PAUL VERNON CHESTER
Left Handed Guitarists
Left-handed players generally choose a left-handed (mirror) instrument, although some play in a standard right-handed manner, others play a standard right-handed guitar reversed, and still others (for example Jimi Hendrix) play a right-handed guitar strung in reverse. This last configuration differs from a true left-handed guitar in that the saddle is normally angled in such a way that the bass strings are slightly longer than the treble strings to improve intonation. Reversing the strings therefore reverses the relative orientation of the saddle (negatively affecting intonation), although in Hendrix' case this is believed to have been an important element in his unique sound. They come in four categories as to how they play.
René "Challain" Ferret was the cousin of Baro, Sarane and Matelo Ferret and the uncle of Rene Mailhes. He was born in 1914 and began playing professionally in the 1930's with Gus Viseur, Baro and Matelo and, in 1939, recorded several sides with his cousins under the name "Le Trio Ferret".
He only formally recorded with Django once in the very last recording session of the string quintet made in March, 1948 although there is a poor quality acetate of two tunes from the Nice Jazz Festival in February of the same year. However, it is certain that he occasionally toured with Reinhardt from around 1947. He was left handed and had custom made guitars.
with Marcel Bianchi restored.
René Didi Duprat
In the 1930s and 1940s there was a left handed guitar player,
René Didi Duprat, who wasn’t a manouche, a gypsy, like
many French guitar players, but a gadjo, which means in the
Sinti-language, that he isn’t a gypsy. He was a great accompanist at
the guitar and played with great musicians, like Tony Muréna
and numerous others. George Lankester wrote an article
about this unknown French guitar player, titled
René Didi Duprat, that was published in Dutch. Today you'll find
the English version
René Didi Duprat - Maitre de Musette.
Ensemble Tony Murena with Didi Duprat with inverted Grande Bouche Macca.
"Didi" was born on
the 12th of October 1926 in Paris. As a kid he learned to play
the mandolin and the banjo, but the guitar would soon become his major
Django Reinhardt was his inspiration and soon he
played with important manouche guitarists.
People who enjoy Hot Club Jazz will
like to know that the left-handed guitarist Didi Duprat,
is to be heard on several recordings of the late 1930s and 1940s, in recordings
with Musette musicians like Muréna.
Plays his guitar in the left handed position with strings upside down, but although it looks awkward, it sounds great: his distinctive playing style is very relaxed and melodic
Contemporary of the Deniz Bros, Archie Slavin, Freddy Legon, and played with the Vic Lewis Orchestra. Harold (Al) Ferdman was a southpaw Guitarist in the days when such instruments had to be built specially. This bespoke Abbot Victor Archtop Guitar has an added pickup masked by his left hand, with the volume control and Jack socket on the lower F hole and an 'Abbott Victor' engraved Y trapeze. Block inlays to the fretboard and a scratchplate with binding. Could be a Music Master edition.
As soon as
began to amplify his guitar, audiences became hungry for increasingly more
expressive and acrobatic displays of musicianship on the part of guitarists. As
a result, those essential musicians who confined themselves to a rhythmic role
were inevitably pushed to the background in the public’s view. To describe
Billy Mackel solely as a rhythm guitarist would be ignorant of the frequent
soloing contributions he brought to Lionel Hampton’s music and the way in which
he helped steer the maestro’s swinging mayhem. Mackel’s guitar was not only the
solid and consistent binding element in Hampton’s band, but it played a key part
in the energy and sonic particularity of Hampton’s music. As his guitarist from
1944 to 1978, Mackel was the legendary vibist/leader’s most loyal collaborator.
He was a precise soloist, developing his well-balanced phrases masterfully,
and with an apparent nonchalance and his choruses are rigorously built.
As an accompanist, his
pulsation is remarkable in its suppleness and elasticity, and he was one of the
first to abandon
the regular 4/4 beat for small
riffs, short harassed phrases which
complement and encourage the
improvisations of the other soloists.
Check this pushing rhythm guitarist out on this Video.
Check this pushing rhythm guitarist out on this Video.
The Photo is from
1952 - diggin The Point.
Louis Armstrong's Orchestra
rhythm section, c. 1935.
He was a self taught musician that played left handed banjo and guitar. He took a few lessons from Mike Pingitore but his natural ability landed his first professional job in 1926 with Charlie Keets. Some of the greats he worked with included Jelly Roll Morton, Luis Russell and Louis Armstrong. The Luis Russell Orchestra became the back-up band for Louis Armstrong during the depression and jazz experts feel that Luis' band may have been the first swing band with Blair playing guitar. During the 1950's Blair played banjo again performing and recording with Wilbur De Paris.
I first noticed left-handed banjo virtuoso Lee Blair on 1950s recordings with the Wilbur De Paris Band, and only then traced his career back to marvellous contributions to Jelly Roll Morton recordings thirty years earlier. Kansas City Stomps shows off his style well: the light springy beat, the high pitched chord inversions, the trilled glisses, and his varied syncopated rhythm. Later, with the De Paris band, he was featured prominently. ‘Banjoker’ is a splendid example of how a banjo solo can sound in the right hands.
Note the custom made Left Hand Guitar - Gibson L-5
Dickie Thompson used to flip over a right-handed guitar and play it upside down. Besides jazz, Dickie played R&B and rock 'n roll.
As did many jazz guitarists of his generation, Dickie Thompson ventured into the realm of pop, R&B and rock’n’roll at different junctures, playing in bands of different genres and even writing some songs. More uniquely, he wrote one of the classic songs of early rock’n’roll – allegedly selling 25 million copies as the B-side of the hit that kicked off the rock’n’roll era. While rooted in the blues and taking full advantage of the electrified guitar since day one, Thompson’s guitar style and his primary musical activity have evolved mostly in the field of mainstream and soul jazz.
In a career spanning more than 60 years, Thompson has performed and/or recorded with Jackie Wilson, Wild Bill Davis, Cozy Cole, Johnny Hodges, Earl Hines, Coleman Hawkins, John Hardee, Dinah Washington, Charlie Shavers, Stuff Smith, Don Ho, Harry ‘Sweets’ Edison, Claude Black, Doles Dickens, and many others.
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