To celebrate international women’s day (March 8th) let’s highlight 5 of the best known female left handed guitarists from past to present!
From left to right. Top row: Malina Moye, Danielle Nicole.
Bottom row: Elizabeth Cotten, Courtney Barnett, Barbara Lynn
Female Left Handed Guitarists
Malina Moye is an American musician known for her fusion of a variety of different genres including rock, blues, funk and soul.
She plays left handed but strings her guitars upside down. She is endorsed by Fender and is best known for rocking her custom seafoam green stratocaster.
At the time of writing she has released 3 studio albums, the most recent of which sat at the number one spot on the Billboard Blues chart for 2 weeks straight. She is also the founder of the independent record label WCE Records.
You can check out Malina’s latest album ‘Bad As I Wanna Be’ here.
Danielle Nicole is an American blues/soul bassist from Missouri, USA.
She was a founding member of the band ‘Trampled Under Foot’ which she was the bassist and lead vocalist for from 2000-2015. She currently heads up her own band – the Danielle Nicole Band. Her debut album reached number two in the Billboard Blues Album chart in 2015, while her second and current release peaked at number one and was later nominated for a Grammy award in contemporary blues!
You can pick up Danielle’s latest album ‘Cry No More’ here.
Elizabeth ‘Liba’ Cotten was a self-taught lefty folk and blues guitarist from North Carolina, USA. She is probably best known for her classic song “Freight Train” which you can watch in the video below.
Being self-taught she developed her own style playing a right handed guitar upside down. Her trademark alternating bass fingerpicking style became known as “Cotten picking” and has influenced many musicians since.
It wasn’t until the age of 62 that Cotten recorded her first album after her church convinced her to give up her music at a young age. The album quickly became one of the most influential folk-music recordings of the time and played a big role in the revival of the folk scene in the 1960s.
Amongst many accolades she was declared ‘a living treasure’ by the Smithsonian Institution, and later on in 1985 she won a Grammy Award at over 90 years old! She was also included in the book “I Dream a World: Portraits of Black Women Who Changed America“, which put her in the company of Rosa Parks, Oprah Winfrey and Marian Anderson!
She sadly passed away on June 29th 1987 aged 95.
You can check out Elizabeth’s Music here.
Courtney Barnett is a singer/songwriter/musician from Australia,
Rolling Stone magazine has called her “one of the sharpest, most original songwriters around — at any level, in any genre…“
She is known for playing a Harmony H59 alongside a stable of left handed Fender guitars including strats, teles and jaguars.
You can check out her latest album ‘Tell Me How You Feel’ here.
Barbara Lynn, aka the ‘Empress of Gulf Coast Soul’ is an R&B guitarist from Texas, USA. She is probably best known for her 1962 number one single “You’ll Lose a Good Thing“, and at the time of writing she has released 8 studio albums.
She has toured with a plethora of musical icons including Smokey Robinson, Otis Reading, Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin, and the Rolling Stones to name just a few!
In 2018 she received the National Heritage Fellowship which is the highest honor in the folk and traditional arts within the United States.
If you’d like to check out more of her music you can do so here.
Hungry For More?
You’ll probably love our article which features some of the most famous left handed guitar players of all time!