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  • Article idea - want to have your say?

    I've been doing a lot of blogging recently. Today I got an idea for an article.

    What it's like to be a Left Handed Guitarist in a Right Handed World

    That's the idea anyway. But I don't want to just talk about me, what I'd like to do is talk about the Left Handed community as a whole. So if you'd like to help, please post a reply talking about what it's been like being a lefty in a righty world. I have come up with a couple of basic questions to get things going, I expect that you'll come up with others.

    1) What was it like when you first realized you were a lefty?
    2) How frustrating is it not being able to find decent guitars to buy?
    3) How badly are you treated when yoou enter a store?
    4) Did you get looked on as strange when you started your lessons?

    What questions did I miss?

    I've love to be able to quote you directly, if you are OK with that, please say so in your response. While my blog isn't widely read, it is read, and I'm often quoted elsewhere.

    So go ahead - say what you think. One warning. I don't edit out swear words!

  • #2
    I started out playing air guitar lefty. Whenever I picked up my father's Everly Brothers Gibson or his SG I would always hold it upside down. People tried to tell me it was wrong, but there was no question that it was the correct way for me to hold a guitar. Other's try to tell you that your skilled hand (left) should be the one fretting, but I think that rhythym and strumming takes more skill than pressing fingers on frets. When I play righty I can fret chords just fine, I just can't strum for shit.

    Looking for decent guitars is the bane of my existence, and motivation for starting this website. I remember going to East Coast Music Mall and seeing all the neon BC Rich guitars, the holoflash Kramers and the Ibanez Jems. It pissed me off to no end that my choices were limited to $2,500 Les Pauls, Squiers, Strats and low model Kramers. While they did have some nice ESP Lynch models and Nightswans in lefty, they were way out of a 12 year old kid's price range. It was as if you bought entry level, or you bought professional equipment. There was no middle range. I always contemplated buying righty guitars and flipping them, but it always seemed stupid and not ergonomic. I remember having a down payment on a NJ Warlock in neon crackle, but then even the guy at the store said it was retarded.

    When I enter a store I usually don't get much attention after they find out the way I play. They point to the 2-5 lefties they have, knowing that I have no interest in the pieces of shit hanging on the wall. Ooh, a tele? Never saw one of them before. Wow, a strat? This is heaven! It isn't their fault, though, but it sucks all the same.

    Another frustrating aspect of buying lefty is that the stores that do tend to carry desireable lefty guitars practice in price gouging. Other than rarity there is no reason that a lefty version of a guitar should cost significantly more. Thankfully the internet has helped this issue, and craigslist is always a possibility for a score.

    When I started lessons they made me play righty. By the end of lesson 1 I was playing upside down and much happier. My teacher basically told me to do what felt right and let me go with it.

    Comment


    • #3
      That's funny, I also started playing air guitar lefty. I'm left-handed. I had a toy guitar when I was young that was a righty and I barely touched it, though that may have had to do with it being a toy. I feel like people thought I was just playing air guitar like I was mirroring how I saw people playing guitar righty. But honestly, even after someone tried to explain that to me in that way, air guitar felt more comfortable lefty than righty. Couple that with the fact that I observed Hendrix, McCartney, Iommi and Cobain and realized I didn't have to do what anyone told me, I didn't even bother trying to play guitar righty.

      People told me it would be harder to find guitars to play, but I don't remember ever being insulted or made to feel foolish. However, I do get downtrodden (or pissed depending on my mood) any time I enter a music store and see all the righty's on the wall. It caused me to buy a Gibson LP Custom without trying it out first. I ended up with a 3k dollar guitar that mostly collects dust, of which the resale value is questionable.

      I don't go to music stores very frequently anymore because there's nothing I can try out. But when I do go, I don't mind being left alone to just browse on my own after they find out I'm lefty. I actually prefer it.

      My guitar instructor was cool when I started taking lessons. He never said anything about it except that he noticed that it was lefty. That's basically all there was to it.
      www.facebook.com/aprioripgh
      www.twitter.com/a_prior_i
      www.a-prior-i.com
      www.youtube.com/aprioripgh
      www.myspace.com/impenetrableeye

      Comment


      • #4
        On one had, it's depressing to see the wide selection of amazing guitars available to right handed players that we don't have access to - on the other hand, it's a blessing in disguise, because with the amount of GAS I suffer from I'd be buying a new guitar every week if I was right handed.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by kramerfan View Post
          On one had, it's depressing to see the wide selection of amazing guitars available to right handed players that we don't have access to - on the other hand, it's a blessing in disguise, because with the amount of GAS I suffer from I'd be buying a new guitar every week if I was right handed.
          Hallelujah brother....you're preaching to the choir here.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by kramerfan View Post
            On one had, it's depressing to see the wide selection of amazing guitars available to right handed players that we don't have access to - on the other hand, it's a blessing in disguise, because with the amount of GAS I suffer from I'd be buying a new guitar every week if I was right handed.
            Um, yeah. I don't know any lefty who has only one guitar. And I think that's because you can't just pick up any piece of shit at a jam session and play it, since it's for sure that it will be a righty, and unplayable.

            Just curious - are there any lefties here who only have one guitar?

            Comment


            • #7
              Believe it or not I started out playing guitar righty for 5 years. I progressed very well and had a wicked fretting hand. However, I was unable to make any decent improvements to my picking technique. Being an avid enthusiast of Death and Thrash metal, I NEEDED a solid speed picking/alternate picking hand.

