#1
I'll begin by saying I did a pretty weak search to see if anything real close to this came up recently but didn't find quite what I was looking for. I'm new to the community so spare me if you will.

I'm a self-taught lefty that learned to play right-handed and has been playing right-handed for awhile now and been taking playing seriously the past two years. In the past I've noticed that whenever I happen to spontaneously start air guitaring it is always left-handed. In fact, I cannot, for the life of me, play air guitar right-handed. Now I've yet to run into any issues where I feel handedness is keeping me from playing or learning something, but I've been wondering if it would be worth it to consider restringing an old junker, which is just collecting dust, upside down. I understand that I would be starting essentially completely from scratch again, but I still wonder if I could be holding myself back by not playing my natural direction. Part of me is kind of interested in the challenge of relearning and I would assume that I can learn more intelligently knowing what I know now. I'm 20 and plan on playing for my remaining years so I figure if it is worth doing, it's worth doing right. I'd appreciate any input anybody has at all. Thanks in advance!
Last edited by SugarWill36 at Feb 7, 2012,
#2
I would say no. I am a lefty playing righty, and I am better then all my friends that are rightys playing rightys. (I hope that made sense) The air guitaring thing will change once you get more used to it. I used to air drum left handed as well, now all is right. If you want a surprise look up how many amazing guitarist are lefties that play right handed guitar.
#3
Since you've been playing for 2 years, I'd say keep playing how you are. A friend of mine is a lefty playing righty and he's almost as good as me (righty playing righty) even though I've been playing longer.

If you're comfortable playing how you are, there's no reason to switch.
Quote by Geldin
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Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
#5
Im right handed, play air guitar left handed, but can only play guitar right handed, but can masturbate with both, go figure
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#6
I really wouldn't suggest it. Maybe I'm wrong about this, but I think I've read somewhere before that your handness doesn't actually have much effect on which way you'll play better. Don't quote me on that though. But still, I wouldn't suggest starting over.
#7
Quote by RetroGunslinger
Im right handed, play air guitar left handed, but can only play guitar right handed, but can masturbate with both, go figure
Dude, with those credentials, but for a cruel trick of fortune, you could have been a founding member of "Kiss".....
Last edited by Captaincranky at Feb 7, 2012,
#8
I am left playing right. Hard to say if it would have been easier to advance going lefty, I'll never know. One thing I had (have) to work harder at is tremelo picking. I have to work at it to use my wrist rather than my forearm, but when I flip over my left hand flows easier. But having my strong hand on the fret board can also be a advantage for hammer ons and stuff.
#9
Quote by Captaincranky

Quote by RetroGunslinger
Im right handed, play air guitar left handed, but can only play guitar right handed, but can masturbate with both, go figure

Dude, with those credentials, but for a cruel trick of fortune, you could have been a founding member of "Kiss".....


Give me one good reason to not make this my new signature.
#10
If you are reasonably satisfied with the progress you've made during the past two years, I think you should stick with playing righty.

And this comes from a lefty who plays as a lefty.

When I first picked up a guitar I tried to play righty and made no progress at all over the course of 3 1/2 weeks. Like zero progress. My left hand (yes, my dominant left hand) absolutely would not get comfortable on the frets. So I picked up a lefty guitar and immediately realized that my right hand was just a whole lot better suited to fretting than my left.

So in my particular case - it was obvious that I should play as a lefty.

In your case, it seems like you can play as a righty just fine and I don't think there's anything to be gained by trying to play lefty because it will just sow the seeds of doubt in your mind.

Just my $0.02.
#11
Thank you all very much, I appreciate the responses. I've just started searching through these fourms the past couple days and I must say it has been the first big motivator in awhile to really push myself and work on progressing rather than simply playing.

As far as switching my playing goes, I tend to agree with the "ain't broke, don't fix it" crowd and I plan on staying righty until it becomes an issue. (Ideally it won't.)
#12
I'm a lefty playing righty - Another reason to carry on playing righty that no one has mentioned yet is that left handed guitars tend to cost a little more than their right handed equivalents.

