Lefty guitar?

Guitar Tricks Forum > Guitar Basics > Lefty guitar?

bvarbel

Registered User

Joined: 03/13/12

Posts: 10

My wife wants to learn. She is left handed. All my guitars are standard. She is 44 years old. Do I make her learn standard guitar since she has no preconceived notions, or do I buy her an inexpensive left handed guitar.

A knowledgable man at "guitar center" told me to teach her on the right handed guitar. My father who has been playing 40 years cited folks like paul mcCartney and adamantly claims that a lefty deserves a left handed guitar. A local guitar teacher said it could go either way.

What is the end all answer here. I want to do the right thing...but if she learns on right, then she can play all my guitars.

#1

My wife wants to learn. She is left handed. All my guitars are standard. She is 44 years old. Do I make her learn standard guitar since she has no preconceived notions, or do I buy her an inexpensive left handed guitar.

A knowledgable man at "guitar center" told me to teach her on the right handed guitar. My father who has been playing 40 years cited folks like paul mcCartney and adamantly claims that a lefty deserves a left handed guitar. A local guitar teacher said it could go either way.

What is the end all answer here. I want to do the right thing...but if she learns on right, then she can play all my guitars.

Jon Broderick

Administrator

Joined: 10/31/00

Posts: 3319

We get this question a lot.

I am left handed, and I play normal right handed.

If you think about what the left and right hand do when playing normal right handed, the left hand has the harder job. The left hand does the fretting, which is harder than the picking the right hand does. So I think they are named backwards.

Anyway, my vote: your wife should learn normal right handed, and avoid the aggravation of trying to find lefty guitars and instruction.


Hope that helps. :)
Jon Broderick
Guitar Tricks Instructor


http://www.GuitarTricks.com - Home of Online Guitar Lessons

#2

We get this question a lot.

I am left handed, and I play normal right handed.

If you think about what the left and right hand do when playing normal right handed, the left hand has the harder job. The left hand does the fretting, which is harder than the picking the right hand does. So I think they are named backwards.

Anyway, my vote: your wife should learn normal right handed, and avoid the aggravation of trying to find lefty guitars and instruction.


Hope that helps. :)
Jon Broderick
Guitar Tricks Instructor


http://www.GuitarTricks.com - Home of Online Guitar Lessons

nikimatheson

Registered User

Joined: 12/06/12

Posts: 1

Hi!

I'm a beginner lefty and recently bought myself a left-handed acoustic guitar. For me the choice was clear and feels absolutely right as I've been learning, although I can't exactly tell you why:) Partly, perhaps, in the ability to keep better strumming rhythm with my left hand.

Each person needs to choose for themselves and see how a real lefty guitar feels to hold and play compared to a right-handed one. Some can go either way and some of us just can't get our brains to work any other way than strictly left-handed.

Using GT hasn't been a problem because learning from a mirror image might actually make some things easier. I wold appreciate some lefty acknowledgement somewhere on the site, though, for example in the form of chord charts. Luckily these can be found elsewhere online.

All the best in making your choice!

#3

Hi!

I'm a beginner lefty and recently bought myself a left-handed acoustic guitar. For me the choice was clear and feels absolutely right as I've been learning, although I can't exactly tell you why:) Partly, perhaps, in the ability to keep better strumming rhythm with my left hand.

Each person needs to choose for themselves and see how a real lefty guitar feels to hold and play compared to a right-handed one. Some can go either way and some of us just can't get our brains to work any other way than strictly left-handed.

Using GT hasn't been a problem because learning from a mirror image might actually make some things easier. I wold appreciate some lefty acknowledgement somewhere on the site, though, for example in the form of chord charts. Luckily these can be found elsewhere online.

All the best in making your choice!

JJ90

Registered User

Joined: 01/02/11

Posts: 226

Hi bvarbel,

I'm a left handed guitar player for almost 4 years now. When I started out learning guitar I tried playing right handed and found it terrible. Left handed felt right for me and it still is.

