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Old 12-06-2016, 10:41 AM
pf400 pf400 is offline
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Default Right-Handed Student Insists on Learning Left-Handed

I have a new student who is just beginning. She is right-handed, but has learned her first couple of chords playing left-handed on a left-handed guitar, an wants to stay left. Any feedback from AGF members would be appreciated. Do you think she'll advance ? She struggles with strumming but didn't we all. Does anyone know why it is that conventionally we strum with our dominant side but play chords etc with our "weaker" side ? Thanks in advance. I'll go shovel snow and check for answers later.
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Old 12-06-2016, 10:45 AM
Pualee Pualee is offline
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Boxing - right handed boxers who want to fight south paw... they do fine. Their right hand becomes the "busy" hand and they develop an awesome jab. They train the left hand for power punches. It works and is arguably better.

On this same forum, I have seen folks argue that right handed people should learn left handed so the dominant hand can form chords.

I learned from a left handed person who played a right handed guitar.

"Tradition" isn't a good reason to force someone to change. Let her be happy. The ONLY reason I would argue, and present, is that right handed guitars are easier to acquire.
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Old 12-06-2016, 10:47 AM
RRuskin RRuskin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pf400 View Post
I have a new student who is just beginning. She is right-handed, but has learned her first couple of chords playing left-handed on a left-handed guitar, an wants to stay left. Any feedback from AGF members would be appreciated. Do you think she'll advance ? She struggles with strumming but didn't we all. Does anyone know why it is that conventionally we strum with our dominant side but play chords etc with our "weaker" side ? Thanks in advance. I'll go shovel snow and check for answers later.
As an experiment, ask her to simply hold the guitar each way to see for herself which feels more natural. If she is truly more comfortable lefty, let her learn that way.
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Old 12-06-2016, 11:09 AM
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Rodger Knox Rodger Knox is offline
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The ONLY reason I would argue, and present, is that right handed guitars are easier to acquire.
My thoughts exactly
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Old 12-06-2016, 11:19 AM
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My favorite guitarist is Rik Emmett and wrote for Guitar Player mag and taught at Humbert College, so recognized as a technique expert.

He says he is left handed but learned to play righty and that gave him a whole different set of abilities where his fretting hand is more in the lead than his strumming hand.
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Old 12-06-2016, 11:25 AM
john57classic john57classic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pf400 View Post
I have a new student who is just beginning. She is right-handed, but has learned her first couple of chords playing left-handed on a left-handed guitar, an wants to stay left.
Her name isn't Philipa Mickelson is it?

I agree with at least having her spend some time with a conventional guitar just to help her make sure that she is sure she wants to go lefty.
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Old 12-06-2016, 11:33 AM
stanron stanron is offline
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I'm not sure if the difference is significant. Both hands work together to produce the notes, unlike the piano where the left hand is at the bass end and the right band is at the treble.

'Happy' is significant and opens the way for progression. Let her be happy.
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Old 12-06-2016, 11:48 AM
RustyAxe RustyAxe is offline
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A new student, and she insists on learning her way?
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Old 12-06-2016, 11:53 AM
jayhawk jayhawk is offline
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I'm left handed and play right handed. The real question is which is better for her, fingering with her dominant hand or picking. I think fingering with the dominant hand might be an advantage. I feel it is for me.

However, finding left handed guitars is harder and more expensive.

Jack
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Old 12-06-2016, 01:14 PM
zhunter zhunter is offline
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Most instruments are not right or left handed. They are instruments. The few exceptions typically deal with situations where one has a handicap and gets a specially built instrument to accommodate the handicap. So I say, sans handicap, play the instrument normally. But as a concession to clarity:

Play the instrument right handed.

Or you could suggest your student seek piano lessons. Maybe they will have better luck learning piano left handed.

hunter
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Old 12-06-2016, 02:00 PM
stanron stanron is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zhunter View Post
Most instruments are not right or left handed.
While this is mostly right for classical guitars, the nut would need work. Steel strung guitars should have a compensated saddle. Filling the saddle slot, re-routing for a left handed saddle and replacing the nut with a left handed nut would be worth doing on a decent guitar, and shouldn't be too expensive.
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Old 12-06-2016, 02:52 PM
zhunter zhunter is offline
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Originally Posted by stanron View Post
While this is mostly right for classical guitars, the nut would need work. Steel strung guitars should have a compensated saddle. Filling the saddle slot, re-routing for a left handed saddle and replacing the nut with a left handed nut would be worth doing on a decent guitar, and shouldn't be too expensive.
Instruments like, pianos, flutes, etc. I wasn't talking about flipping guitars over.

hunter
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Old 12-06-2016, 04:40 PM
stanron stanron is offline
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OK. I read it as if you were saying most guitars. Cheers.
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Old 12-06-2016, 05:05 PM
jimmybcool jimmybcool is offline
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=In my opinion learning guitar is like learning golf. It is an unnatural act that requires training muscles to act in ways they never have before.

That means it is just as easy to learn either way in the long run.

Having said that, playing RH makes it easier to borrow and try new clubs or guitars as the vast majority of them are RH not LH.

I would suggest to her that if she sticks with it she might visit someones house that has a guitar and she'd like a play a song for her friends but will not be able to if she learns lefty. Ditto trying a variety of guitars in the store. Or any event where she didn't bring her own guitar.

Learning LH is a mistake. Just my opinion.
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Old 12-06-2016, 08:29 PM
colchar colchar is offline
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If she become proficient enough it won't matter whether a guitar is right handed or left handed, she might be able to play both.

My last guitar teacher was a lefty but was so used to the majority of guitars being right handed that he could take a right handed guitar, flip it over to play left handed (ie. guitar upside down), and was just as good that way as he was when using a left handed guitar.

And all of this reminds me of something I once read that said that we should all be picking/strumming with our left hands, regardless of which is our dominant hand, because the right hemisphere of the brain controls the left side of the body and that right hemisphere is the creative side that is responsible for rhythm, etc.

The left hemisphere, which controls the right side of the body, is responsible for words, logic, sequences, etc. which would make the right hand better for fretting.
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