#1
OK...I don't have the money right now to go out and get a left-handed guitar, and I've heard that changing over a right-handed guitar to lefty (reversing & filing nut and bridge) can mess with the intonation of the sound....so my question is:

Is there anything I can do, or any tips on playing a right-handed guitar left-handed (flipping over the guitar, high E at top)? I'm having problems with chords and scale progressions. Any tips or lessons would be great. Thanks.
#2
Just learn to play it right handed. I'm left handed and learned how to play right handed, in fact it felt more natural to me than playing left handed.
#4
I'd suggest doing what Hendrix did, and switch around the nut and adjust the saddles so that the low E is at the top, like a left-handed guitar. It'll make everything a hell of a lot easier.


Quote by TatarSalad2
Just learn to play it right handed. I'm left handed and learned how to play right handed, in fact it felt more natural to me than playing left handed.
Or this. If you're just starting, just save yourself the hassle, and learn right handed. It really doesn't make a difference, in my opinion, when you just start.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
Last edited by food1010 at Aug 16, 2009,
#5
im right, handed......when i started i felt more comfertable playing left....but once u get used to it it doesnt matter


or you could go MAB on our asses
Quote by Valid12891
I wish I had an extra sensitive third nipple, and a girl who was into that sort of thing.

Quote by _Ixnay_
In Russia, Winter Cold + Vodka + Big-Chested Women = No problem.


Book of shadows 2?
O_o
#6
just flip the nut, im left handed and have 5 or six flipped guitars with no intonation problems. then just keep an eye out for lefty guitars when you have the money.
#7
Quote by TatarSalad2
I'm left handed and learned how to play right handed, in fact it felt more natural to me than playing left handed.

same here
#8
If you want to try playing upside-down, with the high E on top, check to see if Doyle Bramhall II has any lessons or anything. I know he plays like that.
#9
Quote by TatarSalad2
Just learn to play it right handed.


I hate when people give this advice. It's just flat out wrong. In his case it may have been the right thing to do, since as he said it felt more natural. But most left handed people aren't going to find playing right handed more natural.

Play air guitar. If you do it left handed, you need to play left handed, if you do it right handed, you need to play right handed. Forcing yourself to learn backwards will slow your progress dramatically.

Anyway. if you can't afford a left handed guitar, just do what everyone else has said. Flip the nut and play like Hendrix did. And uh. save up for a left handed guitar, there are tons out there (and my profile pic should be proof of that)
#10
Quote by icronic
I hate when people give this advice. It's just flat out wrong. In his case it may have been the right thing to do, since as he said it felt more natural. But most left handed people aren't going to find playing right handed more natural.

Wrong!

When you begin playing the guitar, you will take on whichever you play. I am a left hander who learnt to play the guitar right handed. Since you use both hands equally playing the guitar, the kind of isn't a dominant hand. Therefore, by learning right handed you have: much more choice picking guitars, you can play anybody elses guitar, and the guitars tend to be cheaper than their left handed counter parts.

Also, chord changes are easier to get to grips with as your main hand is fretting.

It may feel weird, but after a week or two, you'll have forgotten.
#11
Icronic is right.

Don't try to learn to play right handed, you will never reach your full potential.
#12
I'm left handed, but I really don't see things so black and white. Some people might play tennis left handed while they write with their right hand. There's no golden rule, it's more about how it's comfortable to play.

Personally I play right handed guitars while being left handed at everything else (except back in the days when skateboarding, I was right fooded as well), and I have never ever thought about if I should change to left handed guitars. Sometimes people are ambivalent in different regards. I guess I'm one of those too.

But but but... there are different negative sides when choosing to be a lefty. For instance you can't just pick up a guitar at your friend's house, because he's probably not a lefty, just to mention one of them. But of course that's your own choice.

A comment to buckzilla's post: I really don't think that many people reach their full potential ever. From that theory I would be limited, but that's irrelevant. You really need to practice forever to reach your full potential anyway, which I wouldn't have reached even if I had become a lefty... so I'd say that's quite pointless.
#13
Quote by supergerbil
Wrong!

When you begin playing the guitar, you will take on whichever you play. I am a left hander who learnt to play the guitar right handed. Since you use both hands equally playing the guitar, the kind of isn't a dominant hand. Therefore, by learning right handed you have: much more choice picking guitars, you can play anybody elses guitar, and the guitars tend to be cheaper than their left handed counter parts.

Also, chord changes are easier to get to grips with as your main hand is fretting.

It may feel weird, but after a week or two, you'll have forgotten.



