How To Hold A Left-Handed Guitar

Learning to play the guitar is a fun type of challenge, and if you’re left-handed, there might be some concerns about how to properly hold and play the guitar. Thankfully, learning the guitar is for everyone regardless of your dexterity. 

It’s easy to learn how to hold a left-handed guitar with proper technique so that you don’t risk repetitive injuries, and you get the absolute best sound as you’re learning your next song. You also want to be sure to find a guitar that is suitable for your left-handed needs. 

How To Hold A Left-Handed Guitar

The Right Technique For Holding A Left-handed Guitar

The rules for using the right technique to hold a guitar are the same regardless of which dominant hand you have. In order to play your guitar optimally and reduce the risk of injury, there is specific hand positioning implemented in this technique. 

How To Hold A Left-Handed Guitar

You can observe this proper technique with four steps:

  • Your left wrist needs to remain straight and should not move much. 

  • Your left fingertips should touch the strings on the guitar neck, and your fingers should be slightly curved. Your left thumb should be gently cradling the back of the guitar neck. 

  • The knuckles on your left hand should be on the side of the fretboard that is opposite to you. 

  • With your wrist being straight, your hand should be in a position so that your pinky side is closer to the fretboard than the other side. 

Are Acoustic Guitars Left And Right Handed?

Acoustic guitars are available in both right-handed and left-handed models. A left-handed model will most likely be harder to come by. The same can be said for other types of guitars, such as electric or bass. 

Acoustic guitars also tend to be easier to re-string to turn them into left-handed guitars. This is because of their shape. They are more symmetrical than other types of guitars, making the process easier. That being said, there are proper methods for doing this. 

You’re better off either looking at the instructions for how to do this step-by-step, or taking your guitar to a professional if you’re not comfortable doing this yourself. Getting your acoustic guitar re-stringed so you can play it left-handed can be a suitable choice if you’re having trouble finding a left-handed guitar. 

How To String A Left-Handed Guitar

You want to be sure you’re putting the right width of string in the right width of the slot. If you try to mix them up, the strings won’t fit properly. A good rule of thumb is that the thinnest string should be closest to the floor when you’re holding your guitar. The width should then ascend in order from thinnest to thickest. 

Once your guitar has its strings in place, you’ll want to tune it or else it’ll still sound funny. The proper method of tuning your guitar is going to vary depending on the type of guitar you are working with. Thankfully, there is a really good trick in place to remember how to tune a guitar properly. 

You want to start out with tuning the thickest string first, and descend in order to leave the thin one last. In terms of cords, the order goes E-A-D-G-B-E. It’s often recommended to come up with a phrase with words beginning with each letter to remember it easily. 

Some guitar players who are comfortable with the parts of their guitar will actually buy right-handed guitars and re-string them so that they can play them with their left hand. This is quite the process, so it might be best left to a professional. 

There are plenty of tutorials online that you can follow to learn how to do this. Using this technique is known as Hendrix style, as Jimi Hendrix would do this with his own guitars often. 

Can A Right-Handed Person Play A Left-Handed Guitar?

A right-handed person could learn to play a left-handed guitar, but their reasoning for doing so would be unclear. It’s not hard to find a right-handed guitar. Perhaps the guitar player who is right-handed and wants to play a left-handed guitar is looking for a challenge. 

Given that you will be using your dominant hand to strum instead of pressing the strings, there is a little bit of a learning curve involved in handling a guitar made for the opposite dominant hand. That being said, an ambidextrous person, who is proficient in using both hands, could adapt quite easily. 

Can A Left-Handed Person Play A Right-Handed Guitar?

Many famous musicians have learned how to play with a right-handed guitar, despite being left-handed. It is possible, but not necessary. One of the most common reasons a person will learn how to play the right-handed guitar while being left-handed is that there are simply more options to choose from in terms of guitars available on the market for right-handed folks. 

With left-handed guitars being harder to come by, there is also often a price increase to purchase a left-handed guitar. This is possibly because they are harder to come by, and perhaps the makers know that a left-handed guitar player will buy it. 

Some guitar enthusiasts will recommend a left-handed person learn how to play a right-handed guitar for the sheer fact that right-handed guitars are easier to come by. It will be a challenge, but it’s possible, and it wouldn’t be unheard of. 

Does It Matter Which Type Of Guitar You Choose?

If you’re looking to master the art of playing guitar, you might enjoy trying to learn both types of guitars. However, opting for a guitar designed for your dominant hand is the ideal choice. Trying to flip the guitar over will make it difficult to learn the chords, given that everything will be backward. 

When you use the right type of guitar, you’ll be more precise in how you finger the strings according to the song you’re playing. You’ll get a much clearer, consistent sound because you’ll be able to put the right amount of pressure onto the chords without potentially injuring or straining your hand.

Conclusion To This Question

If you are left-handed, then holding a left-handed guitar comes naturally. You will grab the neck with your right hand and use your right-hand fingers to press the strings. You will strum or pick the strings with your left hand.


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