Why play guitar right handed?

DougMen

Dr. Squier
Jun 8, 2017
9,741
Honolulu, HI
or there's Eric Gales who plays left handed but uses a right hand strung guitar, upside down. The strings are all laid out in reverse order.
As well as the original to play that way, Albert King, and Eric's two brothers, Eugene and Manuel (aka Little Jimmy King, a name he got from Albert calling him that), who tragically died of a heart attack at the age of 39. RIP Manuel. MI0001401521.jpg
Eugene is on the right, and Manuel in the middle
 

DougMen

Dr. Squier
Jun 8, 2017
9,741
Honolulu, HI
If I don’t keep my backup guitar I might sell it and get a lefty Squier strat and try it that way.

If I can’t get the hang of it I will switch the nut around and just have a cool Hendrix type guitar.

I had the MIM Hendrix Strat, with reverse magnet stagger on the pickups, and reverse slant on the bridge pickup, and reverse headstock, but with a right hand body, so the jack, controls, and whammy bar weren't in the way by being on the wrong side. The pickups were one of the best Strat pickups I've ever had, and I sold it because it was a maple neck and I couldn't get used to the reverse headstock. If it had been a RW neck, I probably would have kept it. I've wanted a set of PV65 pickups ever since, but i never have bought a set yet. Maybe if I ever have an extra $150 sometime before I die, I'll get some and replace the GM 62z in my Am Pro with them. I assume they're the same as the PV 65s, except for the reverse magnet stagger, because they call them Am 65s, and they have enamel magnet wire and grey fiber bobbins just like the PV 65s. It was originally offered in black and white, and they made it in purple for a while, and now the only options are white and sunburst, for $1099! I paid $699 for mine, and sold it for $600. DSCN0639.jpg Next to it is the 1st gen. CVC, which I also no longer have, but I have a set of those pickups in my Surf Green Bullet Tele.
 

Davis Sharp

Dr. Squier
‎‎‎‎‏‏‎ ‎
Jan 7, 2016
9,555
Maryland, USA
Violin, viola, cello, ukulele, mandolin, balalaika, lute, sitar, veena - basically, any stringed instrument with a neck except the kora.

All other fretted and fretless string instruments, violin, viola, cello, bass viol, banjo, mandolin, uke, etc., are made to be "fretted" with the left hand.

This righty-lefty topic comes up about once a year on S-T. Given that the aforementioned instruments have been around for 500 years, you'd think that if we're doing it wrong, someone would have figured it out by now.
 

65refinyellow

Squier-holic
Jun 29, 2015
2,197
norcal
I had the MIM Hendrix Strat, with reverse magnet stagger on the pickups, and reverse slant on the bridge pickup, and reverse headstock, but with a right hand body, so the jack, controls, and whammy bar weren't in the way by being on the wrong side. The pickups were one of the best Strat pickups I've ever had, and I sold it because it was a maple neck and I couldn't get used to the reverse headstock. If it had been a RW neck, I probably would have kept it. I've wanted a set of PV65 pickups ever since, but i never have bought a set yet. Maybe if I ever have an extra $150 sometime before I die, I'll get some and replace the GM 62z in my Am Pro with them. I assume they're the same as the PV 65s, except for the reverse magnet stagger, because they call them Am 65s, and they have enamel magnet wire and grey fiber bobbins just like the PV 65s. It was originally offered in black and white, and they made it in purple for a while, and now the only options are white and sunburst, for $1099! I paid $699 for mine, and sold it for $600. View attachment 246708 Next to it is the 1st gen. CVC, which I also no longer have, but I have a set of those pickups in my Surf Green Bullet Tele.
They had a scratch and dent Hendrix at GC at the mini store in Gilroy. CA but usually I go to their keyboard section (Yamaha PRS vs Casio CT-x vs Roland. Go Keys and other stuff like JD-Xi and Monologues and DJ room) when I drive up there and often ignore the guitars.

But I was glad to try this out!

It had the 9.5” inch radius and medium jumbo frets so it played like my Am. std and mim standard.

But that sound was different.

I wonder what it was?

But anyway when I think GC in person it’s keyboards but guitars are more sweetwater online.
 

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Naked Strat Brat

Squier-holic
Gold Supporting Member
Mar 27, 2022
1,790
North, Snow, UFO Ville!
My dexterity as a right hander is in my right hand and I can fly on piano with my right hand. I am also a drummer and my fast stuff and fancy tricks are my right hand.

On piano and drums the basic beat is held by my left hand and solo type stuff with right hand.

Why the heck was guitar designed the way it was, and for that matter the left handed dominant QWERTY keyboard??

My left handed friends who play right handed guitar have zero issues.

I might be ambi because I do better in baseball batting lefty.
Do they have a lefty piano?
 

jdean074

Squier-Meister
Jan 1, 2022
252
Ashtabula OH
Think of the children that you've seen to just pick up a guitar and intuitively start playing it the wrong way or across their lap. Just seems to be the way you're s'posed to play it I guess! I can recall doing the same at first.

or there's Eric Gales who plays left handed but uses a right hand strung guitar, upside down. The strings are all laid out in reverse order.

That's the Dick Dale way too. Makes regular chords impossible to fret, way I understand it. So he just made it up as he went and pioneered an entire genre for the instrument!

In my life I've complained about lefty guitars the same as cars having gas caps on whatever side they feel like -- "Can we not just agree on a standard"?? but I've since softened my stance -- Play whatever you're drawn to I say, in whatever fashion you want to play it -- There are no hard & fast rules to playing the guitar!! And even if there were, the rules are made to be broken!!

