Left handed guitar player…

rustydusty

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 18, 2021
Messages
815
Reaction score
1,329
Location
Kent Island MD
My 16 year old son (who is left handed) is beginning guitar lessons in high school next semester.
All the guitars in the house are strung right handed. Should I restring two of them lefty, or should he try to learn to play right handed?
If he plays with the left, he will have to transpose chords on the fly, and being a bit dyslexic, he already has trouble with left or right…
My vote is for right hand guitar, what say you?
 
  • Like
Reactions: TBB
Maybe he could try both and decide which feels more natural to him.

I never tried learning right handed myself but I played as a lefty with right handed instruments for a long time before one day starting over with left handed stringing. I dont regret it. Going the left handed way has many challenges for sure but personally I couldn't and wouldn't want to play any other way.
 
I’m a lefty but when I was given a guitar as a kid I played it right handed, it didn’t occur to me that there was any other way to play it, and I was already playing cello right handed (as in right hand bowing).

I suspect some people are less ambidextrous than others, and playing a righty guitar might be impossible for some lefties, but starting a new instrument tends to feel pretty awkward anyway and if he is able to play right handed guitars it’ll make his life easier in many ways.
 
He claims that he’s ambidextrous…
We got him some guitar lessons when he was around 9 years old, but they didn’t interest him then.
 
It would be really good for him to be able to use guitars that are already in the house. And if you are studying an instrument, both hands have challenging new things to get used to. I never really got why the picking hand is meant to be the dominant hand - there are lots of types of music where the left has at least as difficult a role. My sense would be to start him right-handed, especially if he is ambidextrous.
 
I know good lefty guitar and ukulele players who play the standard right handed way. Also know a couple who flip their instrument over and strum with their left hand without changing the string order. Don't personally know any that changed the string order. If your son is learning with other kids, being able to watch and learn from each other without being confused is very helpful.
 
I never really got why the picking hand is meant to be the dominant hand - there are lots of types of music where the left has at least as difficult a role.
Me too. But I'm not left handed so perhaps it is a thing. I often wish that my fretting hand was more dexterous!
 
I’m a lefty but when I was given a guitar as a kid I played it right handed, it didn’t occur to me that there was any other way to play it, and I was already playing cello right handed (as in right hand bowing).

I suspect some people are less ambidextrous than others, and playing a righty guitar might be impossible for some lefties, but starting a new instrument tends to feel pretty awkward anyway and if he is able to play right handed guitars it’ll make his life easier in many ways.
My first instrument at school was a violin and I think unless you've got to a level where you're using advanced bowing techniques being a lefty isn't necessarily a disadvantage on playing string instruments right-handed.

I "borrowed" my sister's classical guitar after that which seemed natural to me to play right-handed, too, but if my son picks up my uke his first reaction is to pluck the strings with his left hand.

If you attempt to reverse the strings on a steel-strung guitar and some classical guitars the intonation may be noticeably wrong even if you widen the string slots at the nut, as the saddle the strings pass over at the bridge is at an angle to compensate for this, although that didn't stop Paul McCartney from playing a restrung Epiphone Texan!
 
I am not worried about it at all. Just curious what other lefties preferred. He has a Fender student guitar he can take to school and leave it there, and when at home, he can practice on my “baby Taylor”. If he sticks with it, I will probably give him the Taylor. I also have a couple of nice full sized guitars he could graduate to.
I gave up 6 strings a few years ago due to arthritis…
 
Definitely play the standard orientation.

Left handed piano players don't have the bass keys on the right and the treble on the left. Left handed typists don't type on POIUYT keyboards.
 
Top Bottom