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This is a list of notable left-handed musicians who play their instruments naturally. This does not include left-handed people who play (or played) right-handed, such as Joe Perry, Mark Knopfler, and Gary Moore.
Left-handed people play guitar or electric bass in one of the following ways: (1) play the instrument truly right-handed, (2) play the instrument truly left-handed, (3) altering a right-handed instrument to play left-handed, or (4) turning a right-handed instrument upside down to pick with the left hand, but not altering the strings – leaving them reversed from the normal order. (The fingering is the same for methods 2 and 3.) Any style of picking with the left hand (flatpicking or fingerstyle guitar) is considered playing left-handed.
Guitarists in this category pick with their left hand and have the strings in the conventional order for a left-handed player (i.e. the low string on the top side of the neck). They either have true left-handed guitars or have right-handed guitars altered so the strings are correct for a left-handed player. Some guitarists in this category (e.g. Paul McCartney) play both genuine left-handed instruments and right-handed instruments altered for left-handed playing.
Changing the strings on a right-handed guitar involves several things. The nut of the guitar has to be changed to accommodate the string widths. The bridge needs to be changed to make the lower strings longer than the top strings for correct intonation. On almost all acoustic guitars the bracing is non-symmetrical. On electric guitars altered this way, the controls will be backwards.
These are left-handed players who play naturally, but with the strings organized to emulate an unaltered right-handed guitar, thus the strings are backwards for a left-handed player. The guitar is held left-handed with the high string on the top side of the neck (e.g. Bob Geldof). Some players in this category (e.g. Dick Dale and Albert King) had left-handed guitars with the strings as on a right-handed guitar, since they had learned to play that way.
A drum kit for a left-handed person is set up so that percussion instruments drummers would normally play with their right hand (ride cymbal, floor tom, etc.) are played with the left hand. The bass drum and hi-hat configurations are also set up so that the drummer plays the bass drum with their left foot, and operate the hi-hat (or, if using two bass drums, plays the second bass drum) with their right foot. Some drummers however have been known to play right-handed kit, but play leading with their left hand (e.g. playing open-handed on the hi-hat). This list does not include drummers who are naturally left-handed but play drums purely right-handed such as Ringo Starr, Stewart Copeland, Dave Lombardo, Travis Barker and Chris Adler.
The violin can be learned in either hand, and most left-handed players hold the violin under the left side of their jaw, the same as right-handed players. This allows all violinists to sit together in an orchestra.
The French horn is a naturally left-handed instrument, with the right hand only used to shade the pitch sharp or flat. Right-handed horns exist but are comparatively rare.
A drum set – also called a drum kit, trap set or simply drums – is a collection of drums, cymbals and other percussion instruments, which are set up on stands to be played by a single player, with drumsticks held in both hands and the feet operating pedals that control the hi-hat cymbal and the beater for the bass drum. A drum kit consists of a mix of drums and idiophones – most significantly cymbals, but can also include the woodblock and cowbell. In the 2020s, some kits also include electronic instruments. Also, both hybrid and entirely electronic kits are used.
A musical ensemble, also known as a music group or musical group, is a group of people who perform instrumental or vocal music, with the ensemble typically known by a distinct name. Some music ensembles consist solely of instruments, such as the jazz quartet or the orchestra. Other music ensembles consist solely of singers, such as choirs and doo wop groups. In both popular music and classical music, there are ensembles in which both instrumentalists and singers perform, such as the rock band or the Baroque chamber group for basso continuo and one or more singers. In classical music, trios or quartets either blend the sounds of musical instrument families or group together instruments from the same instrument family, such as string ensembles or wind ensembles. Some ensembles blend the sounds of a variety of instrument families, such as the orchestra, which uses a string section, brass instruments, woodwinds and percussion instruments, or the concert band, which uses brass, woodwinds and percussion.
A percussion instrument is a musical instrument that is sounded by being struck or scraped by a beater including attached or enclosed beaters or rattles struck, scraped or rubbed by hand or struck against another similar instrument. Excluding zoomusicological instruments and the human voice, the percussion family is believed to include the oldest musical instruments.
A power trio is a rock and roll band format having a lineup of electric guitar, bass guitar and drum kit, leaving out the second rhythm guitar or keyboard instrument that are used in other rock music bands that are quartets and quintets. Larger rock bands use one or more additional rhythm section to fill out the sound with chords and harmony parts.
