Or should they playing a guitar be “natural” for them.
My late brother gave guitar lessons. He insisted that his students all play righty, even the lefthanded ones. He told me he had a left-handed girl who really, really wanted to play left-handed. He insisted that she learn right-handed, and she was the best student in that class. And pianos, woodwinds, brass, etc. instruments are all made to play right-handed. (Well, there's the French horn, but the right hand is used in the bell to control the tone.)
Plus, playing right-handed, you have access to a wider variety of guitars, both acoustic and electric.
On the other hand, would a left-handed person be more enthusiastic about wanting to learn guitar if they learn left-handed, like Jimi or Paul McC?
Less than a year after my brother died, our church called a music leader who plays guitar left-handed. We all love the guy.
My wife and I have a grandson who is left-handed. When he was small, I got a small, cheap pawnshop guitar and tuned it to an open chord for all the little-at-the-time grandkids to play around with. This particular grandson picked it up and strummed it with his left hand and held the neck with his right hand. We think he might like to learn to play guitar. We considered a guitar for his birthday, but found no LH acoustic models available, either locally or online, in our price range. One of the stores sales people strongly encouraged learning to play righty.
So, what do you say—learn to play righty or lefty? I see there are a number of lefthanded guitarists who post in Moe’s on a regular basis.
Oh, ignore the first selection. The poll thing was a less than user-friendly for this geezer. Just vote on the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th one.
Post by larryguitar54 on Jun 13, 2020 13:19:00 GMT -5
fair question. Long time ago I had a bought my LH girlfriend a LH guitar. When I went to her place on he weekends to just lounge around I, solid RH guy, would play her guitar. I experimented and played it LH. I also played it the Hendrix style in reverse meaning I played it RH but in the LH configuration.
I found with a little practice I could get around. I changed around my chords to different shapes and did a lot of partials. But the trick was to not try to do just flip over like in a mirror because that took too much processing. Rather I just found a new vocabulary.
It is sort like that when getting immersed in a new foreign language. Instead of thinking word x translated to word y for every word it's better to just assemble a bunch of word y's and forget all the word x'.s.
I don't know if that makes sense but that's my take on it. Let them do whatever comes natural.
Post by themaestro on Jun 13, 2020 16:11:33 GMT -5
I'm a lefty, although not super hard-core. I write and throw left. I have learned to do some things right-handed for a few reasons.
1) whoever taught me, taught me right-handed. Example: My batting swing is right. Probably because that's what all the neighborhood kids did.
2) Sometimes the object is made to be used right-handed. Example: scissors. Using regular scissors in your left hand requires you to push on the handles opposite from normal or they won't cut. When I was a kid, left-handed scissors were absolutely rare. I put musical instruments in the same category. Most of them aren't reversible. Piano, horns, woodwinds. My first instrument was the accordion. There was no choice. You learned the instrument as it was created. When I picked up guitar (in the late '60's, on my own, no lessons), all the guitars and instruction books were right-handed. OK. I guess that's what you do. It never even dawned on me that a guitar could be strung opposite or that you would consider playing upside down.
Learning to use right-handed objects allows us lefties to function in a right-handed world without requiring special tools and stuff. To me it is worth it. In the guitar world, the availability of instruments is so much greater. I can pick up any instrument and go with it.
I'll end with an observation. To me, it appears that the only people who play guitars/basses left-handed are people that are mostly self-taught. I think there is a message in that thought.
When my lefty son was learning guitar I never considered his southpaw approach and he watched me play right-handed. His guitar teachers also taught him right-handed so he’s a lefty that plays right-handed.
But, I have two left-handed friends that play like Albert King with a guitar strung right-handed that they play upside-down and (to me) Backwards. I guess you just play what comes naturally to you.
I'm only weighing in because it gives me a chance to share one of my favorite songs. Rusty, the guitarist/singer/songwriter in this video is right-handed, and he's playing a right-handed guitar upside-down. When he was a kid, someone left a guitar at his house, and no one knew how to play it. So he picked it up like a lefty and taught himself.
So I gots no opinion about how people oughta play.
Post by Rick Knight on Jun 14, 2020 6:06:57 GMT -5
I am left-handed, but had no idea that left-handed guitars existed, or that the nut can be changed to string a righty guitar lefty when I became interested in them. All I knew was that when I picked up a guitar the way that felt natural to me, people told me that if I didn’t hold it the other way, they couldn’t teach me anything. Later, I met a lefty playing righty who said that he liked having his more dexterous hand on the neck. Point for one side. Another friend of mine, who is an excellent player and a former Psychology major, has a theory that playing opposite one’s natural inclination impedes the learning process. Point for the other side. By the time I knew that playing left-handed was possible, I could do things righty that I couldn’t do lefty, and didn’t want to start from zero again.
I have no opinion on this, but I know a guitar player who was right handed, initially learned as a righty, but lost the use of a couple of left hand fingers in an accident. He then bought a left handed strat and taught himself to play lefty. This leads me to think that through choice or circumstance one can learn either way.
Post by Grizbear-NJ on Jun 14, 2020 17:16:34 GMT -5
I'm going to throw a curve ball in here; as a drummer, the drum set is arranged to accommodate the dominant hand, right handed or left handed. In conjunction with that, the feet normally follow suit. Control is really the issue.
I have met drummers who are right handed, left handed, and ambidextrous who have unbelievable control. In my opinion, it strictly depends on what style of music you are playing. As long as you understand and can handle the tempo and rhythm patterns, it becomes a moot point.
Post by Think Floyd on Jun 23, 2020 19:17:54 GMT -5
I'm a lefty who also does some things righty. Before I ever picked up a real guitar, I played air guitar... right-handed. Why righty? I don't know; it just felt right (no pun intended)! However, I do feel that my left hand has better dexterity, while my right hand has more strength.
My sister and daughter are both left handed and I taught them both to play right handed. It was just as easy for them with plenty of RH guitars available plus access to my guitars for gigs etc... they both play piano as well.
I recently had a LH guitar to repair.... i could play it upside down but not LH at all, my daughter didnt find it a problem though..... i was getting worried there for a minute she already has like 6 guitars !
Post by Auf Kiltre on Jul 15, 2020 16:57:26 GMT -5
Around 1980 I played in a country rock band called Southpaw. I know at least 3 of 5 of us were southpaws but only the drummer and lead singer/acoustic guitar player played lefty. And he was one of those freaks that played a righty upsidedown. For me a lefty drum kit feels right (correct), except my feets like playing righty. Thank God for Toontracks 🥁
I think you should play the way that feels natural when you pick it up. Have you ever seen a child pick up a toy guitar? They generally pick it up with their dominant hand in the picking position.
It seems counter-intuitive at first that you should be fretting with the off hand. But really, almost all the expression and dynamics comes from the picking hand, so there are more subtleties involved with the picking hand. So, I think they should play leftie, unless it really fells wrong to them.
I'm a lefty that plays righthanded. I really don't understand the designation since my left hand does most of the work and the right hand is just a wannabe.
It is kind of weird, you would think the dominant hand would be the fretting hand. Although, I do think if I didn’t play guitar I would have very little manual dexterity in my left hand.
That always struck me as very strange, too. I'm very right-hand dominant, I don't use my left hand for much of anything other than scratching my right shoulder. But as a fretting hand my right hand is nearly useless even though I easily can transpose chording patterns and scales to left handed in my mind. Two things are different when I play left-handed, I never thumb wrap and my string pressure is a lot lighter and more normal--no death grip.
My opinion is whatever works best for a individual left-handed player is the best way.