#1
I just started playing guitar a couple weeks ago, I am left handed but bought a right handed guitar because the people at my shop said it would be better for me in the long run to learn right handed. I tried playing right handed but it was very uncomfortable and difficult. So, I flipped the guitar upside down and started playing left handed. It was much easier for me and more natural for me to play. I tried doing some research on people who played like this and I saw that there is not much content about or people who play like this. I was wondering why? Are there any defects to playing upside down? Does it make playing more difficult? I've been teaching myself so I can't tell.
#3
Quote by jimkrueger13
I just started playing guitar a couple weeks ago, I am left handed but bought a right handed guitar because the people at my shop said it would be better for me in the long run to learn right handed.


That is dumb. Left handed guitars exist for exactly this reason.

Quote by jimkruger13
I tried playing right handed but it was very uncomfortable and difficult. So, I flipped the guitar upside down and started playing left handed. It was much easier for me and more natural for me to play. I tried doing some research on people who played like this and I saw that there is not much content about or people who play like this. I was wondering why? Are there any defects to playing upside down? Does it make playing more difficult? I've been teaching myself so I can't tell.


Do you mean flipping the guitar over without restringing it, therefore placing the thickest strings at the bottom? If so, I have only seen one person do this. I can't comment on how practical it is but my guess would be that it's a bad idea for a beginner.

If you mean taking a right handed guitar, flipping it over and restringing it so you can play it left handed then the obvious answer to this is Hendrix.
#4
Watch Eric Gales play - he and Abert king played like that. I think it's awesome - Eric Gales has such a unique rythm approach beacause of it. I would do it if I was starting out and had to play lefty - it also visually looks very cool.
#5
I've seen a couple of upside down players. It can be used to advantage if you work at it, since it offers a very distinctive sound. Another famous example is Elizabeth Cotten.

I find it interesting that you had a problem switching over to rh playing, because popular wisdom says you should be OK if you start out that way. Are you strongly left handed, that is, does your right hand feel clumsy for everything?
#6
jimkrueger13 I'm left-handed, and bought a left-handed guitar.  The people in the store who told you to buy a righty are idiots.  If you can, exchange the guitar for a lefty, or sell it and use the money to buy a lefty.
#8
Quote by AcousticMirror
screw playing left handed.
you are making a big mistake.


Stupid post, based on ancient prejudices.  Almost any major guitar maker's model can be bought left-handed, and there's been plenty of successful lefties, like Paul McCartney and Hendrix, considered by many to being the best guitarist ever.  Don't post dumb things on the internet.
#9
Quote by transwarp
Stupid post, based on ancient prejudices.  Almost any major guitar maker's model can be bought left-handed, and there's been plenty of successful lefties, like Paul McCartney and Hendrix, considered by many to being the best guitarist ever.  Don't post dumb things on the internet.

ok sure. hendrix. 

enjoy never being able to buy a guitar off the rack. or going anywhere and being able to jam with anyone.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#10
jimkrueger13 I think you're making a mistake by playing upside down guitar. True, it's been done before and the players who did it have a unique sound and style of playing. Unique can be good, but it also makes it hard to sound like your favorite musicians.  In trying to teach yourself, emulating other musicians is how you'll measure your progress.  You will also have a hard time interpreting chord diagrams, and even when you do, traditional chord shapes will be awkward to play. Same goes for reading tab. Even if you sort that out, you have to contend with the different sounding strum.  Playing upside down, your "natural" strum will be backwards. A down-strum sounds different from an up-strum partly because of the order you're hitting the strings, and partly because you have more natural  power on the down strum. So, lots of reasons not to play upside down. 

I am of the belief that you should learn to play the so-called "right handed" way. There is a lot of evidence that *most* lefties learn on a regular guitar.  You just don't notice them. In fact, I played with one of my bandmates for over 40 years before I realized he was left handed. I know you think it felt more "natural" to pick the guitar up lefty, but that really has little to do with anything. No matter which way you learn, BOTH hands will eventually be performing equally complex actions. Your off-hand will need a lot of attention, and guitar feels unnatural to everybody at first. 

