Music and Lefthanders
With left-handers using the dominant right side of their brain, they may be more creative than right-handers and music is something where left-handers seem to have a natural advantage. However, set against that are the practical difficulties of obtaining left-handed instruments and finding teachers that can help you to play them left-handed!Most instruments require the right hand to be more dexterous (which isn’t a pun!). The piano is an obvious example, but even a trumpet is difficult to play left-handed.We are producing a series of articles about how left-handers get on with various instruments and would be very interested in your comments and feedback – please add any thoughts or experiences you would like to share as comments at the bottom of this page.
Left-handed music links
Our survey on school experiences – Music
We did a wide-ranging survey on lefthanders’ experiences at school (click here to see the full survey results) and there were certainly some interesting comments about music and instruments.
Of the people who play guitar, 49% said they play left-handed (strumming the strings with the left hand) and the same percentage, 49% said that they had been allowed to make their own choice of which way to play.
These were not the same people – it is just a coincidence that they both come to 49%! A closer look at the answers shows that roughly half of the people who play right-handed were forced to play that way (even though they are naturally left-handed).
Interestingly (and a bit confusing!) half of the people who play left-handed also said this this method was not their own choice. From looking at their detailed comments, they seem to have made this answer because, being left-handed, they had no option but to play that way rather than that they were coerced to play that way by someone else.
|I have a son who is also left-handed and wanted to play guitar. We considered it easier for him to learn the right-handed way as there are not many left-handed instructional books available at the local music store and the likely availability of a music teacher that could teach left-handed.
|I naturally hold a guitar backwards, but since the guitar was made for right-handers, I learned that way.
|ok, it’s not actually guitar but the upright bass, which is made with the sound post off centre so the larger strings are receiving more support, to restring a bass would collapse the body, I could have a custom made but that may cost $5000 at the VERY least
38% of people said that being left-handed made some musical instruments more difficult to learn and play. These were some of their comments:
|Most instruments require the right hand to be more dexterous (which isn’t a pun!) The piano is an obvious example, but even a trumpet is difficult to play left-handed.
|Balancing a flute without hitting the next person was sometimes a challenge, but actually pretty funny for the teachers.
|Actually, it made playing cello easier, because (once you get past the beginning stages) the left hand actually requires more fine-motor coordination.