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Playing leftie and righty?

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Embrace_the_Darkness
(@embrace_the_darkness)
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Topic starter  

Has anyone ever tried learning to play both leftie and righty guitars?

Just a thought I had - browsing around some local ad's, it seems that there are a few leftie guitars for sale at much more reasonable prices than righty ones (I guess they dont expect as many people to want to buy them?)

Is it harder to learn the 'opposite' way than you have been playing?

Also, is it possible to just swap the strings around on a lefite guitar for righty playing? Would that depend on the type of bridge / headstock the guitar has?

Cheers guys

Pete

ETD - Formerly "10141748 - Reincarnate"


   
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kent_eh
(@kent_eh)
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From what I can tell, your experience is not typical of those who go searching for left handed guitars.
They often lament a lack of choice, and higher prices.

Most electric guitars shouldn't be too difficult to change from one hand to the other. Replace the nut and bridge saddles (or maybe just re-arrange the existing saddles) is the big thing.

But you would want to think about the cutaway.
On a Strat style or an SG, it wouldn't matter much (Witness: Jimi Hendrix), but on a Tele or Les Paul, you'd loose access to a lot of the higher frets by switching the guitar around

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep


   
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Denny
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I had an experience with that a few years ago. My son, who is a southpaw, was at the house with his guitar and I gave it a try. What a humbling experience it was! It was as if I had never picked up a guitar. I'm ambidextrous but I couldn't do anything but fumble around with my finger placement. The one good thing it did was give me patience with new guitarists. I never took playing for granted again.

Denny


   
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WyleSmyde
(@wylesmyde)
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My son is also a southpaw. I tried to encourage him to play right handed because he is somewhat ambidextrous. He decided to stick with a left handed set up. He regrets it now because he realized (all by himself) what I'd been telling him about the limited availability of lefty guitars. I don't see any reason to switch from playing right handed to a left handed unless you know someone with a fabulous left handed guitar you are just dying to play.

To address one of your questions directly: I say no, you shouldn't set up a right handed acoustic guitar as a left handed (or vice versa) because it won't sound quite right. I did this on my son's first guitare because a cheap right handed was available and I didn't want to invest a lot of money in something he might not stick with. The good news is that he has stuck with it. The bad news was that I had to invest in a left handed guitar :-).

As a right hander, I learned to form chords on a left handed guitar so I could shop for a suitable investment for my son. I received quite a few strange looks from shop owners noticing me strumming away holding the guitar backwards and creating the correct tones.

Regards,
Wyle :)


   
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MrJonesey
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Cheaper leftys? Please, tell me where!

By the way, if he wants a new Gibson, he'll have to learn righty. They will no longer offer left handed models!

"There won't be any money. But when you die, on your death bed, you will receive total conciousness. So, I got that going for me. Which is nice." - Bill Murray, Caddyshack ~~ Michigan Music Dojo - http://michiganmusicdojo.com ~~


   
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Embrace_the_Darkness
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Cheaper leftys? Please, tell me where!

It was just a local private ad in the free papers here in Luton.
I don't see any reason to switch from playing right handed to a left handed unless you know someone with a fabulous left handed guitar you are just dying to play

I wasn't thinking of switching, I was thinking of learning both ways - thought it'd make an interesting party trick :lol:

Pete

ETD - Formerly "10141748 - Reincarnate"


   
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MrJonesey
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By brother-in-law as a friend who is an absolutely amazing guitarist (was going on rumor until recently I visited his bands website and was able to watch him play). Anyway, my BIL wants the two of us to get together and play (this guy would blow me away, by the way). He told his buddy that he would have to bring his own gitar as I'm left-handed. The guy responded; "that's OK, I can play leftie." Now that is just sick and wrong! (insert jealous emoticon here)

"There won't be any money. But when you die, on your death bed, you will receive total conciousness. So, I got that going for me. Which is nice." - Bill Murray, Caddyshack ~~ Michigan Music Dojo - http://michiganmusicdojo.com ~~


   
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corbind
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Cheaper leftys? Please, tell me where!

By the way, if he wants a new Gibson, he'll have to learn righty. They will no longer offer left handed models!

