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instruments: left v right?

Mr Happy 03 Jul 02 - 05:29 AM
allie kiwi 03 Jul 02 - 05:51 AM
Nigel Parsons 03 Jul 02 - 06:16 AM
mooman 03 Jul 02 - 07:08 AM
Mr Happy 03 Jul 02 - 07:25 AM
GUEST 03 Jul 02 - 07:28 AM
MudGuard 03 Jul 02 - 07:31 AM
Blues=Life 03 Jul 02 - 07:32 AM
HuwG 03 Jul 02 - 08:59 AM
GUEST,bagpuss 03 Jul 02 - 09:25 AM
Gary T 03 Jul 02 - 09:36 AM
death by whisky 03 Jul 02 - 09:51 AM
Grab 03 Jul 02 - 10:00 AM
Mr Happy 03 Jul 02 - 10:18 AM
Gary T 03 Jul 02 - 10:54 AM
RichM 03 Jul 02 - 02:47 PM
GUEST 03 Jul 02 - 06:51 PM
Mudlark 04 Jul 02 - 01:25 AM
GUEST,jonm 04 Jul 02 - 03:42 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 04 Jul 02 - 11:00 AM
Pied Piper 04 Jul 02 - 11:42 AM
Mr Happy 04 Jul 02 - 12:40 PM
Mr Happy 16 Aug 03 - 09:40 AM
GUEST,jjmorri999 16 Aug 03 - 11:32 PM
JennieG 17 Aug 03 - 12:09 AM
GUEST,leeneia 17 Aug 03 - 10:39 AM
Midchuck 17 Aug 03 - 10:50 AM
Blues=Life 18 Aug 03 - 09:35 AM
Leadfingers 18 Aug 03 - 01:25 PM
GUEST,DavidfromSydney 18 Aug 03 - 08:43 PM
GUEST,leeneia 18 Aug 03 - 11:47 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 19 Aug 03 - 12:27 AM
Mark Cohen 19 Aug 03 - 01:53 AM
Mr Happy 19 Aug 03 - 03:25 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 19 Aug 03 - 03:42 AM
fogie 19 Aug 03 - 04:59 AM
Mr Happy 19 Aug 03 - 05:16 AM
jonm 19 Aug 03 - 07:41 AM
GUEST,Green Man 19 Aug 03 - 07:58 AM
Mark Cohen 19 Aug 03 - 11:22 PM
GUEST,Anne Croucher 20 Aug 03 - 09:25 PM
Mr Happy 14 Feb 08 - 07:04 AM
GUEST,Jonny Sunshine 14 Feb 08 - 10:45 AM
GUEST,highlandman 14 Feb 08 - 04:22 PM
Green Man 14 Feb 08 - 05:03 PM
PoppaGator 14 Feb 08 - 05:27 PM
Don Firth 14 Feb 08 - 05:59 PM
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Subject: instruments: left v right?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 03 Jul 02 - 05:29 AM

Why is it that some instruments are made so that you play the melody with the right hand and accompaniment with the left, while other instruments are vice versa ?

Melody: right hand = keyboards, piano, accordion, melodeon, etc

Melody: left hand = most [but not all] stringed instruments: guitar, fiddle, etc

I don't know a lot about how blown things are played, does the left/ right agenda apply here too?


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: allie kiwi
Date: 03 Jul 02 - 05:51 AM

Well I'm not sure about most brass instruments - trumpet, flugel horn etc - perhaps they can be played by either hand, but are just usually played a certain way. A trombone however, has the slide on a certain side (not sure which!) so it wouldn't be ambidextrous as far as I am aware.

Flutes, recorders and clarinets etc have the left hand as the top hand and the right as the bottom, but you need to use both to make the range of notes for a scale. Hence it isn't one playing the melody and one the harmony - you can only play one note at a time!

