Neal's Right Handed Thread

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Neal's Right Handed Thread

Postby Neal » Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:20 pm

I went back to the Doc about my hand today and since there has been zero improvement in 6 months or so he suggested taking some serious time off guitar to see if that helps any. So I shall be taking at least 1 month away, but knowing my body it will probably be a lot longer.

I see no reason why playing right handed should cause any further damage so I am going to conduct a little experiment while I take my 'vacation'. I've borrowed my dad's guitar (righty) and I will play it for 30 minutes or so a day. I think it would be interesting to find out how quickly a player who has many years under their belt could pick up the basics the other way around.

When (if?) my hand heals and I go back to southpaw mode I'll hopefully have the advantage of being able to play some simple stuff on friends' guitars. And I should be able to get a decent idea of whether or not I'll like a guitar by trying the right handed versions in the store. I'm sure there are a few other pros of being a little ambidextrous.

So I'm going to have this thread as a little diary of my progress. I've already made a quick video today of my horrendous attempts to play something :lol: Should be a good laugh if nothing else.
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Re: Neal's Right Handed Thread

Postby Neal » Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:41 pm

Week 1

And so it begins! The first hurdle has been finding a comfortable position to hold the guitar - it feels so damn awkward. I've found the classical position to be not desperately uncomfortable.

I haven't touched a right handed guitar in probably 5 years or more and even then I always flipped it and held it upside down. So figuring out the chords and what not took a little brainpower. My picking hand is now rediculously uncoordinated and seems to be the biggest problem at the moment - i'm forever looking to the strings to find the right one to hit. My fret hand just feels like it really shouldn't bend that way - definitely some stretching out is required here.

So here is my first video. I literally sat down with the guitar for 10 minutes and then turned on the webcam and recorded whatever came out. So this is me playing a right handed guitar pretty much for the first time ever. WARNING : This is painful viewing and probably NSFW :lol:

Goal one is to learn a simple song using basic chords. Goal two is to get the minor pentatonic under my hands again. Goal three is the simple chromatic run. Goal four is the simple metal riff, really need to learn to mute the strings here.

Extra points if you can figure out which songs i'm trying to play... :mrgreen: The quality is a bit crap, my webcam is old and no way i'm setting up the main camera for this!

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Re: Neal's Right Handed Thread

Postby craig » Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:14 pm

thats a good effort you did there, sorry to hear you got a sore hand that must be so frustrating, i to have tried on a few occasions to play a right hand guitar and it feels (and sounds ) ridiculous , nothing is co-ordinated , i stumbled through a few open chords but just couldnt do the pentatonics , it is a funny experience to try it so good luck with it , hope your playing back to normal soon.
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Re: Neal's Right Handed Thread

Postby Memory Lane Jr » Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:27 am

Metallica For Whom The Bell Tolls, Did I hear that one Neal? Good effort at righty playing & I will put $5 on you to get pretty good at it by the time your hand has healed, you might even like it, just think of all those guitars you will be able to buy as a righty. To be honest if I knew when I first started playing the hassles of playing lefty I would have tried being a righty first. :lol:
Last edited by Memory Lane Jr on Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Neal's Right Handed Thread

Postby SolitaryBlossom » Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:55 am

Dave Kilminster had to change from a lefty to a righty following an injury. Not sure how long he had under his belt as a lefty, alas, he is a pretty sick player!
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Re: Neal's Right Handed Thread

Postby Neal » Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:53 am

@Craig - Thanks mate, hopefully it won't take too long :) Annoying because I have a new Gaskell on the way which i'm going to struggle not to mess around with. I also had a new tremolo block made for my Strat which is now having to be put aside.

@MLJ - One of the songs was Metallica, wasn't For Whom the Bell Tolls though :twisted:

@SB - I actually emailed Dave a couple weeks back to see how long it took him to make the switch. I'm guessing he was a lot younger than me when he did it though :P Killer player for sure.
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Re: Neal's Right Handed Thread

Postby craig » Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:08 am

this thread may have opend a can of worms, theres a few questions here , should i shouldnt i have started LH or RH . i have heard of so many left hand people that play right hand for what ever their reason, SO IT CAN BE DONE! i wish i played right hand for a number of reasons, in fact i am right handed i tried so very hard when i was young to play their way it just didnt work, long story short , i found a LH guitar tried it and it felt awsome i knew straight away this was going to work, so what goes on in our brains ? iv'e often thought we should all be round the other way, a RH persons dominant hand is obviously their RH and dont you agree that the dominant thing in playing guitar is the fret hand ? its the one that does all the hard work ! so why do we do it like we do ? shouldnt it be the other way around ? this is a thing that has bugged me for ever , why do i play LH? why was it easier for me when i am in fact right handed? why dont we all just do it the same ? so many other questions, i would be very interested in hearing other peoples opinions on this, my apolagies to neal if i have taken this thread of track , i will be happy to start a new thread on this if people want to put their two cents in.
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Re: Neal's Right Handed Thread

Postby AllroyPa » Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:17 am

Sorry to hear about your hand, that's a guitar nightmare. ... maybe an idea for you first righty song?
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Re: Neal's Right Handed Thread

Postby SolitaryBlossom » Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:05 pm

craig wrote:...i have heard of so many left hand people that play right hand for what ever their reason, SO IT CAN BE DONE!


Quite ironically, one of my sisters is a left-handed bassist despite using her right hand for writing. Probably my bad influence...
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Re: Neal's Right Handed Thread

Postby Neal » Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:34 pm

craig wrote:this thread may have opend a can of worms, theres a few questions here , should i shouldnt i have started LH or RH . etc etc etc...


A forum is for discussion right? :D

I definitely believe that some people need to play lefty and some righty. I get emails through the site all the time from people who have struggled with right handed guitar sometimes for years, only to have had an epiphany when switching to lefty. Perhaps it isn't going to make too much difference if you want to just learn to play the basics, but for people with ambition I think it's an important decision. I also think it makes a big difference depending on the style of music you want to play.

For example I know Gary Moore (a lefty playing righty) always wished he had learned left handed because he never felt that his picking hand was precise enough. Although obviously he did very well regardless :lol: For all we know, the majority of these lefties who play right handed may be playing that way because it felt more comfortable to them, because who is to say that just because you're left handed you are automatically predisposed to playing guitar that way as well? Craig is a good example of this, a righty who for some reason found left handed guitar more comfortable. Everyone is unique.

I don't think it's fair to say that just because you are left handed your left hand is automatically the most dextrous or strongest hand. Everyone is different, my right hand is stronger but my left is more precise - probably a result of living in a world largely designed for righties. In the same way I also don't think it's fair to say the fret hand has the harder job, it depends on what you're playing. Lately I've been learning some Andy Mckee stuff where my fret hand is doing a million and one different jobs :lol:

I feel I've rambled on too long, and probably gone off topic a bit. Also, all this typing is not helping my hand (bastard :twisted: )

AllroyPa wrote:Sorry to hear about your hand, that's a guitar nightmare. ... maybe an idea for you first righty song?


Haha, maybe. At the moment the chord progression would go something like E, E, E, E, E, E, E, E, E, hold on, i can get this, D, D, D, ,D D, stop cos my back hurts.
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