The Left-Handed Guitar Players That Changed Music By John Engel
Tony Kaye has been session player, in-demand orchestral arranger, jazz and classical musician, music copyist, and more. Several things make Kaye a truly unique musician. First, he has perfect pitch. Second, he is an accomplished instrumentalist in both jazz and classical music, mastering guitar, piano, flute, mandolin, and banjo. Third, his musical journey has taken a most astonishing turn: after having played guitar left-handed upside-down day in, day out for 20 years, he suddenly decided to reverse the strings and relearn everything as an ‘orthodox’ left-handed player – while continuing to play professionally!
Kaye is one of few musicians presented in the book Uncommon Sound, along with jazz guitarist Dell Staton and the Brazilian virtuoso Jose Barrense-Dias, to have played classical guitar left-handed in a professional environment.
Tony Kaye is quick to point out that perfect pitch has no effect on making a musician particularly competent, let alone successful. Besides, perfection in whatever guise is neither an intrinsic component nor a goal of music or art. Humanity is more to the point. In his inexhaustible search for a musical identity, in his tenacious dedication to his favorite instruments (the guitar and the mandolin), in his boundless enthusiasm for fine music of all kinds, Tony Kaye is indeed an inspiring specimen of humanity.
© LFV / John Engel all rights reserved.
Read more about Tony Kaye's life and distinguished musicianship in John Engel's Uncommon Sound book.