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Southpaw playing in the beginning.....

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  • Southpaw playing in the beginning.....

    We need some more action here on the forum!

    When you first took an interest in playing guitar, it's highly unlikely you knew there was such a thing a a lefthanded guitar. Afterall, Jimi Hendrix played a righty re-strung! The first guitar I took the time to string lefty was an old Stella small-bodied acoustic my younger brother had gotten for Christmas a few years prior and had tossed in the back of the closet. It was a horrible guitar with finger chewing action.....I know that now, but at the time it was a guitar and all guitars were the same for all I knew. It was 1972 and I remember dropping the needle on an Elton John LP and trying to pluck notes that sounded right. Didn't have much success, by the way.

    After a couple of weeks of this struggle, I reported to the USAF induction station in Atlanta, Georgia and was off to basic training.....no guitar. Then off to Technical School in Biloxi, Mississippi......still no guitar. Forgot all about it by that time.....had other priorities. After learning how to repair electronic gadgets of all kinds, I was shipped off to my first permenant duty station, Altus, Oklahoma and assigned to a mobile communications group, responsible for maintaining four crypto/radio gear vans.....breadboxes on wheels towed behind duece-and-a-half trucks to wherever Uncle Sam said take 'em. We were on 24hr standby to be deployed to the middle east when the Israelis and the Arabs got into it in 1973, but they never pulled the trigger and we spent most of our days playing cards and fiddling with soldering irons on the bench. A new guy was assigned to our shop.....a real-life hippie from NYC that played guitar pretty well. We fell in together and I'd listen and watch as he played rock n' roll and blues tunes on a guitar I honestly cannot remember now.

    We went to town one day and found a little music store. I didn't know shit from shinola about instruments at the time but it was fun looking at the stuff, and my buddy ended up buying an Electra guitar, a black Les Paul Custom copy, and a small amp of some kind. Over the next few weeks he stirred my interest in playing again and he conviced me to buy a bass guitar so I could be his rhythm section. It was a 1972 Fender Precision, maple neck and natural finished body and lefthanded......long neck son of a gun! Boy howdy I struggled with that thing, but he taught me a few scales and how I-IV-V progressions worked......I was stoked! But after a time the bass wasn't really what I wanted to play......

    The first "real" guitar I ever bought was a Gibson SG......cherry red and right handed. The double cutaway body lent itself to lefthanded playing so that was my choice. And with that guitar I became totally infected with The Boogie as we called it. I learned how to intonate the bridge, adjust the action, tweak the truss rod........all that stuff inquisitive players like to learn about their instruments. Mostly I learned how to play. Never took a lesson in my life, but I watched every player I ran across carefully, asked questions and tried to pay attention all the time.

    Through the years since there's been a veritable parade of guitars, amps, pedals and bands. Heck, I could open a music store of my own, very well stocked, with all the stuff I've been through. I sold my last electric a few weeks ago (Gretsch 6120) and these days I'm content to play the SJ200 at home for my own entertainment. I take it to parties sometimes and play and sing with friends. I listen politely as old friends and strangers tell me I need to get back on the stage and "do your thing, man!" Nah. I had my fun and I'm done with all that. But damn what a ride it was! And I survived it.....got some friends that didn't. At nearly 58 years old I count myself among the blessed to have lived the insanity I did and come out whole and healthy.

    What's your guitar playing story?
    Last edited by Buc McMaster; 09-25-2009, 10:08 AM.
    Knowin' where you're goin' in mostly knowin' where you have been Me, from Me & Eddie

  • #2
    Here's my story:

    I started out as a drummer. In high school, I found out one thing!

    Drummer = no girls

    Gruitarist = all the girls

    The choice was simple.

    joe...

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    • #3
      Good thread Buc

      I started out playing clarinet in the school band, then graduating to Saxaphone when I realized that guys playing clarinet look gay.

      My dad was a guitar player. Not very good, but the ex-hippie type playing stones and dylan on the acoustic. He has an amazing Gibson Everly Brothers model, and he used to have a Gibson SG jr (I believe....1 humbucker, 1 vol, 1 tone, dot inlays, pickguard). That was the first guitar I picked up. I naturally held it upside down, and like you said...the symmetry made it easy to play upside down save for the annoying knobs hitting my forearm.

      I played at home for several months and then decided I wanted to take lessons. I went to the local music shop with the SG and tried to learn righty. Disaster. I asked the teacher if I could flip it, when I did my technique was instantly better and more natural. My strummer was better, fingerwork was better. It was just right, how it's supposed to be.

      After that we headed down to the East Coast Music Mall in Danbury Connecticut and I rented a Hohner strat copy (tobacco sunburst). I took lessons for a few months, decided I was sticking with it and returned the Hohner. That day I bought a black Kramer 210 from Ed Roman of all people and started with my lessons full time.

      Oddly enough, East Coast Music Mall had a TON of rare and awesome lefties back then. They had a HOLOFLASH Nightswan, Lynch ESP's and all types of guitars I was scared to even ask to try out. Their lefty wall was epic.

      I ended up convincing my dad to let me sell his SG for an Ibanez bass. I kinda wish I didn't sell it, but at the time our band really needed a bass player. I sold the Kramer to Ed Roman for a BC Rich Warlock, a guitar I will never sell.

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      • #4
        welp, i played air guitar left handed

        my dad had a friend who played, screwed around with his guitar here and there back when i was like 8, didnt know i was playing upside down, nobody told me

        a few months later i was in my music class and the teacher was giving us ukelele lessons, i tried playing lefty and she flipped out on me telling me to play it right, i told her i was playing it right and then she sent me to the office for the rest of the week, DISCRIMINATION i say.

        then one day i was in a music store getting my sax re-padded when i was 12 and i was screwing around with a danelectro u2, the saleman said there was a version that was left handed and made for me to play and tried handing it to me, but i told him i was fine, then he tried convincing my mom to buy me a left handed danelectro u2 and she declined thinking i wouldn't play it.

        then when i was 14 a guy who played trumpet in my band class said he was starting a band and i was his lead guitarist and to buy a guitar, the irony is at the time i was looking to buy a 5 piece kit, so for my 15th birthday i asked for a fender stratocaster, my grandparents for some reason thought i'd give up on it and tried getting me a squier, luckily for me at the time squier had ceased production of left handed guitars and i got me a midnight wine fender mexican standard strat, the first mod i did to it was buy black pickup covers, knobs, jackplate, and stole a selector switch off of a telecaster. it remained like that until i turned 16 and did the crazy stuff i did to it.

        since then i've owned a bunch more guitars, sold off a few but never my first, and never owned a 5 piece.
        Last edited by lostinthemasses; 09-25-2009, 02:07 PM.
        Originally posted by metalchurch
        I had my ball sack appraised one time.
        Originally posted by metalchurch
        ??Apparently ball sack and ball sack are synonymous.

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