A stringed instrument for left-handers did not appear immediately. Amateur musicians turned over a regular guitar and played it. They had to adapt to the shape, the arrangement of the strings: the 6th was at the bottom, the 1st at the top. Famous guitarists resorted to this method. For example, Jimi Hendrix used a right-handed guitar upside down early in his career.
It was inconvenient to use it: the switches and knobs of the power tool were at the top, the length of the strings changed, the pickup turned out to be reversible.
The history of the left-handed guitar
Jimi Hendrix, in order to fully play, had to independently pull the strings on the guitar. Manufacturing companies, given the fact that it is inconvenient for famous musicians to play upside down instruments, have taken up the adaptation of guitars for left-handers. The first of these was Fender, which released several guitars specifically for Jimi Hendrix, adapted for left-handed performance.
How to learn to play left-handed guitar
A left-handed guitar is no different from a right-handed guitar in terms of design, playing principle, and other criteria. You can use the same textbooks – the material laid out in them is universal for all tools. The only difference is in the position of the hands: the right hand instead of the left holds the strings, and the left strikes them instead of the right.
Before starting classes, a novice musician asks himself a question: how to play the guitar left-handed. Learning to play a conventional guitar in the right-handed position familiar to many, buying an instrument for left-handers, or playing an upside-down guitar for right-handers – the answer to these questions is one: buy a left-handed guitar. If the guitarist has the lead hand on the left, don’t force him to play with the right. Not every inverted instrument is suitable for playing because:
- The strings need to be rearranged by sawing the nut and making the desired thickness.
- On an electric guitar, various switches will turn upside down – when playing, they will interfere.
A left-handed guitar will be comfortable for the musician: hands and fingers will be correctly coordinated, and the performance of compositions will be of high quality.
How to hold a guitar
The performer with the leading left hand holds the instrument in the same way as right-handed colleagues. From the change of hands, exercises, positions, technique of execution, setting of hands and fingers do not change. A left-hander needs to hold the guitar following the same rules as a right-hander.
Is it possible to remake a regular guitar for the left hand
Sometimes a left-handed guitarist cannot find the right instrument: left-handed guitars are rarely sold in stores. Therefore, the performer has such a way out – to adapt an ordinary guitar for playing with a rearrangement of hands. The musician does not need to be retrained and experience inconvenience because of this. The only feature of the tool will be the shape of the body.
Not every instrument is suitable for alteration: a guitar with a cutout that makes playing in the upper register more comfortable is immediately rejected. Experienced musicians advise using a dreadnought with a symmetrical body and no protruding uncomfortable parts.
There are two ways to remake a tool :
- Making or buying a stand that is designed to fit the left hand. The option is complicated: it involves removing the stand with the risk of damaging the guitar’s paintwork.
- Manipulations with sills. The second option is easier than the previous one: you need to seal the existing groove for the nut, mill a new one, taking into account the required angle, regrind the top and bottom nut. Setting the nut in an acoustic guitar occurs at a slight angle – then it will build better.
Popular Instruments and Artists
Notable left-handed guitarists include:
- Jimi Hendrix is one of the most influential guitarists in the world. He had to use right-handed products, because at that time no one made tools for left-handers. The musician turned the guitar over, and eventually began to use Fender models.
- Paul McCartney – from the beginning of his career, one of the most talented musicians participating in The Beatles played the left-handed guitar.
- Kurt Cobain, the leader of Nirvana at the dawn of his career, used an adapted instrument for the left hand. Then I used a Fender Jaguar.
- Omar Alfredo is a contemporary guitarist, producer and record label owner who founded The Mars Volta and prefers to play an Ibanez Jaguar.
In the modern world, lefties account for 10%. Of this number, 7% use the right and left hands equally effectively, and 3% are completely left-handed.
Today’s guitar makers are taking into account the needs of left-handers by releasing adapted instruments.
A left-hander who does not want to relearn how to play the guitar with his right hand can purchase an instrument adapted to his needs. The design and appearance of the tool is no different from the usual. In addition to acoustic, an electric guitar for left-handers is produced. On it, the switches and sound amplifiers are adapted for a left-handed musician, so they do not interfere with the performance of compositions.