GeorgioAntonio
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Join date: Sep 2013
111 IQ
#1
Being a left handed guitar player is really frustrating. At least, for me it is. I've been playing guitar for a few years and since I am a natural born lefty I learned to play that way. I really want to play guitar for the rest of my life but the lack of lefty support is so prevalent it's hard to stay motivated to play, especially when people scorn for playing lefty.

Do you know how discouraging it is to walk into a guitar store and seeing all the mountains of guitars everywhere, and knowing you can't play a single one? But of course there is a corner of the store with a few cheap lefty guitars and maybe one fender standard. Do you know how annoying it is not being able to play your friends guitars or them not play yours?

How about when you look on the 20,000+ guitars sold online at Guitar Center or Musician's Friend only to find about 100 are lefties. And when you want a guitar, It's not like you can try it before you buy it because it's usually over the internet. The way I have to buy my guitars is by looking at the specs of the guitar and not even knowing if I'd like it until I actually got it in my hands after I already bought it.

Of course there a good companies out there, like Martin and Schecter, who make many models of Left handed guitars, and those are the brands I buy guitars from. But having to pay an extra 500-1000 dollars for a Left handed Firebird model is a blatant discrimination.

Left handed guitarists have A LOT more dedication and commitment to playing the guitar. There are a lot more things that we have to deal with and it depresses me when I have to bring my own guitar into a guitar store to try out the amps and then people look at me like I'm a freak for playing that way. I think Lefties should be highly respected in the guitarist community and something to be proud of, but of course I just get crap for it. It makes me just want to quit and relearn standard.

Anyway, sorry for that wall of text, If you actually read all of that, I thank you. What do you think about someone when you see them playing a guitar southpaw? Do you respect them more than normal guitar players? or do you not notice/ don't really care?
cha33 armstrong
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Join date: Jan 2012
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#2
Im left handed and I play left handed and you need to stop whining

There is 1 left handed person to every 9 right handed people of course their will be racks of righties and only a couple lefties
You hit 'em and they get back up
I hit 'em and they stay down
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Roc8995
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#3
Why would I respect someone more or less because of their handedness? It doesn't matter, not even a little bit. I'm surprised you've come across people who have cared, honestly. The good news is that if they thought less of you for your handedness, they're stupid and you can ignore them.

It's probably too late for you to switch now, but the epistemological thinking on lefty playing is that you should learn to play just like everyone else, i.e. not with a lefty model. There's no 'handed' preference for learning guitar, and if anything you might be a bit more proficient with fingering using your dominant hand. So really this lefty thing was a bit of a mistake that's perpetuated itself, where manufacturers make a lefty model because left handed people think that guitars are "handed" like golf clubs or scissors, when in reality it's an ambidextrous but asymmetrical piece of equipment, like a computer keyboard or motorcycle handlebar controls. There's no practical reason to make lefties use a different instrument layout; there's no such thing as a lefty piano or oboe, and there shouldn't be such a thing as a lefty saxophone or tuba or flute but they've all fallen into a similar trap. For the most part, though, "lefty" instruments are very much marginalized and frowned upon not because of the people who play them but because they represent a poor understanding of how we learn and play instruments, and an unnecessary pigeonholing of lefties. A lefty guitar is a symbol of your oppression, not your freedom

Sorry you feel left out, but I very much doubt this is an issue of disrespect so much as one of low economic impact. People who play the Bajo Sexto probably feel left out at guitar center, too, but it's about profit margins, not because people think you're defective or weird. If you're feeling brave, ditch the lefty instrument and learn to play "regularly." If you're already locked in, best of luck, and know that nobody with a brain is judging you.

Unless you stand on the wrong side of the stage and whack your headstock into things. Then you're a menace.
Fryer Mike
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#4
What Colin said.

That's like asking if I respect a guitar player more if he/she is black, or a woman or a child. It makes no difference. You should just learn to play a right handed guitar like Jimi did.

Don't be a b*tch.
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#5
Carvin offers just about all of their guitars in a left-hand version, and they do not charge extra for them. But as for your pain, I am afraid you are stuck with it. If the existence of Jimi Hendrix did not encourage manufacturers to make more left-hand guitars, then nothing will.

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Roc8995
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#6
Quote by FatalGear41
If the existence of Jimi Hendrix did not encourage manufacturers to make more left-hand guitars, then nothing will.

Are you suggesting that Hendrix inspired people to be left handed?

Fender wouldn't even make Jimi a lefty while he was alive. Just goes to show it's about the market and not the 'inspiration,' I guess.
cha33 armstrong
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Join date: Jan 2012
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#7
So what guitat did clapton buy for him just before he died
You hit 'em and they get back up
I hit 'em and they stay down
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Roc8995
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#9
Well, I learned something!
Apparently they had lefties available but Jimi just liked using an upside-down standard model. And Clapton did indeed buy him a lefty later on, but it seems like he didn't use it much.

