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Are we playing wrong-sided guitars?

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

  1. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Friend of Leo's

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    When you play music both hands are in action and must synchronize perfectly, so I guess left handed and right handed is quite irrelevant here.

    When I started to play it felt so unnatural for both hands that I’m sure I could have learnt the other way around without it being different in the end.
    I know it’s a controversial statement, but to me lefty guitars are really just a marketing thing.
     
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  2. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    I have seen a few "left handed" violinists, but don't know if they re-string their instruments, or just play a standard violin "differently". And no.....you will never see a classical or symphonic violinist play "left-handed". That would be like driving down the wrong side of the freeway at rush hour. Classical (traditional) musicians nearly always learn "correctly", by trained teachers. "Left-handed players are nearly ALWAYS self taught, and don't know better. ;););)
    No offense, southpaws!
     
  3. IanMoss

    IanMoss Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    Interesting idea, and my first thought was to search for sporting analogies - namely Baseball and Cricket.

    Right Handed Baseball Players More Successful When Batting Left Handed
    https://neurosciencenews.com/baseball-handedness-7841/

    Hand and Eye Dominance in Sport: Are Cricket Batters Taught to Bat Back-to-Front?

    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40279-016-0516-y

    There might be something in this.

    You mean like how Jimi Hendrix wrote right handed?
     
  4. loopfinding

    loopfinding Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah exactly. The entirety of playing an instrument is teaching your brain to do stuff with your muscles that is totally unnatural.

    I have studied drums a bit. I learned them right handed. But I learned to tap out rhythms before that, and maybe as a result of emphasizing 2 and 4 in the strumming hand on guitar, always used to tap out drum stuff using my left hand for the hats and right for snare.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
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  5. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    It's all in your head, anyway. Teaching your fingers to do stuff that they've never done before, as mentioned above.

    If a person were to make some kind of wish, I'd would've waited in line for an extra finger, yes?

    veinte quatro guitar player genesw.png
     
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  6. TheDavis

    TheDavis Tele-Meister

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    I also am a left handed guy who plays guitar right handed. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately but I had come up with the opposite conclusion. I play drums left handed and I drive my rhythm from my left hand so I feel this has led to a constant inferior coordination of my right hand and sloppy rhythm. I have been working on a lot of focus and right hand techniques to make up but I feel it’s been a huge drag on my playing.
     
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  7. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm predominantly left handed, but learned to play right handed, because at the time at school, there was no lefty guitars, or even basses.

    So, rather than the guitar teacher restringing a guitar for me, he made me literally get me to focus on playing right handed, it took a little while to adjust at the time, but now I don't even think about it, in fact it would probably feel wrong playing another way.
     
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  8. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    What about a saxophone? Or piano?
     
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  9. this_grackle

    this_grackle TDPRI Member

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    I’m a lefty who plays “right handed” and I don’t notice any benefit whatsoever. I would almost always recommend people learn as righty just for choice of guitars alone...
     
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  10. loopfinding

    loopfinding Friend of Leo's

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    if it makes you feel better, I’m righty and my right hand has always been the weaker and less coordinated of the two. picking is just a weird motion and difficult to get a more blunt motion like that accurate. fretting is a more subtle motion and similar to other things we do (like typing).
     
  11. Edgar Allan Presley

    Edgar Allan Presley Friend of Leo's

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    I've had a couple of guitar students who were lefties playing right and I think it did require more work to "switch hit" like that.
     
  12. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I think a lot of folks think all the money is in the fretting hand, and it just ain't so.
     
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  13. buster poser

    buster poser Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    Yup. There's so much going on with both hands that if I re-learned now, I think it'd just be me switching sides and finding out later there's no benefit conferred.

    Someone probably mentioned, but for his lesson series, Justin of JustinGuitar.com learned to play left handed to re-gain a "beginner's perspective."
     
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  14. Pualee

    Pualee Tele-Holic

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    The same question exists in boxing. Should your dominant side be your lead side (jab gets more work) rather than your power side?

    It is really all in what you are used to. I'll just say neither guitar playing nor boxing are things that we are naturally good at. Both require training various movements for hundreds of hours to create to new reflexive responses. I see no long term benefit of one or the other, but I do see frustration in changing.

    ------

    Watching my left handed kid. I thought he was ambidextrous for the first years of his life. I always served him on his right side (habit). So he would color with his right hand in broad strokes, but anything precise he did lefty. Turns out he is left handed.

    So by that example, I think the dominant side (untrained) is better for precise motions. Is that the fretting side or the picking side? You decide :)
     
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  15. Tele-friend

    Tele-friend Tele-Meister

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    In school they taught us, there are always exceptions to the rule.
    Kurt Cobain also wrote with right and played left-handed.
     
  16. ahiddentableau

    ahiddentableau Tele-Meister

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    I think there's so much going on and the movements are so foreign from what we deal with in our everyday experiences that it probably doesn't matter all that much. At least not for most people. I think I could have learned to play either way. Certain skills might have been a bit easier or harder, but in the long run I'm skeptical it would have made a major difference.
     
  17. GoldDeluxe5E3

    GoldDeluxe5E3 Tele-Afflicted

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    Some of the best, most unique sounding players are right handers who play left handed. Take Eric Gales, for instance. He is right handed, but right-handers playing left handed runs in his family. So, he grew up learning to play a right-handed guitar upside down; left handed. Start at 2:10 if you want to hear Eric explain how this happened:
     
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  18. Stanford Guitar

    Stanford Guitar Tele-Afflicted

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    Is this a left or right handed guitar smash?

    57681_0_wide_ver1493974924.png
     
  19. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    @Tele-friend , I used to think the way you do. Learning finger style, I found left (fretting) hand work less challenging. I hold down chords and solo off them. I need much more precision from my picking hand. Strumming, the left hand does the heavier lifting. Finger picking, I need precise control of which strings I pick whether playing folk, single note solos, playing double and triple stops, or even just using my thumb for jazz and blues. I sometimes use my thumb for upstrokes hitting only selected strings. A thumb upstroke gives a very different timbre from a thumb strum. Even strumming requires control. As there are differences in timbre between thumb up and downstrokes, there are differences between them and finger pad upstrokes and fingernail downstrokes.

    Classical string instrument players hold down strings with their left hand and bow or pluck with their right whether their dominant hand is left or right. It’s possible to learn either way but I believe technically sophisticated guitar work is easier to master with the dominant hand doing the picking.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
  20. Phrygian77

    Phrygian77 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I think everything's already been said, but just thinking about a left handed piano ... backwards, notes going up to the left ... man that would be weird!
     
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