In a world of right handed guitars lefties have particular challenges they must face. There are tons of tips and guides for right handed guitarists, but lefties are often left out. So here are useful tips for left handed guitarists.
1. When learning, it does not matter if your instructor is right handed. Most of the world is right handed, so if you limit your instructor to lefties you may not be getting the best training. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying lefties are bad instructors. I’m saying don’t exclude an instructor because he’s a righty. The concepts are all the same, and eventually you won’t notice the instructor is a righty (if he/she is good).
2. If you’re a beginner or are buying a new guitar, you have a few choices to make.
— Buy a left handed guitar. This seems like the obviouse choice, however there are caveats. First, there aren’t that many lefty guitars. Your local shop may have only a few, if any and being limited in your selection sucks. Second, they cost more than righty guitars, which is sad and unfair but is a fact of life.
— Buy a right handed guitar and convert it to a left handed guitar. This is a perfectly fine option, and to learn how to do it visit our post HERE. Just make sure the guitar has a floating bridge. A floating bridge is a bridge not connected to the body of the guitar.
— Learn how to play right handed. This may seem to difficult but there are some benefits to learning how to play righty, especially if you are a beginner. You have access to more guitars at cheaper prices. And some lefties say using their left hand as the fretting hand (right handed guitar) is easier.
3. Believe it or not, there are advantages to playing guitar left-handed. Our left side of the brain is the analytical side and controls the right hand. The right side of our brain is the creative side and controls the left hand. The hand that does the fretting on the guitar controls the structure and the harmonic tone (are you playing the right notes). For lefties this is the right hand, which is controlled by the analytical side of the brain. The strumming hand controls the emotion and articulation of the sound your producing. For lefties this is the left hand which the creative side of the brain controls. Therefore, a lefty is more physiologically acclimatized to guitar than a righty.
4. Learn to read chord charts and music the “standardized” way. You can find left handed chord charts but like instructors and guitars there are fewer of them and they are more expensive. If you take the time to learn to read the chord charts the “standard” way in no time it won’t make a difference to you. You will read them just as naturally as a righty would.
5. Remember your in good company. Whether you play a left handed guitar, convert a right handed guitar to lefty or learn to play righty there are dozens of musicians that already mastered the technique. Notable lefties include Jimi Hendrix, Paul McCartney, Dick Dale, Kurt Cobain, Bob Dylan plus countless more.
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