#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.

I've had a few people saying to switch it around, play righty, that it will help bulid the strength in my hand...some people said that for the hard rock/punky/garage rocky stuff i might want to play lefty cuz fretting is more important...opinions?

thanks in advance!
i may not be a smart man, but i know what ROCK IS!!!!
#2
Listen to what Dave Mustaine of Megadeth said about how he recovered from saturday night palsy and try some of those muscle exercises. That might help so you can get your picking hand at the right angle.
#3
I reckon you should just keep going how you are, and do some hand excercises, I mean, anything's possible if you really put your mind to it. All I can really say is best of luck man.
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#4
Quote by Silas S Thompso
Listen to what Dave Mustaine of Megadeth said about how he recovered from saturday night palsy and try some of those muscle exercises. That might help so you can get your picking hand at the right angle.

do you have a link or something that i could look at?
i may not be a smart man, but i know what ROCK IS!!!!
#5
Ah... this is gonna be tough, but in all honesty i say you try and learn a little both ways and try to see in what position u feel more comfortable and stick to that. There's advantages/disadvantages to both sides for you so i say u stick to whatever feels more comfortable and works for you.
Originally Posted by evening_crow
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#6
Quote by evening_crow
Ah... this is gonna be tough, but in all honesty i say you try and learn a little both ways and try to see in what position u feel more comfortable and stick to that. There's advantages/disadvantages to both sides for you so i say u stick to whatever feels more comfortable and works for you.

i thought about that. i already have a lefty so i may just hop over to one of the pawn shops along the blvd and buy some crappy 40 dollar knockoff right. just to jerk around with.
i may not be a smart man, but i know what ROCK IS!!!!
#8
I could've sworn I saw this exact thread like a few hours ago... Am I getting massive deja-vu here?
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#9
One you have learnt them chords etc and practised them they go beyond fine motor control, your muscle memory kicks in. So I think if you stick to it on a righty it might be hard at first but once you get it down it will be like walking...

Good luck and stick to it
#10
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#11
man..it sucks to be you...you actually WANT to learn!
i feel for you.
but yea anyway..
i had a bike crash about a year back now and smashed my wrist into like 20 bits..
i didnt play guitar for about 5 months..even now it gives me so much hassle..what i do is i literally have to warm up..real slow..
like i think i do 0-1-2-3-4-0-4-5-6-7- etc etc on each string like slow to get my up and down back up to speed.
it sucks, and i cant go mental with it anymore, but just keep going at it my friend!
=BROLY - HIS POWER IS MAXIMUM=
#12
Quote by fairycake92
man..it sucks to be you...you actually WANT to learn!
i feel for you.
but yea anyway..
i had a bike crash about a year back now and smashed my wrist into like 20 bits..
i didnt play guitar for about 5 months..even now it gives me so much hassle..what i do is i literally have to warm up..real slow..
like i think i do 0-1-2-3-4-0-4-5-6-7- etc etc on each string like slow to get my up and down back up to speed.
it sucks, and i cant go mental with it anymore, but just keep going at it my friend!

wow, i'm terribly sorry to hear that. I had a babysitter growing up whose husband was a jazz drummer. he became a local hero by stopping a robbery, by punching the robber in the face. he broke his wrist and it never healed right. there went his career...

but anyway, i've been trying to do chromatic scales with alternate picking. if i play lefty, my left hand can't alternate pick too well, if i play righty my left hand cant fret it too well.

but i'll keep workin' at it. thanks for your support!
i may not be a smart man, but i know what ROCK IS!!!!
#13
I'm not really sure which way round you would be better off - try asking your doctor, or physiotherapist if you have one. They'll probably know better than any of us to be honest!

But - DON'T GIVE UP!

I'm currently learning to play as a lefty as I injured my left hand some years ago.
I've only just picked up the guitar after 10 years, and got myself a cheap lefty to practise on at the beginning of November, and I'm already noticing improvements.
I've just been practising picking and fingering techniques for now, but the sense of achievement is quite something when you overcome personal barriers.

Good luck with it whichever way you try to learn, but personally, I'd ask a professional's advice as to which way you would be better off playing.
It'd probably also be good for you to, learning to attain good motor skills in your hands.
Right handed guitarist trying to learn to play lefty after a ten year break, and a severe left-hand injury!

Wish me luck ;-)
#14
I'm not sure what type of advice to give to you other than to not give up! Even if it's really discouraging, you WILL get better.

I did a quick google search, and found this forum: http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=1296735&sid=efedff5b14b16570632933db4d117c85

The first poster has cerebal palsy, so you might consider joining that forum and talking to him/her about it.


Good luck
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#15
Wow good for you ! Best advice i read so far was not to give up it will come with patience and lots of practice! i also warm up like someone else suggested slowly playing one string at a time going 1234567...ect play it on every string for wards and backwards i keep track of the fret im on in my head! And slowley increase your tempo but keep the notes clean and eventually youll be doing it at blazing speeds! After about a year you will be impressed at how fast you can go! Then after you warm up like this you will be more limber and warmed up! Good luck and keep us posted on your progress!
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#17
Im having kind of the same problem. My left hand was crushed last year, and i have almost no bend to my index finger, and the rest are pretty good. Its hard, but im trying. Any suggestions for me?