I know a few left-handed guitar players who play right-handed, extremely well I might add, as was mentioned above, simply for the availability of righty guitars. I think it all just comes out in the wash, because you're still using both hands. Maybe it's like that effect where if you go blind, your hearing becomes greatly heightened, and it's by design to force the left-brain to cross over into right-brain thinking!!!

My oldest brother was a phenomenal drummer in youth, and a south-paw. I got started playing the drums by watching him play. He leads with his left hand, and subsequently I lead with my left while drumming. It took me years & years to figure out why I had such a hard time being really fluid around the kit like my friends. But I have to play fills just a little bit differently. Some might say this 'handicap' or 'poor technique' lends to a unique sound on one's instrument. And some might say I'm just a terrible drummer. I set up a kit left-handed once just for the haha's, and it made more sense for me to play that way, just not worth the effort to rearrange every drum set I will jam on, in order to have it laid out my special way lol.
 
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65refinyellow

Squier-holic
Jun 29, 2015
2,197
norcal
Only thing like that I've ever experienced is with skateboard. I'm a natural goofy-foot, though it's been decades since I was on a board...
Come to think if it because when my wife and I made skateboards I was goofy. I bat lefty and teacher made me write right handed!

I did notice that while playing right handed I could play faster than my cronies and I took to Holdsworth back in the day. Before pain and stiffness my left hand was fast. This was the 1980s and fast was “in” but these days anymore a fast left hand makes you retro and best but often hopelessly behind the times lol.

I can’t read music so I severely limited myself but either I am ambi or a real lefty. There weren’t any lefty guitars in my day so I guess I play right handed and my small town just trained all of us to write with our right hands. There was in the old days little tolerance towards being different and I was the only non white kid in my class in an affluent school lol.
 
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Lanaka

AKA GhostGuitars
Platinum Supporting Member
Feb 11, 2020
3,728
Honolulu, HI
My dexterity as a right hander is in my right hand and I can fly on piano with my right hand. I am also a drummer and my fast stuff and fancy tricks are my right hand.

On piano and drums the basic beat is held by my left hand and solo type stuff with right hand.

Why the heck was guitar designed the way it was, and for that matter the left handed dominant QWERTY keyboard??

My left handed friends who play right handed guitar have zero issues.

I might be ambi because I do better in baseball batting lefty.

I'm a lefty too. It HAD occured to me that it'd make more sense for a left hander to play a right hander guitar since my "active" hand (for the lack of a better word) is the one dealing with the complexities of fretting, but it also has occured to me that if yer playing in certain genres, it may make more sense for a lefty to play a lefty guitar when ye factor in the much more complex strumming when doing stuffs like alternate picking, chugging, sweep pickings, or arpeggio pickings or other special patterns often employed in metal and other hard genres.

So it became an open question whether it's better for me to go lefty or stay righty in my guitar playing. At that time I bought the 2009 Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus-Top Lefty in Cherry Burst, with the intention to see whether it's better to play lefty or not. What did I find out?

1) My original reasoning to go righty is because 99% of the books and stuffs seen on the Web is all geared towards the righty player, not lefty. I've only ever saw one (1) book written for a lefty guitar player, and it's a Christmas Song book. NOT all that useful for a righty learning guitarist.

2) By the time I've bought my Lefty Epi, I was already a few years into my learning guitar journey and found that trying learn lefty at that particular point threatened my gains I've struggled to gain in learning to playing righty. I didn't wanna mess up my nascent muscle memories at that point.

It's like rubbing your tummy in a circle with one hand and patting yer head with the other. Keep doing that for about 5 minutes. Then switch hands but keep rubbing tummy and patting head. You'll notice it will be difficult to switch the hand actions at same time when ye switch hand positions.

Maybe later on once my righty muscle memory had a chance to be set in stone, then can I attempt to ADD the lefty orientation to my hands' repertoire. That's why i never got rid of my lefty Epi. Altho it does become handy (pun intended) when I have a lefty guitarist as guest at my place.

😉😁

PS: And yeah, as others have pointed out, tis WAY harder to find a lefty guitar in the used market. And while it's nowdays more easier to find a lefty guitar new, so few are bought that means they'll be still rare in the used-market. And Lefties are far more likely to KEEP their guitars than Righties. I've only seen perhaps 3-4 used lefty guitars in the past 5 years.
 
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Diavolo

Squier-Nut
Jan 3, 2022
885
USA
I kinda skimmed thru this thread because I have to head to work, but...

Not sure if anyone mentioned it but I think it was designed like that because supposedly it's easier to keep rhythm with your dominant hand.

I am ambidextrous, but i think thats because there's more things available for right handers. Like scissors and baseball gloves and guitars.

So i developed doing most things right handed but I still favor writing with my left.

I play right handed guitar but that's just because (back in the early 90s) I bought the only guitar available from some kid at school who was selling his.

A few years ago I thought about getting a lefty but then worried that if it turned out i was better lefty all my guitars would feel obsolete.
 

jamesgpobog

Squier-holic
Feb 18, 2020
3,748
SoCal
One more thing for me is left/ambi: the 'fork'. I learned that from my native Pole stepfather. Knife right hand, fork left, and upside-down. Fork will go to right, but that's for things like mashed potatoes and pancakes.
 

65refinyellow

Squier-holic
Jun 29, 2015
2,197
norcal
I thought a lefty strat played right handed woukd also stop my habit of using identical licks only on both octaves. Boring!

With a reach only as far as higher F# blues scale, on a lefty guitar played right handed, I have to change my note choices adding a better sonic palate.

I play 10s rather high too to stop the ‘80s cliche speed without style playing.

I now get far more from J Vaughan than SRV.
 
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