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#1 2013-07-08 20:44:47

Spike20
Member
Registered: 2013-03-04
Posts: 34

Play with right or left side?

Hi,
   Are guitars always played left hand chords/notes, right hand strumming/picking? Does it change if you're left handed? Is it more of just a preference thing, with it commonly held with the neck left side?


"Milk is best drank out of a blue plastic cup."
"The LORD is my strength and my sheild, my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoices; and with my song will I praise him." Psalm 28:7

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#2 2013-07-08 21:02:28

Phill Williams
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From: The Land Of Song
Registered: 2007-12-10
Posts: 2408
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Re: Play with right or left side?

hi spike,

i've played left hand since i was 15. main problem is that it can cost an extra 15% when buying new as building a hundred guitars to a single pattern is cheaper than building one to a different one, i hope that makes sense?


There are two "L's" in Phill

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#3 2013-07-08 21:30:08

Zurf
Blunt but well meaning moderator
From: Virginia, USA
Registered: 2007-06-27
Posts: 5585

Re: Play with right or left side?

Guitars can be played right handed (right hand strums/picks, left hand fingers the fretboard) or left handed (opposite). 

While some people can play a right handed guitar flipped upside down, Elizabeth Cotton played that way, and our own Southpaw can but doesn't usually, it's generally easier to get a guitar designed for left handed play.  That puts the strings the right way (high e closest to the floor, low E closest to the ceiling) to get the chords using traditional hand shapes.

- Zurf


"Forced means you're painting a train blue."  - Jets60
"If it comes from the heart and you add a few beers... it'll be awesome!" - Mekidsmom
"Don't ever apologize for what you have worked hard for." - Pete Benson
Official recipient of B chord amnesty.

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#4 2013-07-08 22:50:03

Tenement Funster
Senior Member
From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2013-01-20
Posts: 486

Re: Play with right or left side?

If you tend to get Guitar Acquisition Syndrome (G.A.S.), you'll save a ton of coin by learning to play orthodox, as opposed to southpaw. Manufacturers certainly don't offer the selection of southpaws as they do in orthodox, and they're typically more expensive as others have already said.

An orthodox guitar can be converted to southpaw, but this should only be done by a qualified technician. There are primarily two considerations:

1) The Nut
This will need to be replaced, as filing slots for the larger strings will leave you with wide / deep slots for your smaller strings. This will create a buzzing nightmare with the string action. Also, simply turning the nut end-for-end is unlikely to work, as they are typically shaped for the installation. A TUSQ nut (by Graph Tech) can be bought for about $10, but should still be swapped out by someone with the skill and tools to do it right.

2) The Bridge / Saddle
Unfortunately the saddle cannot simply be turned around. The saddle is at an angle to the strings which is necessary for proper intonation (uniform note pitch up and down the neck). The saddle slot in the bridge of an acoustic can be filled and recut at the opposite angle, but replacement is the best way for a solid job. Again, a TUSQ saddle can be had for about $10, but the bridge assembly will vary a lot depending on the type of guitar (electric or acoustic) that you have. The saddle slot on a classical guitar is pretty well parallel to the strings, as the shorter fretboard (17.5") doesn't require the angle of the others which have longer fret boards (18" or more).

I hope this is somewhat helpful.

Last edited by Tenement Funster (2013-07-08 22:51:10)


ACOUSTICS:  LaPatrie "Concert" / Larrivee D-03
ELECTRIC:  EP Les Paul Custom Pro w/ Stetsbar Pro II trem
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#5 2013-07-10 01:39:58

joeyjoeyjoey
Honoured Member
From: massachusetts
Registered: 2010-10-18
Posts: 1107

Re: Play with right or left side?

I`m left handed but I play right handed. Why Joey? Because I didn`t know there was such a thing as a left handed guitar. I always saw my favorites playing right handed and assumed that was the only way to play.


Enjoy Every Sandwich - Dr. Lee Lipsenthal

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#6 2013-07-10 07:27:00

jgreen
Senior Member
From: Northern BC (Canada)
Registered: 2007-03-05
Posts: 126

Re: Play with right or left side?

Hey Spike20, welcome!

I am a bit like Jx3 - I am a bit ambidextrous; I work with my right but think with my left but I never considered lefty guitar, what was handy was right. 

I have seen some discussion tho that suggests left handers should play right (and maybe vice versa)  the thing is the left hand dexterity might be better utilized with fingerboard action while strumming may not be as demanding for the non-dominant hand.  Just a thought but whatever works for you is probably the best for you. 

How`s that for a non answer -- heheheh

Cheers,
Jim

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#7 2013-07-10 21:20:24

dino48
Honoured Member
From: los banos,california
Registered: 2007-04-06
Posts: 4262

Re: Play with right or left side?

Spike I am also left handed but I plar right handed. I did some of my sports left and right and some left only.


my papy said son your going too drive me too drinking if you dont stop driving that   Hot  Rod  Lincoln!! Cmdr cody and his lost planet airman.

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#8 2013-07-10 22:25:52

Baldguitardude
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From: Las Vegas
Registered: 2010-12-09
Posts: 1166
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Re: Play with right or left side?

Lefty playing righty here.

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#9 2013-07-11 02:48:19

dino48
Honoured Member
From: los banos,california
Registered: 2007-04-06
Posts: 4262

Re: Play with right or left side?

Baldguitardude wrote:

Lefty playing righty here.

Looks like there are alot of us out here in chordie land!


my papy said son your going too drive me too drinking if you dont stop driving that   Hot  Rod  Lincoln!! Cmdr cody and his lost planet airman.

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#10 2013-07-11 04:58:00

Spike20
Member
Registered: 2013-03-04
Posts: 34

Re: Play with right or left side?

Hello again,
  I am actually right handed, (sorry for any wrong ideas!) I was just wondering if there was some kind of 'unwritten rule' or something about which way to play.
    Thanks for all your input everybody, always good to see what others think and know.
PS Zurf, I youtubed Elizabeth Cotton. She's really good!


"Milk is best drank out of a blue plastic cup."
"The LORD is my strength and my sheild, my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoices; and with my song will I praise him." Psalm 28:7

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#11 2013-07-22 21:24:36

christopaul
Senior Member
From: Rhondda, South Wales, UK
Registered: 2009-01-19
Posts: 120

Re: Play with right or left side?

There are quite a few left handlers who play right handed guitars upside down. Doyle Bramill who tours with Eric Clapton has a left hand strat but strung as a right hander, because that is what he learnt on. Paul McCartney can play both, he say's" there's always right handed guitar around"
I've also heared people talk about Hendrix being just as good if he turned his guitar around.
Some people are just too clever!


I see friends holdiong hands, saying "How do you do"
They're really saying, "I love you"
Louis Armstrong. Wonderful world.

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