Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

Teaching yourself to play left handed. Has anyone tried?


duane v
 Share

Recommended Posts

So as my left handed Hofner bass is on it's way to being delivered this week, I've been thinking about teaching myself to play bass left handed. I know it would be almost like starting over, but was thinking about giving myself about 3 months to at least give it the ol' college try. 

Has anyone else attempted this?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Being left-handed, I find it easier to perform tasks right-handed than right-handed people do trying to do them left-handed.

But having learned from Day One how to play guitar right-handed, what would be the point to trying to re-learn everything to play the opposite way? 

RBSinTo

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, RBSinTo said:

Being left-handed, I find it easier to perform tasks right-handed than right-handed people do trying to do them left-handed.

But having learned from Day One how to play guitar right-handed, what would be the point to trying to re-learn everything to play the opposite way? 

RBSinTo

I can switch from left to right but not while playing my guitar.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@duane v It's strange because when you play piano, you actually do some "complex" stuff with both hands, yet if I tried to make a simple chord shape with my right hand, I'm incapable of doing it.  That and I don't have callouses on my right hand fingertips.  My left hand finger tips are like little thimbles.  I can tell when I'm not playing as much because they start to soften up and hurts a bit to make chords for any prolonged period of time.  Either way, good luck learning a new thing.  It's an interesting ambition that to have here.  I guess you sort of have to, right? 

Edited by NighthawkChris
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, NighthawkChris said:

@duane v It's strange because when you play piano, you actually do some "complex" stuff with both hands, yet if I tried to make a simple chord shape with my right hand, I'm incapable of doing it.  That and I don't have callouses on my right hand fingertips.  My left hand finger tips are like little thimbles.  I can tell when I'm not playing as much because they start to soften up and hurts a bit to make chords for any prolonged period of time.  Either way, good luck learning a new thing.  It's an interesting ambition that to have here.  I guess you sort of have to, right? 

It's not so much of a have to. If for some reason after 3 months I just can't do it then I'll remove the nut and reverse it and reverse the bridge and make it playable for me right hand... But I'm really going to give it a shot. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, NighthawkChris said:

@duane v It's strange because when you play piano, you actually do some "complex" stuff with both hands, yet if I tried to make a simple chord shape with my right hand, I'm incapable of doing it.  That and I don't have callouses on my right hand fingertips.  My left hand finger tips are like little thimbles.  I can tell when I'm not playing as much because they start to soften up and hurts a bit to make chords for any prolonged period of time.  Either way, good luck learning a new thing.  It's an interesting ambition that to have here.  I guess you sort of have to, right? 

Chris, I tend to use my left hand to hit the bass notes an octave apart with some simply runs....the right hand I use to chord and play some simple melodies.... so on Piano, my left hand is the problematic one!    I have recorded maybe half a dozen songs on the piano, (one of the Jinder's  EXCELLENT song, "I Still Believe"), and am holding off trying to get all the guitar songs completed before the arthritis stops me.... THEN I'll do heavy on the piano.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, RBSinTo said:

Being left-handed, I find it easier to perform tasks right-handed than right-handed people do trying to do them left-handed.

But having learned from Day One how to play guitar right-handed, what would be the point to trying to re-learn everything to play the opposite way? 

RBSinTo

Yeah, I'm another "lefty" who learned to play guitar right-handed.  So was Glen Campbell, y'know.  And probably the three of us for similar reasons.  I often wondered if being left-handed but playing right-handed was a detriment.  Like maybe if I tried to learn left-handed I might have wound up a better player. But I doubt piano players ever wonder about that.  But they had no choice, really.  I mean,  how many are really willing to go through the trouble of "restringing" a piano in reverse? 

Whitefang

Link to comment
Share on other sites

45 minutes ago, DanvillRob said:

Chris, I tend to use my left hand to hit the bass notes an octave apart with some simply runs....the right hand I use to chord and play some simple melodies.... so on Piano, my left hand is the problematic one!    I have recorded maybe half a dozen songs on the piano, (one of the Jinder's  EXCELLENT song, "I Still Believe"), and am holding off trying to get all the guitar songs completed before the arthritis stops me.... THEN I'll do heavy on the piano.

On piano, I can play pieces by Chopin.  If you have listened to Baroque era to Romantic era composers extensively (where Chopin being from the Romantic era) you will understand what I have worked through to accomplish playing select pieces from these time periods.  Chopin had great appreciation for JS Bach - and you can tell by his "tribute" to Bach which were that of his Preludes.  Chopin is my favorite composer of the past.  I digress. 

