Should You Learn to Play Right or Left Handed Guitar?

Right handed or left handed guitar

If you are a lefty and thinking of taking up playing the guitar, should you play right or left handed? Hopefully this article will help you answer this tricky question!

Right handed or left handed guitar

A lot of right handed players would say go right handed, but how would they know what is best for a lefty?  If you hadn’t driven a Ferrari would you be qualified to give advice to on what it’s like to drive one?  Obviously not, and the same applies to the guitar!

So hopefully this article will clear everything up…….

Should You Play Guitar Left Handed or Right Handed?

Only you can answer this question!  Don’t let anyone tell you that one way is better than another, try right handed and left handed guitars for yourself and see what feels better for YOU!

How Do I Know What Is Best For Me?

Try playing air guitar, don’t think about it first, as Nike says “just do it”.  Did you play left handed or right handed?  If you strummed with your left hand you should play left handed, and if you strummed with your right hand you should play right handed – Easy!

Another test is how you clap your hands – the hand that does most of the movement is the hand that you should strum with.  Most people assume that your dominant hand should be performing the “more complex” fretting job but really the picking hand demands more precise coordination than the fretting hand.

Another Lefty Told Me He Plays Right Handed

As I said above, different people do things differently depending on how their brain is wired.  So, just because someone writes with their left hand doesn’t automatically mean they are better playing guitar left handed as well.

The Person In The Guitar Store Told Me To Learn to Play Right Handed

Here is a reason they are telling you this – If you buy a right handed guitar you are more likely to go back to their store and buy more, because probably most of their stock is right handed. Don’t listen to sales people, listen to you!

People Also Say It’s Impossible To Find A Good Left Handed Guitar.

This used to be true, but the internet makes it much easier to get almost any left handed guitar you could wish for. OK, there are less options when it comes to choosing your guitars, but this is not a good reason to hinder your learning.  There are lots of great left handed guitars available now, and the internet is making it increasingly easier to get one.

Learning Left Handed Guitar is Harder!

Why?  It is in NO WAY harder to learn guitar left handed than right handed.

The only real difference is that the chord diagrams are mirrored, but it’s not that difficult to read something this simple backwards. Tabs are not backwards and it makes no difference to a guitar teacher if you are left handed – in fact, it is probably easier to teach a lefty due to the Mirror Effect!

Could Playing Right Handed Hurt My Playing?

If you are a natural left handed guitar player then it will! If you want to go past the basics and become the best player that you can be, you need to play the way in which your body feels the most comfortable.

Bruce Dickinson, head of the Brighton Institute of Modern Music said:

“I’ve seen many lefties who play right handed and have difficulties later on because their picking/strumming hand is the less sensitive and controlled of the two. Typically, if they are fully left handed, their sense of rhythm in the right hand will be less developed or just unmanageable. This problem, which does not build up until later along the learning curve, can be an insurmountable obstacle. This is why I don’t recommend that left handers learn to play right handed unless they feel very comfortable with it.”

Many people struggle (sometimes for years!) playing right handed, only to try out playing Left Handed to suddenly find a complete epiphany. It is as if by magic everything finally falls into place and they start progressing at a pace that they could only have dreamed about beforehand.

Whichever you decide, Left handed or right handed, play the correct way around for you and you will reap the rewards!

In the end it is best to play the way that feels natural to you, do not listen to anyone but YOURSELF and YOUR OWN BODY. If you decide that you are a left handed guitar player then go for it, if not go righty!

Check out some great Left Handed Guitars on Amazon

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