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Old 08-18-2021, 03:44 AM
Maton123 Maton123 is offline
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Smile Left hander, learnt right hand, switching to left hand playing?

Hi all, I have just joined your forum so might have a few hiccups learning to post ect, I am based in Australia, been playing on and off for over 20 years, i can play ok, nothing fancy, anyway i am a natural left hander playing right handed, i was told i should learn right handed ( i so regret it now ) it never felt right or natural for me, my current teacher was shocked when i recently told her im a natural left hander, my rythmn is good she says but when i try vocals with my playing it seems a bit off, we think this is why as she knows i am very dedicated, she suggested swapping sides, so i have bought a classical and restringed it to left hander, feels weird but the strumming feels more natural for me and im picking it up faster than i thought, should i persevere??? has this happened to anyone? would love to hear your views my fellow guitarists
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Old 08-18-2021, 06:00 AM
musicman1951 musicman1951 is offline
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I can't speak to being left handed. I know shopping for right handed guitars is much easier, but that wouldn't be as important as playing comfort.

But many people have some trouble when they begin to coordinate singing and playing. Like everything else, it gets easier with time. By all means decide which way you want to play, but I would offer some caution to basing it on this issue.
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Old 08-18-2021, 06:06 AM
The Bard Rocks The Bard Rocks is online now
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I too am a lefty, playing righty and have no intention of changing. There are a lot of folks like me. My naive reasoning when I started was that the left hand does the more intricate things. My reasoning today is that I have a whole lot better choice of instruments if I continue to play right, plus it feels normal to me now. Rhythm has never felt difficult to me once I mastered some basic repetitive motor skills.

But that doesn't mean it should be this way for you. I have wondered from time to time if I would have been a better player had I learned lefty instead. I'll never find out. You may. It would be a very interesting study to contact 100 totally ambidextrous players (if there were that many) and see what coordination there might be between the way they played best and what their dominant hand was.
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Old 08-18-2021, 06:33 AM
Dru Edwards Dru Edwards is offline
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Maton123, Welcome to the AGF!

I have a student that I teach that is left handed. Last year during his first lesson he used a right handed guitar. The next lesson we tried a lefty and he was much more comfortable so we went with that. It was worth it.

Given that you're 20 years in and you still don't feel comfortable righty why not invest in a nice lefty guitar. Sounds like you're progressing faster than you though which is a positive.
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Old 08-18-2021, 06:49 AM
Colinguitar Colinguitar is offline
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Quite an interesting thread. I am right handed in that I write with my right hand, play guitar with my right hand and use my right hand in preference in many but not quite all things. For example, playing golf, I can match my right hand scores with my left. Sometimes it is the way someone introduces the skill to you and how you pick up the implement (club, bat, etc.). Also in my case when I was very little, I mirrored what someone else was doing, in order to learn a skill, and ended up doing that task left handed (they being right handed).
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Old 08-18-2021, 06:58 AM
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Methos1979 Methos1979 is offline
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I'm a lefty that plays righty - thankfully! While I love being a lefty I can't imagine how many awesome guitars I would have been denied had I played lefty. Normally I would say to stay righty and also question your teachers motives in suggesting you 'start over' playing lefty as a way of increasing your time in need of paid instruction. I'm also not sure what your vocals has to do with your guitar playing side-preference, though.

But since you admittedly say it 'never felt right or natural' then I would say absolutely try to learn left-handed. For me, playing righty always DID feel natural to me. I chalk this up to years playing 'air guitar' with a tennis racquet righty! It's also noteworthy that while I do many things left-handed, besides guitar I also golf and bat right-handed. But I play tennis and hockey left-handed. I even set my drum kit up lefty. Go figure.
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Old 08-18-2021, 07:55 AM
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Welcome to the Forum Maton123!

Why do 90% of guitarists play using their dominant hand as the “strumming/picking” hand? I wish I had followed what they DID instead of what they SAID. I’d be playing left-handed guitars today if I had.

Every person uses different criteria to make decisions. I'd like to think that focusing on making music with my instrument would be more important to me than having the broadest selection of instruments available to replace it.

Another issue is that most training materials are oriented to right-handed players, so left-handers always have to mentally "flip" illustrations, and reverse hands in "with your right hand pick the first string".

Whichever you decide, good luck with your journey!
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Old 08-18-2021, 08:39 AM
tbeltrans tbeltrans is offline
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Being left handed, like many I learned to play guitar the way I saw other people doing it - right handed. I never considered that there was any other way.

It seems to me that:

1. When learning to play guitar, no matter which hand orientation one uses, it will feel strange so handedness is really up for grabs, and might as well learn right handed since most guitars are built that way anyway.
2. Each hand is doing something different, but equally complex if one is playing fingerstyle, so does it really matter which hand is doing what?

That said, I have run into a very few left-handers that seem to need to do everything a certain left handed way. Many others, such as myself have become largely ambidextrous out of necessity. That tells me that there are very likely different degrees of left-handedness. Personally, I never gave handedness much thought and just worked with whatever various tools required.

