#1
I am a singer by trade, and i am sick of trying to deal with flakey l.a. guitarists, so i decided i wanted to learn how to play myself.

my issue is as follows:
i was born with a slight case of cerbral palsy and have little to no fine motor skills in the left side of my body. wiht this in mind, i bought a cheap lefty guitar to try to learn how to play (my theory was that i could form chords better with with my right hand, and strumming would be simple with my left).

Nothing much came of this for about 6 months and my guitar just sat in the corner of my room. I decided it is now vital for me to learn so i have since picked up my guitar again. I've run into some problems though.

i have a lot of trouble sitting down and playing cuz my left hand/wrist has trouble bending to make an easy strum. i'm having trouble getting my left hand to cooperate in tandem with my right (lining up with string i'm picking to which string i have my fret finger on, for example, though this could just be an issue for any beginner). The other issue is muting. since my hand is at an awkward position i'm not sure i can palm-mute correctly or sufficiently.

so my question to you advanced guitarists is this. should i take the time to REALLY strengthen my left hand and play righty (because i can strum very well with my right hand, do any finger picking and palm-muting) or continue trying to learn lefty, where i can fret with the better hand and just train my left to alternate pick/down pick without missing the strings/dropping the pick and simple **** like that.

See i can use my hand normally, to type, to grab things, whatever. But it's the little stuff like that that causes me problems.

i could really use some feedback...and any strengthening techniques you might be privy to that could really help me out.

thanks in advance!
#2
no way im reading all that......

ok i will

i would continue what your doing because eventually you hand should become strong enough
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#5
Quote by InvaderTSN
I'd say play righty.

got an explanation
or good some excercizes?
i may not be a smart man, but i know what ROCK IS!!!!
#6
most of the problems your having are starter problems
the whole hitting wrong string and so on
besides that i dont have a massive amount of advice
its great to see that your determined and thats all you really need
as long as you stay determined and stick at it you'll overcome your problems
everything takes time
good luck man!
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#7
I reakon you should fret with your left, it would be good to start developing thoses skills in your left hand as it could help you gain more control with it for other tasks. And also if your a natural right hand player, stick with it, if thats how your body wants to play go with it.
#9
honestly, practice... but, you might just have to accept your lot in life and go to your strong points (i don't mean to be harsh, but someone had to say it)
#10
Quote by InvaderTSN
Well, since your right hand can already do stuff like palm mute and strum and stuff, I think it'd be easier to learn to fret. There's a lot less work involved, imo.

okay. cool. thanks man, i appreciate it
i may not be a smart man, but i know what ROCK IS!!!!
#11
Quote by Travlembo
honestly, practice... but, you might just have to accept your lot in life and go to your strong points (i don't mean to be harsh, but someone had to say it)

you're just saying that cuz i'm black...err...handicapped
i may not be a smart man, but i know what ROCK IS!!!!
#12
Right handed players use their strong hand to pick, and their weak hand to fret.

You should probably try the same.
It's Only Rock and Roll, But I like It
#13
Quote by slidething31
Right handed players use their strong hand to pick, and their weak hand to fret.

You should probably try the same.

hmmm that's true. i never thought about it that way.
i may not be a smart man, but i know what ROCK IS!!!!
#15
I got a buddy who has the same thing. Except his is quite noticeable (gimped arms and legs) but he still manages to play guitar, bass, drums and all sorts of stuff amazingly. I asked him how and he just plainly said he practiced alot until it became something simple and natural feeling.
#16
Solution: find not-so-flakey guitarist who you can work with. Problem Solved!

Just kidding. You dont have to play guitar like everybody else(i.e. palm mutes and alternate picking) you can, eventually, develop your own style without using any of these fancy techniques. Toni Iommi (sp? somebody will correct it) got the tipps of his fretting fingers sliced off before he started Black Sabbath. Because he couln't fret whole cords well, he detuned his guitar and played a bunch of power chords and - VUWALA! - metal was born.
#17
Right handed players use their strong hand to pick, and their weak hand to fret.

Yeah most guitar players use there weaker hands for fretting. You should definaitly play that way. Something you may find interesting is that Joni Mitchell had polio as a child and it weakened her left hand, so your not alone.
Last edited by Rhythm__Guitar at Dec 15, 2008,
#18
I'd say continue along your current path. Like FuZzY said, most of those pick-hand issues seem to be beginner problems, from what I can see. Then again, slidething presents a very good point.

Ah heck, here are some points to consider that no one has mentioned yet:

It all depends on what you're going for here. If you want just some standard open/barre chord shapes (most things), your left hand should do fine. However, if your left hand has issues getting into the correct strumming position, some of the trickier chord shapes might also be an issue down the road (e.g. in jazz).

However, like razorback said, fretting with your left hand might help to strengthen your left-hand motor skills, which could help with other areas of life.

If you choose to stay left hand strumming, and you just can't seem to get muting down (i.e. it is a motor skills issue, and not a "beginner" issue), fret-hand muting skills can work just as well (and even better) than pick-hand muting, given enough practice.

All in all, your choice. I wish you luck in your endeavour and your musical career.
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#19
strumming is much more complicated than fretting actually. also, i find which hand is going to be more active depends on what genre you play generally. hard rock and metal tend to focus more on the fretboard movement whereas genres like folk tend to be more geared towards complex picking techniques, so it's good to keep that in mind when choosing which to do with your strong hand.
#20
here's some advice to help you with both right hand and left playing.
if you want to play right handed, but your motor skills arent up to par yet to make chord shapes, or any kind of playing on the fretboard, a great tool is practicing scales. this will help build strength and dexterity in your left hand, along with teaching you more about the fretboard.

if you decide to play left handed, a tool to help your right hand (picking hand) is practicing alternate picking. as far as your right hand goes while playing lefty, you'll just have to practice. everything must be bulit from the ground up.


you can find some really good scales and chords to practice at all-guitar-chords.com.
as far as an exact website for alternate picking help. idk. just google it i guess. they're is lots of different techniques to help ur picking hand.
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#21
To thrall
I don't think Iommi has sp,but yes he did lose his finger tips,so he made plastic tips for himself.
As for T.S I'd say go righty,cos your probably going to need the strength of the right for strumming.
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Originally posted by Gunpowder:
Everyone just jumps on the bandwagon and gives the same advice in these situations. You know what? I'm going to be different. Call the firemen.
#22
thanks everyone for your help. time to go buy some **** pawned guitar to learn on!
i may not be a smart man, but i know what ROCK IS!!!!