Considering going right handed

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by MONSTER ZERO, Mar 2, 2015.

  1. MONSTER ZERO

    MONSTER ZERO Member

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    I'm a lefty player thinking about going right handed. I am for all intents and purposes truly ambidextrous in most things. Eating, shooting, punching are all comfortable for me doing with either hand and even writing isn't so cumbersome with my opposite hand. Though I tend to favor my right hand for a lot of stuff so I figured why not try it at guitar?

    I'm also on a quest to learn to read music and apply music theory so I figure why not go back to square one?

    Plus my frustration at the lack of left handed choices for guitars has been well documented. Michael Smith of Peavey basically told me to go F**k myself when I asked why no AT-200 in a left handed model. Eh it's a crap guitar any ways. I digress. I would love to be able to get myself a JTV89F!

    Anybody here that has done the switch successfully? I did start on right handed guitars strung right handed my first couple years of playing but I've played left handed from the beginning. I've been playing for about 25 years.

    Just thinking I guess.. wanted to share it.
     
  2. kasperjensen

    kasperjensen Member

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    That's one hell of a task!!

    It honestly seems like a bit of a waste of time though...
     
  3. bgh

    bgh Supporting Member

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    I started trying to play right-handed, and couldn't do it. After learning, and then playing left-handed for a while, I tried it again. I figured maybe it would be easier since by that time I already knew how to play. It was a monumental failure. After having had years of left-handed "muscle memory", my fingers and hands were next to useless once I swapped over. I tried to play that way for a while, but realized that it would be a long process - pretty much starting over from "scratch". So, I went back to playing left-handed.

    There are a few benefits though:

    • Guitar gas is pretty much kept in check.
    • No one really asks me to let them play my guitar.
    Thanks for reading.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015
  4. Crowder

    Crowder Dang Twangler Silver Supporting Member

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    I've never tried to play lefty, but it seems like anyone switching would have several advantages (like knowing what they *ought* to do) that would present themselves after you got past the awkward stage, built up callouses, etc. How much time did you give it?
     
  5. cosmic_ape

    cosmic_ape Supporting Member

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    Two thoughts:

    1. Stick to playing lefty.
    2. Upgrade to better guitars. There are plenty of choices.

    Here's some:

    Boutique stuff

    http://www.jerrysleftyguitars.com/

    http://leftyguitarsonly.com/


    Production line stuff (notice I arranged the search based on prize, high to low)

    http://davesguitar.com/products/type/left-handed-guitars?sort=hightolow&view-all=true

    http://www.sweetwater.com/guitargallery/search/?s=left+handed&sb=high2low&pn=all

    http://www.drumcityguitarland.com/Left-Handed-Guitars-C714.aspx
    (these guys have every Schecter available in lefty. Definitely a suitable substitution to the Peavey you were after)


    Have fun!
     
  6. phil_m

    phil_m Supporting Member

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    I'm a lefty myself, but I never tried playing left-handed. For whatever reason, when I started playing it really never occurred to me to try a left-handed guitar. Really, though, writing is about the only thing I do left-handed. I throw a ball right-handed, and I use right-handed scissors (always messed me up when teachers tried to give me left-handed scissors when I was a kid). So playing right-handed always felt natural to me.

    I honestly couldn't imagine trying to switch. I think so much of playing guitar is built on developing muscle memory, so switching after playing for many years seems like a really hard thing to do. If you were just starting out, it would be different. I actually had a friend ask me about her daughter starting to play guitar a few weeks ago. She's left-handed, so my friend thought she had to get her a left-handed guitar. My advice was to at least have her try on a right-handed instrument first and to stick with that unless it felt totally wrong, for many of the reason you cite.
     
  7. MONSTER ZERO

    MONSTER ZERO Member

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    thanks for the links. The Peavey is an auto-tuning guitar. I will look at these
     
  8. Nubs

    Nubs Member

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    Yes there are a ton of great lefty manufacturers & distributors out there. Now it's mostly true that you probably won't get to try before you buy as most would suggest. That's the downside of it. But it won't take much searching to find decent lefties.

