grew up and I live in a right handed world and so as a kid any time a friend would get a cool new guitar I couldn't really play it, i'd have to flip it over and just sort of play it with the strings upside down and stuff like that.

I mean there's no real disadvatage technically but.. I didn't even really know there was such a thing as a left handed guitar when I got my first electric. You know I just got a cheap import model and turned the strings around. I'd never seen a left handed guitar...

Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath
on sourcing left hand guitars 'back in the day'

Tony Iommi, along with his band Black Sabbath, practically invented Heavy Metal. In this short clip he talks about his troubles finding quality American left hand guitars in mid-sixties Birmingham.

I couldn't get the guitar that I wanted. I wanted a Gibson... or even a Fender... it was really hard to get a left handed Fender.

I happened to come across a Watkins that was left handed so I used that one.

Kurt Cobain
talks about his lefty Fender Mustang and Jaguar guitars

Kurt Cobain talks about left handed guitars, and restringing right handed guitars in the early days of Nirvana.

It's a bit easier now because I have an endorsement with Fender Guitars now so they are making me left-handed Mustangs...

When we were on our first couple of tours i'd only have one guitar.. it'd have to be cheap, you know a $30 guitar from a pawn shop and i'd end up breaking it after a show and then the next day was consumed with trying to find a pawn ship... the few dollars that we had trying to buy a guitar.. and then we'd have to turn the strings around and try to intonate it ourselves. It just made for a really out-of-tune raunchy experience.

JP Cervoni
talks about playing "Left-handed and Backwards"

Like fellow bluesmen Albert King and Otis Rush, JP Cervoni learned to play a right handed guitar flipped over with no restringing. This results in the thickest strings at the bottom of the fretboard rather than at the top - completely changing the way the guitar is played, but giving exponents of the "Left-handed and Backwards" guitar a highly unique sound

Nobody ever told me I was supposed to switch the strings being a lefty guy - I flipped a normal guitar the other way never knowing... and guess what I never had a problem, AND I think there are certain advantages to this kind of technique

Paul McCartney
talks to Ronnie Wood about playing right hand guitars

Paul McCartney is probably one of the best known left handed musicians, but he can also play "left-handed and backwards"

..I picked up one of the guitars, which was right handed... but 'cause so many of my mates had right handed, i'd learned to play them upside down - a little bit

..nobodies got a left handed... if you suddenly need to grab a guitar and you go oh let me show you this... you've got to do it upside down..

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