How to Hold a Guitar Left Handed
Playing guitar is a passion for many, and it requires a certain level of dedication to learn and master the techniques. Left-handed guitarists face a unique challenge when playing since most guitars are designed for right-handed players. However, this doesn’t mean that left-handed guitarists can’t enjoy playing their favorite instrument. In this article, we will discuss how to hold a guitar left-handed and provide some tips to help you get started.
Understanding The Anatomy Of The Guitar
Before we dive into how to hold a guitar left-handed, it is important to understand the anatomy of the guitar. A guitar typically consists of a body, neck, head, fretboard, and strings. The body of the guitar is where the sound is produced, and the neck connects to the body, which houses the fretboard and strings. The headstock is located at the end of the neck and houses the tuning pegs.
When it comes to holding a guitar, there are some standard positions that you need to be aware of. These positions include the sitting position and the standing position. We will look at each of these positions below.
The Sitting Position
To play a guitar in a sitting position, you’ll need a stable chair with good support. It’s important to sit up straight and not slouch since this can cause posture problems and discomfort. Here are the steps to follow:
1. Place the guitar on your left leg if you are left-handed, and your right leg if you are right-handed.
2. Rest the lower curve of the guitar’s body on your leg.
3. Keep your back straight and the guitar close to your body to avoid any unnecessary strain on your shoulders and neck.
4. Keep both feet firmly planted on the floor with the guitar between your thighs.
5. Place your left hand on the fretboard and your right hand on the strings.
6. Tilt the guitar neck up slightly to avoid unwanted noise from strings hitting the frets.
7. Relax your shoulders and keep your elbows close to your body to avoid unnecessary strain.
The Standing Position
Playing a guitar in a standing position requires the use of a guitar strap. A guitar strap is a long strip of material that attaches to the guitar and helps to support it while playing. Here are the steps to follow:
1. Attach the guitar strap to both ends of the guitar’s body.
2. Adjust the strap length so that the guitar sits at a comfortable height.
3. Stand up straight and keep your back straight.
4. Place your left hand on the fretboard and your right hand on the strings.
5. Keep your feet firmly planted on the ground.
6. Relax your shoulders and keep your elbows close to your body to avoid unnecessary strain.
The Left-Handed Guitarist
Being a left-handed guitarist requires a few adjustments to the standard playing position since most guitars are designed for right-handed players. There are two options available for left-handed guitarists – either buying a guitar that is designed specifically for left-handed players or playing a right-handed guitar upside down.
If you choose to play a right-handed guitar upside down, you’ll need to restring the guitar so that the lower E string is at the top and the higher E string is at the bottom. This can be a bit confusing at first, but once you get used to it, it becomes second nature. Here are the steps to restring a guitar for left-handed playing:
1. Remove all the strings from the guitar.
2. Take the new set of strings and thread them through the bridge of the guitar.
3. Pull the strings up the fretboard, and attach the high E string to the bottom.
4. Attach the second string (B) to the top.
5. Continue attaching the other strings until all are in place.
6. Tune the guitar by adjusting the tuning pegs on the headstock.
7. Adjust the height of the strings by turning the screws on the saddle.
Here are some frequently asked questions about holding a guitar left-handed:
Q: Do left-handed guitarists need a specially designed guitar?
A: No, left-handed guitarists can either purchase a guitar that is designed specifically for left-handed players or restring a right-handed guitar upside down.
Q: Is it difficult to restring a guitar for left-handed playing?
A: It can be a bit confusing at first, but with practice, it becomes second nature.
Q: Can left-handed players learn from guitar tutorials designed for right-handed players?
A: Yes, it is possible to learn from guitar tutorials designed for right-handed players. However, you may need to adjust the techniques to suit your left-handed playing style.
Q: What are the benefits of being a left-handed guitarist?
A: The benefits of being a left-handed guitarist include being unique, having a different sound, and standing out from the crowd.
Tips for Left-Handed Guitarists
Here are some tips to help you get started as a left-handed guitarist:
1. Practice regularly to get used to the playing position and develop muscle memory.
2. Watch videos of other left-handed guitarists to learn new techniques.
3. Experiment with different playing styles to find one that suits you.
4. Take lessons from a professional left-handed guitarist to get personalized advice and guidance.
5. Join a left-handed guitar community to connect with other left-handed players and share your experiences.
Playing a guitar left-handed may seem like a challenge at first, but with the right approach and practice, anyone can master it. Whether you choose to buy a guitar designed for left-handed players or restring a right-handed guitar upside down, the key thing is to find a playing position that is comfortable and suits your style. With perseverance and dedication, you’ll be playing your favorite songs in no time.