#1
Pretty much the thing I'm most unsure about when it comes to choosing my first electric, which should be soon enough. I'm left handed for a lot of things like writing, drawing, eating etc. so all things considered I'm left handed, but left handed guitars are quite rare in comparison to right handed ones, and oftentimes, more expensive. This leads me to a dilemma over which layout to pick. On one hand there's a lot of successful left handed guitarists out there BUT there's less choice and on the other right handed guitars are common and more affordable BUT I've heard that for left handed people that makes strumming or fingerpicking considerably more difficult since that requires more precision and dexterity. I already have a right handed classical but I'm not sure if continuing on that path would be the right choice.
Last edited by AsterMK at Feb 14, 2016,
#2
Stick with right handed. I'm a lefty and always have played right handed. Makes more sense to be using the left hand for fretting since it already has more dexterity.
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#3
Absolutely learn to play right-handed.

99% of guitars out there are right-handed only. Not being able to buy the guitar you want because there's no left-handed variant is going to be a problem you're constantly going to run into. You only appreciate how frustrating that is until it's too late to prevent it.

It might be more frustrating for a person to learn how to play right-handed if they do everything else left-handed, but it's absolutely worth it and the frustration is only temporary.

Back in the old days, people who wanted to learn any musical instrument could only learn how to do it right-handed. There aren't any left-handed trumpets or left-handed pianos and there probably never will be. In some ways, it's disadvantageous that left-handed guitars exist to begin with because it screws the lefty player over. Not having any choice to begin with prevents the problem from ever happening.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Feb 14, 2016,
#4
another lefty ( eat , write and paint ) ...... but sports and guitars I'm a righty ..... go right and don't look back , the lefty guy's are always complaining that the that there is never enough lefty guitars available in the choices that the righty's have , avoid that situation right now
#5
Thanks for all answers. If I continue right handed, will I have problems with certain techniques due to strumming with my right hand? Fretting does seem quite a bit easier like this though.
#6
Both my kids are left handed. I am right handed. My daughter is interested in the guitar. She has gone back and forth holding it both ways. I've decided to encourage her to go right handed simply because most of the guitars out there are right-handed. All of my guitars are right-handed.
#7
I'm lefty and I switched from right to left after playing a few years. I'm a bit better than I was before, but it's way too hard to find guitars especially anything specific you might want. Even when you do find anything it's usually overpriced. If you're more comfortable playing lefty then I guess go with that but if you want more options for guitars play right handed. You can still play really well if you're lefty and play right handed, I kinda wish I stuck with it.
#8
I'm left-handed and play right-handed, and I really don't think it was harder learning (although obviously I didn't learn lefty so I can't really compare), nor is strumming/picking technique any harder now (except for specific techniques that I haven't learned properly but that's not a handedness thing). Availability of instruments was a huge reason why I decided to learn that way, and it's definitely made a difference for that--especially since I like to buy used, and finding used lefty guitars is even harder than finding new ones.
#9
Thanks for the help everyone. Is a Squier Bullet Strat HSS good enough for a first electric? If not, is it worth it to upgrade to an Affinity Fat Strat/ Yamaha Pacifica 012? (and which one is better out of those two?)
#10
Neal Schon is a lefty playing righty. He's apparently worked through the issues.
#11
Quote by AsterMK
Thanks for the help everyone. Is a Squier Bullet Strat HSS good enough for a first electric? If not, is it worth it to upgrade to an Affinity Fat Strat/ Yamaha Pacifica 012? (and which one is better out of those two?)


Pacifica all the way. The squiers aren't bad for cheap guitars. But the Pacifica is pretty great for a cheap guitar.
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#12
it's up to you. i'm not sure having more guitars available will be much consolation if you hate it and can't play as well. conversely if you're ambidextrous (or near enough) it might make more sense to learn right-handed, for the reasons listed above. you've got to make your own mind up, unfortunately, just because other left-handers learnt just fine right-handed doesn't mean you'll be able to (and conversely just because some had problems trying to learn right-handed doesn't necessarily mean you will too).
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#14
I'm lefty and I learned righty for a year then I switched to lefty and after 3 years I don't regret, I was making much faster progress on lefty and I don't complain too much about guitar selection but there are many axes I won't ever be able to get and I get what you guys are saying

I found that if you're used to write with your left wrist it's more accurate and flexible than right from the beginning, but if you're just starting then I think you'll be fine either way so rather choose righty and don't regret later
#15
Another lefty who plays right here. At it over 20 years, never looked back. I feel like my (right) strumming hand took a little longer to come around than some of my friends, but it worked out just fine.
#16
I'd say go with which ever hand is predominant with rhythm.

When you consider right handed people, playing right handed, all the fret board work is with their "weaker" left hand. I have great rhythm in my right arm but my left is pretty useless in that respect. I could play left handed, in so far as I know what positions to use on the fret board, but I don't know that I could get my left arm to work rhythmicly enough that it would work.

