The strumming hand

I’m a long time beginner. I as a lefty, at 15, I always had a natural inclination to hold a guitar left handed but the guitar I received was righty. It became a challenge to learn. Later as an adult, I purchased a new guitar. While looking for a lefty, I found a model I wanted but it was a righty and I let the salesman talk me into it. I struggled again and felt a lefty guitar would be more natural. Now much later, I have a lefty guitar. I am starting Justin’s courses but now, realizing I do multiple things right-handed, the lefty feels as natural as the righty. I can fret and strum with either hand at this beginner stage. Does anyone have any techniques to determine which hand has more rhythm? I’ve heard, if chosen incorrectly, speed and accuracy will evade. Thanks for your thoughts and feedback.

1 Like

Where did you hear that? I would be interested to find out what the arguments are behind it, as I find it somewhat hard to believe. Most of us have a dominant hand when it comes to everyday tasks, but that is not to say that the less dominant hand can’t be trained up to be just as good at whatever it is applied to.

I mean, I’m a righty but would say my left hand is technically faster and more accurate given that it does all the fretting. Also, check out Nitsuj (Justin teaching himself guitar left-handed)… he seems to get on fine. Away from guitar, there are right-handed boxers that box southpaw and have no issues.

Basically, I don’t think you’re gaining any overall advantage in choosing one over the other. I think the only real consideration is whatever feels most natural and comfortable for you personally.

My wife is lefthanded and struggled to play guitar until she started playing left. If left feel more natual play left handed.

Here are some articles I’ve read on the topic:

My thought now is to learn a more advanced strumming technique for an easy song and see which feels more natural as holding the guitar feels no different in either orientation.

If I may ask, what did she find most challenging prompting moving to lefty?

It’s funny that the articles make out like others give “poor advice”, yet what are they doing? Nothing more than giving advice, based on their own personal opinions. Who judges whether advice is good or bad? Them? Or is it whether the advice taken works for the person taking it or not? I would strongly suggest that it is the latter, which means most advice can be good or bad.

I’ll stick with what I said before. You should do whatever feels the easiest and most natural to you personally, rather than taking the advice of others which may not even be relevant to you.

1 Like

It might be worth having a read of this thread.

1 Like

She said it just felt wrong. Holding a guitar left felt natural.

If you decide there is truly no difference for you either way, remember that the majority of guitars are built for right handed players, which will give you many more options when it comes to buy a guitar.

I chose to play righty mostly to be a brain challenge, plus, as a gear guy, I need the options.
At this point, a bit over a year and a half in, the feeling that playing lefty is “more natural” is gone. If someone throws me an air guitar, I now catch it righty ( most of the time).
Has it held me back? Probably a little. I have put some remedial time into practicing basic rhythm. Now that I am playing a lot of classical guitar, I have work to do with my right ring finger, which is pretty uncooperative.
My left hand is pretty coordinated and strong, and I feel I may have fewer issues fretting than some naturally right handed players.
So pluses or minuses both ways, no right or wrong.

I’m still figuring it out. Each day I practice lefty and righty or alternate. I think this will tell me in time which method is best for me or one day I will be able to play a v-neck guitar, lol.

I’m right handed but on piano, my left hand responds better. It behaves better, can move faster, and is more accurate than my right hand a lot of the time. I’ve always found that very interesting. The same for typing on a keyboard, my right hand makes 10 times as many mistakes as my left. I realize that the more common letters are on the left side of the keyboard, so it is probably that I get more action typing with my left hand, i.e. more practice, so its more accurate. But on piano, that isn’t always the case, so I assume maybe my typing skills over the last 20 years of working have contributed to my left hand piano being more controlled and accurate.

I use a mouse in the right hand and type fine not looking at the keys. In simplest form, if the same hand excels at both strumming rhythm and fretting, yet orientation plays no preference, which act, fretting or strumming, is easier to teach the non-dominant hand? Each is possible but some people excel with both hands, not me.

I think the generally accepted thinking is that fretting is the thing for the non-dominant hand. But this is not a hard and fast rule.

For me, using my non-dominant, left hand to fret has always felt difficult. The strumming with my right hand has always come much more easily.

I sometimes wonder if I would have learned to play faster (and not given up in frustration several times) if I had learned to play lefty instead.