Allie


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 03 Jul 02 - 06:16 AM

I'm not sure the original premise is accurate. With keyboards, pianos etc., The right hand is only playing the 'melody' because the melodic line is usually given to the higher pitched voice because of its ability to be heard over and above the lower voices.
Similarly in stringed instruments, both hand provide the melody. The plucking of guitar strings, or bowing of a violin, will produce a very limited range of notes without the other hand framing the chords, or in the case of the violin, producing the pitch of each note.

Nigel.


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: mooman
Date: 03 Jul 02 - 07:08 AM

This raises a question for me. Left handed stringed instruments are certainly produced but is there such a beastie as a left handed piano or keyboard, i.e. with the high notes on the left hand side, for naturally left-handed people?

mooman


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 03 Jul 02 - 07:25 AM

allie,

i'm told that when i play whistle, i do it upside down.

i'm naturally right handed but i play whistle right hand at the top.

i've tried doing it the other way, but it seems awkward & unnatural.


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jul 02 - 07:28 AM

Left Handed Piano


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: MudGuard
Date: 03 Jul 02 - 07:31 AM

Some brass instruments are ambidextrous as they don't have valves or any other movable parts, the hand is just used to hold the thing (e.g. simple horns, alphorns, fanfares, Bach trompets...).
Sometimes though the form of these instruments makes it easier to hold it with one hand than with the other...

A triangle should be ambidextrous, also most of the other rhythm instruments.

Xylophones (and similar instruments) I have seen with the low notes on either the right or left side.

Richard, I have seen 2 pianos (what is the English name of a "Konzertflügel"? Grand Piano?) built the other way round...
But they are rare and very expensive.
I guess as most piano players can't afford them when they start playing, they will stick to the usual pianos when they could afford to buy a left-handed piano as it is assumably quite hard to change from right-handed to left-handed once you are used to playing a right-handed one...

MudGuard/Andy


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: Blues=Life
Date: 03 Jul 02 - 07:32 AM

A question for the lefties out there. My daughter is starting to show interest in guitar, and is left handed. Although I own way too many guitars, no leftie models. I've heard various points of view on how to deal with this, including the opinion that she'd be better off learning to play in the traditional, right handed manner. This would give her an advantage in using her dominant hand as the fretting hand, and also open up a wider world in availible guitars later in life. Any viewpoints out there from left handed guitarists? Thanks, Daddy Blues


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: HuwG
Date: 03 Jul 02 - 08:59 AM

I am also a leftie, and also have suffered several rugby and skiing injuries to my right arm, so it is not nearly as strong as my left. However, I do play right-handed for the following reasons:

Chord boxes are the right way up;
Likewise, tablature;
I can have a go at almost anyone's axe, rather than having to rely on bringing my own.

Rather frivolously, although I don't play in a band, or with others very often, it avoids "Duelling guitar necks" at the back of the lineup.

Many years ago, I did restring a cheapo acoustic left-handed, and even after drastic surgery to the bridge piece, I had awful trouble with the intonation. A proper acoustic would certainly not have this problem, though.


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: GUEST,bagpuss
Date: 03 Jul 02 - 09:25 AM

Blues, I'm not a left handed guitarist, but I have always been told to let a child pick up the guitar by themselves and see which way they naturally hold it. I know left handers who play both ways.

Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: Gary T
Date: 03 Jul 02 - 09:36 AM

Mr Happy: As a lefty, I can assure you that virtually all devices are designed for right-handed people. With musical instruments, the criterion is not which hand plays melody. It appears to me that the main consideration is which hand is called upon to do the more difficult task. It's possible that natural arm position (dominant hand closer to the body) may sometimes be a factor.

With piano, there tends to be more intricate finger movement for the right hand, particularly where the left hand is playing mainly chords. With guitar and banjo, the difficulty of learning fretting notwithstanding, the more demanding job is the picking, getting the aim and timing right (obviously this would not necessarily apply to those who only strum chords). Likewise, with fiddle/violin, the bowing would be considered the trickier skill to master.