If I play about on drums my left arm follows my right. I assume you can train your weak arm as I guess this is what drummers do but you may not want to make life more difficult for your self.
Please note: The above comments are based on my experience, and may represent my perception of that experience. This may not be accurate and, subject to the style of music you play, may be irrelevant or wrong.
#17
Thanks for the advice everyone! I'll make sure to get enough hands on with both types so I can decide best. If I decide to keep on going righty, I'll probably get the Yamaha Pacifica 012 (unless there's anything affordable and better), but if I go lefty I don't have much choice but Ibanez GRG170DX Left Hand or Tokai USG35 Left Hand. There's some Squiers that are left handed as well but all of them are SSS, and I'd like a humbucker.
#18
Quote by AsterMK
Pretty much the thing I'm most unsure about when it comes to choosing my first electric, which should be soon enough. I'm left handed for a lot of things like writing, drawing, eating etc. so all things considered I'm left handed, but left handed guitars are quite rare in comparison to right handed ones, and oftentimes, more expensive. This leads me to a dilemma over which layout to pick. On one hand there's a lot of successful left handed guitarists out there BUT there's less choice and on the other right handed guitars are common and more affordable BUT I've heard that for left handed people that makes strumming or fingerpicking considerably more difficult since that requires more precision and dexterity. I already have a right handed classical but I'm not sure if continuing on that path would be the right choice.


You'd be a fool to go with a left handed guitar - it's not worth the hassle if you're just starting out. Your hands aren't yet trained to do anything on guitar, so it doesn't matter which of the two you choose, only that left handed will result in less choices and more trouble when trying to play other people's instruments.

You could co the Eric Gales and Albert King route and simply flip the guitar upside down.
#19
Quote by reverb66
You'd be a fool to go with a left handed guitar - it's not worth the hassle if you're just starting out. Your hands aren't yet trained to do anything on guitar, so it doesn't matter which of the two you choose, only that left handed will result in less choices and more trouble when trying to play other people's instruments.

You could co the Eric Gales and Albert King route and simply flip the guitar upside down.

But I hear that despite what it looks like, the strumming hand (my non-dominant hand for now) is the one that does most of the work. Is this true? Also I could re-string a right handed one as well, but it wouldn't really be the same. If I end up being left handed for guitar playing, I think it's better to just buy a left handed guitar/restring a right handed one.
#20
i'm a lefty and i play righty. i absolutely assure you that unless you are playing a style that requires major picking hand dexterity that you won't have any problems playing righty. the whole reason that guitar was originally played righty was to accommodate finger style playing like classical or flamenco. for rock, jazz and country (excluding bluegrass) it doesn't really make much sense. comes under the heading of well it's always been done that way.

the only thing that i tend to do is start with and upstroke sometimes but not a biggie. training your right hand to strum and do more complicated picking patterns is way easier than trying to get hand you don't use to finger patterns. keep in mind that us lefties are often forced to use our right hand far more than righties are.
#21
I primarily use my left hand for writing, drawing, and what not. Throwing and sports type things I am a righty. I play guitar right handed.

I also recommend that you learn as a right handed player. Learning an instrument is all about muscle memory/training and repetition. It feels awkward no matter what when starting out. Once you get over the curve, it will feel natural to play right handed.
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#22
The problem is that I've heard so many conflicting opinions about this. Some people say that I'll get used to it no matter how I play, others say that the fretting hand is more important (so typically left), others say that your dominant hand has to be the one that strums due to a better sense of rhythm...I'll have to try both ways extensively. I already have a righty classical to compare to.
#23
Quote by AsterMK
The problem is that I've heard so many conflicting opinions about this. Some people say that I'll get used to it no matter how I play, others say that the fretting hand is more important (so typically left), others say that your dominant hand has to be the one that strums due to a better sense of rhythm...I'll have to try both ways extensively. I already have a righty classical to compare to.


only can tell you from experience. i played leftie for the first year and a half back in the days when you couldn't find a leftie guitar at all (70s). said enough and started from scratch and played rightie. no reason that learning to strum is any harder than learning fingering with your non dominent hand. personally i found it easier to learn that. being a leftie i'm sure you know that unlike right handed people we can use our other hand. there are plenty of famous players that are left handed but play right (gary moore is my personal fav). up to you but as mentioned you will be limited on what guitars you can get as a leftie player which is pretty important.
#24
I'd say go with the one that doesn't feel awkward.

