I actually played a bit many years ago (left handed, just turning the guitar around). But it has been so long that I would almost be a beginner again. The options I see are:

  1. Do the upside-down method again.
  2. Learn right-handed,
  3. Play left-handed with a restrung guitar, or
  4. Look around for a lefty guitar (but those might be hard for me to find here in China).

Any help is appreciated.

  • Each to their own, but I've know a lot of left-handed guitarists over the years who play standard right-hand guitars, the regular way up… usually very well – Tetsujin May 3 '15 at 6:54
  • So, by regular, you mean my number 2, fretting with the left hand? – Tom Riggle May 3 '15 at 7:52
  • Yup, play like a native right-handed player. I've also known left-handed people who simply could not get used to that, but for every one of those, I know 3 who play right handed. I've met an extraordinary number of left-handed musicians over the years… maybe it's a left/right-brain thing. – Tetsujin May 3 '15 at 7:59
  • I suspect the root of the problem is not that you are left or right handed, but that you are confronted with the challenge of doing completely different things with each hand at the same time. That's one reason why it helps to start young, before you have spent too many decades learning to be one-handed, whichever hand that may be. – user19146 May 3 '15 at 16:52
  • An update on my original post. It has now been a few years and I have been steadily improving in my playing. I just turned the guitar around and fret with my right hand. No real problems. Certain kinds of picking and chords are hard, of course, but others are much easier. A mixed bag. – Tom Riggle Jun 8 '19 at 12:27

Some ups and downs.

*Left-handed guitars are harder to find, and will often be more expensive, and with less choice.

*If you learn to play left-handed, any chance you have to play a mate's guitar will be thwarted.

*Changing strings round to make a lefty will work - but it'll need intonating again, and the body of a cutaway guitar may not work to your advantage.

*Your left hand MAY work well on a standard guitar - it's more finger dexterity than hand/arm, and your left hand fingers are already more independent than your right.

*Playing a right-handed guitar upside down with no string change may work for some - at least the bottom string is at the bottom !!

*Potential teachers MAY try to discourage most of this !

*Working from tab may confuse you - it's generally written for standard.

*If it's electric, the pots, jack socket and wangy bar MAY get in the way - although a certain Jimi didn't find it an encumbrance.

*On record are plenty of left handed players who play standard with no problems. Don't know of any vice versas.

*Having given it due consideration (if anybody else has, please let me know), earlier 'open' chords are more tricky playing it 'upside down', but standard barre chords are quite achievable, so option 2 could be a mixed bag.

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  • Thanks for this well thought-out response. I would give you a plus vote but I am apparently still a babe in the woods here. My gut feeling at this point is to buy a regular guitar and just play it lefty. I did read of some musicians who did just this. – Tom Riggle May 3 '15 at 7:55

This is my take on the whole lefty issue. I am left handed and formally played right handed for many years..I recently switched to playing left handed and I am happy I did..It's a lot for your body to get accustomed to though...You are switching your nerves around to play "The other way".

I'll just say this, if using your more dominant hand to fret is a great thing, then don't you think that the folks who made the guitar or other stringed would have people doing this to begin with...

It's no mistake you fret with your less dominant hand because you can develop muscle memory and strength this way..

Accurate, fast picking is very hard no matter how long you practice using your less dominant hand...

Get a left handed guitar...In this way you are tackling the instrument the same way a right handed does...

I'm a lefty, and have a lot of real practical experience in this.

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