Pride or Self-Pity?

So you are left-handed, you want to learn a stringed instrument, and have ascertained through trial and error that you simply don’t get along with righty models. You therefore embark on The Great Lefty Adventure.

Are you proud, defiant, and ready to defend your right to buy guitars that are “the wrong way round” (ha, ha, bloody ha), or are you resigned to being the odd one out through an accident of genetics and no fault of your own, only thankful that you haven’t picked up a non-reversible instrument?

Nowadays we lefties may not – in the main – be thought of as Satan’s spawn any more, and we may manage to reproduce and pass on our lefty genes unchallenged, but we still hit the brick wall of discrimination at every step, usually in the name of Market Forces as opposed to that of God.

While there is unfortunately no shortage of idiots, among teachers and mentors, who will find any excuse to discourage you from learning the instrument the correct way round for you, and ultimately make you a mediocre musician (because you’re using the wrong tools of the trade), there are luckily also many enlightened voices we can listen to.

As a general commercial and resource website for lefty stringed instruments and their owners, leftyfretz.com is hard to beat. It also has a small forum section, but what is most relevant in this instance is their only-half-jokey list of the advantages of being a left-handed (bass) guitarist:
http://leftyfretz.com/top-reasons-to-play-guitar-left-handed/

Lefty Guitar Pie Chart, leftyftetz.com

Leftyfretz.com sums it up nicely… Been there soo many times!

More encouragement towards choosing what feels natural to us appears on another music gear reseller site, left-handed-guitars-and-basses.com:
http://www.left-handed-guitars-and-basses.com/2010/11/5-benefits-of-being-a-left-handed-guitar-player/

Making Music Magazine also mentions the lefty musician’s struggle and sees things improve with the help of the internet:
http://makingmusicmag.com/how-left-handed-musicians-survive-a-right-handed-music-world/

Guitarnoise.com comes to our rescue too – and all that’s written for guitar on there also applies to bass, of course:
http://www.guitarnoise.com/lessons/lefties-anonymous/ and
http://www.guitarnoise.com/lessons/left-handed-guitar/

bellandcomusic.com goes even further by offering an entire section on left-handed chords for guitar (no bass, unfortunately). For once we don’t need to mentally reverse the diagrams while studying the fingering!
http://www.bellandcomusic.com/left-handed-guitarist.html

This lefty bass player offers us a sadly familiar tale – but do check out the comments added at the bottom and perhaps add yours to the list.
http://www.experienceproject.com/stories/Am-Left-Handed/1968763

Meanwhile, this young, left-handed doctor named Shan offers us some insights into the brain of the left-handed musician:
http://encephalotomy.com/2012/08/if-you-like-music-raise-your-left-hand/

Despite all the additional obstacles a left-handed musician, especially a beginner, will encounter, we should never accept to be bullied into learning to play on unsuitable instruments just because The Market makes it far easier to find right-handed models (and corresponding gigbags and cases, but more of that another time). The more of us refuse to accept such feeble reasoning, the more likely it will be for The Market to take notice and, given some time, meet our demand.

TO BE CONTINUED…

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12 thoughts on “Pride or Self-Pity?

  1. Bluejay,
    Great site, I hope to read more from you. I won’t be on the old forum anymore, since one of the other mods felt it necessary to remove me. The old story of “Do as I say, not as I do”. At any rate, left-handers should stick together for the benefit of all of us.
    Mike/mcarp555

    • Hi Mike,
      thanks for your kind words. I have remonstrated with the mods about your removal. Not sure that will achieve anything, but I do believe they were too heavy-handed this time.
      Long live lefty 🙂

  2. Well, I don’t want to rehash the details on a public blog, but I will say the one thing that annoyed me was my apology somehow got deleted, which seems to have been done out of spite to cast me in a bad light. Still, onwards and upwards. I’d like to suggest Leftyfrets.net (which is not the same as Neal’s excellent site). It’s primarily older Americans w/acoustics, but does have some interesting articles about left-handedness.

    • I also mentioned the deletion of your post in my message to the mods. The deletion also makes my reply to that post pretty meaningless…
      Thanks for that link, I’ll add it in 🙂

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