10 left-handed musicians to celebrate Left Handers Day

Did you know Aug. 13 is Left Handers Day? (At least according to the aptly named lefthandersday.com.) That’s right, an entire day to celebrate people who have to deal with this on a daily basis:

So how are we celebrating #lefthandersday? With the music of these 10 left-handed musicians:

Kurt Cobain
Known as one of the best songwriters of the 20th century, Kurt Cobain happened to also be a very good guitarist, which he played left-handed.

Paul McCartney
After Paul McCartney switched to the guitar from the trumpet his father had given him, he found he was having a hard time picking up the string instrument – until he saw a photo of lefty Slim Whitman, who had reversed the order of the strings on a right-handed guitar and flipped it. But while Macca started that way, today he is known for his rare collection of lefty instruments.

Jimi Hendrix
Perhaps the most famous southpaw guitarist, Jimi Hendrix originally learned to play right-handed because like many people in those days, his father thought playing left-handed was a sign of evil. But when he could get away with it, Hendrix would play left-handed. And thank god, he did because he sure could play like the devil.

Ringo Starr
Sir Paul isn’t the only left-handed Beatle. Ringo Starr is also a lefty, but he plays on a right-handed kit, about which he said, “I’m no good on the technical things … I’m your basic offbeat drummer with funny fills … because I’m really left-handed playing a right-handed kit. I can’t roll around the drums because of that.”

Travis Barker
Another lefty, Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker also plays a right-handed kit. And he says his left hand is half numb, so add that to his street cred.

Tony Iommi
Lead guitarist of Black Sabbath (it would make sense in this case that playing left-handed is a sign of the devil), Tony Iommi actually plays left handed. In his autobiography, Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven and Hell with Black Sabbath, he said, “Probably the easiest thing would have been to flip the guitar upside down and learn to play right-handed instead of left-handed. I wish I had in hindsight, but I thought, ‘Well, I’ve been playing for a few years already, it’s going to take me another few years to learn it that way.’ That seemed like a very long time, so I was determined to keep playing left-handed.”

Phil Collins
Instead of learning how to play on a right-handed kit, Genesis drummer and international superstar Phil Collins switched up his drum set so that his snare and kick drum were on the opposite side.

Elizabeth Cotten
African-American blues and folk musician Elizabeth Cotton was a self-taught southpaw guitarist and banjo player. But instead of restringing a right-handed guitar, she just flipped the instrument around. This meant she had to play the bass lines with her fingers and the melody with her thumb, a style that has become known as “bass picking.”

Donald Runnicles 
While there are a lot of left-handed conductors, most of them hold the baton in their right hands. Not this one!

Kermit the Frog
Because most puppeteers are right handed, and they operate the head and mouth with their dominant hand and the puppet’s hand or arm with the other, Kermie plays his banjo as a southpaw.

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