I disagree with Jon that it's difficult to find lefty instruction. Lessons on this site for example are really easy for us lefties to follow. I have never had any trouble learning chords, tab or following guitar video lessons. My private guitar teacher taught the exact same stuff to a righthanded person and didn't have any difficulties finding my errors. We lefties instantly mirror it when we see a righthanded instructor teach us something. I actually found myself picking things up more quickly and easily.

Just let your wife decide what she thinks would be right for her.

JJ

#4

Hi bvarbel,

I'm a left handed guitar player for almost 4 years now. When I started out learning guitar I tried playing right handed and found it terrible. Left handed felt right for me and it still is.

I disagree with Jon that it's difficult to find lefty instruction. Lessons on this site for example are really easy for us lefties to follow. I have never had any trouble learning chords, tab or following guitar video lessons. My private guitar teacher taught the exact same stuff to a righthanded person and didn't have any difficulties finding my errors. We lefties instantly mirror it when we see a righthanded instructor teach us something. I actually found myself picking things up more quickly and easily.

Just let your wife decide what she thinks would be right for her.

JJ

Jon Broderick

Administrator

Joined: 10/31/00

Posts: 3319

Interesting, JJ90, I didn't know you were playing lefty.

JJ90 and nikimatheson, are you saying you do this?

I pretend that the video is a mirror, and just like a mirror, left and right are swapped


Or did I misunderstand?

Jon
Jon Broderick
Guitar Tricks Instructor


http://www.GuitarTricks.com - Home of Online Guitar Lessons

#5

Interesting, JJ90, I didn't know you were playing lefty.

JJ90 and nikimatheson, are you saying you do this?

I pretend that the video is a mirror, and just like a mirror, left and right are swapped


Or did I misunderstand?

Jon
Jon Broderick
Guitar Tricks Instructor


http://www.GuitarTricks.com - Home of Online Guitar Lessons

JJ90

Registered User

Joined: 01/02/11

Posts: 226

Hey Jon,

Video lessons as well as other right handed guitar players are just mirrors for me. I'm just sitting in front of it and the neck of my guitar is pointing in the same direction as it is in the video. Somehow it's like watching a mirror and it's really easy for me to see where I have to place my fingers since it is exactly mirrored to my hand. (Kinda difficult to explain haha)

This made it really easy for me to learn fast, seeing these things. I even learned things much faster than some of my right handed friends who started playing the guitar along with me.

JJ

#6

Hey Jon,

Video lessons as well as other right handed guitar players are just mirrors for me. I'm just sitting in front of it and the neck of my guitar is pointing in the same direction as it is in the video. Somehow it's like watching a mirror and it's really easy for me to see where I have to place my fingers since it is exactly mirrored to my hand. (Kinda difficult to explain haha)

This made it really easy for me to learn fast, seeing these things. I even learned things much faster than some of my right handed friends who started playing the guitar along with me.

JJ

leftyneil

Registered User

Joined: 01/14/13

Posts: 7

definitely go left. my guitar teacher refused to teach kids with left handed guitars ("there's no such thing as a left handed guitar" she'd say). So I learned right handed for a couple of years and hit a wall. the end.

now some 35 years later, picking up a left handed guitar it felt strange but within a week I'm playing fine.

#7

definitely go left. my guitar teacher refused to teach kids with left handed guitars ("there's no such thing as a left handed guitar" she'd say). So I learned right handed for a couple of years and hit a wall. the end.

now some 35 years later, picking up a left handed guitar it felt strange but within a week I'm playing fine.

ronrose12

Registered User

Joined: 05/27/11

Posts: 9

lefty

I'm from the era of rulers on the fingers when trying to write left-handed. It didn't stop me. I've been playing left-handed guitar for years and wouldn't have it any other way. It feels natural and there are plenty of lefty guitars from which to choose. Where would us old rockers be if no one let Jimi play lefty?

Ron

#8

lefty

I'm from the era of rulers on the fingers when trying to write left-handed. It didn't stop me. I've been playing left-handed guitar for years and wouldn't have it any other way. It feels natural and there are plenty of lefty guitars from which to choose. Where would us old rockers be if no one let Jimi play lefty?

