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Upside Down Guitar – Not Just For Leftys!

Lefty playing a Right Handed guitar.

Of the many alternate ways to tune a guitar, few are quite as extreme—or as common—as playing the guitar with the strings high to low, rather than low to high. So many legendary lefthanded guitarists (say that 10 times fast) started their musical journey on right-handed guitars flipped upside down. Most either upgrade to a lefty guitar or modify what they have to play the strings in the right order… and some don’t.

From masters of the craft like Albert King and Dick Dale to innovators like Elizabeth Cotton, many players play with their strings in a reversed order E B G D A E from the typical guitar string order, E A D G B E. We were curious what this would feel, sound, and most importantly play like as right-handed guitarists – and it taught us a lot!

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If you’re inspired to try this for yourself and see what new tricks and techniques you can add to your playing, you don’t need much but a fresh set of strings. Luckily, you’re in the right place for that, see what we have for you from our best-selling strings below!

Not weird enough for you yet? Oh it can always get weirder… If you want to go deeper down the wormhole, check out Quarter Tone Tuning!

6 Responses

  1. Stupid question nevermind. I made an account on here and now i’m seeing you on my fb when I never gave you that info. I want my account deleted I dont like that invasion of privacy.

  2. This method does work for blues, older country, rock, death and black metal, What do you think about it for hard rock, power metal, and symphonic metal? Do you feel the high notes and lighter strings will be cut short and drowned out? This method to me seems like it makes the most sense for some reason.

  3. You are going against flow of electrical signals across actual physical pathways created for handedness in the brain. The older-than-childhood brain becomes less “elastic” and cannot “undo” this by creating new pathways to accommodate such a change. I.E., Old dogs CAN learn “new” tricks, but trying to adapt to using the left hand for strumming and the right for fretting is counter-productive. It’s like trying to train a pig to skip rope when it goes against built pathways in the beast. You will ultimately fail, and you only irritate the pig. Do your research. This isn’t a matter of optimism vs. pessimism anymore than it is an openness vs. closed-mindedness. It’s pre-established brain chemistry. Your only hope of getting this to succeed is to try it before handedness is developed. Unfortunately, you’re still a baby when this “plasticity” is open to practice and unable to hold a guitar in your hands.

    1. All good points Bob! But that actually isn’t what we did in the video. We simply reversed the order of the strings, we didn’t switch which hand we were using to fret or strum.

  4. Great Post, it actually helps delay the possible onset of dementia by learning new ways to do things backwards. Also driving to familiar places a different route.

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