Cool. Still not a stellar selling point for lefty instruments, though
GeorgeNugwell
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Join date: Jan 2013
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#10
Why didn't you learn to play right handed? Your left hand is going to be doing most of the intricate fingerwork that way, which would give you a slight advantage.

I mean, I'm left handed and it just seemed more natural to pick up a guitar and play it "right-handed" because all my right hand has to do is go up and down. Meanwhile the left hand is the one having to deal with all of the fast movement, differing chord shapes etc. etc.

Of course this totally backfired on me when I moved on to lean some fingerpicking, but by then I was playing for a couple years and not easily discouraged like when I first started.

Or why not re-string a righty? All you have to do is some slight modifying (and if you set up your own guitars none of these mods will be unfamiliar to do correctly).

So no, when I see someone playing lefty, I don't respect them more. I think of the extra money they paid for an instrument and how they learned guitar by swimming upstream and think to myself, "poor bastard."
Mephaphil
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#11
I ****ing hate lefties.

You and your equal rights, fair pay and transparency.

God damn lefties.
D_M_I
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#12
Obvious troll is obvious......Or, he's just an a**hole. Either way, I win.
Last edited by D_M_I at Sep 4, 2013,
dark Mass
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#13
Framus offers all their guitars in left and right hand models.
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Funk Monk
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#14
I'm a lefty, and I feel your pain bro. After a while you get used to it, and the guitar selection is just a minor setback.

But either way this thread is gonna get alot of trolls telling you to switch to right, to stop whining, etc. They don't understand really.
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dspellman
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#15
Quote by GeorgioAntonio
Being a left handed guitar player is really frustrating. Do you respect them more than normal guitar players? or do you not notice/ don't really care?


I don't really care.

I think the whining is misplaced.

With every other musical instrument your handed-ness is not an issue. You learn to play the instrument as it was designed. Trumpet, Saxophone, piano, pipe organ, drums -- all are designed with a single orientation for every player. Right handed players and left handed players alike put in the same number of hours of practice to develop their chops. Fact is, there are quite a few folks who are left-handed who play guitar right handed (Neal Schon is notable among them) and quite well. If there were no right handed guitars, I would learn to play the guitar left handed, and I would do equally well given the practice time and the development of muscle memory.

I learned to shift a car right handed and steer with my left. In GB, I have to steer with my right and shift with my left. After a day or two you don't really notice, and the same is true for GB folks who come to the US.
SaintVitus
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#16
Quote by Funk Monk
I'm a lefty, and I feel your pain bro. After a while you get used to it, and the guitar selection is just a minor setback.

But either way this thread is gonna get alot of trolls telling you to switch to right, to stop whining, etc. They don't understand really.

This.

Every time someone makes a thread like this most people just say "Learn righty ya bastard!" as if there's no "handed" preference for guitar but that's nonsense. And it's not just a feeling of "It doesn't feel right" i've seen a lot of threads here where left handed guitarists that play righty struggle with their picking hands just not being up to the task, it's not a coincidence.

I think righty players are just jealous that we're naturally better guitarists .
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D_M_I
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#17
Quote by SaintVitus
This.

Every time someone makes a thread like this most people just say "Learn righty ya bastard!" as if there's no "handed" preference for guitar but that's nonsense. And it's not just a feeling of "It doesn't feel right" i've seen a lot of threads here where left handed guitarists that play righty struggle with their picking hands just not being up to the task, it's not a coincidence.

I think righty players are just jealous that we're naturally better guitarists .


I don't see anyone saying to change hands. May have missed it, but I think the issue is the self loathing.

I bet this guy would be happy to give you some thoughts on your disability.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I474bT8i9dE


Lol, at least he can play a right handed guitar, so I guess he has that going for him...........
Last edited by D_M_I at Sep 4, 2013,
Roc8995
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#18
Quote by SaintVitus
This.

Every time someone makes a thread like this most people just say "Learn righty ya bastard!" as if there's no "handed" preference for guitar but that's nonsense. And it's not just a feeling of "It doesn't feel right" i've seen a lot of threads here where left handed guitarists that play righty struggle with their picking hands just not being up to the task, it's not a coincidence.

I think righty players are just jealous that we're naturally better guitarists .

