Mudcat Café message #1480810 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #80980   Message #1480810
Posted By: *daylia*
09-May-05 - 12:36 PM
Thread Name: Tips for teaching a lefty guitar?
Subject: RE: Tips for teaching a lefty guitar?
WOW thank you so much for all the input, folks! Lots to absorb here, and not too much time to do it. He has his first lesson in about 6 hours....

So keep an open mind about how the child should play.

Yes, this is so important. Apparently the child has tried both ways, and likes the left-handed stringing better. So that won't be an issue. I'll just have to get accustomed working with someone who's fingers look 'upside down', and to mirror-image tab.


My left-handed son learned to play by flipping my right-handed guitar upside down and backwards. He does amazingly well that way, and he just gets better all the time! It was confusing for me when I tried to help him though, because I learned to play mostly by ear and by watching other people's fingers for position etc. Not much of a help with him!

And because the new 11yr old leftie student plays a guitar strung 'properly' for a left-handed player, I still can't quite picture how it's going to look ....

My son was encouraged to 'switch over' by a (good) guitar teacher a few years ago, because playing that way does limit one's technique in certain respects (as he's discovered). But the teacher was open-minded enough to understand that he'd already been playing 'his way' for a few years and really just wanted to play, not to end up like Andre Segovia.

I appreciate teachers - and teaching - like that!

He says he didn't want to switch over because not only would he have had to start again from scratch, but he finds strumming with the beat is much easier with his dominant hand. I've seen this online too, from other lefties: There's no rhythm in my right hand.

I find that so interesting! I know that on piano or drums both hands are 'equally' trained for rhythm. And whether the person is right or left handed, both 'learn' to produce it too!

ANd yes, I've heard that Jimi Hendrix - and also Paul McCartney and Kurt Cobain - are lefties who play "upside down and backwards" too. I see there's some debate about this though!

I've found a few sites with left-handed tab etc - thanks for the tip.

I'm not sure that piano teaching makes you a good guitar teacher

Well, that's why I started this thread! Musical theory, structure, rhythm, artistry etc are the same for any instrument, but the physical techniques, skills and requirements are much different. I just want to make sure this child starts out by developing habits that will serve him best and limit him least as a guitarist in the future - and loving it more and more every minute too!

So thanks again, everyone, for all the input! I have 6 hours to absorb it all before I see him tonight for his first lesson... and OH we're to do just great! Oh yes we are, yes we are, yes we are... cuz I can think upside and backwards ... oh yes I can yes I can yes I can ... cuz musicians can do ANYTHING!   

;~)