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Old 10-05-2006, 01:34 PM   #11
Chel
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I admit, I procrastinated on opening this thread. I have the most beautiful Ibanez Acoustic sitting in my room in its case. My ex refers to the case as its coffin because it might as well be dead for as often as I play. My problem is that I never learned how... I tried, but I had no quiet place to practice, no decent teacher and the worst part is that our house is really small and everyone in the house would make fun of me when they heard me practicing. Plus I am left handed and have no strumming rhythm with my right hand.

Oh the shame of it all....
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Old 10-05-2006, 02:00 PM   #12
cookworm
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Oh Chel, you should try it! If you have the desire to play, you should try. About the instructors...good instructors are hard to come by. :( The place we used to live where my son started guitar, we had an AWESOME instructor. My son is very shy by nature (until he gets to know you, then look out!!!) and I know would never play in front of anyone, but his instructor not only gave him a GREAT start, but he also pulled him out of his shell and gave him confidence, as well as teaching him on his level and teaching him well.

Are there places on the internet that maybe show little video clips of chords and things (kind of the guitar version of knittinghelp.com)? Maybe you can spend a few minutes just fooling around on it a little while each day to familiarize yourself with your guitar, maybe you might not feel as intimidated to begin? And I don't mean to ask a dumb question (I don't know anything about guitar playing), but can't you play lefty? There must be some lefty guitar players out there. Don't worry about how you sound. The beginning stage doesn't last forever. When my son first learned to play guitar, the first three songs he learned were Metallica's "Sandman", AC/DC's "TNT", and Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water". I can't tell you how many times I heard these songs played! The first one he learned was "Sandman", and at first, he was a little shaky, but I remembered thinking, "Wow! He's actually playing a song!!!!! (Which is more than I could ever do on a guitar!)" I was so proud of him and impressed that he could put everything he had learned together to play a song, even if it had some mistakes in it.

Playing a musical instrument was one of my childhood dreams, and I never got the opportunity. Anytime I hear anybody that plays an instrument, I think it's so great, and anytime I hear of somebody that wants to, I cheer them on. Follow your dreams!!!
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Old 10-05-2006, 09:34 PM   #13
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Is it an Ibanez Artwood? I used to have one of those, but I had to sell it to pay rent one month :( It played really well.

Though instructional videos aren't quite their focus, the folks over at the Seymour Duncan (guitar pickup company) forum are just as friendly and helpful as everyone on this board. Their tips and clips section would be the best place I can think of to ask any guitar playing related questions.
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Old 10-05-2006, 09:46 PM   #14
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There are countless sites on the internet devoted to guitar instruction, and most DO have videos/chord charts. I cannot recommend one or speak on their quality, however, because I never spent much time with 'em. I learned from some old books my mom had laying around. he he... there really are many routes leading to learning guitar. Just search around.

I would, however, recommend a subscription to a guitar magazine such as Guitar One. They have lessons in print each month, and you can use what you've learned to play the songs they've transcribed in the back. Of course, it took a couple years before I could make those songs sound like they're supposed to, and my friends made fun of my playing during those years, but you eventually end up being like that kid in the kung fu movies who gets bullied all the time while he's learning from a great master. When the time comes, you'll be able to avenge your father's wrongful death, and the main badguy mob-boss will be one of those kids who was making fun of you.



As far as being lefthanded, most lefties I know play guitar right handed anyway, because it's apparently just as awkward starting off either way. May as well learn to play righty, as 99.99exaggerated% of guitars are right-handed.
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Old 10-05-2006, 11:26 PM   #15
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I tried and tried to learn Guitar right-handed. I couldn't figure out why it was just NOT working. I could play piano, flute, bassoon, and many other instruments but I could NOT make guitar work.

I am STRONGLY left-handed. Then one day my husband came home with a left-handed banjo someone had given him and BINGO.. it just WORKED!

There are degrees of left-handedness. For those who are strongly left-handed, it can make a difference. I would suggest you see if you can get a chance to try a guitar strung for a left-hander.

When my daughter, who is also left-handed, started double bass, she first tried playing right-handed. Not only was it difficult for her, but she was still very young and she started to mix up the letters when she read. We quickly had her bass restrung to left-handed.

We ran into a lot of opposition.. she can never play in a symphony, etc. We figured if she went professional she could always play jazz or in chamber music etc. However, playing right-handed she would never reach her potential and be good enough to get INTO a symphony, let alone have those other choices.

Her playing improved dramatically when we made the switch to a left-handed strung bass. As it turned out she switched to harp later on so it wasn't an issue! Harp is actually more favorable to left-handers in how it's played.

During her bass playing years we talked to a lot of professional bass players. We discovered that most strongly left-handed players who were able to play well enough to make it professionally, were playing left-handed. There were a few who are left-handed and succeeded quiet well playing right handed. However when we talked in detail with them, most of those playing right-handed were not that strongly left-handed and some were close to ampidextrous.

There was a great old bass player at Disneyland. Some of you may have seen him. He used to play at the restraunt on the bayou there by Pirates of the Carribean. He played left-handed and we asked him once if he had ever gotten any grief for it. He said that he had studied for a time with Eugene Ormandy and that Ormandy had told him that he shouldn't play left-handed but that he did anyway.

Paul McCartney plays left-handed.

Don't give up, just have the guitar restrung left-handed and give it a try!!! Some guitars can be restrung with no accomidations, but for some you may just need to have the nut (the strip at the top of the fret board with grooves to hold the strings in place) replaced so that the string grooves match the gauge of the strings.

I'll admit this is a soapbox for me. If someone had just told me years earlier that I could just switch the stringing I wouldn't have lost those years of playing. Same with knitting. Yes SOME left-handers can do these right-handed, but many of us can't, or can't do them well that way and it gets old to be told we should be able to.

There is a reason the stringed instruments are played as they are. Because it's the MOST efficient way for the majority (right-handers) to play. However, if strongly left-handed, why handicap oneself when there is no need, and why feel less successful at an endevor than we have to?

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Old 10-06-2006, 12:06 AM   #16
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If you want to go the lefty route, and you want to play electric or amplified acoustic, you will have to get a lefty guitar. Simply restringing backwards may work on a plain acoustic, but the preamp controls for an acoustic/electric would be pressed against your lap if you were to play it lefty. If you have a cut-out to allow for upper fret access, it would be on the wrong side. Electric guitars are not symmetrical and cannot be restrung backwards to accomodate lefty players... unless you're Jimi Hendrix His controls were backwards (and the pickup balance would be off, as some electric guitar pickups are arranged to have a bass and a treble side), which isn't practical, but he made do with what he had available, and obviously suceeded..

Left handed guitars, while rare and sometimes more expensive than their righty counterparts, do exist, and people do play them. Go play a lefty guitar at a music store and see if it's any less awkward to strum. Though I've heard contrary from lefty guitarists, Mama Bear does make some exellent points, and they wouldn't make lefty guitars at all if there weren't at least some demand for them.
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Old 10-06-2006, 01:27 AM   #17
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Spider, you made some good points! Thank you very much for your balanced and non-defensive reply to my soap box

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