*sigh*

Again, comes the air guitar example. Your body naturally knows which way is right and which way is wrong before you you ever pick up a guitar. To do the opposite is to go against what your brain and body want to do. Let's face it, being born left handed in a world that is right handed is a handicap. If it were logical to go against that, then we'd simply force all left handed children to do everything right handed until they became used to it. They WOULD become used to it, but they'd never have good penmanship, they'd never be able to drawn all that well, they'd never have much power or accuracy when they throw things and so on.

As for guitar. You use both hands equally, but you use them in different ways, and that's what makes the difference. I'm not going to go off on a tangent and explain how our brains work the way they do, so take my word for it when I say that our dominant side is far FAR better at keeping rhythm. Which is why, generally speaking right handed people tap their right foot to music, and left handed tap their left. All this means that you want the dominant side holding the pick.

Now, you might be able to learn chords a little faster on your dominant hand, but you need to realize that everything your fretting hand does is based ENTIRELY on muscle memory. Speed, accuracy, chord changes, all of it. So it's something that both hands would be equally good at.

The ONLY advantage of playing the wrong way is your choice in guitars, and honestly I haven't found it the least bit difficult to find guitars. At most they cost $50-$100 more than the right handed version, and generally speaking they're actually superior in quality (companies do very small production runs on left handed guitars, so there's much tighter QA since a bad batch of left guitars will cost them more than a bad batch of right handed ones, but that's a subject for another topic)

Anyway, I've gone off on a rant, but of all the bad advice I've seen, this is by far the worst. Playing the wrong way will severely limit your potential. You won't notice it after a year, you might not even notice it after 5, but after a while you'll find yourself wondering why that guy who's been playing for half the time you have is so much better than you.

So with one statement I'll shut my mouth. If it were at all logical to play the wrong way around, you'd find right handed people playing left handed instruments. I can 100% guarantee that if you ever told a right handed player to learn left handed they'd laugh at you and call you a moron.
#14
Quote by supergerbil
Wrong!

When you begin playing the guitar, you will take on whichever you play. I am a left hander who learnt to play the guitar right handed. Since you use both hands equally playing the guitar, the kind of isn't a dominant hand. Therefore, by learning right handed you have: much more choice picking guitars, you can play anybody elses guitar, and the guitars tend to be cheaper than their left handed counter parts.

Also, chord changes are easier to get to grips with as your main hand is fretting.

It may feel weird, but after a week or two, you'll have forgotten.


Before you leap to label someone as flat-out wrong, especially on something this subjective, stop for a moment and consider the alternative: lefties (like myself and a few others I've known) who were made to learn to play righty and felt clumsy as hell until they said 'screw this', flipped it over and immediately felt far more comfortable and just as immediately played noticeably better.

OP, some guitars will take to it better than others. A guitar with a tremolo won't require re-angling the bridge like you'd need with a TuneOMatic-style bridge.
#15
Quote by Rallymonkey
There's no golden rule, it's more about how it's comfortable to play.


Okay, really almost done replying here.

This quote here is exactly why I suggest the "air guitar" method of choosing which way you'll play. Almost all left handed people are to some extent ambidextrous, and most of us find at least a few thing's more comfortable right handed than left handed.

As for full potential...

Well we've all got the potential to be the next Vai, Satriani, Pertrucci but that's not what I mean when I say it, so I'll give an example.

Two parallel universes. One you learn right, one you learn wrong, everything else is identical, the songs you learn the time you practice what you practice. Fast forward 10 years and the guy who was playing the proper way is going to be massively better.

It's not really important for a casual player who'll play a couple hours a week, but it's very important for anyone who really wants to be good at it.
#16
Quote by icronic
*sigh*

Again, comes the air guitar example. Your body naturally knows which way is right and which way is wrong before you you ever pick up a guitar. To do the opposite is to go against what your brain and body want to do.


Going against what your body naturally wants to do? Do you walk round naked? Do you walk barefooted? Of course not! Your body learns!

Wait, I missed something. "Your body naturally knows which way is right" Your saying your body naturally knows about holding a guitar? Guitars are a man made invention. We haven't evolved to play the guitar. That line of yours cracked me up. Your repetetive use of "wrong way" is pretty poor too as there is no wrong way round.

Lastly (I don't want to continue arguing over the internet, I just want to present my point so the TS can make an informed decision), I never said anything about telling right handers to learn left handed. My whole argument was that you can learn anyway and therefore choosing the way that gives you with the most guitar options is best.

P.S. I'd love to hear what neuropsychological knowledge you possess, because from the faux-smarts you're presenting, there is a severe lack of it
#17
Quote by supergerbil
Going against what your body naturally wants to do? Do you walk round naked? Do you walk barefooted? Of course not! Your body learns!