Daddy Blues: It's going to get down to personal choice. I chose to play a lefty guitar because I have a strong sense of left-handedness in which holding a guitar in the right-handed position felt very awkward to me. The obvious disadvantage is the relative scarcity of instruments and the impossibility of swapping/sharing with other players.

The other options involve a righty guitar, which solves that problem. If your daughter feels quite comfortable holding one right-handed, that can work. The possible drawback, however, is that if she develops an interest in picking rather than just strumming, she may never realize her full potential with a righty guitar.

And then there's playing a righty guitar upside down, holding it as though it were left-handed. This entails working out unconventional fingering and usually "upside down" strumming/picking. Some have done this (Jimi Hendrix, Elizabeth Cotton); I haven't so I don't know what it's like.

Looking for a guitar at a store that carried only right-handed models, I was told that I should play right-handed so my left hand could do the fretting--the "hard part." Which raised the question in my mind, if that's such an advantage, then why aren't most guitars made left-handed so that the majority--right handers--could benefit from it. Food for thought.


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: death by whisky
Date: 03 Jul 02 - 09:51 AM

So is the harp ambidextrous? It SEEMS TO ME THAT WITH STRINGED instruments both hands are required in equal measure.


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: Grab
Date: 03 Jul 02 - 10:00 AM

BluesLife, I think classicals don't have compensated bridges, so you should be able to just restring it the other way round.

Electrics are only "handed" as far as the body shape goes - the intonation can be adjusted to go either way. Hendrix used a right-handed guitar but played it left-handed.

Mark Knopfler incidentally is a lefty but plays right-handed. He said that he preferred it that way, bcos then his strongest and most dextrous hand (or "most sinister", possibly ;-) is in control of the melody.

Re Huw, apparently bands envied the Beatles bcos having a lefty on the band meant that they got a nice "symmetry" on stage of one guitar neck pointing one way and one pointing the other. So not always a disadvantage!

Graham.


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 03 Jul 02 - 10:18 AM

death bi whisky,

i thought of including harp in my examples of string intrs. but then i thought since the piano et al is evoved from this, perh. harps are set up in the same way.

any harpers out there?


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: Gary T
Date: 03 Jul 02 - 10:54 AM

My take on the harp is this:

The treble strings are necessarily shorter than the bass strings.

You've got to have the short side close to you, otherwise you couldn't reach all the strings.

Righties naturally reach out with their left hand, keeping their dominant hand closer to the body.

Melody is typically played on the higher strings.

Thus by default, not by design, the right hand plays the melody. A lefty could, and I suspect would, reverse this.


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: RichM
Date: 03 Jul 02 - 02:47 PM

Then, of course, we can consider the right hemisphere/left hemispheres of the brain...that is, simply put: rational versus creative sides, and all the implications therein!

Rich McCarthy


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jul 02 - 06:51 PM

I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous........


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: Mudlark
Date: 04 Jul 02 - 01:25 AM

Blues...another lefty here. I learned to play guitar when I was 18. Tho very left-handed in everything else, it never occurred to me to play the guitar any other way but the right-hand way. And because I'm just a front-porch picker, that works well for me as my left hand is doing the hard part. Not true for a fancy picker. I'd advise that she at least try to learn right-handed, if only for the fun of going into a guitar shop and being able to try out all the guitars...


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: GUEST,jonm
Date: 04 Jul 02 - 03:42 AM

The way you pick up a guitar and hold it naturally is the way you need to learn. For me, that's left handed. It makes buying and borrowing instruments very difficult, but then nobody ever borrows (and possibly trashes) mine!

When I was first learning, I played both ways round - my classical left-handed (the internal bracing is not always symmetrical, so be careful if re-stringing) and anyone else's right-handed guitar I could borrow. Now I play fingerstyle acoustic and the "claws" mean I can't play righty guitars (or my better half's acoustic bass).

The duo I play in regularly get compliments about the two guitar necks pointing different ways.

