question #6

"Since I'm left-handed,
do I need a left-handed guitar?"

- Richard Laitala in Estes Park, Colorado

The short answer is: no.

But, like anything, a case can be made for both sides. And, since I'm not left-handed, I'll help lefties everywhere decide for themselves by conveying two different perspectives from two of my left-handed, guitar plucking friends: Mike and Clark.

Lefty #1 - Mike

Mike has mentioned to me, as a lefty that plays a guitar right-handed, that he's never had any troubles playing right-handed. In fact, when he taught guitar, he advised all his left-handed students to play right-handed because:

(a) The vast majority of guitars are made for righties—which equates to more choices and flexibility.

(b) Practically all guitar information and advice, instructional books and methods are targeted at and written for righties—which equates to less confusion and more clarity.

(c) And, lastly, since we use both hands to play a guitar anyway, he doesn't see how it's possible for even the most gifted beginner to be able to make a distinction between the "right" and the "wrong" hand—since any beginner, obviously, won't have any point-of-reference whatsoever.

Lefty #2 - Clark

Clark, on the other hand, is a lefty that plays left-handed. Clark's reasons for playing left-handed are as follows:

(a) Clark has told me that playing left-handed has always seemed more natural to him.

(b) He also has never had any trouble finding "left-handed" guitars. For it's not like the average person buys a new guitar every week anyway. We, theoretically, only need one.

(c) He's also expressed to me a fringe benefit to playing left-handed being that it's rare (basically never) when someone has ever "sat-in" at a gig or "borrowed" his guitar at a party—because most people don't play left-handed.