There are a lot of self taught guitarists who are left handed and assumed they had to play that way. The guitar industry has responded to that market. Left hand models are available, although they aren't always in stock at your local shop.  The problem is, with most other stringed instruments, you don't have a choice. Left handed fiddles are extremely rare.  Same with 5-string banjo, sitar, pedal steel guitar, and more. Once you commit to playing a stringed instrument lefty, you limit options for trying other instruments.  I guess that's okay if you never want to expand beyond guitar. The other thing is that when you upgrade your guitar, you'll want to try it out first before plunking down big bucks.  That's difficult if there aren't any in your local store. I have a lefty friend that bought a new lefty Gretsch Country Gentleman.  He had to shell out almost $3k to have the shop order a guitar he couldn't try out first. 

I realize that there are people who feel strongly that lefty's should learn left handed.  While I disagree, I do respect those opinions and you should consider all the options. If you want to continue learning lefty, I strongly suggest you acquire a true left handed guitar. It's possible to string a regular guitar backwards, but in most cases the guitar needs modifications. 
#11
Quote by AcousticMirror
ok sure. hendrix. 

enjoy never being able to buy a guitar off the rack. or going anywhere and being able to jam with anyone.

Oh, but wait - I did buy them off the rack - two of them, actually.

And I can "jam" with anyone, since - wow, I bring my guitar with me, novel concept indeed.

Being lefthanded is a bonus because I don't have to worry about some idiot picking up my nice guitar, trying it out, and screwing it up/dropping it/getting their ketchup fingers on it.

As for retail offerings, there are stores that ONLY carry lefthanded guitars:

https://www.southpawguitars.com
http://www.jerrysleftyguitars.com/index.html

Then there's Gruhn's in Nashville with a load of left-handed guitars.  Then there are the larger GCs which also carry lefties, especially electrics.

Lots of choices, and the major makers, especially Taylor, offer any of their models lefty without additional charge.
Last edited by transwarp at May 13, 2017,
#12
Oh good you have to go to a special snowflake store just to buy your guitars.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#13
Quote by AcousticMirror
Oh good you have to go to a special snowflake store just to buy your guitars.


Oh look, the trolling fool speaks. Low IQ posters represented well by this one.  Surprised it can even spell guitar.
Last edited by transwarp at May 13, 2017,
#14
Quote by AcousticMirror
Oh good you have to go to a special snowflake store just to buy your guitars.


If you're not going to contribute to the thread and just belittle others then please leave, you're just making an ass of yourself, and you're probably not going to please the mods. Take this petty argument elsewhere.
Quote by Fat Lard
post of the year, thank you
#15
I'm a lefty and play left handed guitar for the same reason you're flipping the right handed guitar around. If I could go back to the beginning, I think I would try to stick it out playing right handed. Whilst you can get decent left handed models in most price brackets, there really isn't a massive range of instruments compared to right handers and you usually pay more for the privilege. Once you've got the basics down, it won't feel odd in the slightest.

That being said, I believe you should go with what feels good to you. You shouldn't let others dictate your decisions or take away the fun of learning/playing. If you learn to play 'upside down' you'll not be locked into the left handed guitar market, which I see as a bonus. I can't think of it being a disadvantage, unless you're set on playing heavier genres of music, as stated by tommymc.

You may want to check out Albert King and Dick Dale for other guitarists who play upside down.

Good luck, whatever you decide to do. 
Guitars:
EVH Wolfgang Special LH
Gibson Les Paul Studio 2013
Ibanez EW20LASE-NT LH

Effects:
BOSS GT-100

Amps:
Fender Hot Rod DeVille 410
Laney IRT Studio + 112 cab
#16
Quote by jimkrueger13
I just started playing guitar a couple weeks ago, I am left handed but bought a right handed guitar because the people at my shop said it would be better for me in the long run to learn right handed. I tried playing right handed but it was very uncomfortable and difficult. So, I flipped the guitar upside down and started playing left handed. It was much easier for me and more natural for me to play. I tried doing some research on people who played like this and I saw that there is not much content about or people who play like this. I was wondering why? Are there any defects to playing upside down? Does it make playing more difficult? I've been teaching myself so I can't tell.
I had a friend that did this, he was very poor and we gave him a right handed guitar and he just started playing it left handed without changing the strings or nut around. (high E on top)
He got very good.
You may be better off in the long run getting a proper set up, but whoever told you to play right handed when you're a lefty was an arse.
If this guy can play like this.... (skip to about 4:00 to have your mind blown)
Last edited by 33db at May 13, 2017,
#17
Quote by 33db
I had a friend that did this, he was very poor and we gave him a right handed guitar and he just started playing it left handed without changing the strings or nut around. (high E on top)
He got very good.
You may be better off in the long run getting a proper set up, but whoever told you to play right handed when you're a lefty was an arse.
If this guy can play like this.... (skip to about 4:00 to have your mind blown)

He was blind, and not left-handed.
#18
Quote by transwarp
He was blind, and not left-handed.

