3 useful tips on how to be a left-handed guitarist with right-hand guitar – Upside down magic (Part I)

You are not able to play guitar because you can’t find a specific one to you due to that you are a southpaw?

Being able to play guitar for many left-handed folks becomes hard due to a limited number of guitars made for that hand. It is possible to handle that problem even when the access to a lefty guitar is limited you can learn to handle a right-hand guitar by playing it in upside down magic. You can be a left-handed guitarist!

This journey will take us from knowing nothing until we know to play a right-hand guitar into left-hand without changing anything on guitar. If you can’t stand giving up learning to play guitar because you are left and you can’t find this particular guitar, this place is for you!

How to be a left-handed guitarist on right-hand guitar
How to be a left-handed guitarist with guitar upside down


This is the definition of upside down from Google:

“with the upper part where the lower part should be; in or into an inverted position.”

My story being a left-handed guitarist

This is a story I can repeat as many times as I can, one of the hard things that I managed to overcome.

What made me overcome this were two motivations:

  1. I wouldn’t bear to be guitar illiterate.
  2. I had no choice, only I had access to right-hand guitar.

The two reasons made me feel thirst of knowing to play guitar.

When I graduated in high school that’s when I decided to learn guitar by referencing myself from Dad, he had a right-hand guitar then I would not force him to reverse the strings to be able to accommodate myself (Though I wouldn’t dare ask). The only choice was to still accommodate myself.

In the beginning I was no difference to other lefties who try to learn in the other hand than theirs, but finally I realized that it was wrong.

It wasn’t what I had to do because it took me so much time moreover neither I was gaining knowledge equal the energy nor time. Because it took me three days learning at least 5 hours a day but not even a single chord that was sounding right.

Difference between holding guitar as right-handed and left-handed
Left-hand guitars are in limited capacity but it is possible to play a right-hand guitar upside down. Image by Kord Blog


The other morning, I woke up with an ambition of transitioning from learning right-hand style to upside down learning. It was productive, for the reason that it took me a single day learning how to hold two basic notes and sound very well.

In the above Image you can see that the sketch of chords (1) are inverted in the second diagram (2). That’s the philosophy beyond how left-handed persons can hold a right hand guitar.

Since then, I play guitar upside down besides I continued to learn more about playing guitar and learned advanced chords and so and so on.

All the chords I’m able to play I created the diagrams by myself and it was a hassle, so I don’t want you to get that pain I got, I don’t want anyone to recreate the way of holding chords and all those exhausting stuffs as I did.

Don’t try to be who you are not.

I have a friend of mine who is a lefty, he has been learning to play guitar as a right-handed guitarist. He started to learn guitar three years back but he’s still playing guitar as a novice.

Three years for a guitar learner are many, you could be performing before a large audience if you are not shy. He would be skyrocketing in guitar as I am right now as he is good at singing but he is not!

Many left-handed guitarists pretend to imitate right-handed because they have a guitar for righties but that’s not right, this consumes time and reaps little.

Some legends have managed to conquer amid these struggles like Otis Rush one of killer bluesmen ever existed he was left-handed upside-down guitar guitarist. This is a typical sign of possibility to this technique.

Otis Rush at Notodden Blues Festival
Otis Rush holds guitar upside down in Notodden Blues Festival. Image by Wikimedia.



Let’s see what you can do here, by looking these 3 quotes:

“You never know what you can do until you try, and very few try unless they have to.” C.S. Lewis

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” T.S. Eliot

“Life is worthwhile if you try. It doesn’t mean you can do everything, but there are a lot of things you can do, if you just try.”Jim Rohn

What the three quotes above are saying is that you should be ready to explore your potential in something new, who made a right-handed guitar didn’t say what happens when a lefty plays it upside down. Why do you still complain about the direction of aguitar? But also, you still have a thousand of options.

An example of people who have impressed me with guitar, a man called Brushy One String, what I liked about is that he ignored other 5 strings and is internationally known for playing a guitar of one string and he has managed to go far with this unique intellection.

What then? You have to give it a try, maybe it can be still hard for you, but it is better and convenient lather than playing as right-handed and end up dillydallying.

I can’t deny that the first time I started to learn to play guitar upside down, it was weird but the important in that is that this was the right way of doing it.

Believe in process and wait for results

When people see me playing guitar upside down, they think I am acrobatic but to be honest I am not that special but the difference is that I believe in process especially I am proud of what I do, this brings to me the hope of good results.

The process I believed to upside down magic

Right now, I am able to play all chords from right-handed person by seeing him/her playing. When I was learning most of my learning curve was made of tutorials from YouTube and tutorials from lefties are limited, I trained myself to accommodate to the righties.

What I have never tried is to play along another guitarist like me. Something I can’t wait to experience one day.

Do you believe in process?

Results are on the way

I believe in process because I am a true testimonial and I barely can approve that it’s an instrument of success. When you work hard for your style of playing guitar whatever it is, I know it’s going to get some good results after sometimes.

This is the same case for left-handed, don’t be afraid to play guitar upside down and prepare to give it a time.

Options of a left-handed person to learn on a right hand guitar
Options of a left-handed person to learn on a right hand guitar


The time frame of achieving those results might value that’s why can’t say that you will get to what you are targeting in these specific months, years or what but if you continue to go for it will finally work.

Related Posts:

  1. 7 things you need to do to successfully learn to play guitar.

Final word

There are tons of people out there who have imposed the world to their own style and that made them famous.

There is no rule of how to play a guitar either a position or style, I have said Brushy One String – The maestro of one stringed guitar, Otis Rush the best of blues. They are not special but they have stood for their things as I did…

If you are a lefty and you want to learn guitar but have no possibilities of reversing strings or you are not able to buy a left-hand guitar for some reasons, I advise you to learn this style of playing guitar upside down.

You will enjoy this experience, there more things hidden within this experience.

Were you afraid of Playing guitar? Are you playing it this way and have some difficulties?

I hope you enjoyed this post and if you have an idea, question or suggestion let me know down below in the comment section.



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  1. I respect lefties a lot. Their pinpoint accuracy with the left hand is phenomenal. Nice read for left handed guitar enthusiasts. That means, Leo, you are a lefty.