Are you sure? That's a bold move against lefties. :evil:

"Nothing...can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts."


   
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Hyperborea
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Cheaper leftys? Please, tell me where!

By the way, if he wants a new Gibson, he'll have to learn righty. They will no longer offer left handed models!

Are you sure? That's a bold move against lefties. :evil:

I'm not sure that it is. How many lefties who play left are there? There's supposed to be something like 10-15% of the population who is a lefty and of those I would guess that a large fraction play righty - I do for one. So, maybe only one third of lefties play lefty. That would mean that perhaps as many as 5% of guitar players play lefty and maybe less.

Pop music is about stealing pocket money from children. - Ian Anderson


   
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corbind
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That 10-15% may be the general population. But I'll guess slightly more play guitar. Why? Lefties are more creative.

"Nothing...can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts."


   
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Rahul
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Lefties are more creative.

Yes. :D


   
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Ignar Hillström
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Lefties are not more creative, at best they are worse at interpretating scientific findings. ;) Nonsense like that falls in the same group as 'humans only use 10% of their brains' and such popular myths. Anyway, nothing wrong with dropping the idea of lefty guitars, it's a stupid concept to begin with. You don't have lefty pianos, lefty violins, lefty cars, lefty doorknobs, lefty dining etiquette or any such crap either, just because Hendrix did it don't mean it's a good idea. When you start out you can't play and it doesn't matter if you learn left or right. So cut the bull and get a proper guitar. :twisted:

Or don't and spend the rest of your life sitting quietly in the corner at parties because you can't play the campfire guitar. Lefty guitars are a marketing trick invented solely to earn more money. No idea why people actually go along with it.


   
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cnev
 cnev
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Ig,

I agree about the creativity thing, but as far as learning lefty or righty, yes when everyone starts they can't play so it shouldn't matter but pretty much everyone has a dominant side be it right or left.

I would guess the younger you are the easier it would be to do things with the non-dominant arm and I'm sure it would always be possible but if your an older beginner those dominant traits have been ingrained for years and learning to play righty for a lefty would seem to me to be a bit more difficult.

I'm right handed, and I can't even imagine trying to learn to play lefty..I'm having enough trouble righty.

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


   
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Ignar Hillström
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So why are guitarists the only people with that problem? Lefties can learn cello and violin no problem, I don't think that those instruments are so much easier that the 'extra difficulty' of learning it 'the wrong way' is taken for granted. Never heared of a left-handed grand piano either, plenty of brilliant left-handed classical musicians around though. Why is that? Because you're going to need that non-dominant side no matter what, and it doesn't particularly matter if you need to use it to fret or pick. Ironically enough most guitarists I know have more problem with their picking then fretting, espescially when the speed goes up. Notice how so many people hide behind their tapping, hammers and pulls simply because their picking hand can't keep up. That weaker hand is the right hand, the non-dominant left-hand usually does better.

It's a myth. If you had started learning as a lefty you couldn't imagine learning right-handed.


   
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cnev
 cnev
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Ig,

I'm not sure I totally agree, your argument seems logical in theory but something's missing. I don't hink piano is the best example since to me its an ambidexterous instrument. I mean you are essentially doing the same thing with both hands, that's not exactly the same as a guitar where the hands do something entirely different.

Let's look at sports, why do people throw rightie, or dribble or anything else with a certain hand. because that hand is dominant. Sure you can try and and learn to use both arms/hands equally but i have NEVER heard of or seen anyone that could throw a ball equally well with both arms. If that were the case pitchers could pitch twice as many games all they would have to do is switch hands the next time they pitch, but they don't and no one ever has. Why because one hand dominates this and they will never get each to perform at the same level.

The minute you are born you already have been predisposed as to which is your dominant side, you'll start grabbing bottles etc with your dominant hand.

Look at snowboarders, you either do it rightie or what they call I think goofy foot which is lefty. All you are doin is standing up yet everybody has their preferred way based on their dominant side.

I assume your rightie, if we put a left handed quitar in your hands could you play to the level you play now? Do you honestly beleive you could play equally well both ways given the time? I'd say no, you'd always play better one way or the other.

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


   
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