#1
When I began playing guitar I chose to play right-handed, even though I'm left-handed.
There were some inherent advantages: My left hand was able to form complex chord shapes easily, It was also faster with HoPos, I picked it up easier for some reason (dominant hand has more control, maybe?).

However, I've noticed that there are some disadvantages to this playing style: My right hand is much slower than my left, so I've had to work on my picking style more than everything else, my right hand is also more 'aggressive'; I think this may be due to the lack of control when playing this way.

Plus, quite a few famous guitarists who(/whom?) play this way aren't renowned for being fretboard blazers, I think Robert Fripp is the fastest I know of.

So, to anybody else who plays in this style, if you could start agan playing the way you're 'supposed' to (lefty-playing-lefty, righty-playing-righty), would you? Or do you think that the disadvantages of this playing style are what give you a Unique playing style. I think this applies to bassists too (why they're in the 'guitar techniques' section is madness to me ).
#2
I'm right-handed and I play right-handed... and my left hand is the most agile, with my right hand being for brute force. It's always been that way. So my situation is pretty much identical to yours, despite our dominant hands being different. Given that's the case, I don't think it really matters in your case.
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#3
I have a friend who also started off playing righty, even though he was a lefty, simply because of convenience and cost. He says it's great and he is actually an incredible shredder when he really wants to flaunt it.
Also I'm pretty sure Michael Angelo Batio is left-handed, so if you're concerned about your ability to shred that should be a reassurance.
I guess it's all about how much you are willing to practice, you might have to end up dedicating more time to your right hand I guess
#4
There are plenty of lefties that play righty:

Herman Li - very fast picking hand
Michael Angelo Batio - super shredder (plays both ways at the same time too)
Bela Fleck - World renowned left-handed banjo player that plays right-handed. Banjo playing requires crazy picking technique on his weaker hand.

As long as you spend enough time practicing, you can play either way. I'm a lefty that plays lefty and my picking hand is still slower than my fretting hand because I don't practice picking technique as much. I started playing lefthanded because it was more comfortable; just do what's best for you
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#5
Same for me.

I recognize the same things in my playing at first as you did. I wondered about if I made the right decision for some time, but I'm quite satisfied with my playing now and I don't really feel that there's something holding me back.

I later learned that one of my guitar heroes, Janick Gers of Iron Maiden is also lefthanded but plays righthanded so I guess it is not such a big deal in the end.

I still find myself playing air-guitar lefthanded all the time though...
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Last edited by HomerSGR at Sep 4, 2011,
#6
Hendrix apparently used to pick up other guitarists righty guitars and play them better the guy who's guitar could play it. Not sure if he practised both ways.
Personally I'm quite happy playing with my main hand picking and left fretting.
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#7
I'm a lefty and I play right handed. I went through pretty much everything you described. Your right hand lacks the control and finesse of your left hand, which is a bit of a problem. It's important that you don't get thinking that this is an insurmountable problem, however.

Essentially, practice purely right handed technique. Practice small, clean motions with your picking hand to minimize the amount of force you put into picking each note. Become able to vary your pick attack to achieve dynamic control. Make sure that your picking is clean and uses minimal effort to execute and you should be OK.

Additionally, make sure that your fretting technique is good. I know that I ignored fretting technique for a while because my left hand was able to do everything I wanted it to. However, I realized that I wasted a lot of movement and energy in my fretting hand, which slowed me down a lot. Make sure you don't fall into that same trap.
#8
Confused beyond belief at this thread right now.
The way i was told is your dominant hand picks, and your non dominant hand frets.
So Herman Li having a fast picking hand because he's swapped makes no sense?

Im right handed, and play a right handed guitar (obviously?) but i learned left handed guitar for a laugh and its surprisingly easy. I could pass off busking Oasis songs pretty easy :P

So what i'd say is you could really learn either way, guitar is a two handed instrument so you eventually need control of both hands. In fact i'd be tempted to learn opposite to the norm purely because you'd learn totally perfect technique, when i practiced left handed i referred to my right handed ways to know what i should have done when i first learned.

e.g Tennis star Nadal is right handed, and plays left handed and is a master of top spin technique.
Always waiting for that bit of inspiration.
Last edited by W4T3V3R at Sep 4, 2011,
#9
Quote by W4T3V3R
Confused beyond belief at this thread right now.
The way i was told is your dominant hand picks, and your non dominant hand frets.
So Herman Li having a fast picking hand because he's swapped makes no sense

It's not because he swapped, but because he spent hours practising and training his non-dominant hand to pick fast. You can train both hands to do that, but using your dominant hand would mean it would be easier to begin with, but further down the line it doesn't really make a difference.
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#10
Quote by mullet1337
It's not because he swapped, but because he spent hours practising and training his non-dominant hand to pick fast. You can train both hands to do that, but using your dominant hand would mean it would be easier to begin with, but further down the line it doesn't really make a difference.


I would tend to agree. I've always been a righty player, but Ive learned to do certain other things (playing pool, video games, writing) ambidextrously and I've noticed that the length of time invested in a certain hand matters a lot more than which one felt more comfortable in the beginning.

Plus, I've heard that some Native American tribes were all ambidextrous, they had no concept of being left or right handed.