It's not righty, though, that's what people are trying to say. There really isn't a handed preference for guitar playing, any more than there is for typing or playing piano. There's no physiological basis (that I'm aware of) to make playing guitar an "oriented" activity. None of the motions have any basis in handed muscle development. It's not like throwing a baseball where you have specific, long-evolved and ingrained tendencies where handedness provides an advantage, or like writing where the activity is so fine that hand dominance comes into play for fine motor movement. Lefties have trouble with picking because everyone has trouble with picking. There are threads by righties every day asking for help with picking. It's not because they're secretly lefties, it's because it's hard.

I'm left-handed and ambidextrous at several activities. There's definitely an element of "I learned this way" that is very strong, and sometimes one way just feels right when you're learning. The problem, though, is that you're convinced that there's a dichotomy where there isn't one. Playing guitar isn't actually a right-handed activity. You're not "playing lefty," you're playing mirrored. I shoot a bow lefty, but I learned that way. I bat switch because I learned both ways early on. Those things feel perfectly natural to me. If you can get past your initial hangup of thinking that you're "playing the wrong way" you might find that not every activity has to be left- or right-handed. Guitar is one of those. If you learn one way, you'll play that way just fine.
SaintVitus
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#19
Quote by Roc8995
It's not righty, though, that's what people are trying to say. There really isn't a handed preference for guitar playing, any more than there is for typing or playing piano. There's no physiological basis (that I'm aware of) to make playing guitar an "oriented" activity. None of the motions have any basis in handed muscle development. It's not like throwing a baseball where you have specific, long-evolved and ingrained tendencies where handedness provides an advantage, or like writing where the activity is so fine that hand dominance comes into play for fine motor movement. Lefties have trouble with picking because everyone has trouble with picking. There are threads by righties every day asking for help with picking. It's not because they're secretly lefties, it's because it's hard.

I'm left-handed and ambidextrous at several activities. There's definitely an element of "I learned this way" that is very strong, and sometimes one way just feels right when you're learning. The problem, though, is that you're convinced that there's a dichotomy where there isn't one. Playing guitar isn't actually a right-handed activity. You're not "playing lefty," you're playing mirrored. I shoot a bow lefty, but I learned that way. I bat switch because I learned both ways early on. Those things feel perfectly natural to me. If you can get past your initial hangup of thinking that you're "playing the wrong way" you might find that not every activity has to be left- or right-handed. Guitar is one of those. If you learn one way, you'll play that way just fine.

Everything you've typed seems to make sense.

I'm slightly drunk and that other post was more of a rant than anything so you should probably just ignore it.
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azrael4h
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#20
Quote by GeorgioAntonio
snip


Albert King just grabbed a right handed guitar and played it backwards. Not only did he learn to play like that, he did so without even knowing how to read.

Jimi Hendrix often strung right handed guitars backwards.

I don't see where you have a complaint. If you play left handed, then do so.
HomerSGR
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#21
I'm left handed, but I play right handed.

Started to play in school in music class in eight grade, and there was no lefties available - I learned three basic chords and since then I've never looked back. My brother is right handed, and our progress has been pretty much equal over a 6 year period.

I have since learned that my all time favourite player, Janick Gers of Iron Maiden, is left handed - as is Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits, Carlos Santana and Steve Morse of Deep Purple. They all play regular right handed guitars.

I do understand that there might be a preference in the beginning though - I've always had to work hard on my picking technique (and I've struggled with a tendency to strum and pick very hard), whereas the fretting has come natural - and thus I might have an advantage at the techniques which only involve my dominant hand - I often get complimented on my vibrato and accurate bends (which I wouldn't trade for anything).

I would like to add that I still play air guitar like a lefty. There's no way around that.
"Your signature can not be longer than 250 characters."

How you know you have too many guitars...

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Last edited by HomerSGR at Sep 4, 2013,
Roc8995
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#22
Quote by SaintVitus
Everything you've typed seems to make sense.

I'm slightly drunk and that other post was more of a rant than anything so you should probably just ignore it.

Fair enough. I'm sure it's frustrating to put up with stuff meant for right handed people and just being told to deal with it on a regular basis.

Quote by HomerSGR
I would like to add that I still play air guitar like a lefty. There's no way around that.

This is the question we really needed the answer to. Thank you.
necrosis1193
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#23
My brother is left-handed. I believe more companies should make more guitars left-handed, and that it's unfortunate that left-handed instruments often cost more.

However things like this:

Quote by GeorgioAntonio
Left handed guitarists have A LOT more dedication and commitment to playing the guitar.


Are, with all due respect, silly and dumb. I don't care if someone plays righty, lefty, or all of the above. I care about their knowledge and ability. That's what determines their dedication and commitment, not their handedness.

As far as lefty models being more expensive, that's just simple math. 10% of the world's population is left-handed. Since you're selling one lefty to every nine righties, you have to increase the price to make it make sense to keep the extra CNC machines, employees, etc. to make the mirrored models. You sell fewer, but they take the same amount of effort, time, money, resources, etc. to make. So you're spending the same amount, and getting less return on it.

