Can a "Lefty" learn to play "Right"?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by thrasher717, Oct 1, 2003.

  1. thrasher717


    Jan 17, 2003
    North Dakota
    Can a left-handed person be taught to play guitar right-handed?

    My eldest son is three years old and is apparently left-handed, not that there's anything wrong with it.

    I'm right-handed and, naturally, so are all of my guitars and basses. If he plays guitar/bass, I'd like to be able to share mine with him. I know I'd be reluctant to buy him a really cool left-handed guitar/bass because I wouldn't be able to play it!

    Any Southpaws out there who play "right"?
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
  3. Erlendur Már

    Erlendur Már

    May 24, 2000
    I have a friend who is a lefty but plays righty guitars, and now he says that it feels weird to play a lefty guitar..
  4. thrasher717


    Jan 17, 2003
    North Dakota
  5. jgsbass


    May 28, 2003
    Floral Park, NY
    Guitar and bass are the only instruments where people have thought there might be the need to reverse the instrument to accomodate lefthandedness. There are no left handed pianos, trumpets, saxophones etc. There are (and this is important) no lefthanded violins, violas cellos or doublebasses. The advantage would be to be lefthanded as that is the hand that does the more complicated movements.Teach your son, daughtes, student, friend, whatever, to play righthanded. Just for the availability of instruments alone, you should learn righthanded.
  6. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    John Pattitucci is a lefty who plays righty.
  7. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    There *are* left handed double basses, from many makers. There's a guy in San Antonio who plays a 5 string, left-handed Pollman, and he's great!
  8. I'm a lefty who plays violin and bass righty.
    There ARE left handed violins BTW. The bridge,
    fingerboard, and strings are mirror images of
    the right.

  9. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    My bro is lefty and plays guitar righty.
  10. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I've never seen a classical violinist who plays lefty. I was taught righty and nobody even bothered to notice I was left-handed. :eek:

    Makes sense though, imagine lefties and righties in the pit - total chaos.

    The movements are so complex and "unnatural" that your hand preference doesn't really matter anyway.
  11. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    I'm a lefty who plays bass righty. I bat righty and field lefty. Ping pong and tennis I use both. I play drums lefty.
  12. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    also, the lefty that Pacman was talking about is Joel Dilley and he is great (he's the only guy I can call in town to borrow an axe if any of mine were stolen and he is a awesome friend) i'm thinking of buying a six-string fretless from him.

    having said that, I am a lefty that plays lefty. to save money on axes, I would teach him/her righty. think about it, you use both hands on a guitar anyway, correct? which hand is more important when playing? IMO, they are both important!

    I play left because I can't fret a right-hand guitar. I can't turn my left palm all the way (I think I may have a similar problem with my right hand). why? I really don't know. maybe it's all the contaminated ground water in San Antonio or maybe it was a bad batch of fish that Thor distributes down here...;)

    I really wish I could of started on righty, finding lefty axes is a pain in the arse, BUT, years of trumpet have given me a great ability to fret and control my right hand fingers.

    you also get criticized a little more for being a lefty "who the heck does that guy think he is for playing dat dere bass backwards, he must think he's gooder than ever' one else" I encounter that crap all the time from little ole San Antone.

    the only real reason I play lefty is because there ain't no way in heck that I can fret a righty (unless my Doc breaks my arm and resets it at a better angle!! :eek: :D )

    also, I write, throw and hold my utensils with my left.
    I golf, swing a bat, shoot (wouldn't want to get any cases hitting my face as a lefty!), and kick with my right.

    here's the kicker:

    in basketball, I dribble with my right and shoot with my left!! i'm horrible at basketball!!
  13. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I was going to ask if that was Joel, I have seen him and he is great! I had thought his upright was conventionally strung though he played it lefty, ask him for me, just curious.

    Why he would lend anything to you escapes me, though. As you are not exactly the NICEST person I have ever run into.

    Remind me, I'll be happy to break your arm for you so that you can play bass better, next time I see you. Always happy to help out a fellow bass player!

    [I don't send crummy fish to San Antone ]!

    I have noticed it is not exactly the most DISCRIMINATING market in the US ...

    I recommend the right handed bass as well.
    I think dexterity and power in the left could not be a disadvantage in the fretting hand.

    Oddly, I use a fork with the left, Icelandic style, and mouse with the left, but at work
    only. At home I use a RH mouse. Can't really figure out why that is, just works. It is all what you get used to.
  14. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio

  15. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Steve Morse is a leftie who plays righty...I recall reading he saw that as an advantage; his 'stronger' hand is the fretting hand.
    So, most of us are playing 'wrong'?!

    Brooks Robinson(Hall Of Fame 3rd baseman) is a leftie who ONLY plays baseball righthanded.
    Same for Kenny Singleton('70s Mets/Expos/Orioles outfielder).
  16. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    ding ding ding!

    You're getting a bit, I mean BIG!, behind!

    WSW 6
    NJL 4

    can u spell LOOOOZER!

    Did you raise your credit limit yet? Swig's is expensive and beating up on you is THIRSTY WORK!
  17. I think for convenience's sake you should teach him righty. I mean both hands are important, so it's a matter of being comfortable. And since he's never played a bass before he doesn't know. Once he starts playing righty he's gonna begin getting comfortable and he'll get used to it. I bet if I started on a lefty bass I'd be just as good as I am now (I'm a righty by the way). You just get used to it, I mean when I started out I was pretty equal left and righthanded: I couldn't play anything!
  18. Nick Gann

    Nick Gann Talkbass' Tubist in Residence

    Mar 24, 2002
    Silver Spring, MD
    I did. I'm a southpaw, played righty all along. For me, picking up a lefty bass is like a righty picking one up. I can't do it at all.
  19. BassesOfDeath


    Sep 13, 2003
    I use my right and left hands almost equally, I play a right handed bass.
  20. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003
    I'm Left Handed and play Right.
    My Son is also a Southpaw and plays Right.

    Many instruments are right-hand only anyway.
    There was a time not-so-long-ago when there weren't any left instruments.

    Ever see a Lefty Piano?
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