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I'm interested in learning how to play the guitar, but can't figure out whether to start with a regular guitar or a lefty one, because I'm left-handed. I've been learning to play the piano for a little less than a year, and would really like to be able to play with a regular guitar, not having to carry mine around. Should I learn as a right-handed person or maybe play with the guitar upside down? All my experience with music learning dates to a little less than a year, but I'm familiar with a couple of theoretical concepts as well so figuring things out should be a little easier with the piano to back me up.

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After popping my answer in I realised this is pretty much a duplicate of Is it possible for a left hander to learn guitar right handed? –  Dr Mayhem Dec 28 '11 at 9:53
Thanks for pointing, the answers there were very helpful, I guess it is just a matter of trying out and finding which one is best, although my main concern was, like many pointed out, the strumming, which I felt could be easier with the left hand. I guess I'll be experimenting with it very soon. –  vinir Dec 28 '11 at 17:00

5 Answers 5

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If your main aim is to be able to play a regular guitar wherever you go, I would suggest learning regular, but as a pianist I would imagine you could learn either way.

Various famous guitar players learnt the 'wrong' way so it shouldn't stop you, and it will make understanding tablature simpler.

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I am left handed and learned right-handed guitar without too much trouble. The first few weeks are a bit awkward but it goes away completely after the hump. Nice left-orientation classical guitars are extremely expensive and not as common. There is also the consideration that 90% of the people who you hand your guitar to won't be able to play it. –  enthdegree Jan 24 '12 at 16:08

I've been playing for 20 years, am left handed, and learned right-handed. In my opinion, this made it easier for me to learn, as my dominant hand was doing the "more complicated" stuff for a long time. The strumming is largely simple motions unless you're looking at playing really sweet fingerstyle (which you shouldn't have a problem with anyhoe if you're picking up piano).

The other major benefit to learning right-handed is that it'll be way easier to play guitars that other people have.

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I would definitely recommend learning left-handed. I initially began playing musical instruments (violin) at an extremely early age, before I or my parents knew I was left-handed. The teacher said "get a right-handed violin because left-handed violins are rare and typically far more expensive". I learned how to play righty, but I was always behind my peers which was frustrating but, in hindsight, was the result of having a more difficult time learning. I still play right-handed, and learned guitar right-handed, and overcame the obstacle, but, in my eyes, any way to remove obstacles in learning a new (and often frustrating) instrument further ensure your maintained level of interest and enjoyment.

Of course, the best answer is to learn both hands...

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I have that kind of feeling too, that I might be a little slow if I decide to go the righty way instead of the natural one. But as I stated before, I really would like the idea of being capable of jamming anywhere, not only when I'm with my custom guitar, although that might be thinking to much ahead. If you managed to survive and overcome your problem with the right-handed violin, I guess I could try it out. –  vinir Jan 7 '12 at 2:15
I understand where you're coming from about having to have your custom guitar for jamming, but if you know you're going to be somewhere that jamming is going to happen then bring your guitar! Playing someone else's guitar kind of sucks. Their action might be too high, too low, or their string gauge could be different than what you're used to. It's nice to be able to just jam with anything on hand, but having your own instrument with you is the way to go. –  MrTheBard Feb 11 '14 at 15:33

My older brother who is left handed learned left handed guitar. I would suggest that you do the same. Do not allow us right handed folks to corrupt you and make you think that you must adapt to our right handed ways! Embrace the left hand and get a left handed guitar.

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I'm left-handed but I've played guitar right-handed for decades, reaching a rather competent level in classical guitar before I quit at my 20s because I got bored with classical guitar repertoire.

If holding your guitar left-handed feels more natural, go with leftie, whatever the cost. For a beginner a fretting hand might feel having a more demanding job but actually the plucking/picking hand is more important. Yes, even if you like to play slurs and legatos.

That's because you'll always have a better command on your dominant hand. This affects the rhythm and precision, the things that in the end make your playing sound good or bad.

I'm personally learning electric guitar and occasionally thinking about learning to play it left-handed. Especially because I still tend to strum air guitar like a southpaw.

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