BTW, Hendrix played a right-handed Strat strung upside down. Tried that in my youth and have the scars from the volume and tone pots on my inner forearm as a result of too-aggressive playing! Elizabeth Cotton really played a righty guitar upside-down - picking the bass lines with her ring and pinky fingers and the melody with thumb and index. Can anyone else do this?


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 04 Jul 02 - 11:00 AM

Bill Staines plays his guitar left handed, but the guitar is strung right!

He can use ANYONE's guitar without any fuss or mess. It's just upside down.

Ashley MacIsaac, left handed player, but his fiddle is strung as it would for any of the right handed players.


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: Pied Piper
Date: 04 Jul 02 - 11:42 AM

Interesting this. I know someone who plays the Recorder right hand uppermost and the flute the "convetional" way, she plays realy well on both. I'm a lefty myself but play mostly right handed, apart from the Bodhran and Jews harp. It would be interesting to know what % of trad musos are sinster. I think its more than the average ( about 15-20%). All the best PP.


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 04 Jul 02 - 12:40 PM

pp

maybe we could have a box on mc profiles for 'sinister/dexter'


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 16 Aug 03 - 09:40 AM

i wonder if left v right applies to percussion instruments?

any drummers have their kits arranged a different way round if they are left handed?


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: GUEST,jjmorri999
Date: 16 Aug 03 - 11:32 PM

The French Horn is definately a left handed instrument, that's one reason my daughter chose it. The left does the fingering, the right is inside the bell doing whatever.


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: JennieG
Date: 17 Aug 03 - 12:09 AM

My older son is a drummer. He started out in life as a left-hander but because he broke his left arm twice as a child he learnt to do some things right-handed - writing for one, and is a self-taught right-handed guitar player. But he throws and hits a ball left-handed, eats left-handed etc. Drummers arrange their kit any way they like. It can be difficult to use another's kit as they have their stuff set up for their own size - length of reach, things like that - just imagine a 5 foot tall player trying to play the kit of someone more than a foot taller! - and for their left or right hand too. It's personal preference. Def Leppard (think that's the band) had a one-armed drummer.
Cheers
JennieG


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 17 Aug 03 - 10:39 AM

Blues=life, I hope you are still checking this thread.

I'm supposedly a left-handed person. I write with my left hand and do any other really delicate operation with it, such as embroidering or putting a contact lens in my eye. I'm sure the reason for this is that my right eye is so near-sighted that when I was little, I couldn't see clearly what my right hand was doing. So I used the left hand.

However, I do many other things right-handed, especially if they involve large muscles - bat, throw, play tennis, dig with a trowel. I can saw wood and screw a screw either way. I play guitar and piano right-handed. I didn't have to force it, it came naturally.

People like me, who show mixed use, are far more common than those who are consistently left-handed. (The truly left-handed tend to be male.)

I read in a book that if a so-called leftie curls her wrist towards herself when writing, then she has a right-hander's brain. Don't ask me how they knew. It's true for me, and I expect it's right.

To sum up, watch your daughter in a lot of activities. Is she a true leftie, or does she switch hands a lot? Don't push into left-handedness just because she writes that way.


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: Midchuck
Date: 17 Aug 03 - 10:50 AM

I am also a lefty who learned guitar right-handed and have always played that way. Most of the time I'm glad, because, as has been pointed out, I can play most of the instruments rather than only a select few; and I love to buy and sell instruments and try new ones. Every so often, I wonder if I'd be a significantly better picker if I'd learned left-handed, but I doubt it.

I've thought every so often that I ought to get a left-handed instrument and learn that way, as there's some indication of arthritis in my left hand but none in my right so far. That'll probably change if I keep using the computer mouse with my right...

