Monday, 5 August 2013

Are you a left-handed guitar player?

If you are, do you play a left-handed guitar, a modified right-handed guitar or have you just learnt to play right-handed?

Left Handed GuitarAccording to Wikipedia some of the big names in the music industry including Jimi Hendrix, Paul McCartney, Bob Geldof and Paul Simon are or were also left handed guitarists. Some choose to play a right-handed guitar and others, a modified or left-handed version.

Playing a left-handed guitar 
Generally players either chose to play left-handed guitars with the strings conventionally arranged to suit the left-handed, so with the low string on the top side of the guitar’s neck, or with the strings arranged as they would be on a right-handed guitar. With the latter, the strings are essentially backwards for a left-handed player, but that doesn't stop Bob Geldof strumming a tune. 

Playing a right-handed guitar 
However, some left-handed guitarists play modified right-handed guitars. This is when the strings are arranged to suit a left-handed player. Paul McCartney favours both left-handed and modified right-handed guitars. Well he is multi-talented. 

So was Jimi Hendrix. He learnt to play the right-handed guitar, right-handed under the insistence of his father despite being left-handed. However, being a rebel he also secretly mastered playing the guitar left-handed, but upside down and right-handed with the strings upside down. 

How to change the strings on a right-handed guitar

This involves changing the nut to accommodate the string widths. Also the bridge to allow the lower strings to be longer than the top strings for the right intonation. Remember the controls will be backwards on an electric guitar if modified in this way.

Need a little help getting to grips with your left-handed guitar? Then you’ll find a selection of useful books on our website dedicated to left-handed technique, chords and scales.

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