You couldn't get it was an example of what people can do when they try... Went right over your head.
#19
Quote by 33db
You couldn't get it was an example of what people can do when they try... Went right over your head.

LOL, I was just razzing you...my trolling went over yours. 

Anyway, Jeff was an astounding player, even had a role in Road House with Patrick Swayze.

This guy is also unreal:

#21
AcousticMirror transwarp Right, this has been reported, but at this point you're actually both being assholes.

AcousticMirror, I've said this to you before: I expect better.  You're known on the forum to many and I suspect some of those people even respect you.  Be worthy of that.  Please don't make me do something more official than a verbal warning.

transwarp you may or may not have started off with a good point, but you instantly descended into combative and adversarial language.  Also, if you're trying to make a point of any kind, please don't troll people back.  There's plenty of discussion to be had on this subject but that can only happen if you go in to this with a good attitude and if you think more carefully about how you're saying what you want to say.

Again, at this point you're both being jerks.  Don't.  I encourage you both to watch this and try and think about how it applies to you and this situation:




As for my actual $0.02 on this one:

I would suggest playing right handed in the traditional way.  While transwarp is right in that you can get leftie guitars in many larger or specialist shops... those are in no way guaranteed.  As someone who lives in the UK I think I can probably count on one hand the number of times I've seen a left handed guitar.  In bigger places like the US with its big chain GCs it'll be easier, but it's no guarantee.

I would also agree with G-Dog_666, in that there is so much learning to do for both of your hands and it's so unnatural in general, that in terms of learning or talent or whatever else you want to call it it doesn't make any difference which hand you use for what in the long run.

That said... I am right handed.  I don't know what it's like to play left handed at all.  What I think could be 100% wrong.  It all comes down to what you want to do.

Further:

There's no material specifically detailing playing upside down because, really, it's not actually any different from playing the "right way up".  The exact details of everything are flipped, but the principles, the most important things, are exactly the same.  Relaxation, economy of motion, listening to what you're playing, keeping your wrists as neutral as possible, all these are the same no matter how you play.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

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#22
jimkrueger13
You can keep going the way you're going, it can be done.
But I wonder if it would be better to get a proper left handed guitar, for learning reasons, proper fingering, reading tabs etc.
I think all that needs to happen is reversing the nut then setting the saddle appropriately and you're good to go.
You would be dealing with the volume and tone knobs in an awkward position, *shrug* not that big a deal.
#23
G-Dog_666 

Albert King is interesting. Early in his career he flipped over right-handed Flying Vs, which he apparently chose because of good access to the  high frets in a time when in wasn't so easy to find left-handed guitars. Later he was playing a left handed Flying V, but strung right-handed. So here we have a left-handed player playing a left-handed guitar but stringing his guitar upside down. Did Dick Dale or any of the others do that? 
#24
Tony Done  Hi Tony, I'm not an expert on either of those players. I just know them for playing lefty with upside down tuning. From doing some basic searching, I can't find a picture of Dick Dale with anything but a left handed guitar. I would guess that he originally learned on a right handed guitar and then kept the same tuning when he got his hands on a left handed guitar, but that's just me speculating.
Guitars:
EVH Wolfgang Special LH
Gibson Les Paul Studio 2013
Ibanez EW20LASE-NT LH

Effects:
BOSS GT-100

Amps:
Fender Hot Rod DeVille 410
Laney IRT Studio + 112 cab
#25
Zaphod_Beeblebr

Come on bro. Look at what the thread actually says. My first post actually answered the op by telling him he's making a mistake. I'm not the one being antagonistic.

Any bad behavior here is on the part of transwarp not me.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#26
Quote by AcousticMirror
Zaphod_Beeblebr

Come on bro. Look at what the thread actually says. My first post actually answered the op by telling him he's making a mistake. I'm not the one being antagonistic.

Any bad behavior here is on the part of transwarp not me.

