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Are we playing wrong-sided guitars?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Tele-friend, Mar 1, 2021.

  1. Tele-friend

    Tele-friend Tele-Meister

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    I have been thinking. We obviously all have our dominant hand which has more precise performance (hand we use for writing). Wouldn't it therefore make sense that you hold the neck/fretboard with your dominant hand (hand and fingers need to be really precise) and hold the pick with non-dominant hand?

    Would love to hear your thoughts about this.

    P.s. I am left-handed and play right-handed guitars like right-handed people do.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
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  2. nickmsmith

    nickmsmith Tele-Meister

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    it's a good point, but I think precision and rhythm keeping with the picking hand is just as important, if not moreso.

    And it goes back for hundreds and hundreds of years this way.
     
  3. Suproman

    Suproman Tele-Holic

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    I've read some interviews with left handed players that play right handed guitars where they mention that having the dominant hand on the fretboard is an advantage.
     
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  4. paulblackford

    paulblackford Tele-Holic

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    Well, it could be that the right side of the brain ( your creative side) controls the left side of the body. Your left hand may require more inventive thought? Don't know.
     
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  5. Tele-friend

    Tele-friend Tele-Meister

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    See that is my point. I am left-handed and play right-handed guitar the usual way like right-handed people do. So I use my dominant hand on neck.

    I am still struggling to be a guitar rock hero though...:cool:
     
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  6. naveed211

    naveed211 Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah, when I started playing early on I always wondered why it wasn’t that way (dominant hand on the board). Still seems like it’d make sense that way.

    My picking hand sucks anyway, I play a lot of legato.
     
  7. NorthenLights

    NorthenLights Tele-Meister

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    I know of a couple of lefties that fret the guitar with their left hand, claiming that it is what feels most logical to them. Mathias Eklund of Freak Kitchen is one of them.

    I think it would have been helpful to begin fretting with the right hand. One of the things that mess up playing the piano for me is that I'm used to express melody with my left hand, and rythm/groove with my right. On the piano it's the opposite, and I never seem to adapt to it.
     
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  8. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've thought it before too. My left hand is almost non-functional and I use it for all my fretting. Always wondered what it would have been like if I'd gone with a lefty.

    It's got to have an impact on a lot of us. I had an ambidextrous teacher in the '80s and he was phenomenal.
     
  9. sax4blues

    sax4blues Friend of Leo's

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    Where does Doyle Bramhall fit in this equation? Plays RH guitar upside down, low E on bottom.
     
  10. Bedder18

    Bedder18 Tele-Meister

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    Maybe it depends ? I play a very rhythmic style. I’m not a guy who rips up and down the board to extract every last possible note but I AM really into palm muting, finger style, and a more percussive approach to the guitar. So for me, I’m using the dominant hand appropriately.
     
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  11. idjster

    idjster VERY grateful member Silver Supporter

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    OK. Now that is something I haven't given any thought to. Cogitating on it, and trying some very basic chord formations without a lefty guitar, this may just be something to look into. Mind you, lefty guitars are rarely seen in the shops so I won't be giving up my playing right. This is why I come to TDPRI, people have really good things to say to make a person think!
     
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  12. Edgar Allan Presley

    Edgar Allan Presley Friend of Leo's

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    Violinists say the notes are in the left hand, but the music is in the right. I think it's true of guitar too. Good right hand technique is hard and it separates the greats from the crowd.
     
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  13. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    Good thought. However, picking may require more tiny finite movements than fingering (you have a 1/2 to 1" target fretting)... ?
     
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  14. Gardo

    Gardo Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Also, I’ve never seen a left hand violin. Is there a difference musically between right and left handed violinists
     
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  15. Tele-friend

    Tele-friend Tele-Meister

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    Interestingly I was just reading this on Wikipedia:
    "A study of musicians in professional orchestras found a significantly greater proportion of talented left-handers, even among those who played instruments that seem designed for right-handers, such as violins. Similarly, studies of adolescents who took tests to assess mathematical giftedness found many more left-handers in the population."

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handedness
     
  16. loopfinding

    loopfinding Tele-Afflicted

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    I don’t think it makes much of a difference. For every person who says “the coordination involved for the strumming hand and timing is just more natural to me” there’s someone who goes “my left handed ness makes fingering easier.” There are no “goofy” style orchestra players, or pianists, and most of them are more technically proficient than the average guitarist. Learning an instrument is always awkward. It’s just a fussiness thing, and a choice that is made too early to really have a sense for how you hold an instrument. And being a righty, as a result of developing left hand dexterity with guitar, there’s lots of dexterity things outside of guitar that now just come more naturally to me with my left hand.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
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  17. TigerG

    TigerG Tele-Afflicted

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    No
     
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  18. Edgar Allan Presley

    Edgar Allan Presley Friend of Leo's

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    In a classical orchestra, all violinists play right-handed whether or not they're actually right handed. That's because it would look so wrong to have one person bowing backwards and poking his or her neighbor in the eye. I think there have been a handful of great classical violinists who play left handed. Some fiddlers have strung their fiddles left handed and played that way.
     
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  19. maxvintage

    maxvintage Poster Extraordinaire

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    When I first picked up a guitar my instinct was to play it left handed, even though I'm right-dominant for about everything else. I was told I had it wrong, and in retrospect I'm glad, just because its easier to find right handed guitars.

    If I were teaching kids starting out I'd give the lefty's a choice to play righty, but not force them. In the end you really have to use both hands about equally
     
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  20. Gardo

    Gardo Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I’m really wondering if it makes a difference using one’s dominant hand to finger notes
     
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