One Handed Guitar Players

Amazing One Handed Guitarist
Dirk Thompson

One Handed Guitarist – Dirk Thompson

Dirk Thompson

Meet Dirk Thompson

Dirk Thompson is an inspirational One Handed Guitarist who lost the use of his left hand due to a stroke when he was 3 years old.  For most people the dream of playing guitar with one hand would be out of the question, but not for Dirk.  Not only did he learn to play guitar, he decided to share this amazing ability with the world on Youtube and Facebook.  Thompsons mission is to let others with physical limitations know that they too can play the guitar one handed.

Dirk Thompson - One Handed Guitar Player

“Limitation is the gateway to innovation”

Online Guitar Lessons

How To Play Guitar One Handed by Dirk Thompson

One Handed Guitar is more than just another Facebook business.. it’s an inspirational idea that people with limitations can learn to play the guitar in an innovative way. This innovative way is detailed in depth by Dirk Thompson, a childhood stroke survivor who lost all use of his left arm as a result of the stroke. Dirk always dreamed of playing the guitar, and when he finally picked one up at the age of 13.. well the rest is history.  Now Dirk’s passion (aside from playing guitar) is teaching it to those in a similar situation. He aspires to reach not only Stroke victims, but Veterans, amputees and anyone else wanting to play who can only use one hand.


Andres Godoy

Andres Godoy

Amazing One Handed Guitarist Andre Godoy

Andrés was born in San Antonio in 1953. At age 14 he had an accident in which he lost all of his right arm. In time and daily practice, he invented in a self-taught way a technique based on series of strokes, jerks, scratches, and scrapes,  which he created rhythms, harmonies and melodies. He calls this Guitar Technique Tatap.

Through passion, imagination, perseverance, observation and daily work, Andres Godoy has transformed a disadvantage into his advantage. The Tatap besides being its tool of musical expression is a contribution to the development of a new guitar technique that stimulates the new generations of musicians to find ways, mental and emotional openness for the exploration of new possibilities of interpretation, composition and sound. Something both One Handed and Two Handed Guitarist can appretiate equally.

For more information visit Andres Godoy Online


Years of Dedication

After many years dedicated to the management and development of cultural projects for young people in Chile, in 2007 he decided to return to the stage. From 2008 to 2016 begins a long series of international tours that have led him to perform every year, concerts, master classes, motivational talks in: Germany, Italy, Austria, Italy, France, USA, Canada, China, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Macao, Argentina and all of Chile, He has been invited as a star in prestigious Fingerstyle, Acoustic Guitar and Guitars Nights festivals around the world sharing with the most outstanding guitarists of the circuit there. In his compositions Andrés integrates folklore, progressive rock, fusion, jazz.

Andres has been invited to a leading figure in prestigious Fingerstyle Fest, Guitar Night, Acoustic Guitars in all the world, sharing with the most outstanding guitarists of the acoustic circuit. In his compositions Andrés integrates folklore, progressive rock, fusion, jazz.



Technique Examples

Here are some interesting techniques for playing guitar One Handed I found on youtube by guitarist with two hands.

The Dalmas Method for Playing the Guitar with One Hand

 One Handed Guitar Improvising

Guthrie Govan One Handed Guitar Solo 

 One Hand Guitar Solo 

Short Bio

Tony Memmel One Handed Guitarist

I was born without a left forearm and hand.

 Perhaps it was naïveté, but I don’t recall ever thinking twice about playing a traditionally two-handed instrument. I just trusted the principle: where there is a will, there is a way. And I never looked back.

The guitar proved to be very challenging for me. First of all, I had to save up to buy one because, though my parents agreed to the idea of me playing, they were not going to buy me an expensive instrument outright. I had to save up for half… $300… I took on a few odd-jobs and saved for many months until, over my Easter break, we went to Cascio Interstate Music Store in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and I picked out my brand-new, left-handed, midnight-blue Fender Stratocaster electric guitar, and I took it home and started to learn to play.

From library books, I’d learned that Paul McCartney, Jimi Hendrix, and Kurt Cobain were all left-handed players. I figured, like them, I could strum with my left side, and use my right hand to construct chords on the fretboard. My left arm, alone, did not produce enough sound, so I learned on my first day that I’d have to get creative and build a cast to hold a guitar pick in place.

I started cheap and simple. I collected a box of supplies from around the house: tape, glue, and a hodgepodge of other items that I thought might be helpful on my quest. I started with scotch tape, advanced to duct tape, and tinkered and honed the cast for years. Though I made a lot of progress, I was unsatisfied because on a humid day or under hot stage lights, the pick would sweat off of my arm. I’d sometimes have to stop a song, or re-tape in the middle of a concert so the show could go on. It taught me how to talk to an audience, and to go with the flow of the show, but I still knew I could improve the device itself.

Challenging Circumstances

Final Thoughts 

As human beings we all face challenges. Rarley do people live such a charmed life that they never have to face adversity.

Wouldn’t it be nice if life gave us one challenging situation at a time to deal with.   One Handed Guitarists like Dirk Thompson and Andres Godoy have shown us we need to focus on the solution rather than our life situation. If you focus on the problem, you give it strength to grow.  This often leads to feeling of despair, shame, depression, uncertainty, and dead-ends.  However, when we focus on solutions, we take control.  Challenging Circumstances like learning to play guitar with only one hand offer an opportunity to inspire others with our story.

John Denner 

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