A little background. I have been playing guitar for about 14 years. Don't let that fool you though. I have taken one year of "lessons" (a guitar class in high school) and would consider myself a campfire strummer more than anything else.

I have a dilemma (possibly). I am left handed but "learned" to play the guitar right handed. I was successful to a point but have plateaued, like 13 years ago (that's 1 year after picking up a guitar if you aren't good at math).

I will admit that I haven't put in nearly the effort that would be required to be where most people are after 14 years of playing so I'm not expecting switching hands to be an overnight fix. I just want some opinions on whether it will be worth it if I get serious and really buckle down on learning how to play.

Here is my one major concern with not switching hands: I can't hold the pick correctly with my right hand to save my life. When I first started playing, with zero instruction, I held the pick between my thumb and the pads of my pointer and middle finger. Now I have been able to "improve" to holding the pick between my thumb and the pad of only my pointer finger. I cannot, however, hold the pick between my thumb and the side of my pointer finger. When I try my hand looks like some arthritic crab claw disaster. I can hold the pick correctly with my left hand though.

I am pretty good at rythm guitar but don't have a prayer when it comes to picking individual strings. I mean I can get by after practicing a song forever but I certainly don't use any conventional picking patterns. Aside from that, my pick slowly turns until I am strumming/picking with the side of the pick and I have to constantly turn it back to normal (not sure if this is any kind of common problem or anyone has any advice outside of switching hands for this).

So I humbly ask if you more experienced players think it is worth it for me to try to switch hands or if I just need to suck it up and work at it until I can hold the pick correctly (honestly the thought of this process terrifies me far more than learning how to fret with my right hand) and move on.

Thanks in advance for any help. If any additional information is needed please ask and I will provide it. I love playing guitar and if I am as good as I ever get I will still enjoy it but I feel like my picking, and specifically holding the pick, is the one thing seriously holding me back right now.
I am also left handed, but have been playing guitar for 7 years right handed. I personally think that it does not make a difference which way you play (left or right handed), but how much effort you put into practice and playing.
If you feel that you REALLY want to play left handed, then go for it, but I think that you should stick with right handed and just keep practicing.

Good luck!
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I too am a lefty playing guitar right handedly. Been playing for 6 years, but play almost everyday, so I'm fairly experienced.

So clearly it's a tricky situation, but what you really want to ask yourself is "Which results in more comfort?". Comfort in playing is quite important. You could probably switch hands, but not only would you basically have to relearn the whole experience, but your hand might be just as uncomfortable as before.

In my opinion, whichever way you dedicated the most time into is the way you should stick to (in this case, right handed). Comfort is ALL ABOUT adjusting your playing and positioning, and is different for EVERYBODY. If you switch hands, it'll be a LOT harder to recognize the appropriate adjustments needed to make, whereas if you play the way you've played the longest, you have more experience to go off of, if that makes sense.

Quote by RageBuckethead
Aside from that, my pick slowly turns until I am strumming/picking with the side of the pick and I have to constantly turn it back to normal (not sure if this is any kind of common problem or anyone has any advice outside of switching hands for this).
Usually, beginners have this same problem at first, so it's kind of common, but really, there is no other solution than to hold the pick a little more tightly. I say as you progress, your grip on the pick becomes more obvious.

So bottom line for me is: Stick to right handed for now. Maybe you just need more experience to adjust and learn from before you can hold the pick comfortably. Another thing you have to realize is not everybody holds their pick with the thumb and side of the index finger. I mean, I do, but I know there's different ways as well that I don't know . So if they don't, then maybe you don't have to either. IF after a LOT of practice and experience you still have this problem, then by all means, try switching hands. Just be sure you know for a fact that it can't be done before then.
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Thanks so much for the replies guys. I'm gonna stick it out righty for now and just put a lot more effort in.
Just put in the effort and keep on playing right handed. It's not easy for anyone to start playing, left or right handed. But playing righty will give you a much greater choice of instruments and save you money in the long run. I really don't think it makes much difference which way round you play.

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Interesting thread. I'm left handed and started out playing right handed guitar. I purposely started right handed because I wanted to do SOMETHING right handed in my life. And I think that a lefty guitar is more rare in a group of players.

After 10 months of lessons right handed I cut off my little and ring fingers on my left hand in a farming accident. Dr. was able to attach my fingers and all is OK (not great - but just OK) but while I was in recovery I decided to switch to a left handed guitar. I didn't want to wait a year for my hand to get better and nobody was sure it would ever get well enough to play again.

Now after 3 months of trying left handed guitar I'm totally confused. It seems that my right hand does not speak the same language as my brain. I'm really struggling with fingering the frets and my dexterity in my right hand really sucks. I'm completely lost right now.