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  1. #1
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    Default Another Lefty looking for advice...

    Hey Everyone,

    So I am a lefty. I have been playing for only about 2 months using a borrowed guitar and been playing righty. I am good at making chords and changing chords and fretting (all the stuff with my left hand) However, I feel my picking and strumming is very weak (right hand stuff). Now I want to get a guitar of my own, and I am having second thoughts about a righty guitar, mostly because I feel that using my left hand to pick would be much more efficient for me. I don't want to spend money on a guitar that will turn out being wrong handed. So...lefties out there...any advice???

  2. #2
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    Here is a thought. Do a Hendrix. Just string the guitar backwards to create your own lefty guitar with the one you have.

  3. #3
    Premium Member chordbasher's Avatar
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    Doing a Jimi is a good idea, though you'll probably have to have a new nut made. It would be a good way to see if it's really what works for you without a lot of money spent.

    I'm left-handed as well. When I started shopping for a guitar and looked at how little choice there was available in both instruments and teaching materials for us-types, I chose to go right-handed. I was also advised by a trusted friend and player that unless I am so dominantly left-handed that holding a right-hand guitar 'just feels wrong,' going right-handed was not really an issue since neither hand had any particular aptitude for fretboard work vs. picking/strumming.

  4. #4
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    I am not a lefty, but my children are left-handed. It's a personal choice and depends on your degree of left-handedness. This has been discussed numerous times on http://acousticguitarforum.com. There are lefties who learned to play right-handed who defend their choice, saying it makes it much easier to buy guitars, or that both hands need to be skilled. Then there are lefties who say they either tried learning right-handed and failed, or can't imagine doing so. There have also been a couple of folks who played right-handed for a few years, finally switched, and felt relieved.

    Just stringing an acoustic guitar backwards will not work well, because the intonation will be off (notice that the saddle is slanted), and the nut slots will be the wrong width. It's possible to fill the saddle slot and cut a new one, and replace the nut.

    My opinion is that it's whichever feels more comfortable to you. Do not be talked into one or the other. Though it's true the supply of left-handed guitars is more limited, I see a reasonable assortment at GC, and there are several specialized dealers who sell mostly or exclusively left-handed instruments.

  5. #5
    Premium Member chordbasher's Avatar
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    Yup, good point on the intonation. I was thinking electric.

  6. #6
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    Thank you first for everyone's insight into this! I really feel that I am "overthinking" the whole thing, and don't want to get to a point where I can't progress further because "I should have learned the other way"

    Update:
    I have got my hands on a lefty guitar and tried messing around on it a little. And it feels...wierd. I really didn't feel like I was gaining any advantage to using the left handed guitar. Of course, I have only been using a lefty guitar for a few days, and a righty for months. The other thing I keep thinking of is that I am pretty much a dominant lefty (all sports, writing, etc with my left, I couldn't imagine writing or throwing a ball with my right hand), which is why I keep having so much trouble accepting the idea of me being a right handed guitar player. Everything I read, know about myself says I should be a lefty, but righty just feels better for me.

    Go figure.

    Thanks for letting me ramble on...guess that is what forums are made for

  7. #7
    Premium Member crosstour's Avatar
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    I agree with what Chordbasher said, if playing right handed feels better to you, go with that. "Handedness" means one hand and arm is stronger and possibly more coordinated. But "handedness" doesn't mean that hand will be better or worse at strumming vs. fretting, which are activities you have to spend a lot of time learning. If playing righty feels better to you, that's what counts.

    I'm a mixed bag myself. I write with my left hand and do everything else, including guitar, right-handed. Freaky, but I have discovered there are others like me. If you identify with being left handed, then remind yourself that you're fretting with your left hand, which often is more complex than strumming. Or consider that calling a guitar "right handed" may make about as much sense as calling a piano or a saxophone right-handed, and don't let a misnomer mess up your playing.
    Last edited by crosstour; 02-12-2015 at 11:52 AM.

  8. #8
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    I believe my advice may be right up your alley so hear me out for a sec.
    I am 100%right handed and i played right handed for 6 years and i have been playing left handed for a year and 4 months now. I must of fell asleep one night sleeping on my left hand and i woke up to notice that my left hand was gone dead. My hand itself didnt take long coming back to normal but i lost sensation in my index finger for about a year and every time i tried playing guitar it would feel like someone took a match and dabbed it on my finger. I couldnt help but lose that burning sensation in my finger and playing on right handed guitars only made it worst so i had to stop playing right handed for a nice while. I am always buying guitars and i already had a green les paul style raven west guitar. Those rwgs aint a big name brand but they are really good(i swapped the pickups for seymor duncans cause their stock pick ups bad)I remember buying it off ebay because it was over 200 dollars off and it was real nice looking and it was usa made so it saved me money from custom charges because of the north american free trade agreement. The problem was they only came in left handed models so i bought it with the thought of restringing it right handed but i never did work up the nerve to restring it jimi hendrix style.
    Soon after my injury thats when i started playing my RWG and so i cancelled the restringing plan i had in mind for it. After 2 months of playing i started to improve alot. I could play lots of metallica, megadeth and gnr(very sloppy of course) and after a year i was playing stuff pretty clean with fewer mistakes and now i am equally skilled playing right and left handed. The main thing i prefer about playing on lefties is that vibrato comes a lot easier because of my extra right arm strength and it is a really nice feeling and you can kinda just put your full arm into the bend.
    To sum it up my final advice for left handers would be for left handers to play left handed if they want to play really fast riffs(My idea of fast riffs are bands like SLAYER) and to play right handed if you want to play something a little bit more slower paced(my idea of slow paced is GNR, VAN HALEN, ACDC for example). You will get good and develop the needed strength no matter which way you play as long as you punch in the practice. There are trade offs for both and the positives and negatives of either way should balance out.
    I hope this helps. Feel free to message me

 

 

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