#1
Hey all,

Let me start out by saying I have never played guitar before, but have always been VERY interested, but afraid at the same time.

I was born with a condition of the hand called a syndactly. My left hands fingers are all about an inch shorter than my right hands fingers, they are all missing the left knuckle (so they cant bend at the middle), and they are all equal size (the fingers on my left hand all end at the same height, none are heigher than the other) (none of this includes the thumb). Obviously, I cannot play right handed guitar because of this.

I admit, I air guitar when I'm listening to music. And I have been air guitaring left handed for the past year so that I could get used to it. It feels kind of natural now, but trying to play a left handed guitar still feels a little unatural (i cant pick as fast with my left hand as I can with my right).

I mostly listen to alternative/emo rock (all time low, taking back sunday, mayday parade) so most of these bands guitars have the distortion sound to them, which i think is awesome. I am interested in playing some of the lead chords (not the picking, but the strumming parts of the songs which sounds really cool, to me anyways).

Is it possible for me to learn guitar left handed. Will my picking speed improve with time? Should I give this a shot?

Also, here is a guitar I am looking at.

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Squier-Stratocaster-Left-Handed-Electric-Guitar-104825443-i1393083.gc

Thanks
#2
Do it. All it takes is practice. For example, with practice, I learned to masturbate left handed.

But seriously, practicing will make it easier, and you can learn to do it. Rock on.
#3
just practice man you'll get it. since you have never played before, you don't have to retrain your muscle memory to learn how to play. Good luck man!
Quote by Dirk Gently
Some pieces are only meant to be played by people with six fingers on their fretting hand. Sorry.
#5
not necessarily any one right way to play guitar - I'm sure you can do it and become very good. just take ti slow, don't get frustrated and I am sure you will be able to accomplish all of your musical aspirations.
#7
Well you are going to be crap to begin with anyway, it will just take practice. Perhaps more practice than it would for someone without your condition but Im sure if you can grip the pick securely you will be able to play, if you put the time in. Most of the picking and strumming motion comes from the wrist and the arm (respectively) so your fingers shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Some left handed people choose to play right handed and insist that it makes more sense because the stronger hand should be taking care of the more difficult task, fretting the notes, so after you get used to the orientation your right-handedness shouldn't be a problem.

Have you heard of Django Reinhardt (master of Jazz guitar) or Tony Iommi (ex-Black Sabbath, godfather of metal)? Theyre both guitarists who prove that you can become a brilliant guitarist despite hand injuries, it even led them to become more creative while trying to overcome their problems (and in the process Tony invented heavy metal) - just goes to show that if you are motivated nothing really stands in your way.

As a beginner I would recommend that you get a guitar teacher , for reasons I detailed in this thread https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1442792
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
Last edited by Hydra150 at May 17, 2011,
#8
Would a beginner $200 guitar be ok for me? Or is it a waste of money. The reviews seem to indicate it as a great beginner guitar.

I should also note that I have a very good friend of mine who has been playing for six years who is more than willing to help me learn.
#9
Quote by kingneptune117
Would a beginner $200 guitar be ok for me? Or is it a waste of money. The reviews seem to indicate it as a great beginner guitar.

I should also note that I have a very good friend of mine who has been playing for six years who is more than willing to help me learn.

What kind of guitar is it? What model, brand etc.
#10
One tip from me. Always try out a guitar or anything before buying it. Reviews are very misleading.
And maybe you'll be the next tony iommi he was missing the tips of two of his fingers. And I don't know one guitarist that doesn't think he was an amazing guitarist
One of the third friendliest users
Stratkat's pet


Quote by Momentosis
Void is a wanker that's why

Last edited by FireFromTheVoid at May 17, 2011,
#11
Quote by DiminishDarknut
What kind of guitar is it? What model, brand etc.

I posted the link in my original post.
#12
Quote by kingneptune117
I posted the link in my original post.

Its a good starter guitar i think. For the price it gets the job done for what you'll be learning. And then once you get better you can look at getting a more expensive one. The only other one i would reccomend is like a hundred dollars more so you might want to stick with that one. but http://www.guitarcenter.com/Ibanez-GRX20L-Left-Handed-Electric-Guitar-103055414-i1150608.gc?source=4WFRWXX&CAWELAID=29483548
would also be a good choice imo. but the one you are looking at is fine for the price.
#13
The more expensive squires are really good for the money, and check out Epiphone too. Also, assuming you're in America, check out Agile http://www.rondomusic.com/al2000flamewideleft.html - they seem to offer decent guitars for a real good price (If they were in the UK i'd be buying a new cheapo off them). I understand Schecters are much cheaper in the USA than in the UK so they could also be worth a look.

For buying your first electric guitar I would normally reccomend going into a guitar store though and just seeing whats avalaible and what looks cool, but that can be quite demotivational if youre left handed, I can assure you. Its important that you think the guitar looks cool, that youre going to want to play and practice on it.
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
Last edited by Hydra150 at May 17, 2011,
#14
Quote by Hydra150
For buying your first electric guitar I would normally reccomend going into a guitar store though and just seeing whats avalaible and what looks cool, but that can be quite demotivational if youre left handed, I can assure you. Its most important that you think the guitar looks cool, that youre going to want to play and practice on it.


