Elizabeth “Libba” Cotten (January 5, 1895 – June 29, 1987) was an American blues and folk musician, singer, and songwriter.
Self-taught and having no knowledge of conventional guitar tunings (e.g., standard ‘EADGBE’ tuning or any established open tunings), Cotten developed her own original style. Her approach to left-handed guitar playing involved keeping the guitar in standard tuning but holding it upside down. This position required her to play the bass lines with her fingers and the melody with her thumb. Her signature, alternating bass style has become known as “Cotten picking”…more