My right hand can phrase nicely on the piano, as well as my left hand can do more than just chord - it can develop movement musically speaking.  Why I can't make an E chord shape even like I can my left without thinking is beyond me.  Once again, probably lots of training and "starting over" like when I first started playing and had no idea how to make an E chord shape with my left hand.  Strangely enough, strumming with my left hand is awkward feeling come to think of it.  And to play guitar well, that takes both hands to acquire technique that differ from each other.  Amazing and strange thing, the human brain... 

Strange thing is I see a lot of people who are right-handed play hockey with a left-handed stick - that's me.  I've seen lefties that use right-handed sticks...  But I golf right-handed...  I couldn't shoot a good shot in hockey with a RH stick (holding like a RH'er).  I can't even stick-handle trying to do so RH... 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, NighthawkChris said:

On piano, I can play pieces by Chopin.  If you have listened to Baroque era to Romantic era composers extensively (where Chopin being from the Romantic era) you will understand what I have worked through to accomplish playing select pieces from these time periods.  Chopin had great appreciation for JS Bach - and you can tell by his "tribute" to Bach which were that of his Preludes.  Chopin is my favorite composer of the past.  I digress. 

My right hand can phrase nicely on the piano, as well as my left hand can do more than just chord - it can develop movement musically speaking.  Why I can't make an E chord shape even like I can my left without thinking is beyond me.  Once again, probably lots of training and "starting over" like when I first started playing and had no idea how to make an E chord shape with my left hand.  Strangely enough, strumming with my left hand is awkward feeling come to think of it.  And to play guitar well, that takes both hands to acquire technique that differ from each other.  Amazing and strange thing, the human brain... 

Strange thing is I see a lot of people who are right-handed play hockey with a left-handed stick - that's me.  I've seen lefties that use right-handed sticks...  But I golf right-handed...  I couldn't shoot a good shot in hockey with a RH stick (holding like a RH'er).  I can't even stick-handle trying to do so RH... 

Chris, I first played piano in the back of a delivery truck...no lessons, I just took what I knew on the guitar and applied it.

Am I good?   HECK NO!   Can I play and make music?   Yeah.... a little.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, DanvillRob said:

Chris, I first played piano in the back of a delivery truck...no lessons, I just took what I knew on the guitar and applied it.

Am I good?   HECK NO!   Can I play and make music?   Yeah.... a little.

lol, that's cool.  Simply sharing some of my experience with where I am musically speaking.  I'm not a professional by any means - my day job pertains to software work - but I wouldn't want to sell myself short.  I've spent a lot of time - and money - on my passion for music over the period of my life.  I hope that everyone finds time in their life to either play a musical instrument or appreciate something that helps their creativity/imagination.  I was inspired back in college to completely embellish my musical appreciation when I took a musical history class.  It was a liberal art I took with an engineering major, but I would have paid to take it anyhow if it didn't help me graduate because it was that good.  I love paying in a band, I love performing and sharing... music is everything to me.  Hoping to have my kids learn one day.  My mother played piano and had me learn at a young age.  I play guitar more these days though...  Doesn't matter though.  I found out that  so long as you are playing SOMETHING, you're good! 

Anyhow, keep playing, enjoy the time you spend with your friends doing it too.  Life goes by quick and things change faster than we'd like.  Best wishes to you. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, NighthawkChris said:

lol, that's cool.  Simply sharing some of my experience with where I am musically speaking.  I'm not a professional by any means - my day job pertains to software work - but I wouldn't want to sell myself short.  I've spent a lot of time - and money - on my passion for music over the period of my life.  I hope that everyone finds time in their life to either play a musical instrument or appreciate something that helps their creativity/imagination.  I was inspired back in college to completely embellish my musical appreciation when I took a musical history class.  It was a liberal art I took with an engineering major, but I would have paid to take it anyhow if it didn't help me graduate because it was that good.  I love paying in a band, I love performing and sharing... music is everything to me.  Hoping to have my kids learn one day.  My mother played piano and had me learn at a young age.  I play guitar more these days though...  Doesn't matter though.  I found out that  so long as you are playing SOMETHING, you're good! 

Anyhow, keep playing, enjoy the time you spend with your friends doing it too.  Life goes by quick and things change faster than we'd like.  Best wishes to you. 

Same back to ya, Chris..... Since I retired, I pretty much play every single day.... many things I've had to modify (for the hands), but I really enjoy it......My grandkids (I have 3) will inherit ALL my stuff...guitars, violins, mandolins, amps, keyboards, pianos, plus my chart books....they'll have videos of me playing the songs in the chart books so they'll have a 'guide' to play whatever they want...they're VERY young (4, 2 + 1 month), I sure HOPE they'll play....as I always say, Music has taught me things I could never have learned elsewhere.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have picked up a left-handed guitar a number of times over the years. 
It's a challenge, this much is true. 

I fancy the notion of finding an inexpensive lefty guitar (or bass) and making it my mission to spend an hour a week learning to play some basic, simple songs. 

