Monday, 27 January 2020

LEFT OR RIGHT HANDED GUITAR?

LEFT OR RIGHT HANDED GUITAR?

There is no unanimous sentiment about whether a lefty should learn right-handed style.
At the beginning, everything feels awkward for everyone. Every new movement, every new position needs to be practiced, whether you do it righty or lefty style.
I have had several great lefty students who seem totally at ease learning right handed and have accomplished significant skills.
We use 2 hands  with both working  in very complex ways so you need to use 2 hands anyway.
You wouldn't buy a left-handed piano for similar reasons.

If you are a lefty playing lefty style you will struggle to buy a good instrument with a much more limited range available and struggle to sell your old instrument. You'll struggle to find someone who can play it well so you know it is a good instrument. You will pay more too.

My advice – try a right handed guitar. I’m sure success is about persistence and that stuff in your head called attitude. It’s not purely physical but I know there are others who disagree.

The following famous & successful  lefties are reputed to play right handed:
Gary Moore  (Thin Lizzy and later successful solo career)
Duane Allman (Allman Brothers Band)
BB King
Paul Simon
Vinnie  Moore (UFO)
Steve Morse (Deep Purple, Dixie Dregs, Kansa,Living Loud, Steve Morse Band)
Joe Pass  (possibly)
Bruce Cockburn  (Canadian acoustic picker – Wondering Where The Lions Are)
Billy Corgan ( Smashing Pumpkins)
Elvis Costello
Johnny Winter (Texas Bluesman)famous multi-instrumentalist brother Edgar’s progressive rock band  recorded quality cutting edge music for its time. Check out Frankenstein.
Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits)
Michael Hedges (Played Harp Guitar  amongst other  guitar variants with featuring  tapping styles)
Robert Fripp (King Crimson)
Steve Cropper(Booker T, The Blues Brothers) Played on Sittin On The Dock Of The Bay
Noel Gallagher (Oasis)
Chris Rea (check out his  album On The Beach well known for his slide guitar tone and warm husky vocals))
Chris Martin (Coldplay)
David Bowie
David Byrne (Talking Heads)

What about a righty playing lefty style? The world’s "greatest" Beatles cover band is the Bootleg Beatles out of the U.K. Well I've seen them and they were pretty fantastic.
They are an awesomely talented group who do their utmost to render authentic versions of the Beatles repertoire. The Bass Player mimicking Paul’s left handed style is reputedly a right-handed player who taught himself to do it lefty style so he could really carry off the role of Paul McCartney. And he is an amazing player and singer. If it isn't true (and I can't promise that) it is at least a great story.

SWITCHING RIGHT HANDED GUITARS TO LEFT

Jimi Hendrix took a right handed Fender Strat guitar, reversed the string order and flipped it to make it into a left handed instrument. Well it famously worked for him but there would have been a number of other adjustments made to this guitar before it was playable including adjusting string saddle heights and string length spacers at the bridge as well as changing the nut at the machineheads end. There is also the compromise of getting up into the higher notes because the cutaway isn't on the correct side. The pickguard (scratchplate) is also not quite right to protect the finish on the instrument.
Many guitars don't have the adjustment points of a Strat guitar, especially acoustic guitars with fixed bridges glued on at angles.  To get it right would require removing and likely replacing the bridge and at the opposite end the nut as the grooves are fat where they need to be skinny. Detailed work requiring specialized skills.
My advice, don't bother unless you want a project that may or may not work out the way you hope.

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