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Thread: Right or left handed?

  1. #1
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    Cool Right or left handed?

    Okay, this might sound REALLY stupid, but I gotta know!
    How come I see left handed people playing guitar right handed?
    But more than that, my 'stupid 'question is this:::
    When playing (I'm a dominent lefty!)- which is better---have the dominent hand on the pick, or on the strings?
    NO ONE can give me a definate answer here. I have tried both ways, and I just can't seem to get either, but I think it is because I'm just so unsure as to what to do! LOL
    My son, who is 13, is ambidexterous, so he has the same problem I do, he just can't seem to figure out which hand to use!

    We need help here, so please be kind!! hahaha

    I HAVE paid for lessons, but just got so frustrated with them we quit.
    I got Guitar for Dummies, but I think I need one for " blondes!" LOL I just do NOT get it!

    Give a Mom some help here.

    Thanks alot

    Rita
    Mom of 4

  2. #2
    Registered Abuser widdly widdly's Avatar
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    If you are equally comfortable (or uncomfortable as it may be) playing left or right handed then I would go for right handed ( right hand strumming, left hand holding the chord). This will mean...

    1.) Tabulature will be easier to follow. Tabulature is written for a right handed perspective.
    2.) Ditto for Chord Charts
    3.) You will have a wider range of guitars available to choose from if you want to buy one.

    Guitar is pretty unique among the instruments for having a left handed model. There are no left handed violins, pianos, saxophones etc. When you first start it is equally uncomfortable on both sides so it's probably best sticking with the convention as it will make your life easier later on. I'm pretty sure Gary Moore is left handed but learnt right handed guitar.

    Having said all that, you could practise left and right handed and end up playing like this guy.

    BTW. Guitar for Dummies is actually quite a challenging book. It covers a lot of different styles and techniques relatively quickly. If you went throught the whole book you would have a grounding in Classical, Rock, Latin, Jazz and Flamenco. Most guitarist concentrate on mastering one genre and the associated techniques before tackling the others.
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    Last edited by widdly widdly; 04-11-2011 at 08:03 AM.

  3. #3
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    Well, I am not sure whether either one of those methods is better than the other.
    You see, there are quite a few great guitarists who are left-handed, yet play a right-handed guitar:
    Steve Morse, Gary Moore, Joe Perry, Tracii Guns ( I prolly could think of even more )

    It seems to make sense that the "strong hand" handles the fretboard part, which seems to be a bit more complicated. So for a right handed person, it might even be better to play a left handed guitar
    On the other hand ( no pun intended ), I really donīt know, and I think a good way to approach this is that its best to pick which one is more comfortable and stick with that, and in the end, it wont make a difference anymore... if you work on it, it doesnt matter which way you play.
    What I am trying to say is: I donīt know whether the guys I mentioned above even have an advantage playing the way they play. They might play just as well if they had learned to play a left handed guitar from the get-go.
    Eric

  4. #4
    Registered User sixstrings121's Avatar
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    I am left handed but play right handed guitar. The main reason was because I could not find a left handed guitar. The only thing I dont like about it is my rhythem is a little weak, but other than that I'd say Im an alright player. Also, it does make things much easier on you, chord charts ect will be much easier to read, and you can pick out more guitars as was already stated.

  5. #5
    Registered Geek Stratosaurus's Avatar
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    I'm a dominant lefty but play right handed also. There are far less complications this way as far as practicality goes. When you buy a guitar you don't have to worry about getting a left handed one, or have to put a new (backwards) nut on an existing right handed guitar. And, man, playing with the low E string on the bottom is just nonsense to me. When you are a left handed guitarist... it makes it so much more difficult to go out and buy a guitar that "works" for you.

    Now, if you set aside practicality you should play what is most comfortable and stick to it.

    When playing guitar, you have to train both hands anyway. While both hands may arguably take an equal amount of skill to do their job, it might be easier to make the dominant hand the fretting hand. That's just my opinion.

    This is a very tough question to answer for someone else. Everybody is different, which leaves several different scenarios to consider.
    Home is where you hang your guitar.

  6. #6
    latin jazz man
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    I'm in the same situation of sixstrings121... left handed playing right handed guitars...

    I agree with him too... It would be easier to read chord charts, etc...

    I learned to play that way because I didn't find any left handed guitar over here
    Giant Steps...

  7. #7
    Registered User Buebo's Avatar
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    I'm a lefty playing lefthanded. Yes chords charts do suck for leftys ans yes you will have a hard time finding a nice guitar. Having said that I think it is a very logic choice to play lefthanded, this is the way the instrument, and every stringed instrument I can think of, is ment to be played. Ok there is nothing wrong with being non conventional and tons of great (lefthanded) guitarist play righthanded, but I think after all these centuries people have figured out the most comfortable way to play (lefthanded or right).

    Quote Originally Posted by Stratosaurus
    And, man, playing with the low E string on the bottom is just nonsense to me.
    Ohh you don't know what you are saying! Check out Thorsten Koehne he plays like that. He posted several songs on the forum (for his chops check out his take on the stricly alternate picking) or visit his site http://www.thorstenkoehne.de/ .

    In the end decide for yourself, but I say lefties play left!

  8. #8
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by widdly widdly
    BTW. Guitar for Dummies is actually quite a challenging book. It covers a lot of different styles and techniques relatively quickly. If you went throught the whole book you would have a grounding in Classical, Rock, Latin, Jazz and Flamenco. Most guitarist concentrate on mastering one genre and the associated techniques before tackling the others.
    THSNK YOU Guys!!!!
    Bet6ween you all, I have gotten MORE encouragement & POSITIVE words than I have in the last year with band teacher/music lessons/etc!!! LOL

    We actually have 2 acustic guitars. I paid to have one re strung for lefty, so we are set there.

    But I have to admit, I'm a LITTLE more comfy doing the cords w/ my left hand.
    I'm just such a LEFTY "Freak" I feel I should do it lefty, no matter what!
    I fought really hard for my son to BE lefty in school, when they tried to make him be right handed(he's the ambedexterious one), because I knew that was the hand as a baby he used most.
    HE plays drums right handed, which throws me off. Those I have to do lefty...LOL So I end up switching a few things around when i play them, but that's do-able.

    Anyhow, I think I'll go get the guitar REstrung for right, and we'll both give it another try.

    THANK YOU ALL so much for the advise!!!
    Really----
    Thanks

    Rita
    Mom of 4

  9. #9
    Registered Geek Stratosaurus's Avatar
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    You're welcome!

    My Dad and I have a similar problem with drums. I play them either way but prefer the left handed setup. When we jam we usually invite a left handed drummer as well -- but all other drummers are right handed. I don't know how many times our drum set has been reversed.

    I jam with both of my parents, and I think it's cool that you play music with your kids.

    Anyway, I'm glad you are getting it sorted out.
    Home is where you hang your guitar.

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