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Old 01-11-2019, 08:32 AM
Yeah Yeah is offline
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Default Lefties playing as righties

Hi, I have been playing guitar for 12 non-continuous years as a right handed, even though I' m left handed.

Anyone else does this? Do you see it as a major setback? Do you think I will reach a certain level where I hit a technical wall?
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:53 AM
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Bob Womack Bob Womack is offline
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Well let's see, lefties who play rightiey: Duane Allman, Mark Knopfler, Gary Moore, Steve Morse, Johnny Winter, Billy Corgan, and me!

It isn't a major setback. Just be ready for right-hand work to be twice as hard for you as for others. Things righties consider easy may be hard for you and things you consider easy may sell hard for righties. I am fairly daft with a pick for repeated patterns but do just fine with fingers. My left-hand articulation is very good.

Most of the guys mentioned above have learned to create a style that works with their handedness. They may not be the fastest on the right-hand but often make up for it with the left hand.

I love to tell the story of my first instructor who gave up on me after about five lessons. Seven years later he was the promoter who brought my band back to my hometown.

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Old 01-11-2019, 09:51 AM
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Well let's see, lefties who play rightiey: Duane Allman, Mark Knopfler, Gary Moore, Steve Morse, Johnny Winter, Billy Corgan, and me!
Add B B King to that.
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Old 01-11-2019, 09:52 AM
gimme789 gimme789 is offline
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I fall into this category also. My feeling is that the convention is backwards anyhow ... Who wouldn't want their master hand on the fretboard ? I see it as a distinct advantage.
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Yeah View Post
Hi, I have been playing guitar for 12 non-continuous years as a right handed, even though I' m left handed.

Anyone else does this? Do you see it as a major setback? Do you think I will reach a certain level where I hit a technical wall?
This lefty plays right-handed. No problems directly related to it.
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:06 AM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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This is one, that as a teacher, I go back and forth on...

With kids, it's easy...right handed, play right handed. Left handed? Pick up a guitar. Which way do you naturally hold it. I've found 9/10 gravitate "righty" anyway...

There's specific jobs for each hand...I understand the arguements for "having the dominant hand do the fretting," but I think that downplays the precision and difficulty the picking hand presents. Again, I can usually see in kids if things are way out of whack uncomfortable in less than one lesson...

Certainly, the people who "invented" the guitar placed the emphasis on the right hand being the one striking the strings...poor lefties are still ignored in today's society, think of the outcasts they would have been hundreds of years ago! So someone at some point a long time ago decided that the picking/plucking hand was actually the one you wanted your dominant hand doing...go figure...

Now adults...y'all are a pain. You come in with preconceived notions, and it's tough to break from those.

What I tell anybody is--the guitar is a two handed instrument...just as there's no left handed piano-- so realize that however you hold the guitar, your dominant hand will be doing something important--and so will your non-dominant hand.

I saw a Beatles tribute band some years ago...they were great, and talking to them after the show, I learned the "Paul" was actually a righty who trained himself to play bass "lefty" for authenticity...which I thought was impressive ...then he told me their George (who played righty) was actually a lefty! (But he had always played the guitar right handed, it turned out)

Where am I going with all of this? Everybody is different...do what feels right.
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:19 AM
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Yep, this is me!! I'm lefty in all things, but when I started guitar 100 years ago, holding it "righty" was just "what you did".....and so I did! Never knew there was a difference...... Totally natural feeling for me!
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:00 AM
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…Anyone else does this? Do you see it as a major setback? Do you think I will reach a certain level where I hit a technical wall?
Hi Yeah

I'm another left handed person playing guitar right handed (well with both hands actually). In fact there are a huge percentage of left handed people who play instruments in traditional fashion.

I started life playing accordion for 12 years, and trumpet for 18 and there were no left handed options presented. Age 14 I grabbed a uke which led me to guitars. There was never an option for changing the orientation of my fingering on any of my instruments, and I ended up with a teaching degree in music.

All students of guitar at some point take on technical 'leaps' or steps to play more difficult stuff. Not being able to accomplish them smoothly and quickly shouldn't be blamed on which way the body of the guitar sits in your lap. Has more to do with understanding and executing the techniques involved.

I sure don't think there is a wall created because you have chosen which way to point the neck. I taught fingerstyle for 39 years locally and had lots of left-playing-right students who had zero issues with it.

