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  #16  
Old 12-06-2016, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by jayhawk View Post
However, finding left handed guitars is harder and more expensive.
I disagree (I'm lefthanded, and play lefthanded).

EVERY Taylor is made free of charge in a lefty option, and while the local GS will have less lefties on display, they can order them if someone wants one.
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  #17  
Old 12-06-2016, 10:52 PM
LSemmens LSemmens is offline
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Originally Posted by captainamerica View Post
I disagree (I'm lefthanded, and play lefthanded).

EVERY Taylor is made free of charge in a lefty option, and while the local GS will have less lefties on display, they can order them if someone wants one.
Whilst you CAN order a LH guitar from most stores, the opportunity to "test drive" a guitar is largely reduced for left handed people. i.e. You pays your money, you takes your chances" whereas a typical right handed player sees a guitar that looks nice, there's a 99% chance that he can test it and then buy it because it has already been "converted" for his use.

FWIW: I do believe that Left Handed musicians can have some advantage over the average owing to the fact that the world largely caters to Right Handed people and, as such southpaws have had to develop their right hand to a greater extent than those of us who are naturally Right handed have to develop out left. They are, therefore, more dexterous in their right hand than we are in our left.
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  #18  
Old 12-08-2016, 06:09 AM
dkstott dkstott is offline
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I'm left handed and play the guitar right handed.

Way back in 1966, all the "beginner" guitars that were available for my parent to purchase were right handed guitars.

The decision was that I would learn to play a right handed guitar or Santa wasn't going to be able give me a guitar.

I don't have any regrets in their decision.
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  #19  
Old 12-08-2016, 06:14 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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I agree to present all the arguments in favour of RH playing, and let her try it.

The problem with playing the other way is the strumming/picking hand will need a lot of training. Rhythm, timekeeping, precision of attack, is fundamental. There's a reason why all string instruments are played the way they are (RH picking, strumming, bowing, LH fretting or stopping) - and that has to be rhythm.

However, if she really is comfortable playing her way, and it feels very unnatural for her to play the "right" way - and especially if her sense of time seems OK - let her play LH. After all, it worked out all right for B B King, Mark Knopfler, Gary Moore, Noel Gallagher, etc (left-handers who play RH).
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  #20  
Old 12-08-2016, 06:47 AM
pf400 pf400 is offline
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OP here. I notice that the student has alot of difficulty holding a pick, or even strumming with her thumb. Just about everyone has those typical beginner problems (I have quite a bit of experience teaching beginners) I know... but if she gets too discouraged I might have to push her to try right-handed although that would be risky as it might discourage her more. Will have to approach this gently and see how it goes. She's only had one lesson.

Thanks for all the replies so far. Wow BB was left-handed !
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  #21  
Old 12-08-2016, 07:02 AM
sirwhale sirwhale is offline
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Originally Posted by colchar View Post
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.
Mate, I'm a biology teacher. What you have read is a complete myth.
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  #22  
Old 12-10-2016, 07:31 PM
Biddy44 Biddy44 is offline
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Default Lefty here

I'm a left-hander who plays guitar righty. As others have said, the pool of instruments is larger, and you can borrow someone else's at an impromptu gig. The guitar I picked up first was a righty, and off I went. Personally I think the work of either hand is challenging enough that neither way of playing is the 'right' or natural way.

My advice: make sure she's comfortable in her decision, and let her go.
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  #23  
Old 12-20-2016, 09:47 AM
SteveBurt SteveBurt is offline
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It's odd that the guitar seems to be the only instrument which comes in left and right hand versions. Why does one never see left handed violins?
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  #24  
Old 12-20-2016, 10:10 AM
motojosh motojosh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colchar View Post
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.
A friend of a friend wanted to learn Latin, so he spent 15 minutes each morning translating a book (I think it was the Bible?) from English to Latin. But he would also use this as an exercise for his "left brain"--he did all of the writing left-handed (even though he's right-handed). He worked in a "creative" field, and told me once that that was one of the best things he ever started doing for his left-brain self. I can see how learning to play guitar with the opposite hand could open up similar creative avenues.
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  #25  
Old 12-20-2016, 10:33 AM
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Is there a specific reason why the student decided to learn lefty? Is it cost based? Is she taking the lessons then teaching a sibling at home who is lefty?
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  #26  
Old 12-23-2016, 06:11 AM
wkbryan wkbryan is offline
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The title caught my eye and there are some good observations here. I didn't think I had anything new to contribute until I saw SteveBurt's comment about left-handed violins. My 17yo daughter is left handed and started playing violin when she was 4. There was some discussion about playing right-v-left handed and I really don't recall why her and her teacher started her playing right-handed. I do remember that the teacher said we could always swap the strings at around at any point if my daughter changed her mind. I think the short scale and lack of frets is why this will work so easily on violins (especially student level) since slight variations in finger position can make a big difference.

