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Left-Handed 8-Year Old Starting to Play Guitar


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#1 LedRush

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 11:12 PM

I have a kid who’s left handed, 8, and is interested in starting to play guitar.  I always just assumed that I’d buy him a lefty guitar (which would keep my guitars safe from his grubby hands), but he’s been learning the cello at school.  For cello, he fingers with his left hand and uses the bow with his right.

So, the question is, how much harder is it for a left handed person to learn the guitar right handed; and do you think practicing right handed on other stringed instruments (cello) will make it easier?

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#2 1-0-0-1-0-0-1

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 12:50 AM

Plenty of left-handed guitarists play righty. Steve Morse is a great example. He did an interview in Guitar Player magazine (August 1982 -- I still have it), and he was asked about being left-handed and using his "weaker hand to pick." His answer was, "True. But I'm playing left-handed: My left hand is fingering the guitar. I think that's the best way to play. I knew that Paul McCartney played the way he did because he was left-handed, but to me it seemed best to be using my left fingers on the fretboard. I saw no reason to complicate my life by playing backwards.  When you're just learning, what does it matter which hand does which?"

In your son's case perhaps it's even less complicated. The fact that he already plays the cello "righty" is important. He's already used to the idea of using his dominant hand on the fingerboard. I see no reason for him to play guitar -- or any other stringed instrument -- any differently.

Unless, of course, he's really struggling at cello and would benefit from switching hands?

#3 LedRush

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 09:26 AM

Thanks for that input.  He sucks at cello, though I doubt he will suck less if he switched hands.

#4 Maverick

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 04:36 PM

Like 73 said: Steve Morse.

#5 HemiBeers

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 08:38 PM

here's an interesting article that describes left handed cellist.

https://www.connolly...ist-should-know

They simple state that both hands have to learn, so it really doesn't matter which is dominant. I studied viola for 8-9 years and it was a long learning process to start to sound better than a cat in heat.

Hey buy him a righty squire strat for $200 and see how he does. If it's not comfortable, flip the nut and try it hendrix style.

Joe Perry is another lefty playing right handed.

Edited by HemiBeers, 13 December 2019 - 08:46 PM.


#6 HemiBeers

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 08:40 PM

View PostMaverick, on 13 December 2019 - 04:36 PM, said:

Like 73 said: Steve Morse.
never knew that. that explains his wicked vibrato.

#7 1-0-0-1-0-0-1

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 08:48 PM

View PostHemiBeers, on 13 December 2019 - 08:38 PM, said:

here's an interesting article that describes left handed cellist.

https://www.connolly...ist-should-know

They simple state that both hands have to learn, so it really doesn't matter which is dominant. I studied viola for 8-9 years and it was a long learning process to start to sound better than a cat in heat.

Hey buy him a righty squire strat for $200 and see how he does. If it's not comfortable, flip the nut and try it hendrix style.

Joe Perry is another lefty playing right handed.

This section is along the lines of what Steve Morse said:

There is good news for left-handed cellists. Although you will have a little bit more difficulty learning to bow with your right arm, you’ll be able to execute fingering techniques much quicker and more naturally. In fact, great left-hand dexterity is required to play the cello, so you’ll already have an advantage. Having stronger command and flexibility in your left hand is a benefit.

Right handed cellists must cultivate an elasticity in their fingers that is completely foreign, however, left-handed cellists only need to train their less used right arm for bowing. Although learning how to properly bow your instrument may feel strange, it’s strange to everyone at first.

#8 BasqueNYC

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 08:18 PM

When I started playing music early in my family (we all played instruments my parents were musicians from Spain) I was the only lefty and when I started lessons he kept trying to force my to play righty and I just couldn’t do it was total alien to me.No matter what instrument when I started guitar,violin and on to drums.I will always be a lefty

#9 Rick N. Backer

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Posted 22 May 2020 - 02:54 PM

I'm left-handed, and I play the bass right-handed.  Back when I played regularly, a lifetime ago, I think it helped me because i suspect my dexterity was better.

#10 stoopid

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Posted 10 June 2020 - 06:44 PM

Jimi Hendrix?

#11 stoopid

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Posted 10 June 2020 - 06:50 PM

View PostLedRush, on 12 December 2019 - 11:12 PM, said:

I have a kid who’s left handed, 8, and is interested in starting to play guitar.  I always just assumed that I’d buy him a lefty guitar (which would keep my guitars safe from his grubby hands), but he’s been learning the cello at school.  For cello, he fingers with his left hand and uses the bow with his right.

So, the question is, how much harder is it for a left handed person to learn the guitar right handed; and do you think practicing right handed on other stringed instruments (cello) will make it easier?

Answering the question, go to a local guitar shop (once things in your area return to somewhat normal) and have him try a right handed guitar.  His cello practice may be prepping him for right-handed guitar playing, but he should be able to tell just by fretting like he does the cello on the guitar neck if it feels right.

#12 treeduck

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Posted 14 June 2020 - 02:48 PM

Well I'm left-handed...




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