I also had two students who arrived already playing left handed instruments, and they also had no irregular issues either (in fact I only had one short discussion with one of them about it, and we moved on and made music).

Intricate skills are needed in both hands by all of us who want to play guitar beyond a basic folk strum level.

Have had three parents came to me asking whether their child should have a left handed instrument, and I asked to meet the child in person. In all three cases, I gave them a lesson on a full-sized guitar (a right handed instrument) and in 30 minutes they had learned an Em, E, Am, G and were moving the E-shape up and down the neck fairly fluently with two fingerings. They all were able to strum with their other hand just fine. They could switch back and forth from E to Am adequately for a crash course lesson, and all ended up students.

In those 3 cases I recommended a traditional approach, which we did and the students did just fine.



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Old 01-11-2019, 11:57 AM
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Thanks for your input.
I myself find that I'm somehow more "clumsy" than I should with some stuff.

Specially using the right pinky for fingerstyle and pick holding. I'm quite sure that if I had learned guitar lefty I would be faster and more accurate with my pick, and I could add that pinky finger more easily.

But I'm deffinitely not planning on selling my righy guitars or on restarting lefty.

I just sometimes wonder if maybe I should get a cheap lefty beater guitar to see what happens.
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Old 01-11-2019, 12:14 PM
rmp rmp is offline
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nope,, if it feels right to you it's right

I saw a beatles trib badn (1964) bout 10 years ago (VERY good)

the Bass PLayer played Lefty,, and he had the "paul" thing down.

at the end of the show, they do meet and greets..

so I said "what are the chances that a guy that looks as much like McCartny as you do, is also a left hand bass player"

he says "funny thing is, I've played 6 sting guitar right handed since I was a kid. I learned bass left handed 6 years ago just to work this gig..."

"Oh...……………."
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Old 01-11-2019, 12:18 PM
beninma beninma is offline
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I'm in this category two, lefty playing righty...

My guess for me is fretting hand techniques came easier once I got my guitar setup well and started making progress at lessons. Bends, slides, hammer ons, pull offs, etc.. are all going to be slightly easier at first for a lefty I think if you're playing righty.

But you might pay for it in the strumming/picking/fingerpicking.

Weird thing for me, I waited quite a long time to start fingerpicking, I think fingerpicking was actually easier for me. My awareness of where my fingers are doesn't seem to have been affected by it being my weaker hand.

Perhaps the thing that has had the biggest penalty for me is arpeggiating chords with a flatpick.. that has been a lot of work to get down. I also went through a phase where I had a lot of trouble learning to keep the flat pick from moving in my fingers when I did certain things.. I think that might have been related to weak hand usage, most of us aren't used to controlling a "tool" in our off hand with that kind of fine motor skill.
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Old 01-11-2019, 12:33 PM
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I am a lefty playing right handed. Found Brad Davis' books on Speed, Rhythm and Tone to be of great help in increasing pick skills. They are available on Flatpicking.com. As they say, something about left hands and right minds.....
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Old 01-11-2019, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beninma View Post
I'm in this category two, lefty playing righty...

My guess for me is fretting hand techniques came easier once I got my guitar setup well and started making progress at lessons. Bends, slides, hammer ons, pull offs, etc.. are all going to be slightly easier at first for a lefty I think if you're playing righty.

But you might pay for it in the strumming/picking/fingerpicking.

Weird thing for me, I waited quite a long time to start fingerpicking, I think fingerpicking was actually easier for me. My awareness of where my fingers are doesn't seem to have been affected by it being my weaker hand.

Perhaps the thing that has had the biggest penalty for me is arpeggiating chords with a flatpick.. that has been a lot of work to get down. I also went through a phase where I had a lot of trouble learning to keep the flat pick from moving in my fingers when I did certain things.. I think that might have been related to weak hand usage, most of us aren't used to controlling a "tool" in our off hand with that kind of fine motor skill.
Totally agree with what you feel. The pick is really the worst part. At least for me.
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Old 01-11-2019, 04:12 PM
Gtrfinger Gtrfinger is offline
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I'm another left handed person, sinistre, in Latin, which is where the word sinister came from as we were thought.... Weird.

I've been playing right handed for 33 years. My only issue with my right hand is that the index picking finger isn't as controlled as it can be. It's never occurred to me before that this may be because I'm left handed.
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Old 01-11-2019, 04:46 PM
TeleBluesMan TeleBluesMan is offline
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Michael Bloomfield & Danny Gatton were left-handed, played right-handed.
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