Guitarist who relearned to play left-handed celebrates with savage death-metal show… at an elementary school

It's pretty much a guitarist's worst nightmare: in 2016, Quebec native Philippe Drouin was the victim of a car accident that left him unable to play, due to a bone spur which limited the use of his picking hand.

But rather than hanging up his six-string for good, the guitarist – who had 15 years of experience under his belt at the time of the accident – began learning how to play the instrument left-handed instead, with the help of legendary shredder Michael Angelo Batio.

“Since I made that choice,” he explains, “I tried to recover and practice a lot, trying to get my picking back on my right hand in 2018. I was playing both sides every day for a while. One day, I felt I was able to become left-handed, so I decided to leave everything behind and start over.”

Back in April, Drouin showcased his newly acquired left-handed skills with a playthrough of Scars of War, taken from his death-metal band Obvurt's recent EP, The Beginning.

Now, the inspirational metalhead has played his first gig as a left-handed guitarist, performing a crushing set with Obvurt at Saint-Albert-Le-Grand Elementary School, where he teaches music.

The adorable school kids in attendance go absolutely wild, with many headbanging and some others exhibiting primitive forms of classic mosh pit moves like the windmill.

As the performance shows, Drouin's left-handed guitar playing skills are formidable – a true testament to perseverance and endurance in the face of adversity.

Obvurt’s new EP, The Beginning, was released March 31 via Brutal Mind, and is available from the group’s Bandcamp page.

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.