    I mod the leftyguitarists subreddit. If you're interested in additional resources, here's the link: http://www.reddit.com/r/leftyguitarists

    Good luck!

    :band
     
  9. halcyon85

    halcyon85 Member

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    I do everything right handed unless it involves writing or an instrument that can be played left handed. Many people urged me to switch when I was young, but I just couldn't do it. Impossible to play guitar or drum right handed.

    There have been many times where I hated not being right handed, for gear reasons. Not the worst thing in the world, but there are some disadvantages, especially if you don't have a lot of money.

    I'd say try it out and see how weird it feels. If it doesn't feel too weird, keep going. You can always switch back if you decide it isn't for you, and if not, then you have the added benefits.
     
  10. oldlefty

    oldlefty Member

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  11. Gotham City Blues

    Gotham City Blues Member

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    Punching?

    Anyway, at this juncture I wouldn't worry about switching and accept that guitaristically, I'm a southpaw. Re-learning to play guitar is not the same thing as learning music theory basics.
     
  12. bgh

    bgh Supporting Member

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    I gave it about a month. When a month was up, I sensed some progress, but not much, I made the decision to continue playing left-handed.

    Like you said, my hands and fingers knew what they "ought" to do, but trying to get them to do it was very frustrating. One aspect that never gets mention is this - not only do you have to retrain your hands and fingers, you have to retrain your mind. When I learned to play left-handed, I learned very quickly to treat every chord chart or fingering chart that I saw as being a "mirror image" of what I needed. It became almost a reflex. When I tried to switch, that reflex action kept getting in the way.

    I don't consider playing left-handed to be wrong, or to be a problem. I was simply trying to see if I could switch. The reasoning was the same as most other people who did it - I wanted to have more guitars at my disposal.
     
  13. watchingme

    watchingme Member

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    There are plenty of lefty guitars to choose from!! Yes, you may have to order them, but they are out there. Maybe you just a change in the type of music you play or switch to acoustic for a while. And, yes I play lefty:)
     
  14. MONSTER ZERO

    MONSTER ZERO Member

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    Good info.
     
  15. BluesForDan

    BluesForDan Member

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    I'm also very ambidextrous. People have seen me using tools and thought I was left handed. I can write albeit very poorly with my left hand.

    The muscle memory may be too much to overcome after 25 years. I'm speaking this from personal experience. I tried for months to play a left handed strat I bought after my lefty nephew expressed interest in playing. I know first hand the value of a mentor teaching you the ins and outs of guitar setup, what makes a guitar a good one and how to realize one is a tone turd. You just are not likely to find that in 99% of sales people.

    Shades of being a newbie all over again. Forget about even trying scales or chords. I was spending hours and hours over weeks, just getting the pick to hit the string I was fingering, and then trying to finger the next fret. Fingering exercises. It was beyond incomprehensible how elusive the connection between the two hands was going in the opposite direction.

    While I understand the OP's desire to open up their option of available instruments, cold hard reality is probably going to prevail. You made your bed by playing lefty all those years.

    I still heartily advocate encouraging young players to not play lefty. Forget about "but it's more natural for them." The lack of available mentors is reason alone, and unless 50% of the players suddenly decide to switch sides, it is always going to be a detriment to accessibility and economic choices.

    The other choice is playing right handed guitars upside down ala hendrix. I can't recall a picture of him ever playing a left handed guitar. I can help pick out a good guitar, then you get a new nut and have it set up lefty. I know of at least one player on The Les Paul forum who does that.
     
  16. monwobobbo

    monwobobbo Member

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    i'd get a cheap rightie guitar to just practice on and see how it goes. 25 years in is a long time. i'm a leftie but back in the day finding a leftie guitar was impossible so after a year or so of flipped righties i said F it and started to play rightie. it does open a whole new world of guitars and you use your dominant hand to fret which does make things easier in my book. the only downside is if you do a lot of fingerpicking style stuff as that takes time to relearn and that may come slower.
     

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