Finger issues - Should I switch to playing lefthanded?

Greetings. I’ve been tinkering with guitar for about 3 years but I struggle. On my fretting (left) hand, the first knuckle doesn’t bend. It’s fixed at a slight downward angle. So for example, if I want to try a C chord I have to bend my hand and wrist at an odd angle to be able to fret the 2nd string without muting the 1st. Because of the fixed bend its also almost impossible to play a bar chord. I toy with the idea of trying to play left handed. Anyone have thoughts or experience with something like this? Thanks!

Ask Justin. He is learning left handed.

I am left handed and have been learning righty for the last year. But. I never tried playing lefty.

My thoughts:
Personally, I see no reason you can’t.
It will feel very awkward at first, and for far longer than you imagine, but you can do it.
It won’t feel good to feel like you have taken a step backwards. A large step. But being aware of this will help.
You will need to buy a new guitar (boo, I mean, yay!)
How will your bent finger work on the strumming hand?

I don’t know if any of that helps! Definitely doable, but a lot of work is my bottom line. Worth it if that is what you need to get your playing where you want it.

Go for it. You’ve got nothing to lose. I have a left handed friend who plays right handed guitar because that was all that was available when they started.

Thanks, gentlemen. Holding a pick lefthanded wouldn’t be a problem. I realize it means a different guitar and they’re not exactly common but it would be worth it to pick up something inexpensive as an experiment.

I hear you. I have the same issue but with my fretting pinky.

I could not for the life of me nail any decent chord changes or individually fretted notes in a fast manner due to my pinky which is bent at a similar angle to yours.

Till i tried a short scale guitar. The difference to me was night and day.

There was no reference as to what kind of guitar you have but the next time you go into the shop to get strings or whatever, pick up a short scale - if you dont already have one. It might make a difference. Or not. But it is worth a try.

I also toyed with the idea of starting over with the right hand, till i got the short scale 1 week into justins course. I no longer deem it necessary to switch hands.

Just a thought from somebody who is wearing similar shoes as you.

I just learned this week that there are even shorter scale guitars than the one i have so gonna have a look at them next time i am in the shop. I read that gibsons are short scale by default if i rem correctly.

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Gibson’s are shorter scale.

I just learned a trick. You can flat tune your guitar (I like flat tuning!) so every string is tuned down a half step (Eb, Ab, Db, etc) which lowers the string tension and give a slightly deeper sound. But then slap a capo at the 1st fret and it is essentially a short scale in standard tuning.

Keep in mind, flat tuning may require a small truss rod adjustment (likely not) or tremolo adjustment and the tremolo does make this a pain. In my opinion.

You could test it out that way, I suppose. If there are pitfalls or misconceptions to this, I hope some of the wiser members will set me straight. Still learning.

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Short scale is an interesting option. And with the flat tune/capo trick it’s a no cost experiment. I’ll have to give it a try. Thank you.

I think a pitfall would be increase risk of fret buzz, but if you’re not getting that you should be good!

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