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Shawn Gaddis

Right hand or left hand?

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  Hello, I am hoping someone could help me with a little dilemma I am having with my guitar playing, a little back story I started playing guitar when I was about 13 and played for a couple of years but never got really good it was really challenging on my fret had to get the cords right. So I haven't played for a couple years now, now that I am 28 I have a whole new passion to play. But I found that it is really comfortable holding the pick in my left hand and a little easier for my fingers on my right hand to get into the cord shapes but it's still weird having a guitar facing the other way. So my question is. Should I just keep practicing with a right hand guitar or should I just go all in with the left hand guitar and learn that.  Thank you so much for your time. I hopefully look forward to hearing back.

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carol m    64

Hi Shawn

That is a really useful article from Mset.

There are a couple of things you can do to help you decide what to do. I think the first suggestion might be better because it is free and reversible.

1. Restring your guitar as a left hand guitar and see how that feels to play.  Depending on your particular guitar, the intonation  maybe slightly off. Intonation: some strings that are in tune at the nut might be slightly out of tune as they go up the fretboard. This can happen if the right hand bridge is not also changed around, and/or if it has differences of height across it between low & high strings. So, the intonation might be off slightly, but you can get the feel of playing the other way round. You can always change it back to the right handed stringing.  If you are playing a classical guitar, I found that the intonation remains pretty much unchanged after a lefty switch.

2.  Buy a really cheap left hand guitar on ebay or similar, and try playing it a bit to see how that feels.

3. Go to a guitar store and play a lefty guitar to see how it feels.  Hint: it will feel as if you have never played guitar before, and you have to also mentally switch your knowledge of which finger goes on which string and where the low and high strings are.  Tip: the high e string is always the one closest to the floor, whether you play left or right.  You have to take all those things into consideration when making your choice.

I am someone who has switched from right to left handed guitar playing - because of injury to my left hand.  However, you must decide for yourself because only you can make the choice that is best for you.

When I switched, it was as difficult to find notes with my fretting hand as I was a complete beginner all over again. Which was a really interesting experience.

BTW you can find left handed guitars but the choice is muchy more limited, the guitars are usually slightly more expensive, and if you have friends you play with, you will not be able to swap guitars with them., or play someone else's guitar if those opportunities ever occur.

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