Yet you continued to argue with him with belittling snarks and sarcastic attacks, and now you're playing the "but he started it" card like a child. You were, and still are, being childish. Grow up.    
Quote by Fat Lard
post of the year, thank you
#27
Quote by Jimjambanx
Yet you continued to argue with him with belittling snarks and sarcastic attacks, and now you're playing the "but he started it" card like a child. You were, and still are, being childish. Grow up.    


are you illiterate? what did I say that was snarky?

the situation is a little better now but if you play lefty

it drastically decreases your ability to buy guitars off the rack and used guitars
the greatest selection comes from 2 speciality stores that only sell lefty guitars which is the very definition of a special snowflake store
you have to take your own guitar everywhere you want to jam

none of which is snarky or sarcastic.

not to mention the fact that there's no verifiable reason why a lefty has to play lefty. For every lefty playing lefty there are 10 great lefty guitarists that have played righty.

I mean if you want to play like hendrix then just play like hendrix. A righty can string a lefty and play like hendrix as well. If you wanna be tommy Iommi then just play lefty and cut off two of your fingertips. you don't need those either.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#28
Jimjambanx Obviously I'm a little biased, but I agree.

What some people don't get is that it is highly insulting to be told that because you are left-handed, or like something they don't - that you are WRONG.

Do people who like chocolate ice cream tell those who like vanilla "you are stupid/foolish/etc" for liking vanilla?  

Why do righties believe that simply because there are more of them, that they are "right" and lefties are "wrong?"  If the population split were 50/50, would they still be wrong? 

Not everyone thinks, acts the same, likes the same food, movies, etc.  Simply because a person is left-handed does not make them wrong, stupid, or "forced to buy their items in a snowflake" store or some other BS, its just rude and uncalled for.  With the internet pretty much anything can be bought anywhere.  I'm sure in all of the UK there are stores carrying left-handed stock.

As for the OP, the store gave him bad advice, if a person is more comfortable playing left-handed, why would he be encouraged not to do so?  The guitar is challenging enough to master, why make it more difficult?
#29
AcousticMirror 
Quote by AcousticMirror
are you illiterate? what did I say that was snarky?

the situation is a little better now but if you play lefty

it drastically decreases your ability to buy guitars off the rack and used guitars
the greatest selection comes from 2 speciality stores that only sell lefty guitars which is the very definition of a special snowflake store
you have to take your own guitar everywhere you want to jam

none of which is snarky or sarcastic.

not to mention the fact that there's no verifiable reason why a lefty has to play lefty. For every lefty playing lefty there are 10 great lefty guitarists that have played righty.

I mean if you want to play like hendrix then just play like hendrix. A righty can string a lefty and play like hendrix as well. If you wanna be tommy Iommi then just play lefty and cut off two of your fingertips. you don't need those either.

If you have to be told that claiming people have to buy their preferred merchandise in "snowflake stores", I'm not sure even bothering to explain it to you would be worthwhile.

I should point out to the forum that I drove through multiple cities recently in the US, and each had a guitar store with lefties in them.
Last edited by transwarp at May 16, 2017,
#30
Quote by AcousticMirror
are you illiterate? what did I say that was snarky?

the situation is a little better now but if you play lefty

it drastically decreases your ability to buy guitars off the rack and used guitars
the greatest selection comes from 2 speciality stores that only sell lefty guitars which is the very definition of a special snowflake store
you have to take your own guitar everywhere you want to jam

none of which is snarky or sarcastic.

not to mention the fact that there's no verifiable reason why a lefty has to play lefty. For every lefty playing lefty there are 10 great lefty guitarists that have played righty.

I mean if you want to play like hendrix then just play like hendrix. A righty can string a lefty and play like hendrix as well. If you wanna be tommy Iommi then just play lefty and cut off two of your fingertips. you don't need those either.


"Oh good you have to go to a special snowflake store just to buy your guitars." Sounds pretty snarky to me. And only now are you presenting your argument eloquently and with reason, your older posts were much more condescending and blunt. I have no issue with your opinion, but how you presented it and how you responded to counter argument was poor.
Quote by Fat Lard
post of the year, thank you
#31
AcousticMirror, maybe I didn't make myself clear: this is not a debate.  You chose to rise and use language that you know full well is easily antagonistic.  I don't care who started it.

transwarp, same goes for you.

You are both making this worse.

jimkrueger13, I'm sorry, I'm going to close this thread.  It's not your fault and I apologize on behalf of the people in this thread who aren't helping you.  Please do start another thread if you still feel like you need more information.  Hopefully that will go better.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.