Seems like it would HAVE to help in the brains' overall musical adaptiveness. 
Or so I like to think. 

🙂

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, sparquelito said:

I have picked up a left-handed guitar a number of times over the years. 
It's a challenge, this much is true. 

I fancy the notion of finding an inexpensive lefty guitar (or bass) and making it my mission to spend an hour a week learning to play some basic, simple songs. 

Seems like it would HAVE to help in the brains' overall musical adaptiveness. 
Or so I like to think. 

🙂

I agree.

My friend growing up was lefty but just learned to play on standard guitar rather than get a LH or re-string a RH guitar. He did fine. It seems to me, it's awkward any way when you first start out. So maybe it makes little difference that way?

But I am definitely right hand dominant in almost everything. Even when using my fingers to drum on the table or something like that. Even though I use my left hand for making chords and playing scales, by right ringers are still more dexterous. I wonder if I got over the initial awkwardness of playing lefty style, I might actually do better? :-k

Duane, keep us posted on your progress if you go through with this.      

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, saturn said:

 I wonder if I got over the initial awkwardness of playing lefty style, I might actually do better? :-k

      

If you recall, I mentioned that up there a while ago.  But I suppose it might not really matter.

23 hours ago, NighthawkChris said:

 

Strange thing is I see a lot of people who are right-handed play hockey with a left-handed stick - that's me.  I've seen lefties that use right-handed sticks...  But I golf right-handed...  I couldn't shoot a good shot in hockey with a RH stick (holding like a RH'er).  I can't even stick-handle trying to do so RH... 

I neither play hockey or golf.  But I BAT right handed when I played baseball.   And like I alluded earlier, much of it might be sight association.  Like back when I was only an "air guitarist"  or tied twine around the barrel end and stock of an old toy rifle for a "strap" I'd play those pretend guitars left handed.  But I'd notice all the guitar players I'd see on TV played the other way around(right-handed)  and of course, I first learned some playing on OTHER people's guitars, and THEY were right-handed, so I had to start learning that way too.  They weren't about to restring their guitars over and over again.    But left-handed people had to deal with those sorts of things a lot of times.  Like in my grade school, there actually weren't any desks specifically for left-handed students. So me and the couple of other left-handed guys in my class adapted to the right-handed desks.  Everybody however,  at one time or another, has to adapt or adjust to various situations and learn that whining and crying about it won't make it any easier. 

Whitefang

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Something that isn't immediately obvious about guitar - why do we (rightys) play the fingerboard with our left hand?   

Because your picking hand has the harder job.   Despite all the fingerings you have to learn with your left hand, it's still harder to pick and strum with accuracy than to learn all those chord shapes and scales/runs. 

So if I were to try learning bass as a lefty, I would expect to spend a LOT of time getting the muscle memory going to pluck/pick with my left hand.  That is your main challenge.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/7/2022 at 4:12 PM, Whitefang said:

Yeah, I'm another "lefty" who learned to play guitar right-handed.  So was Glen Campbell, y'know.  And probably the three of us for similar reasons.  I often wondered if being left-handed but playing right-handed was a detriment.  Like maybe if I tried to learn left-handed I might have wound up a better player. But I doubt piano players ever wonder about that.  But they had no choice, really.  I mean,  how many are really willing to go through the trouble of "restringing" a piano in reverse? 

Whitefang

I’m also a lefty, and started off playing my friends lefty guitar when I was a boy but moved away and didn’t touch a guitar for years.. then years later learned right handed, for the same reasons as many, no lefty guitars in my circle so just played whatever one anyone would let me.. and then found my dads old beat up flamenco guitar and took it from there..

I gave it about a weeks try a couple of months ago but to be fair I didn’t bother changing strings around 😂 and it nearly broke my brain 🤯(and fingers).. not really sure why I thought I should play it upside down.. and possibly wrong way round at the same time.. (broke my brain just thinking about it now 🤣.. that’s roughly when the idea I needed to buy a Gibson Les Paul came from 🤷‍♂️🤘🏼..

note to self.. must try harder 😂

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Whitefang said:

If you recall, I mentioned that up there a while ago.  But I suppose it might not really matter.

IWhitefang

Yeah I did read that on the first visit to this Topic. I never knew that about Glen Campbel. Interesting. But then I made my own Comment the next day without re-reading stuff from earlier. Sorry I forgot you already addressed it.   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am left handed.. Growing up I never had access to a left handed Guitar & struggled to learn how to play right handed… A few years ago I thought I try to learn how to play left handed.. It was too much work & decided to keep playing right handed..

For some reason I thought I would probably be better left handed, seeing as I’m left handed. But realized, quickly, that was a fantasy..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...