How are clothes and shoes a relevant or logical argument? What your body naturally wants to do. Meaning someone holds out a pen, without actually thinking about it, you're going to take it with the hand that you're most comfortable writing with.

Wait, I missed something. "Your body naturally knows which way is right" Your saying your body naturally knows about holding a guitar? Guitars are a man made invention. We haven't evolved to play the guitar. That line of yours cracked me up. Your repetetive use of "wrong way" is pretty poor too as there is no wrong way round.


Again, poor argument with no logical merit. Yes, your body does. Never in my entire life have I held or fired a rifle. Yet, I know that were I to do so, I would hold the trigger with my left hand and the stock with my right. You can use just about any action in this method from a golf swing, to air guitar, to a gun, to throwing a ball, or simply writing. We haven't evolved to do any of these other thing's either, but we know immediately which way we're going to do them, because one way is obviously more comfortable.


Lastly (I don't want to continue arguing over the internet, I just want to present my point so the TS can make an informed decision), I never said anything about telling right handers to learn left handed. My whole argument was that you can learn anyway and therefore choosing the way that gives you with the most guitar options is best.


The point which you obviously missed was that if it makes sense for a left handed person to play right handed, it would also make sense for a right handed person to play left handed. I doubt you could find any right handed people that would agree.

P.S. I'd love to hear what neuropsychological knowledge you possess, because from the faux-smarts you're presenting, there is a severe lack of it


Ah, and if you can't win an argument any other way, proceed with thinly veiled insults to their intelligence, while at the same time suggesting you're the bigger man. Bravo.
#18
You should save up money and buy a lefty guitar. Also, I have a question for you more experirenced players. After you flip the strings and everything on the guitar like Hendrix did), don't you have to add another strap button for the strap to stand up and play? Sorry if my question sounds confusing.
Skip the username, call me Billy
#19
just pick up a left hand and a right hand guitar and see what feels more comfortable. im left handed but i play a right handed guitar cuz it felt more comfortable.
Very Orange CARVIN DC 700
PRS SE Custom - crunch lab&PAF pro
Ibanez GRX40 - modified
Peavey Valveking 112 w/ 2x12 cab

Originally Posted by Shirate
The guitar, the only beautiful female that looks better with the top ON haha

Transformice
#20
I don't think which way you play really matters that much and in fact having your better hand doing the fretwork might actually be an advantage since generally your asking it to do more complicated things than the picking hand.

That of course depends on what your playing. If your trying to chug out downpicked 16th notes in your picking hand with slamming down powerchords in your fret hand this might not be the case.
#21
just learn right handed, when u get more experienced you will regret learning left handed
I like metal

Gear (still working on it ) :

Epiphone SG G-310
Marshall MG10cd
Boss MT-2 Metal zone

Quote by DiSTuRBeD -26-
^listen to him


Metalli-freak
#22
Quote by Jackson C
I don't think which way you play really matters that much and in fact having your better hand doing the fretwork might actually be an advantage since generally your asking it to do more complicated things than the picking hand.


I'm amazed that so many people say this, yet nobody seems to really consider what they're actually saying... If this argument were true then right handed players would be playing left handed guitars because it gives their fret hand an advantage. There is a reason they don't. Because it's harder.

just learn right handed, when u get more experienced you will regret learning left handed


Please do enlighten us. Aside from not being able to use your buddies guitar, and having a slightly harder timing finding guitars, what's there to regret?

I really hate resorting to the "because I say so" argument, but for gods sakes. I've been teaching for a little less than 10 years and playing for a whole lot longer. WITHOUT EXCEPTION, the left handed players who play right for convenience are weaker players who progress slower, have more problems playing in time and have WAY more problems controlling their dynamics.

aerosmithfan95: Well it depends on the guitar, but yeah, you'd generally have to drill another hole for the strap button. Or you could just tie the strap onto the headstock like you would an acoustic guitar.
#23
Quote by icronic
I really hate resorting to the "because I say so" argument, but for gods sakes. I've been teaching for a little less than 10 years and playing for a whole lot longer. WITHOUT EXCEPTION, the left handed players who play right for convenience are weaker players who progress slower, have more problems playing in time and have WAY more problems controlling their dynamics.

Problems playing in time, problems controlling their dynamics. I really don't think you can just say that's experience those problems just because they "play with the wrong hand". Now I don't know how your teaching, and all respect to that, but if someone starts out by saying that will suck if you play right handed guitars even though your're left-handed, I'd say that's a quite bad motivation. Motivation is really what makes you learn faster. If you're determined to learn something you'll eventually reach that in the end.