The Chapman Stick is an electric musical instrument devised by Emmett Chapman in the early 1970s. A member of the guitar family, the Chapman Stick usually has ten or twelve individually tuned strings and is used to play bass lines, melody lines, chords, or textures. Designed as a fully polyphonic chordal instrument, it can also cover several of these musical parts simultaneously.
Stanley Clarke is an American bassist, film composer and founding member of Return to Forever, one of the first jazz fusion bands. Clarke gave the bass guitar a prominence it lacked in jazz-related music. He is the first jazz-fusion bassist to headline tours, sell out shows worldwide and have recordings reach gold status.
Tapping, also called tap style (tapstyle), touch-style, and two-handed tapping, is a guitar playing technique where a string is fretted and set into vibration as part of a single motion of being tapped onto the fretboard, with either hand, as opposed to the standard technique of fretting with one hand and picking with the other. Tapping is the primary technique intended for some instruments such as the Chapman Stick, and is the alternative method for the Warr Guitar and others. Tapped passages incorporate the techniques of hammer-on and pull-off, but with both hands freed to produce notes. Some players rely extensively or exclusively on tapping.
In jazz, comping is the chords, rhythms, and countermelodies that keyboard players, guitar players, or drummers use to support a musician's improvised solo or melody lines. It is also the action of accompanying, and the left-hand part of a solo pianist.
Animusic is an American company specializing in the 3D visualization of MIDI-based music. Founded by Wayne Lytle, it was incorporated in New York, with offices in Texas and California. The initial name of the company was Visual Music, but was changed to Animusic in 1995.
A rhythm section is a group of musicians within a music ensemble or band that provides the underlying rhythm, harmony and pulse of the accompaniment, providing a rhythmic and harmonic reference and "beat" for the rest of the band. The rhythm section is often contrasted with the roles of other musicians in the band, such as the lead guitarist or lead vocals whose primary job is to carry the melody.
A one-man band is a musician who plays a number of instruments simultaneously using their hands, feet, limbs, and various mechanical or electronic contraptions. One-man bands also often sing while they perform.
Shawn Drover is a Canadian musician, best known for his work with the American heavy metal band Megadeth.
Abraham "Abe" Laboriel Jr. is an American session drummer. He is the son of Mexican bass guitarist Abraham Laboriel, nephew of Mexican rocker Johnny Laboriel, and brother of record producer, songwriter, and film composer Mateo Laboriel. He has been the drummer for former Beatles member Paul McCartney since 2001, as well as for Eric Clapton among others.
The studio practices of the Beatles evolved during the 1960s and, in some cases, influenced the way popular music was recorded. Some of the effects they employed were sampling, artificial double tracking (ADT) and the elaborate use of multitrack recording machines. They also used classical instruments on their recordings and guitar feedback. The group's attitude towards the recording process was summed up by Paul McCartney: "We would say, 'Try it. Just try it for us. If it sounds crappy, OK, we'll lose it. But it might just sound good.' We were always pushing ahead: Louder, further, longer, more, different."
Laurence Bond "Larry" Miller is an American rock and avant garde guitarist, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States, who has formerly been a member of such Detroit/Ann Arbor bands as Destroy All Monsters, Sproton Layer, M3, Nonfiction, The Empty Set, and Larynx Zillion's Novelty Shop.
Damping is a technique in music for altering the sound of a musical instrument by reducing oscillations or vibrations. Damping methods are used for a number of instruments.
Rhythm game accessories are often required to play rhythm games available for various consoles, such as the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Wii, and Xbox 360. These include dance pads, guitar controllers, drum controllers, microphones and turntable controllers. With the exception of microphones, these controllers can generally be used to control any game, but have limited inputs, making them impractical for most games.
Heavy metal bass is the use of the bass guitar in the rock music genres of heavy metal and hard rock. The bassist is part of the rhythm section in a heavy metal band, along with the drummer, rhythm guitarist and, in some bands, a keyboard player. The prominent role of the bass is key to the metal sound, and the interplay of bass and distorted electric guitar is a central element of metal. The bass guitar provides the low-end sound crucial to making the music "heavy". The bass plays a "... more important role in heavy metal than in any other genre of rock."
Heavy metal drumming is a style of rock music drum kit playing that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom and the United States. With roots in blues rock and psychedelic/acid rock drum playing, heavy metal drummers play with emphatic beats, and overall loudness using an aggressive performing style. Heavy metal drumming is traditionally characterized by emphatic rhythms and dense bass guitar-and-drum sound. The essence of metal drumming is creating a loud, constant beat for the band using the "trifecta of speed, power, and precision".