Firing a rifle seems much more natural left-handed, and feels awkward right-handed, but my actual scores are about the same either way. And right-handed I don't have the damn ejection port in front of my face.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: Blues=Life
Date: 18 Aug 03 - 09:35 AM

leeneia, yes, I'm still here. Interesting imput. I'll have to watch her write. My daughter is almost 10 years old, and she does some things using a dominant right (ie, kicks a soccer ball right footed) but for the most part she seems to be a lefty. Doesn't really matter as pertains to guitars, as she has shifted her focus to violin. She loves to watch video's of Nickle Creek just to see her favorite violin player. She starts lessons soon, so I guess I'll learn more about this instrument quickly.
Peter: I'm right handed and shoot a rifly lefty. Has nothing to do with hands, and everything to do with eyes. I'm left eye dominant, and taught myself to shoot lefty. Anything I can look at left and do right (shooting pool comes to mind) I will still do right handed, but I just could never get my left eye over the sights holding it right handed.
Blues


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 18 Aug 03 - 01:25 PM

We used to get tegular visits to the folk club from a leftie accordianist.He had simply taken the straps off and put em on the other way round,so the instrument was upside down as well as left to right.It worked for him though.


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: GUEST,DavidfromSydney
Date: 18 Aug 03 - 08:43 PM

Hi - new here but couldn't resist this thread...

I do almost everything left-handed. Write, throw, play tennis, use tools (but not knife and fork). However, when I learnt Violin at school, I learnt right handed, and when I started to play guitar, again it was right handed. This has advantages and disadvantages.. Personally I found chords easy to learn, but intricate fingerpicking, and fast plectrum runs I still find difficult. I could not even begin to conceive of holding the guitar the other way round. I also played cricket right handed (batting... I bowled left handed). I also think it has a lot to do with which eye is dominant. I have a good friend who is right handed but plays cricket left handed.

David


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 18 Aug 03 - 11:47 PM

People are right about the importance of eyes. If they are different (mine are) they play a role in everything we do.

BTW, last night I was at a restaurant with four friends. Three of us were women who are labelled "left-handed" but who use our right hands for many activities.

A library book I once read said that studies show that people often don't know which hand they use to do a job and that the hand they use can change from one time to the next. Shows how over-simplified our ideas of handedness really is.


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 19 Aug 03 - 12:27 AM

One factor in the left-handed or right-handed thing that I don't think anyone's mentioned is the availability (actually more the lack of availability) of teachers who are willing to teach a student with a lefty instrument. I would never do it. It would give me a headache and make me want to beat the student over the head with the instrument. It'd be more like. "Sure, kid. I'll teach you how to play guitar, but you're gonna have to do it right-handed. If you've just gotta play left-handed, teach yourself." Then again, I'm not a professional teacher so I don't have to depend on doing it for a living. I guess if it came down to "teach a lefty or starve" I'd probably make the necessary adjustments.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 19 Aug 03 - 01:53 AM

Back in the early 80's when evaluating children with learning problems or what was then called ADD, we used to make a big deal about "mixed dominance" as a warning sign -- especially suspect were children who preferred using one hand and the opposite eye. Now that we're less focused on finding out if a child "has it" and more on how a child learns, that has gone out of fashion. (Note: if you insist on using this comment to start a discussion about ADD/ADHD, please start another thread!)

As far as I know, lefties who write with their hand curled around the page -- which is most of them -- tend to be left-brain dominant, as are most right-handers. Southpaws whose writing position looks like a mirror image of a rightie's are more often true right-brain dominant -- their language center is in the right hemisphere, and the typical left/right hemispheric division of labor in the brain is reversed. But that's based on stuff I learned in medical school a long time ago, which may have been proven wrong while I wasn't looking.

I've seen Bill Staines play. It looks odd, but it sure works for him.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 19 Aug 03 - 03:25 AM

a l/h fiend of mine tried learning 5 sting banjo but the 5th string peg was always in the way. he switched to a tenor bajo instead.


