Hello! Former Righty and Now Beginner Lefty

Hi everyone,

I’m Jeff from NC, USA and new to the community. I have been a right-hand guitar player for almost 40 years and suffered a permanent injury to my left pinky which pretty much put an end to my playing/fretting. This happened over a year ago. As one could imagine, it left a huge hole in my life.

Inspired by Justin teaching himself left hand guitar I decided to give it a go! Funny, I am actually left handed but learned to play right when I was very young. I bought a lefty acoustic and started the beginner course a few days ago.

The experience is strange in that I am happy to be holding and “playing” a guitar again but wow it’s frustrating and overwhelming as a former, solid intermediate player. Also my right fingers are killing me :grinning:

Anyway, hope to keep inspired by all the other beginners here!


Hopefully you will progress and be happy with your progress. See it as a new challenge, not that you should be as good lefty vs righty.

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Or maybe you will find you should have been playing lefty all along!

Welcome to the community and so glad you are finding a way to continue to be involved in something you love. It will make you stronger.

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Thanks. Ha, I can only hope to learn I should have been playing lefty all this time!

Welcome to the Community, Jeff. Wish you well on this new adventure.

Sorry to hear of the permanent injury, a setback to overcome. Makes me think of Django Reinhardt who suffered an injury that left him with permanent limitations … he did OK in the end :grin:


From another lefty, welcome Jeff! What lefty acoustic did you get?

I have a Washburn D 12S/LH, which is a dreadnought, and a Breedlove Discovery S Concerto.


Hello and welcome Jeff. :slight_smile:

Wow! What a huge change. I hope you get up to speed pretty quick and are belting the tunes out before you know it.

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Welcome to the Community Jeff :smiley:
Wow… That is a dramatic measure
My gut suggests I might find it easier to learn to adapt my playing with one finger less, but no doubt that’s what you’ve already tried.
I hope you enjoy the learning journey again. You’ve got good company in nitsuj :wink:

Inspirational Jeff !

Wish you the best of luck. Wow nitsuJ will be absolutely perfect for you and maybe keep your lefty aspirations realistic and your righty frustrations in check ! Welcome.

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Hi there. I got an Orangewood Oliver lefty. Mahogany. Really excellent setup and very nice quality. I can’t believe it was only ~$200

For sure I tried to continue playing with the injury but it really wasn’t working out at all. The pinky is essentially fused in a position that makes it always in the way on the fretboard.

Welcome aboard!
I started playing right but had to give up back in stone age after less than a year.
Now playing Left (am left handed) handed and am in a similar boat to you - injury caused change, but what the heck - let’s just give it a bash :slightly_smiling_face:

Best of luck to you on your journey!

Welcome, @jpparlier

That’s some physical and mental strength you have. I’m sure it will pay off. :wink:

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That looks like a great guitar! Good luck getting acclimated to lefty.

Hello @jpparlier welcome to the Community.

That is quite a challenge you’re taking on.
Kudos and good vibes to you for it.

Cheers :smiley:
| Richard_close2u | JustinGuitar Official Guide & Moderator

Thank you. Relearning as a lefty is so incredibly hard. I just got to 40 D-A changes in a minute (very sloppy) and my E-A changes are at 20 per minute (even more sloppy).

I can’t even imagine my right hand forming a barre chord. Not even close when I try one :grimacing:

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You will do it, Jeff. You did it “wrong-handed” once already. Having done that, you already understand the challenge and you know you were able to do it before. It will take time and persistence, but I have to imagine it will be a series of very satisfying moments as you conquer each little hurdle on the way. Enjoy and celebrate the little victories.

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Hi everyone. Thought I would give an update on my journey as a new lefty. I am working on Grade 1, module 3 with Am and Em songs, etc.

I also watch Justin (Nitsuj) on his progress at the same point. I seem to be pretty much exactly at his level/struggle in each module so far. I will say he has a slight bit more trouble with the strum patterns/rhythm than me. Most likely because I’m a natural lefty I suppose.

My finger pain is MUCH better on the right hand but still a bit sore at the end of each practice.

I’m trying to remain optimistic but it is still very mentally frustrating as a former intermediate righty. Onward and upward!


You are an inspiration! Keep at it and stay strong. I bet part of the frustration is knowing you had been able to do these things with ease right handed.

It is hard starting over partly because of just that. But a cool new challenge!

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