Playing wrong handed...


reldridge
Registered User
Joined: 02/28/12
Posts: 6
I'm left handed and chose to learn to play right handed before I ever picked up a guitar. I am interested in mostly Blues, Rock, and some Metal. Any ideas or tips on increasing speed and accuracy with my right hand.

I'm still early in my learning, but eventually I would like to be able to build speed enough for some metal tunes. Am I asking too much out of my weaker hand, or is it just a matter of practice?

Any advice would be awesome!
# 1
Guitar Tricks Admin
Full Access
Joined: 09/28/05
Posts: 3,257
Hey there!

Great question.

If you are a beginner, we would suggest learning to play right handed since you use both hands anyway. And you'll be better adapted on your fretting hand, which is the one that does most of the intricate work!

Jon Broderick, the Guitar Tricks founder is a lefty himself, and this is how he learned. We don't have any lessons available for the left hand position, though.

You are not asking too much of your other hand. You just need to practice playing right handed and it will get easier with time. I suggest going through the Guitar Fundamental lessons with your right hand to adapt to playing that way. By practicing each lesson you will increase your speed and accuracy, it's always good to learn the basics.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact us.
# 2
cjp0
Registered User
Joined: 08/30/19
Posts: 1

I'm left-handed (writing, sports, nearly everything). I had never even tried playing until my friend in college had a gorgeous acoustic guitar that he never touched. When I saw it he offered to lend it to me and I my mission began. To be honest, it never crossed my mind that it was right-handed in the beginning, so I learned the easy couple of chords, practiced a ton and that all seemed fine since of course, my fretting hand was my dominant.

That was until I started to apply these chords and finally start playing songs. I have a decent ear for music but something just wasn't right. Strumming was so unnatural but it was all new to me so I didn't think much of it until I searched, and searched and searched and it started to make sense.

In short, I ended up finding the one left-handed electric guitar (had to make the 2nd attempt somewhat easier) in Miami, without even know if it would solve the "problem". Within a day or two, I relearned the chords and that was the best thing I ever did. If righty feels wrong, just get a left-handed guitar!


# 3
tweety67
Registered User
Joined: 01/08/14
Posts: 49

I agree with cjp0!

I'm left handed and tried to learn right handed like everyone says you should since you use both hands anyway and it didn't work for me either!

Try it but if you get a chance to try out a left hand guitar,do it since it might save you time on your guitar learning journey to start out with the right(no pun intended) guitar.

Tweety


# 4
srikanth.thuy
Registered User
Joined: 08/31/20
Posts: 1

I have a dominant right hand. But when I'm learning, I see the use of my left hand on the fret board is stressing me. Thereore, I'm considering shifting to left hand style to make use of my dominant right hand on the fret board, instead of usint it for strumming.

Any suggestins please!


# 5
martinphillips286
Registered User
Joined: 07/03/20
Posts: 6

Yeah I find it strange that anyone would advise a lefty to play right-handed. What is the benefit, as left handed guitars are available why would you need to?

Would you tell a left handed youngster learning to play tennis or golf to play right handed, a student to write right handed?

I see no logic.


# 6
mcchuck47
Full Access
Joined: 08/04/19
Posts: 34

I am left-handed and I have no issues playing and learning from some one that is right-handed, it's like you are looking in the mirror. I dont understand why others try too discourage people from playing left-handed. One thing too get used to as a lefty is the chord charts are made for right handed players, so us leftys have too use our brains more.


# 7
bbriant
Registered User
Joined: 11/07/17
Posts: 95

when I was in school way back in the 50ths they used to beat left handed kids over the knuckles to try to change them.

They said you are deliberately being rebelious.

That did not work for me and im still left handed.

When I first started to learn to play guitar in the mid 60s there was hardly any left handed guitars around, so I started to learn upside down on a friends right handed guitar.

I managed to learn 3 chords G-C-D. but was having problems with strumming up all the time so I gave up.

Now there is hardly any guitar manifactures that do not make left handed guitars.

So stick with what feels the most natural.

Barry


# 8
tomix3568
Registered User
Joined: 07/20/22
Posts: 1
Originally Posted by: srikanth.thuy

I have a dominant right hand. But when I'm learning, I see the use of my left hand on the fret board is stressing me. Thereore, I'm considering shifting to left hand style to make use of my dominant right hand on the fret board, instead of usint it for strumming.

Any suggestins please!

I would not recommend this. There's a good reason why the picking hand is the dominant hand. I'm strongly left-handed and I've always played right handed. I'm a good guitar player, but for how much work I've put into it, I should be able to strum and pick much better than I can. I listen to Thom York's acoustic strumming on OK Computer, and I don't think I could ever lay back on the beat that perfectly and consistently. There's a bit of a robotic vibe to my strumming.

Also, and probably most importantly, I can't sing and play the guitar at the same time very well. It's sad, because one of my greatest strengths is songwriting. There's something in the wiring of the brain that makes it really hard to strum with my non-dominant hand while singing. I've practiced it a lot, and can perform decently, but not going to blow anyone away with my rhythmic tightness while singing.

Now, if you're just doing it to find a creative edge with your right hand on the fretboard, it might be worth a try. People have always told me I'm a very creative, original guitar player, and it might have a lot to do with that. Or maybe just being right-brain dominant in general...


# 9
oscarGT
Full Access
Joined: 02/06/21
Posts: 5

I am left handed for writing and everything else except throwing a ball.

For some odd reason, when I first picked up a right-handed guitar I could not make progress fretting with my left hand. Since I followed the Beatles and Paul McCartney was left handed, it made sense to me to do the same, and then I started making progress. I did not have any problem fretting with my right hand and strumming with my left.

Years later, I tried to force myself to play right handed just as a test.

I tried for one hour and I felt like my brain had been turned upside down.

So I stopped that and kept playing left handed.

I have two left handed electric guitars and one bass. (see profle pic)

If you have a chance, try to play left handed guitars for a while and see how that works.

There are many left handed models nowadays.

Success in your guitar journey!


Life's always better with music ....

My gear is:[br]-Ibanez RG470L (left handed) navy blue[br]-Ibanez JS 100L (left handed) red cherry[br]-ZOOM G5 multieffects[br](no amp. listening through multieffects headphones)

-Bass Yamaha RBX 350 white (left handed)[br]-Bass Amp: Peavey Basic 112[br]-E. Piano: Yamaha Piaggero NP-V80 (76 keys)

# 10
oscarGT
Full Access
Joined: 02/06/21
Posts: 5

P.S. Also remember Jimmy Hendrix. He forced the right-handed stratocaster to be Left-Handed for him ... not himself to the available guitar(s) at the time.


Life's always better with music ....

My gear is:[br]-Ibanez RG470L (left handed) navy blue[br]-Ibanez JS 100L (left handed) red cherry[br]-ZOOM G5 multieffects[br](no amp. listening through multieffects headphones)

-Bass Yamaha RBX 350 white (left handed)[br]-Bass Amp: Peavey Basic 112[br]-E. Piano: Yamaha Piaggero NP-V80 (76 keys)

# 11