You'll also get more choice in the future when choosing your next guitar as there tend to be more right handed guitars out there (both new and used).
#13
Robert Fripp would disagree with you.

You'll have an advantage in fret-hand strength but it can affect your picking ability.
Just work more on your picking technique. I'm a lefty-playing-righty too
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#14
it wont affect either, there is not "right handed" vs "left handed" with guitar. It is an instrument you can only play with 2 hands. It is ambidextrous, the only difference is picking vs fretting. Therefore, technically speaking, you won't get any better by playing lefty or righty, neither one will have an advantage as you will always have to use your right hand.

BUT, left handed guitars are rare, expensive, and no one has one so you can only play guitar in your own home. On top of it all, bands will let fans who swear they know their songs get up and play, it happens all the time here in reno, and this won't happen if you play lefty.

P.S. I am a lefty playing right handed, just do it. NO ONE should learn guitar left handed.
#15
Quote by WeZ-84
I'm a lefty playing righty - Another reason to carry on playing righty that no one has mentioned yet is that left handed guitars tend to cost a little more than their right handed equivalents.

You'll also get more choice in the future when choosing your next guitar as there tend to be more right handed guitars out there (both new and used).


Good points...but being a lefty-playing lefty I think the concerns are a little overblown.

It's true that lefty guitars from some of the major manufacturers tend to cost more. For example, inexpensive lefty Epiphones run about $50 more and Gibson Studios run about $100 more. But some manufacturers like Larrivee don't charge more for lefties.

It's true that lefties have fewer choices but it's better than you might imagine and seems to be improving all the time. It's true that used lefty guitar availability does suck and it's true that availability in the $500-$1,000 midpoint of the market isn't good - but unless you've got to have a 24-in. scale length...you will be able to find what you're after with a bit of research.

I had to have a 24.75 in. scale guitar with P-90s that wouldn't neck-dive and I did find one (Agile AL-2000). Sure I could have done without the Goldtop finish that is more of a "Snottop" in artificial lighting - but what the hell...close enough.

The biggest problem I've noticed is that even when retailers (e.g. Guitar Center) have a lefty model in their inventory - it often isn't available on the retail floor. So, yes, if you're curious as to whether a certain neck shape or fret width might be more comfortable to play...it's hard to indulge that curiousity.

Playing lefty has no detrimental impact on learning the guitar. Chord frames are chord frames....tabs are tabs...sheet music is sheet music.

In fact, there's an occasional advantage. If you are a lefty taking lessons from a righty teacher then you can turn to face the teacher and mirror what he/she does - which I've found to be helpful on occasion.

And since nobody asks to borrow my guitar I don't have to be a dick and tell them "no!".
Last edited by ald10 at Feb 8, 2012,
#17
Quote by SugarWill36
I'll begin by saying I did a pretty weak search to see if anything real close to this came up recently but didn't find quite what I was looking for. I'm new to the community so spare me if you will.

I'm a self-taught lefty that learned to play right-handed and has been playing right-handed for awhile now and been taking playing seriously the past two years. In the past I've noticed that whenever I happen to spontaneously start air guitaring it is always left-handed. In fact, I cannot, for the life of me, play air guitar right-handed. Now I've yet to run into any issues where I feel handedness is keeping me from playing or learning something, but I've been wondering if it would be worth it to consider restringing an old junker, which is just collecting dust, upside down. I understand that I would be starting essentially completely from scratch again, but I still wonder if I could be holding myself back by not playing my natural direction. Part of me is kind of interested in the challenge of relearning and I would assume that I can learn more intelligently knowing what I know now. I'm 20 and plan on playing for my remaining years so I figure if it is worth doing, it's worth doing right. I'd appreciate any input anybody has at all. Thanks in advance!


I'd recommend sticking to righty for a multitude:
1. Deciding to switch hands based on air guitar seems a little silly to me.