Tony
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Old 08-18-2021, 12:48 PM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maton123 View Post
Hi all, I have just joined your forum so might have a few hiccups learning to post ect, I am based in Australia, been playing on and off for over 20 years, i can play ok, nothing fancy, anyway i am a natural left hander playing right handed, i was told i should learn right handed ( i so regret it now ) it never felt right or natural for me, my current teacher was shocked when i recently told her im a natural left hander, my rythmn is good she says but when i try vocals with my playing it seems a bit off, we think this is why as she knows i am very dedicated, she suggested swapping sides, so i have bought a classical and restringed it to left hander, feels weird but the strumming feels more natural for me and im picking it up faster than i thought, should i persevere??? has this happened to anyone? would love to hear your views my fellow guitarists
If you've been playing for 20 years, and your rhythm is good, I'd have thought it would be crazy to change over. I'm actually shocked your teacher suggested it!

(I.e., the usual problem with playing with the stronger hand on the fretboard is that the rhythmic sense suffers. I've noticed it in players I've known, where their rhythm and dynamics are both somewhat crude, unsubtle. But than again, a good few pros play that way, and have obviously conquered that aspect of it. And it seems like you have too.)

However, if you are finding that strumming already feels natural that way, I would stick with it. You have to trust your teacher, because she has heard and seen you play and is able to diagnose your specific situation. We can't do that!
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Old 08-18-2021, 04:30 PM
Mazian Mazian is offline
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Everything is of course only my 0.02 $ and IMHO.

It's actually a topic that's close to my heart and, as I must admit, makes me a little angry at times.

I'm a southpaw myself (as you've probably guessed by now) and I play lefty.
In my opinion, everyone should always learn to play how it feels most natural to them. My teacher handed me my first guitar and I immediately held it lefty. He made me try both ways and lefty just felt more natural, so I learned lefty. And that's the way I think it should be done, no bias in any direction.
If the rhythm feels easier for you lefty, maybe you're meant to play lefty.
There are many arguments one hears whenever that question comes up.
1) The fretting hand has the harder task anyways, so you'll have it easier.
Well, if that were the case, I invite all right handed players to switch to a lefty guitar and secure this advantage, too. Besides, the actual rhythm and music comes from your dominant hand. Arguably the more complex task.

2) You'll have a much easier time finding an instrument.
Well, yes, and by playing righty, too, despite maybe feeling more comfortable on a lefty guitar, you help to keep it that way.

And many more.
Telling kids which hand they need to use for writing despite them having a different preference wasn't such a great idea either. So why not let guitarists go with what feels more natural, whatever it is.

So, long story short, if it feels more natural lefty, stick with it a while. If it feels good, maybe that's how you're meant to play. Better late than never.
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Old 08-18-2021, 06:05 PM
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Hi Maton…
And welcome to the forum!!

I taught guitar for 40 years, and never met a player who didn't use both hands while playing!

I did have 2 left handed students playing reverse engineered instruments and they were both great students. We never discussed it. They were there for lessons, so I taught them to play better!

For beginners and average people, the fretting hand requires more skill and accuracy than the strumming hand.

I observed left handed beginning players have a distinct advantage in the formative stages.

By the time they got to the point they with doing intricate work with a picking hand, they dove right into it, because they had already been using both hands to play since they started playing.

I'm left-handed playing conventionally. I started with the accordion, then piano, then trumpet, last guitar.

I really never had the options to play reverse engineered keyboards, or horns. Never considered it for guitar.

Have fun deciding and be assured there are a lot of musicians who are playing conventional instruments, conventionally quite successfully.

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Old 08-18-2021, 08:27 PM
jayhawk jayhawk is offline
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I’m left handed but have always played right handed. I always thought fretting with the left hand was a real advantage.

BUT... it depends. How dominate are you with your left hand. I know people that are so dominate with their right hand that they can’t do anything with their left hand. That kind of dominance tends to be more common among right handlers.

My question to you is can you use scissors with your right hand? Can you right with your right hand? Can you feed yourself with your right hand? If you answer ‘No.’ to these kinds of questions then maybe you should think about changing hands on the guitar. If you can answer ‘Yes.’ on some or all, the don’t change.

Jack
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Old 08-19-2021, 12:48 AM
JohnW63 JohnW63 is offline
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Many years back, after I had been playing a year or two, I swapped the strings around on my Dads nylon folk guitar and gave it a try. I am a lefty so why not play that way? Even after just a year or so, the muscle memory or neural pathways had formed and trying to play that way felt like I assume people who had a stroke would feel. I couldn’t make my hands do what they where supposed to do.

I swapped them back.
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Old 08-19-2021, 07:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayhawk View Post
…BUT... it depends. How dominate are you with your left hand. I know people that are so dominate with their right hand that they can’t do anything with their left hand. That kind of dominance tends to be more common among right handlers.
Hi Jack…

I've always questioned the view that people are totally dominant with only one hand.

There are tasks we all learn without regard for left or right.

Driving cars for instance. And no matter which dominance we claim, we drive on the correct side of the road…whether in Brittain where they drive on the left side of the road (and steering wheels are on the other side of the car), or in USA where we drive on the right with steering from the left.

And unless your stereo controls are on the steering wheel, we adjust the radio/CD player/music with the closest hand.

That and I've never met a pianist who has a left oriented instrument.

I've speculated over the years that parents are the strong promoters of how left or right-centric we turn out (especially true of left oriented children).




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