#1
Hi all,

I'm an "unlucky" lefty (with a right handed guitar), been playing for 2 1/2 years ish. There's some sort of genetic curse in my family, I have 11 brothers and sisters (yeah, I know...) and 8 of us are left handed, as well as both of my grandmothers and my mom. So while I haven't been at a disadvantage with as many things, having started and continued to play a right handed guitar gives me frustration. I've been practicing frequently, and while I am semi adept at left handed technique (which is very easy for me), it's frustrating to do even the simplest things with my picking hand. I drop my pick all the time and can't keep tempo with anything more than a simple on beat strum pattern.

I know there are plenty of good "lefty/righty" guitarists of which I am not one of them, but I'm wondering if there is any "technique" at getting better with doing things with my right hand.

For you lefties...have any of you tried to learn to write with your right hands? Or maybe throw a baseball? Or something? I feel as if I am constantly trying to pick a string with a sledgehammer, there's just no intuition and no feel in that hand and everything feels unnatural.

For you righties...did you feel your strumming hand was always "natural" while the left took much more practice to get right?

Sorry, hope that made sense. I'm just stuck right now with my playing. I read lessons saying "hold the pick like so..." but yet I can't even gracefully get the cap off my water bottle or twist the door handle. Just wanted to know if I'm alone with the subject, or if there are specific brain training righty exercises around to develop a better sense of feel.

Thanks in advance to anyone who replies,

Sakata93
#2
I am a lefty who plays right. There are a lot of us out there and it adds to the uniqueness of our music. My right hand was pretty clumsy for a long time but with practice it got better. I am still not very good with fingerstyle acoustic. As with most things we do, you gotta find your own path and it will be different for each of us. Our learning curve is often longer than those born right handed but the end result can be very good.

I found that learning piano helped some with right hand coordination but guitar will always be my first instrument.

http://www2.gibson.com/News-Lifestyle/Features/en-us/famous-left-handed-guitarists-1003-2012.aspx
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#3
^^Sorry took me a while to reply. Thanks for that, and yeah, me and finger style acoustic is a recipe for disaster at the moment also. Kind of sucks, people don't believe me, but I feel so awkward when it comes to trying to use my right hand to strum. They really don't get what it feels like, but when I ask them to throw a ball with their left hand look like a half ******ed monkey, I liken it to that.

I do have a piano in my room (tiny tiny upright, gathering dust), so I'll give that a try actually. I don't know why I didn't think of that before. Thanks for the link and the suggestion.
#4
another idea is get some drum sticks download the drum rudiments and practice on a table or pillow

i also remember one of my friends from high school would get a a play bouncy ball that could just b barely palmed, stand like 3 foot from the wall and just repeatedly bounce it off the wall he would see how many times he could do it before dropping it really tough with your off hand

good luck sir
#5
Im a lefty but i play like right handed because fretting requires more concentration to me so i find that easier
#6
Quote by Sakata93


For you lefties...have any of you tried to learn to write with your right hands? Or maybe throw a baseball? Or something? I feel as if I am constantly trying to pick a string with a sledgehammer, there's just no intuition and no feel in that hand and everything feels unnatural.

For you righties...did you feel your strumming hand was always "natural" while the left took much more practice to get right?


It's a better time for buying left handed guitars, than when I started. I learned to play left handed decades ago, wound up restringing a few guitars, and I found a couple of used electrics. In the current market, I could find so many more guitars than I could afford, it's almost criminal.

Anyway, you'll think this is a wacky idea, (and it may well be), but why don't you buy a crappy left hand acoustic? I think the "Rogue" brand has one for under a hundred dollars. With a decent setup they would be quite playable, although I doubt they'll replace a Martin or Taylor in the tone department.

I would be enlightening for you to start all over with opposite hands. And right up front, I'll tell you it would be more frustrating than starting the first time. That's because you know what you can do with a right handed guitar, and you'd expect the learning curve to be much steeper than it will be. Then too, a couple of years is a much longer time than it seems to you at the moment

Anyway, after a while you should know if you made a mistake learning right handed, should your picking improve faster when you're using your dominant hand to do it.

You might be able to fin a RH turd you can restring, or sell the cheapo lefty, if this, "grand experiment" doesn't work out . I've tried learning right handed after playing left handed for quite a while, and gave up. But, there was no real reason I needed to succeed at it.

If you run across a lefty guitar, pick it up and try it. Even if it's hanging in the local music store, and even if it's only for a few minutes.

At the very least, you'll be able to gauge how far you've come playing righty.

I have trouble hanging onto picks sometimes, and I've taken to using but the biggest Fender triangles. I get absolutely nowhere with the standard size picks that everyone else seems to do well with. So, don't get frustrated because you drop picks, everybody does, you just drop a few less as you gain more experience.

Buy yourself a dollar's worth of these in medium, and see if you can hold onto them any better .
Last edited by Captaincranky at Sep 8, 2014,
#7
I'm a lefty playing right handed. I think just general guitar practice and sticking to it and you' will progress.

If you find left handed techniques come to you quicker then I would focus on some songs which are more focused on the right hand precision and start slowly and build them up. Choose a couple of riffs which the left hand doesn't move around too much so you don't have to worry about that aspect.

I found a riff to practice slowly and build up was Battery by Metallica or Rain by Trivium, the speed isn't key but the coordination.
#8
I'm right handed but have taught myself to be sort-of ambidextrous through my occupation... I'm a surgeon and it is incredibly useful to be able to use instruments in either hand to get to those difficult-to-reach places. I wouldn't say that I'm as good with my left as the right, and you'll be happy to know there are some things that I just wouldn't attempt left handed, but you can get better. It takes time and practice, but don't just restrict yourself to guitar stuff. Do everything you would normally do with your dominant hand with your other hand... Cleaning teeth, eating with a spoon (can be messy), writing. Anything to build the motor programs and muscle memory...

If it's any consolation the skills I have developed for surgery are completely different motor programs than needed for playing guitar, so as a middle aged newbie it's still a steep learning curve to get those fingers of my left hand into the right position for the chord, but perhaps it's a little easier for me because I know that it will happen with time and practice.

Good luck