For me, I play right-handed because I've tried to play a left handed guitar, it felt awkward (I dunno how to explain, but it feels like your hands don't play at that part. )

Also, like another UGForumer said earlier, 99% of guitars are right-handed.
#25
Yep, the sheer choice of right handed guitars is luring me towards right handed playing. As a matter of fact, today was the first time I've ever seen anyone play a lefty guitar, which does help solidify my decision.
#26
Lefties have to adapt for all kinds of things in life, and are quite good at doing so as monwobobbo stated. Scissors are an obvious example. I'd much prefer a pair of left handed scissors, but I can use a pair of standard scissors just fine. Don't get me started on chainsaws or bolt action rifles. Going righty on the guitar just makes life a lot easier down the line.
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#27
I think I wouldn't have issues learning either way in the end. My dominant hand is definitely the left, but like most lefties, I'm somewhat ambidextrous as well. I play sports right handed and right footed, I use a mouse right handed and my righty handwriting is...readable, if slow. I'll probably get one of these: http://artist.com.mk/mex/artikal.php?glavna_kat=19&kat=97&art=8570&imea=Washburn_RX10B_pack
to practice on soon enough. (yes, I realize it's not a good guitar, nor is it a good amp, just something that caught my eye because of the price and the HSS config, tremolo (it probably instantly detunes it but whatever) and the 24 frets.)
#28
I'm a lefty that plays right handed.

I tried the other way. My left hand can't even hold a pick.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#29
Quote by AsterMK
The problem is that I've heard so many conflicting opinions about this. Some people say that I'll get used to it no matter how I play, others say that the fretting hand is more important (so typically left), others say that your dominant hand has to be the one that strums due to a better sense of rhythm...I'll have to try both ways extensively. I already have a righty classical to compare to.


Im left handed and play right handed. My left fretting hand runs circles around my right picking hand to the point where my picking just cant keep up with my fretting a lot of the time. You'll find you develop very very strong legato technique and will get very good very fast with fretwork, but you *will* get frustrated with picking technique. There are exercises you can do to mitigate it but the discrepancy will probably always be there. Not enough to be debilitating, but enough that there will be times when you just get frustrated and want to put your guitar through a wall.
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#30
Lefty that learned Lefty.

It was the most natural feel for me when I first picked up a guitar.

Its 100% up to you. I still manage to find lefty guitars, but it is harder.
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#31
I guess I'll just try both then. If I do end up with a need for a lefty guitar, I'll have to choose between http://doremi.mk/index_item.php?pid=86&cid=8&jazik=1
http://artist.com.mk/mex/artikal.php?glavna_kat=19&kat=97&art=3422&imea=Ibanez_GRG170DX_Left_Hand
and
http://artist.com.mk/mex/artikal.php?glavna_kat=19&kat=97&art=7404&imea=Tokai_USG35_LEFT_HAND
Not exactly great choice but I dig the look of all three.
#32
Quote by AsterMK
Yep, the sheer choice of right handed guitars is luring me towards right handed playing. As a matter of fact, today was the first time I've ever seen anyone play a lefty guitar, which does help solidify my decision.


For most instruments, you don't get a choice. A Sax is built only one way. Orchestral instruments, reeds, brass, just one. Piano, virtually all other stringed instruments, one way. It doesn't hinder lefties (in fact, there are studies that indicate that lefties have a much higher representation among musicians playing...whatever...than their percentage in the normal population).

On guitar, there's nothing that indicates intrinsically that one hand should be dominant over the other. Best that can be said about that is that it's all personal opinion, with that opinion based on whatever that person happens to be doing.
#33
^^ that's more due to the fact that left handed people are more likely to be creative types and right brain dominant. And playing most instruments doesn't require a whole lot of hand movement or high degree of finger dexterity like guitar does. Sure horns have a few fingers keys but you're not trying very hard to move them and they don't move very far. Pianos i would say are ambidextrous for the most part. Reed instruments, same thing as horns, your fingers rest on the keys and dont go anywhere. The only tricky ones are string instruments other than piano like violin, cello, guitars, etc. Those require a lot more dexterity in the hands to play well.
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#34
I heard of the air guitar and the hand clapping test, and I find that I usually do the air guitar left handed (not always though) and when I clap my left hand does most of the movement. Does this mean that I'll be better off as a lefty?
#35
Quote by AsterMK
I heard of the air guitar and the hand clapping test, and I find that I usually do the air guitar left handed (not always though) and when I clap my left hand does most of the movement. Does this mean that I'll be better off as a lefty?


no. air guitar means nothing and honestly i clap with my left but that has no bearing on my playing what so ever. do what works for you. you won't find any definitive answer on this and much of it is what works for you.

when it comes down to it it really is about whether you want the hassles of finding a decent leftie guitar or not. you will be limited if you go leftie. i've been playing well over 35 years at this point and playing rightie has worked well for me. are there challenges yes.
#36
Quote by AsterMK
But I hear that despite what it looks like, the strumming hand (my non-dominant hand for now) is the one that does most of the work. Is this true?


No, you may as well think about it like piano - both hands have to do very intricate things on guitar and there is no one out there that can prove that it's preferable to use your dominant hand for picking.