As LeftyFretz has recently turned 6 years old (enter our Birthday competition!) I thought it would be interesting to give a little backstory on how I chose the name of the website back in 2010.
It wasn’t quite as straightforward as I had hoped! On top of that, there’s another site with the same name, so I do occasionally get asked what the deal is there. We’ll cover that too.
LeftyFretz – Coming Up With a Name
I’d love to say I spent weeks trying to craft the perfect name, but honestly there wan’t a ton of thinking involved. I wrote down a medley of words associated with being left handed, and a second assortment of terms related to guitars. Then I smooshed them together in pairs until I came across something that stuck. It was really as simple as that. No blue-sky thinking or other namby-pamby brainstorming techniques for me, no Sir.
Out of all of the combinations, ‘LeftyFrets‘ sounded good to me. It was short, snappy and memorable. Perfect!
Unfortunately I was a little late to the party…
Obviously, my first choice for a website name was LeftyFrets.com. A dot-com is the go-to domain extension (at least back then it was!), so I went to register it thinking I had been oh-so-original with the name. Turns out, not so much…
LeftyFrets.com already existed! And had done so for many years. Drat!
The earliest screenshots I could find are from 2001. As you can see from the pictures, it was a proper ‘old-skool’ looking site, complete with glowing green text and scrolling marquee headings. Pretty much insta-migraine territory…
The full name of the site was ‘Alter’s LeftyFrets‘, and it looks to have been a place where ‘Alter’ would share photos of his guitars and other lefty guitars that he liked. There was also a classified section for selling guitars, and a forum to hang out in. I have no idea who ‘Alter’ was, but maybe some of you might recognise him in the image above (click to enlarge).
Anywho – back to the name!
Back in 2010 when I was hunting around for a name, LeftyFrets.com consisted of just a single homepage. From what I can remember it said something along the lines of ‘I’ve stopped working on the site for now, but I may return at some point in the future‘.
So I wasn’t too concerned about it since the guy seemed to have lost interest in his project. And I was right! A few years later the website became available and I snapped it up.
Meanwhile, back in the past, I carried on with my search…
Roadblock number two. There was another LeftyFrets! A name I had thought was super original was quickly turning out to be as common as muck. Double drat!
LeftyFrets.net has been around since roughly 2006, and is a forum for left handed guitarists to hang out and chat.
Now! When I visited the site way-back-when, it seemed to be dead. Seemed to be! Each section on the forum looked to have no posts, and upon clicking on various sections I was taken to a ‘nothing to see here, move along please‘ type page. So naturally, I assumed this was another abandoned project and quickly forgot about it.
Ahem! LeftyFrets.net is actually a thriving forum as it turns out. Had I known that at the time I would have picked a different name for sure.
I can only assume that perhaps the forum was only readable to registered members back then, or was undergoing updates/maintenance at the exact time I visited. Either that or I was having a slow day… Anywho! The site is currently very much ‘alive‘, so if you fancy a friendly place to go and chat lefty guitars, why not go and say hello.
Oh, and if the owner of the forum happens across this post, I hope there’s no bad feelings!
So dot-com and dot-net were both taken – what’s a guy to do? I still liked the name, and since no one else seemed to be actively using it, I persevered.
At the time, my favorite guitar blog was GuitarNoize.com, a site devoted to the latest product news. I thought to myself, why not be super stylish like Jon (the site owner) and replace the ‘s’ with a ‘z’. Genius! Back then it was still kinda trendy, okay?
The name was available, so a site was born. On June 18th 2010 I published the very first post (9 Awesome Left Handed Guitarist Advantages), and have somehow managed to keep going since then. At the expense of pretty much all of my free time mind you…
So there’s a little backstory for you. If you’ve made it this far I assume that you found these ramblings at least somewhat interesting. If not, it was at least fun for me to take a quick trip down memory-lane!
We’ll get back to business as usual in the next post…