Why do we play guitar with our dominant hand doing the picking/strumming?

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by standard24, Aug 21, 2019.

  1. Buzzard Luck

    Buzzard Luck Member

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    That’s a nice sounding argument, but doesn’t show any depth of understanding of bending and vibrato and other expressive techniques. Don't you think that ‘Electric guitar’ in the most common blues/rock sense normally involves exceptional fretting hand control? (more than pushing buttons?)

    EDIT: this thread explains why so many fellows have so much trouble bending a note in tune. They are obviously entirely occupied with the glory of having simply plucked the correct string.
     
  2. gigs

    gigs Member

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    What about piano.... why are the high keys on the right side forcing your right hand to play the highs and left hand play the lows?

    Do left handed pianos exist?
     
  3. Grun

    Grun Member

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    Speaking for myself, it just feels natural. Righty playing righty.
     
  4. marvin cobain

    marvin cobain Member

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    to me the picking hand has by far the most difficult techniques and it's not even close. Alternate picking, sweep, tapping, classical fingerpicking, chicken picking, hybrid picking, flamenco techniques, gipsy jazz techniques, palm muting, harmonics, ebow... The left hand technique is basically always the same thing. There are hard things like difficult stretches and legatos (of course, if one is playing covers of Allan Holdsworth or Johnny Smith that is very hard stuff) and the slide, but one can master all of that. I have still to see a guitarist that can do at very high levels all the things above with the right hand.
     
  5. gigs

    gigs Member

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    ^ I have still to see a baseball player who can throw a 100mph+ fastball for a strike, hit 60 home runs and steal 100 bases in a season. At a certain level, people begin to specialize.

    Expectations way too high.
     
  6. GMGM

    GMGM Member

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    A quick google search yields the following...

    Eric Gales
    Michael Angelo Batio
    Mark Knopfler
    Billy Corgan
    Steve Morse
    Gary Moore
    Robert Fripp
    Shawn Lane
    Joe Perry
    and dozens more.

    Personally, I find Shawn Lane to be one of the most horrid and unlistenable players in decades. The worst of the bunch when it came to "speed for speed's sake". But you can't really challenge his picking technique. Nor can you channenge Joe Perry's funky timing.

    If anyone wants to donate a halfway decent left-handed guitar to me, I'd be willing to learn the other way. :D
     
  7. derekd

    derekd Member

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    Hey man, if you want to argue with an occupational therapist and what neurology has to say about dominant hand tasks, knock yourself out.

    I didn't come up with this info, just reporting it.
     
  8. twoheadedboy

    twoheadedboy Member

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    I'm left-handed for most tasks, but I play guitar right-handed. I think that makes sense.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2019
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  9. Tom Gross

    Tom Gross Silver Supporting Member

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    Last week I broke the ring finger on my right hand.
    I can still play guitar, but almost everything else is a huge hassle. So glad it wasn't my left.
     
  10. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Supporting Member

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    Hold with the left and hit it with the right.
    That is universal amongst righties.

    If you can throw, cut, hammer, brush your teeth, pick your nose with your off hand your are more centrist than a lot of folks and will have a different 'feel.'
    If you feel that you can accomplish more by reversing your guitar playing DO IT!

    Right.

    Playing a tune on a piano is a right hand job and thus the piano is laid out to have the melody notes accessible to the RH.

    For those who are bi consider yourselves to be lucky, and choose wisely.
    Most of us get no choice.
     
  11. 4b454e

    4b454e Member

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    Only the last of those, but perfect ambidexterity on that one.
    Just checked. Yep. Either hand, either nostril - I get the booger.
     
  12. lhallam

    lhallam Member

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    I am a lefty playing righty.
     
  13. jwny72

    jwny72 Member

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    I don’t! I’m left handed and I play “right handed”. So my my dominant hand frets, my sub-dominant hand picks/strums. I think it’s why legato comes easily and quick, accurate alternate picking is more difficult (for me).
     
  14. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Supporting Member

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    Maybe more to the point- which hand do you choose pick your friend's nose i.e. where accuracy and control may really be necessary?
     
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  15. aldridt11

    aldridt11 Member

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    All the mojo comes from the picking hand.
     
  16. juxtapolice

    juxtapolice Member

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    Im a righty and when I pick up a left handed guitar I can easily fret a few traditional chords but my left hand is worthless with regard to picking, strumming or having any discerning control over the instrument. I also mostly feel the fatigue of playing on my right hand whereas my left hand (fretting hand) doesnt seem to feel the brunt of anything
     
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  17. monwobobbo

    monwobobbo Member

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    another leftie that plays rightie. never had a really hard time strumming or picking. finger picking isn't my strong suite but i don't do it very often (except noodling during practice). started plying left but at that time left handed guitars were rare hard to find and flipping sucked. after a year i said F it and started from scratch playing right handed. went much faster and smoother when i did
     
  18. 4b454e

    4b454e Member

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    Maybe more to the point- which hand do you choose pick your friend's nose i.e. where accuracy and control may really be necessary?[/QUOTE]
    Ooh. Yeah, I don't have enough dexterity with either hand for that. I go large-muscle group for that case. Looks about like the first few seconds of this.


     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
  19. RockDebris

    RockDebris Member

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    This is interesting to discuss. For things that are intuitive, natural or just simply intrinsic to the experience of being a human, I totally understand. Picking up a ball, reaching for a door handle, shaking hands, using a screw driver ... or more primitive like punching, clubbing, kicking.

    Most musical instruments are complex and most require a learned and practiced muscle memory on both hands. That's just my opinion based on my own experiences of learning to play Sax, Piano, Drums, Guitar and Bass. Saxophone is actually an interesting study here because it actually puts more of the work in the left hand, which includes using the left thumb, handling more controls and playing the higher pitches (more melodic), while the right hand thumb is actually stationary and used to stablize the instrument and the right fingers are used over fewer controls not used as much (lower pitches and ALWAYS in conjunction with the left hand) . Allow me to drive that last point home a bit more: you can play the instrument with just the left hand and get a lot out of it. You can't play the instrument at all with only the right. By anyone's definition, that makes this left dominant. One could even argue then that Saxophone is intrinsically a left handed instrument in a right handed world, but righties seem to get along just fine. Point is, muscle memory for complex tasks are learned by either hand. Either hand is frustrated at first by complex, muscle memory tasks.

    I looked for this video as a demonstration of what I mean for those who don't know how a saxophone is played. (ugh, that video required clicking to go to youtube. Heavens forbid anyone shares it on a different site!) I'm going to give this busker some love instead:
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2019
  20. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Supporting Member

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    and bring it to your mouth where, in many ways, you play the sax, while you hold it, in the commonly dominant hand.

    Don't you think the norm in instruments has evolved due to natural and efficient practices that serve most people in the best ways?
    For those who fall outside of the norm, there are ways to modify the tools to accommodate you. If those reversed instruments better served the norm they would have long ago been adopted as such.
     

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