Lefties lament…Gear Abby has some advice, of course.
Note: Last week someone commented that I was hypocritical to say in one letter not to play free gigs, but in another how valuable live experience is. Those two ideas are not contradictory, but I can see their point. I have nothing against sitting-in with a band, doing open jams or battle of the band competitions for free. But don’t do jobs that typically “pay” – for free. Not only do you ruin your own band’s value, you steal a paying job from someone else.
LitUpLefty I am a left handed guitar player and I am so sick of the discrimination toward left handed guitar players. These days we all know that factories can make smaller runs of guitars and could now accommodate us much better, but they don’t! I am also sick of people telling me to learn to play right handed. They have no idea what we go through. When is it going to change?
gear.abby @LitUpLefty I don’t even have to have an opinion on the matter to answer your question. It’s never going to change. With only 10% of the population being left handed, and only 1 top 2% of the population playing guitar, you are simply too small of a group for which companies will ever provide many models. So unless that percentage of lefties grows or you lobby the government to add “left-handedness” to the Americans With Disabilities Act, you are stuck.
You may get upset with others for telling you to play right handed, and although I don’t need an opinion on the matter to answer your question, I do have one.
My Dad used to quiop “I’d Give My Right Arm to be Ambidextrous” and while its a clever little joke, it’s true that those who exercise ambidextrousness have a massive hand to eye coordination advantage in every activity, and you have a GREAT reason to explore that advantage. Instead of complaining and blaming others for what you view as a shortcoming, why not use it to propel you to a new level of physical superiority?
If you don’t like that answer then I have to digress to the more common view.
You are not being discriminated.
Being left handed is not a disability, it an aberration, and where playing an instrument is concerned, guitar/bass is about the only instrument that people regularly complain about gear availability. They more often learn to play just like right handed people do.
No one asks piano manufacturers to put the bass keys on the right*. That’s because it would be an incredibly expensive and inefficient move by any piano manufacturer. So, in a way, because some guitar companies manufacture left handed guitars, the problem gets confounded. If no one made left handed guitars, would you have never taken up playing?
I think I’m ready for the backlash…
I know I’m going to get flamed on this one, but please…I am not trying to put anyone down, but the fact is that you have the ability to switch your orientation and you are choosing not to. Yes, it an inconvenience, but it’s also an inconvenience for a guitar manufacturer to switch over everything in their plant to make a left handed guitar. By making the change you benefit greatly!
Lefties who accept this – and the lack of availability of gear – will not be upset. Good on them. To those of you who are really offended, let me pose one more solution. If you believe that we need more left handed guitars, and you believe there is enough demand for them, why don’t you start an entirely left handed guitar company with hundreds of model for sale?
I am happy to hear where I am wrong…please comment below!
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* I am well aware that left handed pianos have been manufactured, in an experimental capacity but it has never become a mainstream idea:)