Andy James Talks About Left Handed Guitar

Andy James, shredmeister extraordinaire and well respected tutor recently took part in a webcast where he answered questions from many of his fans.  One question posed to him was from a lefty who had chosen to persue the right handed guitar path…

I’m a lefty playing a right handed guitar – been playing 6 years – practice about 6 hours a day – i still can only play Slayer at half speed – should I switch over to a lefty guitar?

Andy: I think if you are left handed, you should play a lefty guitar. Your left hand will control your picking and general timing and would be more natural for you to use the hand that you would use for anything else. Playing with the right hand might be weird at first but you will probably find that your technique will improve playing the right way.

As you know i’m completely fed up of right handed players giving poor guidance to lefties so it’s refreshing to see someone finally give some solid advice regarding playing left handed guitar.  The question posed here just really goes to show that some lefties just have to play left handed guitar, no questions asked.  It’s not even as if this guy is a casual player, six hours of practice a day is a lot, even for many professional players!

The rest of the webcast is an interesting read, I’d recommend taking a look…
Part One
Part Two
Part Three

Check out Andy in action in his band Sacred Mother Tongue below or take a look through some of his many lessons and DVDs over at

Do you agree with Andy’s opinion? Leave your comments.

13 replies
« Older Comments
  1. John Guentner
    John Guentner says:

    I have been trying to play right handed for years, due to an inept music store guy. I came across this site a little over a month ago and went out and bought a cheap lefty acoustic. In that short time I have learns every song that I ever tried to play rt handed, all my chords and can finally finger pick. I am amazed how easy it has been to switch. Now all I need is a little more strength and coordination in my rt hand and I will have surpassed the skills I had prior to switching. This was all in less than two months. Every now and then my brain does a flip when I’m playing but I’m sure that will pass. My picking hand has amazed me. I can now do complex strum patterns without having to think as hard. I believe that is the key to all this, rhythm! The next righty that gives me that BS about it not mattering, I’m just going to hand them a pen and say “could you right that down for me?” No wait, you need to use your left hand!

  2. Grasshopper
    Grasshopper says:

    Hello everyone, I am now 48, and have been playing the piano for about 40 years :-), just bought my guitar and want to learn that. Refreshing reading about the views on using left guitars! I also got advices about just going ahead and learning as a righty as “we have been teaching for 40 years and all lefties learned a lot faster on a right handed guitar”. So I have tried it right handed and could probably learn it, but when I air play or just take the guitar and put it on my lap – I put it on the left way. I go many things with my right hand though, throw and catch balls, eat, open up a jar etc. I write with my left (but can write with my right too, not as fast though), I paint with my left but also use my right hand; sometimes it feels that my right hand is more flexible… so it is not that cut and dry. Strumming was easy with my right, but also my fretting hand was better when I used my right… so there…

  3. yano
    yano says:

    i played right handed for years. Technically I played well. After switching to my natural, left handed.(strumming with left hand). I enjoy my playing…i can feel the rithm and every not i pick. The more I use my left handed for picking/strumming..the more my ears and my mind open.. the dominant hand can open/strengtent brain…

« Older Comments

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *