One of my classmates in college was left-handed.

I remember once, he told me that his parents had never been able to afford the left-handed guitars in the shop windows when he was younger, yet here we were at college taking part in a guitar workshop together. Not a left-handed guitar in sight.

“So you taught yourself to play normally?” I asked pointing to his instrument. It was a standard, black and white Stratocaster that he’d loaned from the college for the session.

He chuckled inwardly.

“Not exactly” he replied.

He clasped his fingers around the neck of his guitar, turned it upside down and proceeded to play… fluently!

In fact, I would say he worked that guitar better and with more expression the ‘wrong’ way than I could ever have played it the ‘right’ way.

It made me feel like I’d been playing one of those Playskool guitars for the last five years.

But that’s because I’d seen the instrument as a tool this whole time.

Every chord strummed, every string bent was done upside down with a quality I’d never heard before. It was mesmerising, awe-inspiring and the talking point of the class, at least for the rest of the day.

This moment completely changed my perspective on EVERYTHING I thought I knew and in an instant, my approach to playing music fundamentally changed.

But it also changed my perception of the word ‘normal.’

Normal doesn’t exist.

Unremarkable. Mediocre. Disposable.

These are the words that come to mind when I think of normality.



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