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Left Handed Guitars

They say that ignorance is bliss, and based off of more than one experience I would have to agree. Approximately 10% of the world’s population is left handed, and myself being right handed I often neglect to think about what it would be like to do various things if I were left handed. Things like playing the guitar. It’s very interesting to me, the relationship of left and right hand with playing guitar, because a right handed person learns to change chords with his left hand. Does this mean that it’s easier for us to change chords than it is to strum with our left hand even if we are right handed?

Before I knew better as far as guitar playing goes, I thought that if a person was right handed or left handed it didn’t matter because they can just switch the neck to the other side. Then I realized that if I took my right hand guitar and switch the neck over so that I’m strumming with my left hand, then all of my bass strings are on the bottom instead of the top. This of course messes up the sound when placing a chord because it changes the chord placement. Then why not just rearrange all of the strings so that the proper chord placements will work?

In theory it would work, and to a certain extent it does work. But the sound and intonation will not be the same because of the basic structure of the instrument, and it could potentially harm the instrument. While there are left handed guitars available not every left handed person is going to need or even want to play a left handed guitar. For many lefties a right handed guitar feels just right for them (no pun intended). Many guitarists are even ambidextrous when it comes to the guitar. Like Paul McCartney of the Beatles who has performed playing right and left handed guitars at different times throughout his career.

The best thing to do is go to the music store and grab a guitar. Hold it in your right hand, then hold it in your left. Figure out what feels most comfortable for you. Don’t just grab any guitar though. Grab one that you would actually buy. Look for a style and look that you like with out regard to lefty or righty, and the figure out which side you want it on. Unfortunately there may not always be an equivalent left handed guitar for every right handed one, but more and more are coming out to keep up with the demand, and if you look hard enough you’ll be able to find one that’s at least close to it.