Yeah man they have that saying about playing it before you buy it and its totally true. I buy guitars off the internet without playing them and sometimes i really regret it. Either the neck wasn't the right thickness, or the body shape is annoying and interferes with positioning, or there was some other issue that existed that was impossible to find out through viewing a few pictures and reviews online. One guys opinion can be completely different from yours based off of what kind of music he plays or what he prefers etc. and he might just say "this guitar is rly good i like it alot" and rate it 10 stars lol. When you feel a good guitar in your hands, you know that you are gonna like it.
#15
I learned to play come as you are left handed for teh lulz. you should be able to learn guitar lefty.
no sir away a papaya war is on
#17
Quote by DiminishDarknut
Yeah man they have that saying about playing it before you buy it and its totally true.
...
When you feel a good guitar in your hands, you know that you are gonna like it.

Although if you are a total beginner then trying a guitar in a shop is almost completely useless as no guitar is going to feel comfortable to start with and you wont be able to play anything on it so will just feel daft in the shop. That said, you should still go to a guitar store with a friend who knows his stuff and learn about the different types, shapes, brands and prices avaliable. A beginner should really base the decision on which guitar to get based on how cool they think it looks and the advice of someone more knowledgeable who has tried it and reckons its good value for money. If, after youve been playing it for a year or whatever, you discover that the person who told you to get it was wrong and that it looks better than it sounds then you can upgrade to an intermediate level guitar.

Threads discussing which guitar to buy should really be in the Electric Guitar forum
though.


And It would be a mistake for a beginner to buy a tremolo equipped guitar - cheap trems are crappy quality and more hassle than they are worth for a beginner.
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
Last edited by Hydra150 at May 17, 2011,
#18
I'm left handed and made the decision to play right handed many, many years ago when I was a kid. I just figured it would be easier for people to teach me since everything caters to people who are right handed, and I didn't know how to play either way so why not?

Anyway, I had no trouble at all. In fact, I often wonder if it might be more appropriate since my "strong" hand is on the fretboard. I'm not sure where or when standard guitars became "right" handed. It has always seemed to me that the fretting hand requires the most skill, or at least more variety in skills...

Good luck!
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
#19
Quote by kingneptune117

I admit, I air guitar when I'm listening to music. And I have been air guitaring left handed for the past year so that I could get used to it. It feels kind of natural now, but trying to play a left handed guitar still feels a little unatural (i cant pick as fast with my left hand as I can with my right).


Thanks

Playing guitar ALWAYS feels un-natural for the first few months regardless - and I hate to break it to you but air guitaring won't have made a blind bit of difference

Honestly though, it's perfectly normal - you're attempting to do something you've never done before, and it also doesn't bear any relation to anything you've done before. It'll likely feel awkward for a few months, no need to worry.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#20
There's always this discussion about being left/right hand orientated etc. , but don't let that get to you. I'm one off those "confused" people ,I WRITE (and do a few delicate things) with my left hand, but otherwise I'm totally right handed ie: kicking,punching,tools (No NOT mine ! ;-) ),eating,golf,blah,blah AND play guitar right handed!!! And as SS said, in the beginning it WILL feel un-natural,but it's mussels,they can be trained

As for playing with a "dissabillity" ,I had a little run-in with an angle grinder a week ago,cut my left hand middle finger ,first knuckle,right through to the bone and tendon off. It's wired now,getting a screw in in 3 weeks so won't be able to bend the front part,but it won't stop me from playing....

"What the mind can conceive and believe,the mind can achieve..."

Rock on !
#22
I should also note that since my left hand fingers are shorter, resting my left hand above the strings to play is also difficult. Like, you know how you hold your whole hand up above the strings with your pinky finger so you can pick accurately (i think that is how its done, anyways), well since my pinky is shorter, my whole hand is not raised as heigh or as far into the bridge (strings). Will I still be ok? Can you pick the strings without resting part of your picking hand on the guitar?
#23
Quote by kingneptune117
I should also note that since my left hand fingers are shorter, resting my left hand above the strings to play is also difficult. Like, you know how you hold your whole hand up above the strings with your pinky finger so you can pick accurately (i think that is how its done, anyways), well since my pinky is shorter, my whole hand is not raised as heigh or as far into the bridge (strings). Will I still be ok? Can you pick the strings without resting part of your picking hand on the guitar?

Oh, absolutely. In fact, having to rely on anchoring part of your hand in a particular position to pick accurately is one of the worst habits you can have as it creates unnecessary tension in the picking hand.
#25
awesome story. Just remember no matter how much talent you have your gonna suck early. Just keep at it. Jimi Hendrix was so self conscience about his playing and during his early (army) years always talked about how every guy who played felt better then he did.
he of tranquil mind
#27
You know, my classmate is left-handed, he's been playing violin for half his life, and he plays guitar f***ing fine- the normal right handed way. He says it's actually an advantage to him, his left hand is stronger on the frets. Don't let it hinder you dear.
#28
Will I still be ok? Can you pick the strings without resting part of your picking hand on the guitar?