              One day I was noodling on my guitar upside down and realised that although I didn't have the control had developed over all the practice I went through on the right side, my picking hand technique was better, more economical, and more than twice as fast. I never looked back since and have been playing lefty for a solid 2 years now. In a way, it was a very humbling experience. I basically started over and went through the learning curve a second time around, all the while attending music college. I'm happy I did it though =)

              And yes, I still play right handed once in a while, but only when I want to play a certain guitar that's not available in left handed form. Another positive I got out of turning into a lefty was that I spent way less time drooling over gear and more time practicing, mostly due to the limited amount of lefty gear available out there.
              Last edited by Skyless; 02-03-2010, 05:56 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                ^^^^^ You could drive a few people batty with that trick. ^^^^^

                Walk into a store, start messing around with a right handed guitar. Play a bit, let them know that you got it.

                After a bit of showing off, calmly ask to see the lefty collection. Tell the rep, you've always wanted to play like Jimi, and want to see how it feels. Then wail.....

                Fun for all...



                Seriously though, that is kinda cool. I can do some cowboy chords on a righty, but even that's difficult and I look like a total klutz.

                Comment


                • #9
                  There is one member here who plays right handed instruments left handed, he's basically a bass player but is also good on guitar. One time he did a bass song playing regular right handed, pretty cool.
                  http://www.youtube.com/user/amimbari
                  Customize your profile header http://forum.leftyguitartrader.com/p...do=editprofile

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The Mad Hatter View Post
                    Just curious - are there any lefties here who only have one guitar?
                    I have only one guitar and it's more than enough for my purposes. There have been times in the past when I had 8-10 instruments of various models at the same time, many years ago when I was much younger, less focused and had no other ambition beyond banging on a guitar 24/7. But that's me. I understand that others want and indeed are entitled to own as many guitars as they can afford. But, with no offense intented, this post seems smacks of too much whining. Us against them. Lefties v. righties. Shall we go to Washington and demand non-discrimination legislation for lefthanded guitar players? I've been a lefthanded player for almost 40 years and it never occurred to me to cry about how hard it was to find a lefthanded guitar. My first "real" guitar was a Gibson SG Standard, bought new in 1972......and righthanded. Double cut? Flip it over and play it. Worked great and I loved it. Bought a righthanded Martin, had it re-nutted and played the hell out of it for years. No big deal. I wanted to play guitar.....that was the main thing. Yes, I have eyeballed some righty guitars over the years and wondered briefly what a lefty version might be like to play, but I never considered it a slap in the face that they didn't make one.

                    Do you have a guitar you like? Can you play it? Rock on and enjoy the fact that no one will ever ask to borrow your guitar! No, I am not trying to pick a fight........just pointing out the fruitlessness of banging one's head on a wall.
                    Knowin' where you're goin' in mostly knowin' where you have been Me, from Me & Eddie

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Buc McMaster View Post
                      I have only one guitar and it's more than enough for my purposes. There have been times in the past when I had 8-10 instruments of various models at the same time, many years ago when I was much younger, less focused and had no other ambition beyond banging on a guitar 24/7. But that's me. I understand that others want and indeed are entitled to own as many guitars as they can afford. But, with no offense intented, this post seems smacks of too much whining. Us against them. Lefties v. righties. Shall we go to Washington and demand non-discrimination legislation for lefthanded guitar players? I've been a lefthanded player for almost 40 years and it never occurred to me to cry about how hard it was to find a lefthanded guitar. My first "real" guitar was a Gibson SG Standard, bought new in 1972......and righthanded. Double cut? Flip it over and play it. Worked great and I loved it. Bought a righthanded Martin, had it re-nutted and played the hell out of it for years. No big deal. I wanted to play guitar.....that was the main thing. Yes, I have eyeballed some righty guitars over the years and wondered briefly what a lefty version might be like to play, but I never considered it a slap in the face that they didn't make one.

                      Do you have a guitar you like? Can you play it? Rock on and enjoy the fact that no one will ever ask to borrow your guitar! No, I am not trying to pick a fight........just pointing out the fruitlessness of banging one's head on a wall.
                      Why does it seem like whining? I'm not sure I get what you mean.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by The Mad Hatter View Post
                        Why does it seem like whining? I'm not sure I get what you mean.
                        I agree with you, I don't think anyone is whining about being a lefty, on the contrary, I'm proud of the fact that lefties seem to be the more creative type and I hopefully fall in the bracket.

                        I do admit to a bit of envy every now but it passes quickly and as stated earlier, my checkbook (and wife) appreciate it more than I do.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by The Mad Hatter View Post
                          1) What was it like when you first realized you were a lefty?
                          2) How frustrating is it not being able to find decent guitars to buy?
                          3) How badly are you treated when yoou enter a store?
                          4) Did you get looked on as strange when you started your lessons?
                          Perhaps I am wrong, but this sounds like whining. Treated badly when entering a store, looked upon as strange when taking lessons.....sure sounds like whining to me. Yes, we lefties are frowned upon by this righthanded world......boo hoo. Whoa is me. The righties don't like us and think we are "strange" and treat us "badly". If this isn't whining, what is?

                          Again, no offense to the OP or anyone else here.....I am a lefty myself....but I have always seen it as a bit unique and somewhat of an advantage in this world. Certainly nothing to cry about.
                          Knowin' where you're goin' in mostly knowin' where you have been Me, from Me & Eddie

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