The left-handed guy that has problems keeping time while playing his right handed guitar would probly have the same problem when switching to a lefty guitar. Because he's not listening to what he's playing.

But as I already stated earlier. I don't think a teacher can decide for your whether play play lefty or regular because you are left-handed. You got to figure it out yourself, because some people are ambivalent in different regards.
#24
Quote by Rallymonkey
Problems playing in time, problems controlling their dynamics. I really don't think you can just say that's experience those problems just because they "play with the wrong hand". Now I don't know how your teaching, and all respect to that, but if someone starts out by saying that will suck if you play right handed guitars even though your're left-handed, I'd say that's a quite bad motivation. Motivation is really what makes you learn faster. If you're determined to learn something you'll eventually reach that in the end.


Which is another reason why I didn't want to resort to that argument. But keep in mind, teaching is a paying job, and while my lively hood doesn't depend on it as my primary source of income, it certainly pays for all the extra little things I enjoy. Either way, enough people quit guitar out of frustration as it is, the last thing I want to do is demotivate people by telling them oh they'll be no good 'cause they're doing it wrong. I'll only ever bring it up if they ask my advice, or if they seem to really be struggling with it.

The left-handed guy that has problems keeping time while playing his right handed guitar would probly have the same problem when switching to a lefty guitar. Because he's not listening to what he's playing.


I've had 3 students switch from right to left after about 6months to 1year of playing, and within 2 months of that, most of their problems were dramatically reduced. I realize that's not nearly enough to call it a trend. But either way, when it comes to rhythmic accuracy the dominant side of our body leads. It's just the way it works.

But as I already stated earlier. I don't think a teacher can decide for your whether play play lefty or regular because you are left-handed. You got to figure it out yourself, because some people are ambivalent in different regards.


Totally agree, and I've said that multiple times already in the thread. Most left handed people find at least 1 or 2 things more comfortable right handed than they do left handed and this is why I keep making reference to air guitar. It's one of those thing's people will do without stopping to think about which way to do it.

Again, people should play guitar the way they are most comfortable. Going against that for the convenience of playing your buds guitar is dumb though. If the guitar was universal and both ways were equal, like the piano, then they simply wouldn't bother making them left handed at all.

I know I've kind of taken over this thread, and I apologize, but on this issue I'm dead certain, and my only motivation is to save people a lot of future headache, because they've taken the advice some kid who's been playing for 4 years and thinks he knows best.
#25
I agree 100% with the air guitar method, im left handed and have played the guitar both left and right handed and find playing right handed a lot more comfortable and have always done air guitar right handed as well. I also have a friend who is right handed and plays left handed because he finds it more comfortable and he's always played air guitar left handed (when we played air guitar a couple of times together @ party's he's always got comments about him looking weird when he plays air guitar and thats because people dont always notice he's doing it left handed it just looks wrong).
#26
Even though I'm left handed, I didn't even think about getting a left handed guitar. Just went and bought a right handed one, and I seem to be doing fine!
#27
Ugh of course icronic is right he already made a point that is basically irrefutable: you will probably never see a right handed person playing guitar lefty. I played right handed for almost ten years and I finally gave up and switched and I immediately felt more comfortable. Do you really want to take the chance of being able to play the wrong way just so you can have a better selection of guitars? You will probably work harder than every other guitarist you know and still suck way more than them and everyone will think you suck and wont even realize how much you practice. If you want to master the guitar, though, you'll learn how to play both ways haha. Plus, you'll Have a larger selection of guitars than anyone lol
#28
Quote by eddievanzant
Ugh of course icronic is right he already made a point that is basically irrefutable: you will probably never see a right handed person playing guitar lefty. I played right handed for almost ten years and I finally gave up and switched and I immediately felt more comfortable. Do you really want to take the chance of being able to play the wrong way just so you can have a better selection of guitars? You will probably work harder than every other guitarist you know and still suck way more than them and everyone will think you suck and wont even realize how much you practice. If you want to master the guitar, though, you'll learn how to play both ways haha. Plus, you'll Have a larger selection of guitars than anyone lol

No offense, but if you still were struggling playing right handed after 10 years, you probably didn't put enough effort into learning
#29
that is exactly my point. people don't believe that it is even possible to not be totally awesome after playing for that long. and it wasn't like i totally sucked. i could play absolutely anything, but only up to a certain speed. my hand just wouldn't go any faster. my legato was amazing though haha
Last edited by eddievanzant at Aug 18, 2009,