Monthly Archives: September 2013

Should Lefties Learn to Play on Left Handed Guitars?

The world is set for right-handed people, and lefties will find difficulties almost everywhere they turn to. One big and important dilemma is the dilemma of a lefty person who wants to play on a string instrument, mainly guitar. Should a lefty learn to play on a regular right-handed guitar, or should she buy a specially-made left-handed guitar? And if a lefty uses a regular guitar, should it be used as right-handed people would use it, or should it be flipped (flipping the strings and holding it upside-down)?

There are advantages and disadvantages to each decision you make. Here are the main ones:

Why Learn on a Regular Guitar?

  • Most guitars are right-handed. Right handed guitars are much more available, and cheaper.
  • If you are able to learn to use it as a right-handed person would, you have a further advantage: In virtually all instruction books, the hand-position will be shown for right-handed people.

The problem is, for many lefties playing the guitar as a right-handed person would is difficult, or nearly impossible. You are reversing the normal function of your hands, as much as in learning to right with you right hand, and thus your music may come out slower, strained and unnatural.

If you decide to take a regular guitar and flip the strings, you will still have the advantage of having more guitars available, and cheaper. Though there are also many disadvantages to this decision:

  • Not all guitars can be played upside-down, it depends on the shape of the guitar. Especially with electric guitars, many of them have cuttaways which make it impossible to play holding them the wrong way.
  • Flipping the strings is sometime bad for the strings: Depending on how the bridge is built, it is sometimes made with the places for the strings fitting their thickness, with the lower-pitched strings thicker than the high-pitched ones. This will make the thicker strings not sit in their exact places and get torn or worn much quicker.

Buying a specially-made left handed guitar seems the obvious choice if cannot play in a right-handed way.  As I said earlier, you will have to invest more money, and will have a smaller choice of guitars to learn from. Though if you are one of those lefties who  cannot learn to play in the “regular”, right-handed way, you may not have much choice.

In this blog I would like to review some of the left hand guitars that exist in the market, and also have some other articles related to left-handed players, or to guitar playing in general.