It is amazing what you can do if you don’t know any other way. It would seem impossible to be able to fluently play the guitar if you had no hands or arms. And yet there are many proficient players out there who have mastered the guitar by only playing it with their feet. In the 80’s I was always amazed watching video of Jeff Healey play the guitar on his lap, since he was blind. Using his fingers and thumb flat on the fingerboard, he was lights years better as a player then most people I knew.
Then when YouTube came along and people started sharing video from their phones I saw the first guitarist who played with only his feet. It’s actually hard to believe if you don’t see it for yourself. The first video I ever saw was of Tony Melendez in 1987 playing the song “Never be the same” for Pope John Paul II.
Here is that exact same video:
Having watched that, can you imagine learning to strum the strings and fret the notes with just your toes? Think back to when you learned to play the guitar and how hard it was to gain independent finger dexterity. Now imagine trying to work just as hard at obtaining independent toe dexterity (as if they were fingers).
You might think that Tony is an anomaly, and yet there is Mark Goffeney who heads up the “Big Toe Band” in California. he plays both the electric and acoustic guitar with just his feet. You can seem him play in NAMM in 2017 here:
The funny thing is people get freaked out when they see a guy with no arms playing guitar despite his handicap. Overcoming that kind of disability is a major thing – but to him it’s just the only way he could learn to play guitar. He has now made several CD’s with his the “Big Toe Band”, and he has also earned an Emmy award for his acting performance in the show “Feet” on Fox network. His band was also in that “America’s Next Greatest Band” competition a few years back (they didn’t win). There’s a couple vids of him on YouTube singing on the street. He not only strums the notes, but plays a bit of mock lead every now and then, sings, and slaps the guitar with his feet for some of the drum parts. Quite a talent, some guys can’t even play and sing the guitar normally – this guy does it with no arms!