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 19 Aug 03 - 03:42 AM

I'm not sure there's anything " natural" about playing a musical instrument! And a so called " comfortable" way of holding an instrument - in the initial stages of learning - is not going to be the best in the long run. As a guitar teacher, I believe the " lefties" belief that holding the the guitar " the other way round" is best for them stems from the first contact they have with the instrument. I have observed that this "first contact" always involves the player wanting to run their " best hand" over the open strings. For a "lefty", this is of course their left hand. BUT I'd always advise lefties to play orthodox.


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: fogie
Date: 19 Aug 03 - 04:59 AM

So weve got the following instruments that are right or left handed because they are symetrical- jews harp, bodhran and three holed pipe-as in pipe and tabor thus showing that medieval minstrels could do their thing either way. Presumanly flageolets, kazoos, tambourines, one stringed fiddle -ouds and swanee whistles join this select company. Is now the time to design an advanced pipe of sorts that can be used ambidextrously? Why are legs so little used???


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 19 Aug 03 - 05:16 AM

there's legs on lots of instruments but i don't think it really affects which way round someone would play them.

e.g.

cello
double bass
hammer/lap dulcimer
keyboards


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: jonm
Date: 19 Aug 03 - 07:41 AM

I was interested by the handwriting comment: I write very much as a right-handed person would, but left handed, so apparently I am right-brain dominant. I play guitar left handed.

Mike, who I play with, is left handed but writes somewhat more crabwise (left brain dominant?) and plays guitar right handed.

It appears we are both picking with the hand opposite the dominant brain side.....

Someone once suggested to me that you should use your dominant hand for picking on the guitar since it is better suited to rhythm and tempo. So why do you operate the basses on an accordion/melodeon with the other hand?

BTW, as a lefty I have taught guitar to right handed people by siting opposite them and working a mirror-image thing.


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: GUEST,Green Man
Date: 19 Aug 03 - 07:58 AM

Daddy Blues:-

I play blues and jazz on guitar and while in a pro band touring was in an accident damaging the fingertips on two of my left hand. I had an incentive to get playing and as I lost the feeling in the fingertips chaged to a left handed guitar. (A WEM Circuit 4) anyone remember those?

It was hard learning again but found that my right hand was stronger for chording so I would let your little girl go whichever way suits her. I often find myself doing things ambidextrously these days 30 years on I still play passably well. As for choice of Guitars there was never a problem for me (leftys in London) and there are many more specailists than you might think though you probably will have to travel to try a seriously good guitar.

Good luck,
D


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 19 Aug 03 - 11:22 PM

jonm, I should have been more clear. "Left-brain-dominant" people are, for the most part, right-handed. The motor nerves cross over in the brainstem (nobody knows just why). The dominant hemisphere is generally the one where the speech center is located, and it also tends to "specalize" in logical, sequential, language-based processes.   The non-dominant hemisphere is believed to handle more spatial, emotional, and intuitive mental processes.

In right-handers, the dominant left hemisphere controls the "better" hand, which is the right. In most left-handers, the left hemisphere still controls speech, language, logic, sequencing, etc., but the controls for the "better" (left) hand are in the non-dominant right hemisphere. In true right-brain-dominant lefties, the right hemisphere does everything that the left hemisphere does in a rightie: language, strong hand, etc.--those are the ones whose handwriting posture is the mirror image of a rightie's.

So you and your friend are each in fact picking with your dominant hand.

Are you confused yet?

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: GUEST,Anne Croucher
Date: 20 Aug 03 - 09:25 PM

From what has been said about left handers 'hooking' when writing - which I don't, it is a relief to know that I am in my right mind.

I find that I can do some things righthanded with practise, but others feel wrong, and if I persist in pushing myself I develop a stammer. I once had to work on a desk which was designed for a right hander using a number pad - and after two weeks I had a speach impedement which took some time to go away. Luckily it was only a temporary placement.

I have no trouble in using a PC mouse right handed, I play recorder the 'right' way, and learned 'normal' guitar no problem.

