playing left-handed.

November 8, 2009

i’ve really been struggling with the loss of my music lately. now that i’m over the largest part of my immediate health struggle, i ache to do things i cannot.

my right hand doesn’t understand. i was listening to a new song by jason reeves with a beautiful guitar picking line. all i wanted to do at that moment was grab my guitar and pick the strings. (jason has this effect…check him out if you’re unfamiliar.) i miss playing my music. i took it for granted before all of this happened. it’s strange. i was never a singer-songwriter who constantly lived their instrument. it was my passion but it wasn’t ever something that i couldn’t go a while without. i could always go to it, and it would still be there. i rarely picked up my guitar just to play it. now it’s all i want to do.

for those of you who do not know, a wonderful friend blessed me with a left-handed guitar three days after my accident, while i was in the hospital. it has given me a lot of hope for my playing, but it frustrates me to know i will have to start over again after seven or so years of playing right-handed. the callouses that had formed on the fingertips of my left hand have softened to new skin. my right hand struggles to remember the form of the simplest chords. i wonder if i will get the fast-twitch muscle memory back in my left hand so i can pick the strings the way i used to.

i’ve been reading about other guitarists who suffer from hand disabilities and i came across an article on a guitarist with focal dystonia. apparently his ring and little finger are frozen, curled inward, without function. he switched to left-handed guitar, which is apparently about as easy as, ‘trying to breathe through your feet.’ i think this is hilarious, haha! but i am encouraged from the article. the man says you have to be willing to sound awful. this is huge for me, because i often get frustrated when i’m not picking up a skill immediately. (for my fellow music majors – case in point: ear training.) but i think this is good advice, especially for me. one thing that assures me is my constant desire to play now. i think it will get the guitar in my hands until it works. i hope it does…please pray for my patience.


6 Responses to “playing left-handed.”

  1. mark and sherry said

    we believe in you ❤

  2. Allison Williams said

    You’ve got this! If anyone can do this, it’s you!

  3. Bob (Poppy) Losure said

    Hey girl, I ‘ve been wondering how you are doing it as a “Lefty”….just to let you know inquiring minds need to know so I got my Rickenbacker out and slung it over my foriegn shoulder to experience the reverse order of things. You are right about one thing, that right hand is dumb when trying to emulate what the left hand has been doing for years. Ha Ha I have your back on the patience prayers, I know you will perserver and be even better from than before ! Love you

  4. Amelia Gerometta said

    My fellow left-handed friend, I BELIEVE IN YOOOOU! It’s about time that you join the best of us! Jimi Hendrix, Steve Young, Paul McCartney, Dave Barry, Bill Gates, Jerry Seinfeld, and Tommy Hilfiger. Welcome to the club 🙂

  5. Colin said

    Best of luck in your endeavors in relearning the guitar. Part of the legacy of the instrument is how people with disabilities have changed the way the guitar is played, so don’t lose hope in being able to play again! I would suggest playing in an open tuning and possibly using a slide, you can pick up a cheap glass medicine bottle from Guitar Center or Sam Ash for a few bucks.

  6. Alyson McHargue said

    Ugh. i just typed a REALLY long reply to this blog and it didn’t post and I lost it . Never fear. I just wanted to share this verse with you and remind you that God’s got this one. Rely on Him and praise him that you CAN play guitar!!! That didn’t come out as good as the first time, but oh well.
    Philippians 4:4-6 (New International Version)

    ” 4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
    phil 4:4-6

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