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Teaching a Leftie (or not)

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Re: Teaching a Leftie (or not)

Postby BigRedX » Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:20 pm

As someone who is left-hand for some things and right handed for others, and who would have probably been a left handed guitar player - my natural inclination was to hold it left handed - if it hadn't been for the fact the guitar was very obviously designed to be played right handed.

It took me almost 9 months to get the hang of playing right handed, but I am grateful that I stuck with it simply because of the fact that has a right handed player I have vastly increased choice when it comes to buying instruments.
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Re: Teaching a Leftie (or not)

Postby zenguitar » Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:53 pm

Hendrix was dually ambidextrous, he could play right and left handed guitars left and right handed. Ernie Isley taught himself to do the same.

To be reasonably competent on the guitar requires both hands to be very dextrous and also independent of each other.

When you start it might feel a lot more comfortable for some people to play left handed, and that can be enough to keep them enthusiastic and stick with it. But in the long term they are drastically limiting their options.

For a 30 something starting for the first time who wants to strum and sing a few songs for fun and perhaps get up at an open mic occasionally, no problem with them being a leftie.

But for a child so young to want to learn suggests that music is likely to be a important to them and a big part of their life. Possibly a career in music, and also the possibility that the guitar may not end up as their main instrument, they may go on to orchestral instruments and will have to learn right handed. In that example, learning guitar right handed opens up far more options than just a wider choice of guitars, it opens up the options of the violin family.

Those are the pros and cons as I see them. But I won't suggest an option as being 'best' because I have no right to tell a parent what is best for their child.

Hope you find a great option for your daughter and she get's a lifetime of pleasure from music. And how about persuading her to learn both so she can do the Hendrix party trick ;)

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Teaching a Leftie (or not)

Postby ef37a » Mon Apr 08, 2019 2:55 pm

Thank you Andy you summed my ramblings up very nicely!

As I said a bit back. I taught myself some bad chord habits (little finger wrong for 1st pos C7th e.g.) and so I can think of no worse habit to allow a child to get into than playing an instrument with the wrong hands.

I am strongly RH (but developed a bit of ambi for work as I said) my wife is a lefty but copes in a RH world. the one thing that used to reduce her to Anglo Saxon was scissors! I bought her a pair of Wlikinson lefties......Inell! The price!

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Re: Teaching a Leftie (or not)

Postby Ian Shaw » Mon Apr 08, 2019 6:18 pm

Wow. Thanks for all those thoughtful & interesting replies. I knew I'd come to the right place.

I noticed yesterday that she does indeed eat with fork in the right, knife in the left, but writes right handed.

She's always been a bit of an enigma. Despite being compliant at school, at home she will generally rebellious and will do things the way she wants to do them. This is admirable & frustrating in equal measures, but probably similar to me, so it might be best if I get someone else to teach her as I get the feeling we will clash big time if I try to do it

I'm a bit wary of formal training as my parents took me to piano lessons & I hated every minute. I wanted to be a drummer but ended up playing electric guitar, moving to classical, but these days mostly enjoy making strange noises on my computer, so who knows what she might end up doing. She seems to have a well developed musical sense, making up songs on the hoof with quite complex melodies, so I'm tempted to let her do it her way & try to find a tutor that can accommodate her needs.

Once again, thanks for the replies.

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Re: Teaching a Leftie (or not)

Postby ef37a » Mon Apr 08, 2019 6:39 pm

Ian, something a bit off the wall?

Get her a wee MIDI keyboard that will pug into a computer and let her find tunes on that?

I did music at secondary school (mandatory for the first two years IIRC) and it wasn't terribly interesting. I did learn the notes of the staves but little else. I enjoyed the classical music they force fed us but was the only one!
I think we can be a bit "too careful" in protecting a suppose raw talent? True talent will come forth no matter I think and music DOES need work if you are to understand it. If that puts off the less devoted, maybe not such a bad thing? We are drowning in bedroom wannabees!

If she learns a bit of keys and can get by on a "proper" guitar "properly" she will be set for fun for the rest of her life. Might even earn a few bob!

BTW, start saving now for driving lessons! We do not want to read about patricide in few years time!

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Re: Teaching a Leftie (or not)

Postby Ian Shaw » Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:03 pm

ef37a wrote:

BTW, start saving now for driving lessons! We do not want to read about patricide in few years time!

Dave.

Already there with football training & matches for both my kids :headbang:
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Re: Teaching a Leftie (or not)

Postby CS70 » Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:19 pm

ef37a wrote:True talent will come forth no matter

Not sure about that. My $10, talent is like a tree, big and strong once is grown , but very very fragile when it's a little bud, and needs to be nurtured and protected in order to blossom.
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Re: Teaching a Leftie (or not)

Postby Murray B » Fri May 24, 2019 7:19 pm

I’m not much of a poster here so Hi everyone.

In response to the original post

I am a lefty who plays right handed guitars. I learnt from age 11 and it didn’t feel that playing was more difficult because I was doing things the wrong way round.

Fingerpicking took some work to get right, where as chords and note fretting came a bit more naturally.

I wouldn’t dream of insisting on one approach over the other but would offer the following reflections on my own Guitar playing journey. I don’t feel that my playing is hindered by playing right handed. I can buy most any guitar I like. I can pick up the majority of other people’s guitars in a Jam session or borrow someone else’s guitar in the case of emergency.

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Re: Teaching a Leftie (or not)

Postby blinddrew » Fri May 24, 2019 7:37 pm

Good points, you should post more often. :)
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Re: Teaching a Leftie (or not)

Postby Rich Hanson » Fri May 24, 2019 9:40 pm

I was at school with a self-taught lefty who played right-handed guitars upside without re-stringing, which had the advantage for him that he could pick up anybody else's guitar and play it.
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Re: Teaching a Leftie (or not)

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri May 24, 2019 9:52 pm

I knew a guy at college who could play either handed and on left or right strung guitars both ways. Can't remember how good he was but it impressed me at the time :clap:
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Re: Teaching a Leftie (or not)

Postby shufflebeat » Sat May 25, 2019 4:02 am

Murray B wrote:I am a lefty who plays right handed guitars. I learnt from age 11 and it didn’t feel that playing was more difficult because I was doing things the wrong way round.

I started playing guitar about 12/13yrs and, due to a misunderstanding with a drummer, I played the way you describe for about 30yrs. I eventually swapped to a lefty-stung mandola to complement my upside down righty-strung guitar which did make for some interesting double-takes. In the last few years I've gone more conventional. I have a couple of proper lefty guitars and my old Tak hasn't left the case in about 2 years.

Life is an experiment.

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