My daughter thinks that using her dominant hand is an advantage for her. I can say as fact that I've never thought that it hindered her in any way and has offered her the advantage of being able to easily try out another instrument.

To the OP-- keep up the good work. It's a wonderful thing to be able to help young people learn to play music. The world would be a better place if more young people could receive this gift.
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  #27  
Old 12-28-2016, 05:00 PM
naccoachbob naccoachbob is offline
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I play right handed but am left handed. An asset to me in playing right handed is that my dominant hand can make chords fairly easily.
When I was strumming the guitar, it was definitely an asset to me. But I've moved into fingerstyle and classical playing, and find that my right hand takes a lot of work as the fine motor skills that it has compared to the left is much weaker. As a child, I tried left handed, but it was a weak attempt. Later when I got more serious I opted for right handed. I don't regret it. My right hand is coming along.
I think your student, once she masters the skills of fretting will find that her right hand is an asset in that those motor skills will show up and shine.
Get her to try a pair of left handed scissors and see what a difference it is. (Not sure if that will translate well or not, lol, but worth a try).
Best of luck to you and her in the quest to play this instrument.
Bob
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  #28  
Old 12-28-2016, 08:59 PM
Otterhound Otterhound is offline
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4 years ago , I attended the Woodstock Invitational Luthier Showcase .
Among my interests was wanting to see how many left handed guitars were there .
I found 1 and it was actually there the year before .
After milling about admiring the incredible selection of high end guitars , I decided to leave .
As I leaving , I decided to watch the act on the stage until they completed their set .
Much to my surprise , I saw a left handed guitar being played and waited to thank the guitarist for bring a left handed instrument to the show .
When they finished I approached the guitarist and thanked him and he chuckled .
I asked why and he told me that he was right handed but played the guitar left handed because it felt natural to him .
Point being that the student should choose how the student will play the guitar .
If the instructor , who is typically a paid party is unable or unwilling to teach the student in this way , I would very quickly find an instructor that is not hampered in this way .
This ancient prejudice is something that should have died long ago .
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  #29  
Old 12-29-2016, 11:39 AM
TominNJ TominNJ is offline
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My perspective as a lefty who plays righty

You use both hands. Her fretting hand will get really good really quickly. Her strumming/picking hand will be an issue possibly for quite some time. I finally gave up on strumming with a pick. I just couldn't get the hang of it. I use my index finger and get much better results.

She's limiting her guitar selection by learning left handed. This is one of the reasons I play righty. Lefty guitars are harder to come by. Some models are unavailable in left handed versions. Learning materials are produced for rightys and the videos etc require the player to mentally flip what they're seeing.

It can be done but the frustration could cause her to give up. It also depends on how right hand dominant she is. It might be nearly impossible and it might just take slightly longer.

There are no easy answers. My suggestion is to let her strum both guitars without fretting any strings. Open tuning might help because it will sound more musical. Strum with the right then strum with the left. Alternate a little and then let her decide after she's experienced playing both lefty and righty.
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  #30  
Old 12-30-2016, 12:52 PM
colchar colchar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirwhale View Post
Mate, I'm a biology teacher. What you have read is a complete myth.

Roger Sperry did work on this in the early to mid '70s. The Mayo Clinic has done work on brain mapping to determine which parts of the brain control specific functions (prior to brain surgery, if I remember correctly), particularly for the treatment of traumatic brain injuries. The University of Utah has also done extensive studies on this topic. They concluded that it is a myth that we have a dominant side to our brains, but acknowledged that the different hemispheres controlled different functions.

According to Western Michigan University the left hemisphere of the brain controls right motor and sensory activities; is the location of reacting, language, and handwriting; and has the centers for speech and hearing. The right side of the brain, meanwhile, controls left motor and sensory activities and is the location of special relationships, artistic expression, and visualization.

https://www.wmich.edu/sites/default/...cteristics.pdf


And according to the Mayfield Clinic (brain and spine clinic) "[n]ot all functions of the hemispheres are shared. In general, the left hemisphere controls speech, comprehension, arithmetic, and writing. The right hemisphere controls creativity, spatial ability, artistic, and musical skills. The left hemisphere is dominant in hand use and language in about 92% of people."

https://www.mayfieldclinic.com/PDF/PE-AnatBrain.pdf
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