This is also why there are so few in the stores; every lefty guitar you send to a store is only going to appeal to 10% of your possible customers. It doesn't make economic sense to make a ton of them.
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Roc8995
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#24
Quote by Funk Monk
To be fair, Saint was refering to left handed people trying to learn right handed guitar. This is an issue of course, because learning anything with your non-dominant hand is difficult. Have you ever played Tennis or Ping-pong with you opposite hand? For most it's much more difficult.

Did you read any of my posts? The guitar is not a right handed instrument. It has no inherent handedness. You play it with both hands, and neither has a position of enough importance or specificity that it requires dominant orientation. Lefty guitars aren't inherently left-oriented, they're just mirrored. You started with one because you thought you needed to, but if you'd have started with a "right handed" instrument I bet you'd have learned it up just as well.

It's totally false that learning anything with your dominant hand is difficult; learning dominant-sensitive activities is, but there are a lot of things that aren't dominant-sensitive. Painting, definitely. Driving a car, not to any meaningful degree. Chess, definitely not.

My entire point is that guitar is not like tennis or ping pong, so it is silly to compare them that way. It is like piano, or typing at a keyboard. Those things do not have a handed dominance, so there is no reason to call it a right-handed guitar any more than you'd call a piano a right-handed piano. It's just a piano, it's just a guitar, "lefty" is a poor convention that doesn't reflect reality.
deathroman13
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#26
I am left handed as well but I started playing on a right handed guitar and now I couldn't even play on a left handed guitar.

Now it feels natural for me to play right handed and I see it as an advantage that my fret hand is my dominant hand.

It doesn't really matter if You are right of left handed, You can learn to play both ways and your problems Will be solved.
Nico the Great
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#27
Quote by deadsmileyface
Tony Iommi, my hero, is a lefty. Hendrix was also a lefty and so was Cobain.

And 2/3 of these people are dead.

Nah but, really, I'm right handed. Nobody is judging you based on your handedness, OP.
jjfeu662
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#28
I'm a lefty but learned righty. I have never had any of these problems.
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deadsmileyface
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#29
Quote by Nico the Great
And 2/3 of these people are dead.

Nah but, really, I'm right handed. Nobody is judging you based on your handedness, OP.



good point.
xxdarrenxx
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#30
All the right hand drummers can't play in time with their left hand.

Most piano players are probably right handed, yet the dominant rhythm is played always by the left hand, and piano players since 1600 seem to be doing fine.

So by the logic of one of the oldest instruments (piano) rhythm should be dictated by left! So it would makes more sense to play right handed anyway.


A sax or flute players picks notes with both hands, you don't notice that half of a melody sounds out of place, because the valves of said notes are pressed with the left hand.

The ONLY thing important on guitar, is that the picking hand is dominant and the fretting hand should follow that.

That being said it might be to late to shift, but you could try.

Why do people say to switch or other seemingly negative replies? Well what else is there to say...?

"oh I feel your pain"
"oh that sucks for you"
"at least there are some lefthanded companies "

This is typical self fulfilling prophecy, and you get it if you act butthurt.

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Sep 7, 2013,
voncameron
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#31
I'm a lefty, and I play lefty. I saw Cobain and hendrix do it, and I thought it would be better if I did it that way *shrug* Sure, the selection is slim, but you can play a right handed guitar and get the general feel, even upside down, plus when you do find a lefty that you enjoy, it's really really special. Also, I kind of like being different. Being left-handed, and dominantly so, factors into everyday life, and idk, it's pretty dumb, but I like the fact that I can show off that I'm different in a big way. Plus no one messes with my guitars.

Also I don't feel in anyway superior for being a left-handed guitar player. Left-handed in general? Well, yea, but certainly not in the context of a guitar player. Thats just absurd.
MaggaraMarine
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#32
Just buy a right handed guitar and turn it upside down and restring it (and you may need to do something to the nut) like Hendrix did. Problem solved. Maybe buy a "symmetrical" shaped guitar like Flying V, SG or PRS and it won't even look weird (also, a reverse-Strat is a Mosrite).

And who cares if you are left or right handed? The only thing that matters is whether you can play the guitar or not.
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monwobobbo
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#33
Quote by Roc8995
Are you suggesting that Hendrix inspired people to be left handed?

Fender wouldn't even make Jimi a lefty while he was alive. Just goes to show it's about the market and not the 'inspiration,' I guess.


that is incorrect. jimi felt for some reason that leftie guitar would be inferior in quality. he did get a leftie V from Gibson. you could special order a leftie strat from fender at the time.