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Lefty, the One-Armed Guitarist

Lefty, the One-Armed Guitarist English, baby! Video Lesson

Date: Jun 30 2008

Themes: Hobbies, Interview


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

Every now and then, you’ll run into something you simply can’t do. But those things are rarer than you think. Want some proof? Meet Lefty, the one-armed guitar player.

We found Lefty busking and entertaining crowds on the streets of Portland, so we asked him to share his inspirational story.

3. Watch - Watch the video without reading the dialog.


1. Watch and Read - Watch the video and read the dialog at the same time.

2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.




Jason:  This is English, baby! And I’m Jason, and I’m here with Lefty, the one-armed guitar player. When did you start playing guitar?

Lefty:  ’Bout forty years ago. But I’ve only been playing one-handed for three years.

Jason:  That’s right. And so when you lost your arm, did you think you were still going to be able to play guitar?

Lefty:  I thought it was over. But the human condition is amazing. You can adapt. I’m playing the hand I was dealt.

Jason:  Alright. And what inspired you to try and keep playing guitar?

Lefty:  ‘Cause I love music.

Jason:  So you had to change your style a little bit when you started playing…

Lefty:  A whole lot. I used to fingerpick.

Jason:  Okay. And now you can just strum?

Lefty:  Now that’s all I can do. And now I bang.

Jason:  And so uh… You say that you might have been a better guitar player before.

Lefty:  Oh, I definitely was a better guitar player before. But now my passion is deeper now. So that makes up for it. And probably I’m better off now.

Jason:  Alright. And you make more money now?

Lefty:  Yeah, but it ain’t about money. It has nothing to do with money. My commitment and my dedication now is so much stronger. It means so much more to me because before when I had two hands I used to have to work to make a living, and guitar was just a hobby.

Jason:  So you don’t need the money you make to support yourself?

Lefty:  No. So I have nothing else to do except to pour my heart into my passion, which is a beautiful thing for a human being to do.

Jason:  Lefty, can I get you to give me a high-five and say, “English, baby!”?

Lefty:  Oh, sorry. Wrong hand.



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Lefty had been playing guitar for 40 years and when he lost his arm, he thought his days as a musician were over. But then he figured out a way to attach a pick to his stump and strum. For three years, Lefty has been playing guitar with one arm.

He says he can’t play guitar as well as he used to, but it means more to him now. Lefty’s glad he’s retired so that he can focus on his passion. He also makes a few dollars in tips here and there.

Lefty’s story is truly inspirational. Think of something you believe you can’t do and figure out a way to do it!



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you are the one of most interesting people)

don't give up!

11:18 AM Jun 30 2008 |




All of us have to teach something from Lefty. Tough he has lost his armed , he didn't give up playing the guitar. 

07:13 AM Jun 30 2008 |




i want to tell lefty:you are great,come on!

06:51 AM Jun 30 2008 |




lefty is great…

06:16 AM Jun 30 2008 |




people who pour his heart into his passion ,he will be more stronger and power

04:58 AM Jun 30 2008 |





04:37 AM Jun 30 2008 |


Iran, Islamic Republic Of

Human consists of two parts: body and soul.

His/Her body is very weak in life hardships but the soul is so great and it is that adopts humans in different conditions. It has incredible and unknown powers that when the human fall into problems appears and saves him/her. There are a lot of examples around us, Lefty is one of them.

Everyone admires his willpower.

04:35 AM Jun 30 2008 |




He has a strong will and great passion. Life has its own up and down, we have to face it and be adaptive.

02:58 AM Jun 30 2008 |





02:00 AM Jun 30 2008 |

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