So, you’re about to purchase your first guitar and you are left-handed … or are you?
Jimi Hendrix, Paul McCartney, Elliot Easton – these are a few of the greats that play left handed. But, there are many natural lefties that play the instrument “right-handed” (Are you confused yet?)
When I was about 17 years old I met one of my guitar heroes, Kim Mitchell, and brought along a copy of Kim’s debut E.P. for him to sign. When I noticed he wrote with his left hand (Kim plays guitar right-handed) I asked him about it. His reply was “Yeah, when I was a kid, they made me play right-handed”. Hmmm, interesting – and I never gave it another thought.
A few years later I was working in a music shop and was discussing guitar playing with one of the store’s instructors. At one point he made the “air guitar” pose and I noticed he did it “left-handed”. I asked him why he would gesture like a lefty when we all knew that played “real guitar” right handed? His answer: he is, by nature, left handed; but the guitar is a tool that’s designed to be used a certain way and that’s how he learned to play the instrument.
So, as the years went on and I eventually became a guitar store owner, I’ve always remembered to share this idea with new players that have approached me about purchasing a left handed guitar. And, let’s face it – there are plenty of benefits to learning to play right handed, like the availability and variety of product.
But, the story’s not over yet.
I have come to learn that 40% of the guitar instructors here at The Guitar World are lefties that learned to play guitar right handed. And our one (and only) true left handed player/instructor is the biggest advocate of recommending this concept to would-be left handed beginners.
So, if you’re a left handed individual thinking about learning to play guitar, please give some consideration to becoming a right handed player. If it works out, you’re sure to be grateful for your decision down the road.
Thanks for reading.