Ron

JEkade

Registered User

Joined: 12/28/12

Posts: 5

Lefty

I think she needs to learn in a way that feels best for her. i have been a lefty all my life and been playing since 15 and now 44. I started out when my first left handed guitar cost me about $700 (BC Rich Warlock). Over the years guitar prices have come down and it has been easier to find left handed guitars in the stores. You can always search guitar centers website and in the keyword section just put LH You will be able to find many inexpensive models. I have struggled with the lefy handed thing for years. My dream guitar, An Ovation Celebrity Deluxe LCS247 I ave recently found out has been discontinued. I love the feel of the neck because i have problems with my right wrist that causes my hand to cramp up, an old wound. But all and all its not to much different being a lefty, it all comes down to what she prefers, don't force her to go right handed if she is not comfortable with it or she will most likely quit playing. Good luck and I wish you both the best!!!

#9

Lefty

I think she needs to learn in a way that feels best for her. i have been a lefty all my life and been playing since 15 and now 44. I started out when my first left handed guitar cost me about $700 (BC Rich Warlock). Over the years guitar prices have come down and it has been easier to find left handed guitars in the stores. You can always search guitar centers website and in the keyword section just put LH You will be able to find many inexpensive models. I have struggled with the lefy handed thing for years. My dream guitar, An Ovation Celebrity Deluxe LCS247 I ave recently found out has been discontinued. I love the feel of the neck because i have problems with my right wrist that causes my hand to cramp up, an old wound. But all and all its not to much different being a lefty, it all comes down to what she prefers, don't force her to go right handed if she is not comfortable with it or she will most likely quit playing. Good luck and I wish you both the best!!!

Zf97

Registered User

Joined: 11/27/10

Posts: 13

I vote to learn standard

I am left handed and thought about this for a long time before buying my first guitar. I decided to play standard and do not regret it at all. For many reasons.

1. In general it is easier to find standard guitars. Yeah the stores have left handed ones and you can order them but there are usually many more options to choose from if you play standard. Also if you go to find older guitars or buy them somewhere like a pawn shop they rarely are left handed. This also comes into play when you play a guitar that isn't yours. If you are sitting at a friends house or anywhere else there is a guitar it will most likely by standard. So if you learn to play left-handed you won't be able to play unless you planned on it and brought your guitar.

2. When playing standard the left hand is actually doing the harder part by fretting. I found it much easier to learn new songs because I was used to doing everything with my left hand.

3. If she hasn't learned before it doesn't matter which way you learns it will all be new. So if you had no idea which side you where supposed to have the neck on you would really care.

4. This is just personal opinion but I really think that left-handed guitars look wrong. They just don't look right for some reason. But maybe you like the look of it.

In the end it is all up to you and what feels natural. I think there are many advantages to learning to play standard but all that matters is which way you prefer.

#10

I vote to learn standard

I am left handed and thought about this for a long time before buying my first guitar. I decided to play standard and do not regret it at all. For many reasons.

1. In general it is easier to find standard guitars. Yeah the stores have left handed ones and you can order them but there are usually many more options to choose from if you play standard. Also if you go to find older guitars or buy them somewhere like a pawn shop they rarely are left handed. This also comes into play when you play a guitar that isn't yours. If you are sitting at a friends house or anywhere else there is a guitar it will most likely by standard. So if you learn to play left-handed you won't be able to play unless you planned on it and brought your guitar.

2. When playing standard the left hand is actually doing the harder part by fretting. I found it much easier to learn new songs because I was used to doing everything with my left hand.

3. If she hasn't learned before it doesn't matter which way you learns it will all be new. So if you had no idea which side you where supposed to have the neck on you would really care.

4. This is just personal opinion but I really think that left-handed guitars look wrong. They just don't look right for some reason. But maybe you like the look of it.

In the end it is all up to you and what feels natural. I think there are many advantages to learning to play standard but all that matters is which way you prefer.