The main thing with left/right issues is not to make it a big thing -Try a really simple cord change on the guitar like Am/E and see which feels the right way to do it - if should be fairly obvious in a few minutes which hand 'wants' to be holding the chords

Anne


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 14 Feb 08 - 07:04 AM

Continuing the discourse, I'm in Britain where we drive vehicles on the left.

Globally, the populace are right handed, but when driving over here, we need to perform a number of intricate tasks with the 'inferior' hand; such as operating the gear change lever.

I've driven in Europe in left hand drive cars & always found gear changing with the right hand quite tricky.

Guess it's what you're used to.

*********

On the topic of musical instruments, some are 'neutral' in which way round they're played.

As mentioned above, most percussion instruments are this way, or it's very easy to adjust them to otherly playing.

These include drums of the ethnic kind such as tom-toms, tablas, African bass, orchestral insts., maracas, bells [hand & tubular], castanets, tabor, tambour[ine], bodrhan etc.

Some mouth blown things are completely 쳌eeither/both way쳌f such as didgeridoos, kazoos, swanee whistles, etc & even mouth organs can simply be turned over.

What other 쳌eambidextrous쳌f instruments are there?


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: GUEST,Jonny Sunshine
Date: 14 Feb 08 - 10:45 AM

I'm left-handed and play guitars etc right-handed, the other way seems wrong. Piano, obviously there was never a choice. Harmonica I hold slightly unusually, but still the "right" way round.

It makes sense for me in all three cases that low notes are to the left, high to the right. In fact I find it looks quite odd seeing someone play the other way round (even on harmonica)

However, I've been learning drums, and I have to set the kit up the other way. If I try playing a right-handed drum kit I end up getting the kick and snare the wrong way round.

As a guitar teacher I've had a few left-handed pupils, most have learned right-handed by default, but I'd definitely advise anyone to try both ways to see what feels best.


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: GUEST,highlandman
Date: 14 Feb 08 - 04:22 PM

"Elizabeth Cotton really played a righty guitar upside-down - picking the bass lines with her ring and pinky fingers and the melody with thumb and index. Can anyone else do this?"

I had a friend in high school who played that way. Drove us all crazy to watch, but he was a decent player and we could swap instruments around with no problem. (You had to swap licks by ear, though, because inverting the mental picture is just about impossible.) Most of the lefties have I known played keyboard or guitar the conventional right-hand way. A handful of guitarists in my circles have played a reverse-strung right-hand guitar, but none of those played at a level that was devoutly to be emulated. (Not saying there's a correlation there, just my experience).

I second the comment made earlier that the "natural" way of holding and fingering an instrument is almost always NOT going to be the most effective, ergonomic and skill-enhancing way in the long run. That's why teachers spend so much time on posture, finger position, etc.

And whether the instrument is keyboard or fingerboard based, when you reach a moderate grade level you are going to be teaching both hands to do difficult tasks that don't come naturally, so really, what's the difference in the end?

-Glenn


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: Green Man
Date: 14 Feb 08 - 05:03 PM

I learned to play the guitar right handed as I am right handed. I was in a giggin band and was involved in an accident with a concrete mixer a nun and an ambulance. I could no longer fret strings with my left hand so changed to left handed Guitar. I managed it in three months, I still play guitar but also play Melodeon and am learning concertina. I think playing guitar left handed gives you an advantage. When you observe other players its like looking in a mirror so its easier to spot the chords. and if you're in a pub session and someone asks to borrow your guitar the look on their face when they cant get a decent sound out of it is sometimes priceless.

GM


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 14 Feb 08 - 05:27 PM

"involved in an accident with a concrete mixer a nun and an ambulance."

More details, please?

That sounds much more interesting than discussing left-handedness!


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Subject: RE: instruments: left v right?
From: Don Firth
Date: 14 Feb 08 - 05:59 PM

"A concret mixer, a nun, and ambulance walked into a bar. . . ."

Uh--?

Don Firth


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