A question for all you 'lefty' players

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VikingBlues
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A question for all you 'lefty' players

Post by VikingBlues »

On the paysite where I am doing lessons a query has been raised by one of the members regarding the (lack of) progress of his 10 year old daughter.

She writes left handed and plays guitar hero as a lefty. But plays ball with the right. She wanted to play as a righty to begin with but has asked to try as a lefty.

Her guitar teacher is a lefty who plays as a righty and he has said to her father he should make her keep playing as a righty - presumably on the basis of "it didn't do me any harm".

Obviously if she does develop as a lefty she'll have more cost for an instrument and much less choice .... but if the alternative is giving up? I can't help thinking that the guitarhero thing is a bit of a clue as to what feels natural to her. I do seem to be in a minority of opinion over on that site though. Everyone seems to either be someone whos been able to play the "wrong" way round or they know someone who has. To be honest I was a bit shocked about a lot of the posts total disregard for the aspirations of the daughter.

Not being a lefty I maybe don't fully appreciate the pros and cons ... but the thought of my weaker left hand having to wrestle with the subtleties of variations in tone, muting, hitting the right strings with precision etc ... in that situation I think I'd have given up the instrument a long time ago.

As I know there's a lot of lefty players on the forum here (and damn good ones at that!) I was interested in your views given your own experiences. :icon_whoknows:
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12bar
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Re: A question for all you 'lefty' players

Post by 12bar »

I'm both handed somehow. :eye_rub:
That means, I write with my left hand, but play guitar right-handed, and for most other things like sports I'm clearly right handed.
Maybe I'd be a much better player if I started left-handed :big_smile: , but my first guitar was right-handed and I never tried it the other way.

So if she naturally seems to be a lefty, she should play a real left-handed guitar. Everyone can learn to play both sides, but the progress and the level will be different.
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leftyslim
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Re: A question for all you 'lefty' players

Post by leftyslim »

I'm a lefty (see my handle? :big_smile: ) playing righty, and I've wondered quite a few times whether I'd sound the same now if I started out playing left-handedly. I was never uncomfortable with a right-handed guitar, but that's probably because I'd never picked up a southpaw one before: I think if left-handed is what she's comfortable with, then that's what she should play. Overcoming the uncomfortability of playing 'backwards' I think would just kind of be a waste of time which she could be using to play like Jimi Hendrix instead. :cool:
Her guitar teacher is a lefty who plays as a righty and he has said to her father he should make her keep playing as a righty
And that seems a little... I dunno, not right. I think a teacher should encourage you to play what's comfortable, not tell someone to make you play in a way that doesn't feel right. Would you tell EC not to hook his thumb over the neck for bends?
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antigua72
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Re: A question for all you 'lefty' players

Post by antigua72 »

My son is also left handed.
I had the same questions,and hoped he could play right handed ,so I could have had some excuses for buying one or two new guitars. :whistle:

We decided for him to play left hand by watching him play (just strumming one easy chord) both ways.
When he "played" right side his "good" hand was gripping the chord well and easy ,but the "weak"hand was striking the strings
in a mess.
So in my opinion the "good "hand has to do the rythm and pick the right strings on itself with not paying to much attention on it,
because you need to keep your concentration on the fretboard.
..............just my meaning....

There are lots of left handed guitars (at least in bigger stores or in the webshops)
I bought a new Pacifica Lefty for less than 200€
and we are lucky to have a teacher who is also left handed....
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HalfBlindLefty
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Re: A question for all you 'lefty' players

Post by HalfBlindLefty »

:lefty: Need I say more :)

Although I'm lefthanded, I can do many things with either the left or the right hand.
However, with precision things I allways use my left hand.

At school, when I learned to write they tried to force me to write righthanded...... I even got a 0 sometimes (10 is highest here) needless to say they didn't succeed.

At the age of ~12 (1971) me and my parents were told in a local music store that since I'm left handed, I couldn't play the guitar (Yes they believed it). The result was I didn't get a guitar. In stead I got an accordion. I actually had lessons for2 or 3 years.
Afterwards I sold the accordion and bought me a right handed guitar. At first I tried to play right handed but that didn't work for me. I changed the string order to lefty and there it started.
When I was in my 30's I finally bought me my first real left handed guitar, A used ' 83 Tokai goldstar Strat. That was the time I started making real progression.

I did try very briefly to play right handed, but it felt so off and strange, I restringed within a week.

I get quite upset when I hear or read about nitwit people without a clue that tell lefties to play righthanded, because of the fact there is more choice in instruments or because of the price. I would never have played the way I can play now when I wouldn't have my left hand controlling the pick.

There are very few fully lefthanded people, most are dual handed to some degree. I'm one of them.

My advice would be to play the way a guitar feels natural and discard all senseless comments and advice from righties.
One must be completely at ease with the instrument you play.

The only reason a lefthanded instrument will be more expensive is when you want a model that is not for sale lefthanded and you have it custom made.
My Fender avri '62 lh was the same price.
A long time ago, in the old forum : Registered: Mon, 27 Nov 2006. Wonder were the other old members all went....
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HalfBlindLefty
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Re: A question for all you 'lefty' players

Post by HalfBlindLefty »

antigua72 wrote:My son is also left handed.
I had the same questions,and hoped he could play right handed ,so I could have had some excuses for buying one or two new guitars. :whistle:

We decided for him to play left hand by watching him play (just strumming one easy chord) both ways.
When he "played" right side his "good" hand was gripping the chord well and easy ,but the "weak"hand was striking the strings
in a mess.
So in my opinion the "good "hand has to do the rythm and pick the right strings on itself with not paying to much attention on it,
because you need to keep your concentration on the fretboard.
..............just my meaning....

