Hello Community! This is Theo from Dublin and I have a quick Q. Should I play lefty or righty?

If you are reading this I could use your advice - I am completely new to the world of music. I have a friend’s electric guitar and only started the lessons with Justin. It’s painful but I am excited to learn!

Thing is, I am a lefty and I have a right-handed guitar. I know it’s not unheard of, but does it make sense for me to continue learning with this setup?

If it helps your opinion, I have dexterity in the fingers on the left hand (writing etc) but my strong arm is the right one ( even though I am a lefty). So it kind of makes sense for me, but friends that play music/guitar told me that I should get a lefty guitar which, is not really feasible at the moment.

Any opinions or advice will be greatly appreciated! Thanks everybody :smiley:

If it works for you keep at it. I have several friends who are lefties who play right handed guitar and it works for them. I’ve seen many theories and discussions on this and at times I wonder if the left handed guitar would be better for right handed people like me, perhaps it’s a historical accident. On the other hand, I’ve also heard it said that whichever hand you are is important for rhythm, hence the reason for why guitars are handed the way they are.

1 Like

For starters Theo welcome to the Community, you are in the right place for advice and support.

More experienced and knowledgably folks will follow me but from what I have seen when similar questions have been raised in the past, the advice has been to seek a lefty guitar. If that is your dominant side in most activities, playing right sided maybe a tough challenge. I am not saying impossible but a hurdle you could avoid by waiting and getting the right guitar for you.

So as many folks here can also advise you on the art of guitar purchases. If you were looking to buy, would it be acoustic or electric and what kind of budget would you be looking at. There is gear out there cheaper than you may imagine and of a quality that will at least get you going plus advice can be given in the used market.

Tell us a little more of those things and I am sure you’ll get some good advice.



Welcome @DeusExMachina ! Glad to have you join us.

I am a lefty playing righty. I have done so for my own reasons, but the opinions, like with everything are mixed.

There are many accomplished left handed musicians playing righty, just as there are many who succeed lefty.

I don’t think there is a right or wrong, just slightly different challenges and preferences.

One small point, most guitarist use both hands for very complex tasks. It is just a matter of which hand does which task.

What I am experiencing (been at this just over a year now) is a slowly fading sense of oddness, remedial needs in training consistency and rhythm with my right strumming hand and clumsy fingers fingerpicking that are slowly improving. But I also feel confident (if a bit slow, but hey that’s just me) with my fretting hand.

Now I finally will catch and air guitar (my daughter occasionally throws me one) right handed and I think it would feel odd to hold a guitar to play lefty now.


The bottom line is that I have the firm belief that most people could learn to play off handed and I’m the long run, they will be as good as they work to be.

That said, I think you need to look deep into your relationship with your handedness, decide what is really best and follow your gut.

Hi, and welcome to the community. I am also a lefty playing right-handed. I haven’t been playing very long, but for me, fretting with the right hand would just seem odd.
I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer and it’s really going to vary from person to person. For some lefties it will feel natural to pick up a guitar and play right-handed while for others it will just not feel comfortable or doable at all.

1 Like

Hi Theo, welcome! As a righty in a righty-oriented world I’m not sure I’m qualified to advise you on this question, but lack of qualifications rarely stops me from having an opinion. :-).

If you have dexterity to write with your left hand, it seems to me that you probably have the dexterity to use that as your fretting hand. Most instructional material seems to be very much oriented towards right-handedness. I’m going to go against trend (I think) and say that if you have the dexterity for it and aren’t already accustomed to playing a left-handed :guitar: then it might be pragmatic to learn it right-handed from the very beginning so that it will feel natural.

Whatever you decide, welcome to the Community - hang around with us and share your guitar journey!

One significant advantage to sticking with a right handed guitar is there are so many more right handed guitars available. Go to a party, if there’s a guitar around, it’s likely to be right handed, that sort of thing


Hello and welcome Theo. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Welcome to the Community, Theo.

I can’t speak with any personal experience on the left/right conversation. Lots shared already and sure you’ll figure things out and make progress.

You may find it interesting to watch Justin’s videos in which he decided to try Grade 1 by learning with his other hand. I’ve not watchd those videos but might offer some insights.

1 Like

I would say, yes, stick with the right hand. My husband is a lefty and is in his 3rd year of learning to play a right handed banjo.

1 Like

Hi Tony thank you for the response here :slight_smile: Yeah, it almost feels natural to use my left to fret- my only hesitation is what you mentioned about the rhythm; for years when I would air guitar, I would always strum with my left but aside from that, it feels okay. I just don’t want this to be a factor that will make me give up later on. Thanks for your insight!

1 Like

Toby cheers for your reply and thanks for welcoming me! See that’s it, my right is my strong (dominant?) hand but my left is the one I right with, so it is confusing haha.
I have an electric and the reason I say it’s not feasible to get a lefty one now is I genuinely started 2 days ago. I am don’t know if after 2 months for ex. i’ll still be going at it and i don’t want to over-invest in something I may not get to use. At the same time, I don’t want to start wrong in fear of me getting frustrated and quitting.

I can already see a slight improvement on a daily basis ( I am trying the quick changes D to A and anchor finger) so I ll stick to it for now. The other comments I see below also gave me confidence that its more do-able than it sounds :smiley:

Hey Jamolay thanks so much for this. Really, I can already see an amazing community here and feel so much better about playing a righty guitar. I am still on day 3 so I feel awkward with either hand- I just want to make sure I set up my journey with music and the guitar for success so it really helps when I see that you already feel more comfortable! :smiley:

Hello Dave thanks for the advice and wow, what a great community this is!

Yeah see, when I flipped the guitar to strum with my left and see if it makes sense, I feel like I can see the frets a bit better than when I have them on my left as a righty guitar. Other than that both ways feel kinda weird as its still too early, but I think I am already getting more used to it. My left hand is the one I right with and do things that require dexterity in the fingers, my right hand is the strong one so I might be slightly ambidextrous?

When I air guitar my gut tells me that I need to stum with my left hand which is why I am a bit worried. But honestly, I think I can do it, I see a lot of people being successful with it, so I am more confident now :smiley:

Thanks, Debbie! :smiley: With so many success stories I am fueled up and ready to go!

I’m a great believer in listening to the gut, Theo. But so many different experiences without a hard and fast rule, makes it tricky. I’d say keep an open mind, observe how you go and if you stay with the right to get an idea now, you can always switch in a little bit without having lost too much. Many of us spent years, decades, in failed attempts (for whatever reasons) and are now happily making progress.

Hi @DeusExMachina , I am very new here and had the same question. I am very left handed. I had been playing about 3 weeks on a right handed guitar because that’s what I had, and I had the chance to try a left handed one. I came to the conclusion that it would be possible to learn either way, so I have decided to stick with the right handed one. Good luck.

1 Like

Welcome to the forum @DeusExMachina. I am a lefty and play left handed, I tried right handed and it did not get on with it. It really is person specific, some can play right handed others not. If you have a shop close then go and try each and see which feels the best. But since you say it is not feasible to get a left handed guitar then you dont have any choice, just try right handed and see how you get on.

1 Like

It’s probably from too long ago to be relevant now but I remember that lefty guitars were considerably more expensive so it was always recommended to learn right handed. I doubt that advice is current, so just get yourself learning left handed as soon as you can.

1 Like

Hello Bethruk and thanks for the input. Yeah, I think it works, it looks like it would be manageable alright. Welcome as well, best of luck on your musical journey :smiley: