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Old Aug 18, 2004, 12:34 AM   #1
matt5
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Default left or right handed guitar?

I am a beginner. I mean a real beginner as in I've never played a complete song and I just know a few chords. Anyways when I bought my first guitar, I bought a left handed one as it felt much more comfortable. Anyways my left handed guitar ended up somewhere in a small town in British Columbia while I'm here in Montreal (long story). I would like to buy another left handed guitar but my funds are limited and there are not many available. Basically I can only afford a pawn shop guitar and being that a left handed guitar is rarity at these type of establishments should I just bite the bullet and purchase a right handed guitar?
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Old Aug 18, 2004, 03:38 AM   #2
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Default Re: left or right handed guitar?

Well, I think you should play what feels more natural to you, but if you're a real beginner, maybe you should try a righty just because they're more available and more affordable. Does someone you know have one you could borrow for a while and see if you can get used to the "feel" of it?

I started as a righty player (and I am right handed), but I chopped off the end of a finger on my left hand when I was 11, so I couldn't fret anymore with my left hand. So I switched to lefty playing. Last year I took up bass, also lefty. It's kind of difficult to get used to, but I think I've made the transition ok. But I'd love to buy another bass or two...and short scale (I'm a small woman) lefty basses are either nonexistant or outrageously expensive, so I'm stuck with just the one. So if I didn't HAVE to, I wouldn't play lefty. Even though it does look kinda cool.
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Old Aug 18, 2004, 06:22 AM   #3
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Default Re: left or right handed guitar?

I'm a rightie and learned to play rightie just because. But Matt, if you want, you should put your name in a few pawn shops and second hand music stores for a lefty in case someone comes in with one, and in the mean time, buy yourself a cheap rightie acoustic and change the strings, if it's only just to learn. Just change everything around, or get a music store to do it for you. It shouldn't be too expensive.
Rell, my uncle dropped a fishing knife through his wrist and lost feeling in 2 fingers on his left hand, but instead of switching hands, he just took up bass and uses 2 fingers most of the time. I guess it wasen't that hard for you to change hands at such a young age, but still it must have been difficult. Did it take you long to learn?
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Old Aug 18, 2004, 12:13 PM   #4
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Default Re: left or right handed guitar?

Matt

If it is a money thing, why not just buy a right hand one and change the strings?

If I remember right, Paul did that in the beginning years? or maybe another famous guitarist? I am sure I read it somewhere.
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Old Aug 18, 2004, 01:52 PM   #5
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Default Re: left or right handed guitar?

An old friend of mine and Rell's switched the strings on a guitar and used that for practicing until he decided he really was going to stick with it.
Good luck!
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Old Aug 18, 2004, 03:21 PM   #6
matt5
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Default Re: left or right handed guitar?

[ QUOTE ]
FPSHOT Posted:
Matt

If it is a money thing, why not just buy a right hand one and change the strings?

If I remember right, Paul did that in the beginning years? or maybe another famous guitarist? I am sure I read it somewhere.

[/ QUOTE ]

Its as simple as reversing the strings? I am capable of stringing but are you sure there is nothing else you have to do?
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Old Aug 20, 2004, 05:16 AM   #7
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Default Re: left or right handed guitar?

Nah, bud. All you have to do is switch the strings to turn the guitar from right handed to left handed play. I did it with the old thing I'm practising on now, and I did it over a friends house when he wanted to jam.

If you get the money to buy a proper left handed guitar, there's a site that deals especially with them - www.lefthandedguitars.co.uk
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Old Aug 23, 2004, 04:04 AM   #8
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Default Re: left or right handed guitar?

[ QUOTE ]
matt5 Posted:Its as simple as reversing the strings? I am capable of stringing but are you sure there is nothing else you have to do?

[/ QUOTE ]

it's less complicated than changing hands

Don't forget to get a left hand player's pick
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Old Oct 31, 2004, 06:48 PM   #9
Jason Byzewski
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Default Re: left or right handed guitar?

Although I'm right handed, I would play a guitar left handed...rather sinister sounding!
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Old Nov 01, 2004, 03:03 PM   #10
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Default Re: left or right handed guitar?

Play left handed is kind of a quirky oddity these days because it seems that nobody does it. When I'm in a music shop there are no left handed guitars whatsoever, which annoys me quite a bit!

I currently have two guitars. My acoustic is a right handed that's been reverse strung so that I can play it left handed, and my left handed Epiphone viola bass.

But yeah, it really is just a question of reversing the strings. That's what I did when an old rubbishy guitar came into the shop a couple weeks ago.

If you want to me a little more precise then I'd flip the plastic guide at the end of the neck because it's set for each thickness of string.

Be careful though - old string ends can be sharp! *shows scars*
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Old Nov 01, 2004, 05:04 PM   #11
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Default Re: left or right handed guitar?

I've heard that when you restring a guitar upside down apparently the sound quality is compromised, I wonder if this is true.
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Old Nov 01, 2004, 06:31 PM   #12
scott500
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Default Re: left or right handed guitar?

I doubt the sound would change strung either way. As for lefty guitars, I've seen a few around. You just have to be patient and look a bit harder. They are out there, but for a price!!! Your better off if you can find one. You don't want to put strumming scratchmarks all over the finish of a new guitar.
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Old Nov 02, 2004, 12:47 AM   #13
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Default Re: left or right handed guitar?

[ QUOTE ]
Harbidge Posted:Be careful though - old string ends can be sharp! *shows scars*

[/ QUOTE ]

I know hahaha I have some experience there too
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Old Nov 02, 2004, 02:33 AM   #14
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Default Re: left or right handed guitar?

[ QUOTE ]
scott500 Posted:
I doubt the sound would change strung either way. As for lefty guitars, I've seen a few around. You just have to be patient and look a bit harder. They are out there, but for a price!!! Your better off if you can find one. You don't want to put strumming scratchmarks all over the finish of a new guitar.

[/ QUOTE ]

Yeah, if you're going to be buying an expensive guitar to play left handed, then it's a really bad idea to get a rightie and reverse the strings because the body is then open to markings from the plec.

But left handed guitars here in the UK are rare and very expensive. I paid 300 for my bass and apparently it's the only one in the south of the UK.
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Old Nov 02, 2004, 03:51 AM   #15
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Default Re: left or right handed guitar?

Also some guitars aren't symmetrically shaped, so they'll look weird if you just turn them around.
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Old Nov 02, 2004, 10:09 AM   #16
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Default Re: left or right handed guitar?

But if the body design doesn't get in the way of playing the guitar it shouldn't really be a problem. I've played a Fender copy design upside down (which isn't symmetrical) and it was fine.
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Old Nov 02, 2004, 10:11 AM   #17
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Default Re: left or right handed guitar?

Oh, you should still be able to play it...I was just saying that it might LOOK weird on some models.
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Old Nov 20, 2004, 06:13 AM   #18
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Default Re: left or right handed guitar?

[ QUOTE ]
Jason Byzewski Posted:
I've heard that when you restring a guitar upside down apparently the sound quality is compromised, I wonder if this is true.

[/ QUOTE ]

It's true on good quality acoustics as the bracing is positioned to accommodate responses tp the motor action of righties. But the change in response is only marginal.

When swapping strings on a right handed guitar to left you'll probably find that there's no way of turning round the nut - the guide for the strings at the machine end - and may have to carefully widen the grooves for the bass strings with a small saw. On an acoustic you should also turn around the saddle (the white ceramic bit) where possible.
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