2. It is a lot easier and cheaper to find right handed guitars than left handed guitars.

3. It'll be easier for a teacher to instruct you if you're both using the same orientation. Since most people (and most guitarists) play right handed, it will be a lot easier to learn from most instructors.

4. You dominant hand is now your fretting hand. This is a biggie, because you'll be using your dominant hand for the more complex task. Especially if you get into complex chords or faster passages (and don't get me started on legato!), you'll be at a huge advantage. I actually know a guy who plays lefty despite being right handed. He did so for this reason and he is one of the best legato players I've ever encountered.

I'm a lefty playing right handed and I don't for a second regret picking right handed guitars. My technique is just fine (check my album if you're curious; yes, I am plugging myself without any kind of shame) and I feel perfectly normal and natural playing right handed. Playing felt a little awkward and wrong at first, but after some practice, it grew on me and I feel much better about playing right handed even though I'm properly handed.
#18
Quote by Crazyedd123
Robert Fripp would disagree with you.

You'll have an advantage in fret-hand strength but it can affect your picking ability.
Just work more on your picking technique. I'm a lefty-playing-righty too


I don't think there are any absolute rules here. It's true that my left hand was more comfortable picking than my right hand - but that's not what swung the decision in my case.

I found that - for whatever reason - my non-dominant right hand had better flexibility, better dexterity, and seemed to be more physically-comfortable on the frets than my left hand. It's true that my left hand has better finger strength...but that can be (and is being) addressed.

There are things beyond mere "handedness" that can affect this decision...and I'm not sure these are well-recognized.

Fretting & picking heavily-involve not only the fingers but everything from the fingers right up to the shoulder. I won't "geek out" too much here but let me make it clear that guitarists can differ in more than finger length/shape and hand size. If you want to understand that a bit more...you can Google stuff like "elbow carrying angle" and "shoulder anteversion". And there can be significant differences in these traits on one side of the body vs. the other in the same person.

Depending where you are on "the bell curve", so-to-speak - this can have a huge influence or no influence at all on whether you play lefty or righty.
#19
Quote by Geldin
I'd recommend sticking to righty for a multitude:

3. It'll be easier for a teacher to instruct you if you're both using the same orientation. Since most people (and most guitarists) play right handed, it will be a lot easier to learn from most instructors.


I agree with all of your points - except this one. I can sit opposite my instructor (a righty) and mirror what he does. We've both found that to be a big help on occasion.
#21
Quote by mrbabo91
You've been playing over 2 years !!!!!

Why change ????


Well...based on the comment he made about air guitar...I'm guessing he read:

http://leftyfretz.com/should-i-learn-guitar-right-or-left-handed/

and/or this...

http://leftyfretz.com/andy-james-interview-left-handed-guitar/

I do think that there are some lefties who should play lefty (with me being one of them )

But unless he's absolutely certain he's being held back by playing righty and he's had that opinion validated by an experienced guitar teacher I think he should stay the course and continue to play righty.
Last edited by ald10 at Feb 8, 2012,
#22
I'm really blown away by the amount of discussion this has gotten and I really appreciate it. Been using UG for awhile now but never the fourms. I'm truly amazed I haven't taken advantage of this community before. Every time I check back I get more and more excited about playing and learning. Came at a perfect time too.. completely reinvigorating. Feels like the first time I picked it up again.

I decided just to spend some time sitting and just fretting basic open chords with a guitar flipped (still strung normally) just to see how it felt and, as I expected, I hated it. I figured it would feel completely uncomfortable and unnatural and it did. I know it's completely unrealistic to think that I can flip a guitar over and suddenly my playing will improve, but I also assume that if it didn't really "click" quickly, the time and effort of relearning literally everything would just not be justifiable, at least in my current situation. I'm not, by any means, trying to go out and turn this into a career, I just love to play. If I'm able to do that, and I can continue progressing, I'm going to just keep things exactly the same. Again, thank you all very much for the input.