There are lots of left handed guitars (at least in bigger stores or in the webshops)
I bought a new Pacifica Lefty for less than 200€
and we are lucky to have a teacher who is also left handed....
:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
A long time ago, in the old forum : Registered: Mon, 27 Nov 2006. Wonder were the other old members all went....
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weelie
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Re: A question for all you 'lefty' players

Post by weelie »

To me, as a beginner, the left hand had the tougher job to do... so I always thought it as a cop out to claim one cannot learn as one's left handed. Do left hand classical guitars violins or pianos even exist, by the way, don't know, just asking.

I am righthanded, but to me playing golf comes naturally lefthanded. If golf ever was really natural to me, that is... too darn difficult it is. BUt anyway, the times I've tried, lefthanded came natural to me.
MichaelRobinson
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Re: A question for all you 'lefty' players

Post by MichaelRobinson »

I'm both left and right handed. If I play a sport like hockey I'm lefthanded. Palying guitar is to me right handed.

If it feels right to play lefthande on guitar. Play lefthanded. It's natural to some and I don't think It benefits anyone to force them self to play right handed.
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Bluesmole
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Re: A question for all you 'lefty' players

Post by Bluesmole »

Mmm! Very interesting question.
My view is: if a child picks up a guitar and holds it the intended way, then that is a 'natural inclination' which should not be changed. Obviously, the same applies if she picks it up the other way around.
I'm naturally left-handed, doing all one-handed things with my left, naturally. However, I do all two-handed things as a 'righty'. Nowadays,(i'm 64) I tend to be ambidextrous with one handed tasks, but I still play guitar and sax as a 'Righty'.

Nearly done! I WAS FORCED TO WRITE WITH MY RIGHT HAND IN MY FIRST YEAR AT SCHOOL!!!

My (grown up) kids are both left-handed and both play guitar, drums and (my daughter also piano, keyboard) RIGHT-HANDED.

It's a wonderful world!!! :phew: :oldie:
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VikingBlues
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Re: A question for all you 'lefty' players

Post by VikingBlues »

Thank you guys for your input - I was interested to hear the views here as the members here seem to be much more open to possibilities and much less close minded than on a lot of sites.

Though I seem to have killed off that thread on JamPlay with that post I did. :roll:
HalfBlindLefty wrote:I get quite upset when I hear or read about nitwit people without a clue that tell lefties to play righthanded, because of the fact there is more choice in instruments or because of the price.
I'm not even left handed and haven't had to deal directly with the consequences of these sort of nitwits opinions, but I got really annoyed about the advice that was being given out, and felt particularly annoyed that a couple of guitar teachers were implicated in the 'make her play as a righty' camp. I found myself ranting about it to Mrs VB - and thought I'd better post on that thread. Then later I wondered was I being unreasonable so I asked this question here. :D
HalfBlindLefty wrote:At the age of ~12 (1971) me and my parents were told in a local music store that since I'm left handed, I couldn't play the guitar (Yes they believed it). The result was I didn't get a guitar. In stead I got an accordion. I actually had lessons for2 or 3 years.
Afterwards I sold the accordion and bought me a right handed guitar. At first I tried to play right handed but that didn't work for me. I changed the string order to lefty and there it started.
When I was in my 30's I finally bought me my first real left handed guitar, A used ' 83 Tokai goldstar Strat. That was the time I started making real progression.
I recall you saying this and used the outline of the story in my JamPlay post as a warning that 'expert' opinion is not always as good as it should be. It's a blessing for us all here that you had the determination to go on and pursue the guitar playing the way you did. :clap:

..............................................................................

As you're basically all saying - the really important thing is what seems comfortable. I suggested that 'The guitar is a difficult enough instrument to get to grips with when it's all set up in the way it best suits you - huge numbers give up on it even then'. Although I'll admit guitar hero isn't exactly real guitar playing ( :wall: ) it really is a big clue that she does that as a lefty.

For your information of the posts on JamPlay 3 were in favour of the righty route, 1 for encouraging the 'righty' route, and two were neutral and suggested ways of trying both.
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Blindboy
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Re: A question for all you 'lefty' players

Post by Blindboy »

Haven't been around much lately... :wall:
I have to agree with the "play what works for you" opinion. Even if it is harder to find "lefty" instruments (I an not totally convinced), Jimi proved that you can string a right handed guitar lefty and make it work. Albert King and Coco Montoya both play a right handed guitar upside down and left handed (Eric Gales too...). :wall: I was playing in a bar in Albuquerque some years ago when a friend of mine, guitar player from Santa Fe (lots better than I am) got up with his left handed guitar. He played an Albert King slow blues. Part way into his solo, he broke a string. He called through the mic..."Rusty, let me play your Strat." I handed him the Frankenstrat, and he started tearing it up right handed. Then he flipped it over and played the rest of the song left handed and upside down In one song, he played a left handed guitar left handed, a right hand guitar, right handed, and a right handed guitar left handed. :yikes: When I remarked on this feat (WOW, Dude!), he said, "If you had grown up surrounded by nothing but right handed guitars, you would learn how, too"
I think beginners should be encouraged to play, any way necessary, and equipment doesn't need to be a barrier.
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