The Left-Handed Guitar Players That Changed Music By John Engel
Vernon Ray Harrington
On Playing Guitar Left Handed
I started off playing at about the age of 10 years old. Back then, I didn’t realize -- playing -- which way was left-handed or right-handed, so I figured it didn’t matter whether you were left-handed or right-handed. I had no idea about which way to hold the guitar. The way I looked at it. I thought playing was just playing. I had no idea!
The great, late Magic Sam told me, he said, “turn it around” – he said, “you got it upside down.” So, I held it right handed, but it felt so uncomfortable to me. It was hard for me to make chords and to strum so, I felt comfortable with it the OTHER way. So I guess I figured I was left-handed. But at that age, you know, I had no idea... I didn’t know the difference between left-handed and right-handed as far as playing guitar. All I knew -- it was just turned the opposite way. But most things I do with my left hand, like throwing a ball. But not signing my signature – I sign my signature with my right hand. So, that’s about it.
-- Vernon Ray Harrington (March 31, 2009)