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Left handed musicians?





Kaneda
I figured with a forum this size, there has to be at least a few left handed musicians among us - playing an instrument which tends to discriminate towards right handed people (such as guitar, bass, violin, most stringed instruments, really - I know drums can pose a problem too).

So I was wondering how the lefties here go about it. Do you play a reversed (left hand) instrument? In the case of stringed instruments, did you restring a right hand instrument for left hand? Or just turn it upside down (believe me, some do)? Or are you "simply" using a right handed instrument?

When I was a teen I wanted to start playing the guitar. Which my music teacher in high school quickly put me off by emphasizing all the supposed difficulties I'd have, being left handed. Of course, his historical knowledge turned out to leave something to be desired...

Just a few off the top of my head...

- Jimi Hendrix played a Strat turned upside down and restringed for left hand.

- Gary Moore, David Bowie, Paul Simon, Mark Knopfler, Chris Rea, Steve Morse (current Deep Purple), Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins), Michael Stipe (R.E.M.), Duff McKagan (Guns 'n' Roses), Michael Anthony (Van Halen), Noel Gallagher (Oasis), Chris Martin (Coldplay), Adam Jones (Tool), Tom Hamilton (Aerosmith), Glenn Frey (Eagles), James Root (Slipknot), Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) and Bob Dylan are all left handed, but play right handed guitar/bass.

- Kurt Cobain, Paul McCartney and Iggy Pop play/played left handed guitar.

- Albert King simply used a right handed guitar turned upside down with no restringing.

- Chaplin played a left handed violin. Very Happy

So, more than 10 years after my teacher disillusioning me, I finally started playing electric guitar - right handed - in order to eventually supply my band (where I'm lead singer, but also keyboardist/pianist/sax player) with even more possibilities by having two guitars - we do original material as well as covers in all genres from classic rock, jazz and acoustic ballads to metal.

Chose right handed because:
1) People - and books - who taught me were right handed.
2) I want to be able to pick up a friend's guitar and play - as well as let someone else play mine.
3) Right handed guitars are a bit cheaper.

But then, I'm not the kind of left handed person who'll buy bread knifes, scissors and computer mice especially tailored for lefties. I'll barely notice if someone has moved my mouse to the "wrong" side of the keyboard. Smile So, I guess some will have it easier using a right handed instrument than others.

So, what's everyone else's experiences with left handed musicianship? Smile

[EDIT: changed the topic to be more general, as the content is]
soldeinvierno
You can add John Petrucci from Dream Theater
Kaneda
soldeinvierno wrote:
You can add John Petrucci from Dream Theater


I could add quite a few - such as Dave Kilminster. As I said, it was off the top of my head Wink But I never heard Petrucci was left handed - love Dream Theater. Smile
Dezrok
My friends left handed and plays the guitar. If that counts. Razz
Kaneda
Dezrok wrote:
My friends left handed and plays the guitar. If that counts. Razz


Of course it does, at least as much as me Wink But I wasn't looking for a list of left handed musicians, I was looking for experiences Smile:

Kaneda wrote:
So I was wondering how the lefties here go about it. Do you play a reversed (left hand) instrument? In the case of stringed instruments, did you restring a right hand instrument for left hand? Or just turn it upside down (believe me, some do)? Or are you "simply" using a right handed instrument?

[...]

So, what's everyone else's experiences with left handed musicianship?
4ndY
the bass player from slipkont is also left handed
standready
I am left handed. I play guitars made for left handed. Never heard of them being more expensive just a little more difficult to find.
Had a frind of mine (right handed) who has an endorsement contract with a guitar manufacturer gave me a fantastic 12 string ascoustic which I restrung.
Sickness
I am lefthanded for everything less than play the guitar... Rolling Eyes
Monkeydog
Ringo Starr is left handed, I'm pretty sure...

I didn't know Bob Dylan was...you learn something every day. o:
HDirtwater
It's funny, left handed musicians (in my experience) tend to be better technically, especially for stringed instruments. More dexterity is required in the left hand for, say, the violin or guitar than in the right, so left handers seem to have an advantage. Maybe that's why I'm so @#$ good... Rolling Eyes

I would never want to try a "left-handed" instrument since I feel as though playing a normal one gives me more technique.
mattchun
I guess Kurt Cobain is the most famous left handed musician - who is the vocal of NIRVANA.
benwillis
Just found this old thread and wanted to bring it back up. I am a left handed guitar player and I play a right handed guitar upside down the same way Albert King played. If you want more info on this style of playing please visit my blog and web site below. Ben
snowboardalliance
I'm left handed and I play the guitar right handed. I learned that way because how often will I come across another left-handed guitar? This way I can play what is pretty much "standard", though I wonder if it would have been easier to play left handed...
benwillis
What I meant to say was that I play a regular right handed guitar (not restrung) left handed so I can play anyone's right handed guitar eventhough I'm left handed. Thanks for the reply, Ben
ygmarchi
I'm left handed and play righ handed guitar and bass-guitar. Though, I think it's a bad I idea to play unnaturally, you cannot be as fluid as you would playing the right way (I mean, left way). So I suggest you to pick up left-handed instruments.
Ankhanu
Playing reversed like you do can help develop an unique technique, though, with an interesting sound. Dick Dale, for example, plays right handed guitars left handed.
michaelagustin
Michael Angelo is a great guitarist. He does guitar using his right and also left hand. what a genius man.hehehe!
gverutes
I've had a problem with this lately. My niece is a lefty and we bought her a right handed guitar. I told my bro to either make her switch or restring the guitar in reverse a la Kurt Cobain.
chartcentral
Gil Ofarim is a left-handed musician. Smile
jfussion
I'm a Left handed musician I play bass, keyboard and guitar..there are pros and cons as a lefthanded playing a right handed way.. I need to work on my right hand specially on playing keyboard on speed and on strength..
emanuel2
i am also left handed and play guitar. I play right handed guitar. I do not think it is really a disadvantage when playing guitar, since skills are needed for both hands.
I even would say that at the start you have a little advantage, because you have a stronger fret hand. Depending on the music style, often the fret hand is more "stressed" than the other.
Furthermore the advantage of learning as left-handed a right-handed guitar is that you can pick up nearly any random guitar and play with it Smile
deanhills
I am right-handed. I have not played the piano for a while, but having played it, I would say that it is biased towards right-handed people. I think emanuel2 is right however, that if one would be left-handed, that once one has mastered the right hand that one would be in a stronger position of being in greater control of both.

Last night I discovered this piano piece that has to have someone who is a master at using both hands.
gverutes
The "other" hand when learning the keyboard was my downfall too. It's not easy to play with both hands, especially syncopation.
drunkenkoz
Well I'm right handed, but I'm able to play the violin with my left. I find it more comfortable playing with the left for some strange reason. It's the same way when I play tennis. I'm to switch in between both hands when running after the ball.
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