If you’re an aspiring musician wanting to learn the guitar, there will always be challenges, but if you’re left-handed, the challenges are a bit different. Most guitars are strung for right-handed players, so this will definitely be one of those challenges.
How to Hold a Guitar Left-Handed?
Can you simply turn the guitar around and play it that way? Actually, you cannot. The strings, not to mention the overall shape and any buttons that might be on the guitar, won’t be in the proper position and therefore it won’t work for you. But if you think holding a guitar left-handed is difficult, think again. Once you learn a few tips, in fact, it’s a piece of cake.
What’s the First Thing You Need to Know?
If you think that you’re the only left-handed guitarist in the world, consider this: Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, and Paul McCartney were/are all left-handed players. While Hendrix was known for having a mistrust of left-handed guitars, they have actually come a long way since then. Today, there are tons of guitars made just for left-handed players, and the first thing you’ll notice is that the strings are routed a little differently, which makes playing it a lot easier.
You can simply restring the guitar yourself, but it’s best to get a guitar devoted to the left-handed player. This way, the switches, scratch guards, input sockets, etc., will all be in the proper place as well. Buying a left-handed guitar is easier and less time-consuming than switching everything around on a regular guitar. It also ensures that everything on the guitar is properly positioned and in the exact spot it should be.
Placing Your Fingers in the Right Positions
When holding a guitar, proper finger placement is important, and one of the things you’ll have to concentrate on is relaxing and not using too much tension on your fingers. When the tension builds up in your arms, fingers, or neck, stop and relax for a bit before continuing.
When your left hand is on the guitar, you need the right amount of tension on each of your fingers on the fretboard. You’ll be able to play cleaner notes if you move each finger close to the fret and not in the middle or heading towards the fret.
One of the things that you can do to ensure good finger placement is to practice the chords by placing each finger on the string one at a time. This slow movement helps you learn how to perfect the placement of your fingers.
Some Basics with Guitar Chords
Playing a guitar left-handed is somewhat different than playing it right-handed. Here are some suggestions when holding a left-handed guitar and playing some major chords:
- A major: Concentrate on using the three fingers together
- C major: Make sure that the first finger curls properly so the string works the right way
- D major: Make sure that the third finger on the second string is curled so no muffling of the first string occurs
- E major: Curl the first finger the right way so the open second string doesn’t ring
- G major: Use your third finger to play the sixth string so that switching to C major is easier
- A minor: Simply move over one string from the E major chord
- D minor: Pay attention to your third finger on the second string because it can stop the first string from ringing
- E minor: This is one of the easiest chords to play because only two fingers are used
With these tips, it’s easier to hold and play a left-handed guitar than you think, especially if practice sessions are already a regular part of your life.
Conclusion – How to Hold a Guitar Left-Handed
Holding a left-handed guitar is similar to holding a right-handed guitar except that in some of the fingerings, the fingers themselves might have to be held over the fretboard a little differently. Playing left-handed is not just reversing everything you do on the guitar. It takes practice, and keep in mind that there is no “one size fits all” technique for playing this way.
In some ways, left-handed guitar players have it harder than right-handed players, simply because like other things in life, musical instruments are made for right-handed people. If you’re a left-handed guitar player, don’t give up just because playing the guitar has to be a little different than it would be if you were right-handed. Making adjustments when you need to and practicing every day will help you get used to it in no time.
Thank you for reading our article on How to Hold a Guitar Left-Handed!