The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #80980   Message #1481609
Posted By: *daylia*
10-May-05 - 09:58 AM
Thread Name: Tips for teaching a lefty guitar?
Subject: RE: Tips for teaching a lefty guitar?
The discussion re 'handedness' is intriguing!

The dominant side of the brain is the 'controlling' side (remembering that the right brain controls left hand and vice versa), so a person with right-brain dominance will tend naturally to use their left hand for 'controlling' motor movements - like strumming the strings on a guitar.

Yes, and the left brain (in a left-handed person) is said to be more 'intuitive', as opposed to the right brain's penchant for 'logical reasoning'. Is rhythm more of an intuitive than a logical thing? I think so!

Maybe that's why so many lefties say that 'feeling the beat' and strumming along with it is easier for the right hand, while figuring out (and memorizing) frets and fingering would be easier for the left. And vice versa in a right-handed person.

But which is the dominant hand/arm in guitar playing? I would say that the "dominance" keeps switching from one hand to and next, depending on the particular demands of the music being played. To refer back to one of my earlier postings, this left-hand/right-hand "thing" stems from ones initial contact with instrument.

I agree. Even if it's easier for the dominant hand to 'get the beat' at first, with patience and practice both hands DO 'get it' - and eventually, very complicated rhythms too -on the piano. ANd even on guitar, the fretting hand is trained to make it's moves while 'keeping the beat' too.

I tried flipping the guitar over and strumming with my left hand last night ... oooo, so slow and clumsy! If I really needed to, I could re-train it pretty quickly, I think. But fretting with my other hand? That would NOT be something I'd care to undertake! (For me, the left hand on guitar has the more difficult job)

Lesson last night went very well! Didn't have time to do much more than show him how to tune it and proper position for holding the instrument, picking and working the frets - but I think it's gonna work out just fine. It's ME that has trouble seeing "mirror-image", not him! So I may not bother with the left-handed charts and tabs. It's better to be able to read regular guitar music anyway. There's so little 'left-handed' music available.

I think my son has one advantage over this kid though. He could walk into a music store and buy any instrument he wanted. Lefties who learn on lefty guitars are usually stuck with 1 or 2 choices (if any) - from the "bottom end" too. Maybe that makes up for not being able to manage some those 12th-fret chords...

Thanks again for the tips and for the interesting discussion!