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Thread: When I get started..

  1. #1
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    When I get started..

    Hey guys, I'm buying my first guitar on Friday. I want to buy a Stratocaster, just a Squier Bullet version since they are from what I hear good starting guitars and priced nicely. I'm left handed, and a BIG Hendrix fan. I don't want to be a copy cat and all that, but what do you guys think of buying a right handed Squier and making it into a lefty like Jimi did? The music store I'm going to go to doesn't have much stuff so there may be a chance that they only have lefties. Thanks guys

  2. #2
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    Hi RUExperienced?

    Apart of the fact that you'll play with an upside down guitar, I think all the rest is the same.... so, go ahead.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by RUExperienced? View Post
    Hey guys, I'm buying my first guitar on Friday. I want to buy a Stratocaster, just a Squier Bullet version since they are from what I hear good starting guitars and priced nicely. I'm left handed, and a BIG Hendrix fan. I don't want to be a copy cat and all that, but what do you guys think of buying a right handed Squier and making it into a lefty like Jimi did? The music store I'm going to go to doesn't have much stuff so there may be a chance that they only have lefties. Thanks guys
    I imagine Jimi played that way because he couldn't find a lefty to begin with - and then just adapted to it.
    The problem is (a) you have the controls and jack socket under your forearm, which could be awkward or uncomfortable, and (b) the larger cutaway is on the wrong side. It's sometimes said that Jimi worked the different whammy bar position to his advantage, but you can do what he did with it when it's in its usual position.
    Remember he was good not because he played the guitar that way, but in spite of it.

    If this is really your first guitar, I really recommend going with a normal lefty, if you can find one.
    But another option worth considering is playing a normal guitar the usual way, ie with your left hand on the frets. It's important to remember that string instruments are all designed to have the good hand in the picking/strumming role (so there is a good reason for that), but some (esp lefties) find it feels more natural to play the other way. There's quite a few famous examples (B B King and Mark Knopfler, to name just two).

    Remember if you take a righty and flip it over (Jimi style) you also need to change the strings around, so the thick one is still uppermost. You certainly won't find one strung like that in the shop, so you won't be able to test the Hendrix arrangement properly until you get the guitar home - or if you feel brave enough to ask the shop to flip the strings for you. (There are a very few famous players who flipped the guitar without flipping strings - so it's upside down in two ways - but you're asking for trouble if you do that. You'd need to be prepared to teach yourself, and adapt any teaching materials you found.)

    If it helps, here's a list of famous lefties - which unfortunately "does not include left-handed people who play right-handed":
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...ay_left-handed
    Last edited by JonR; 01-14-2014 at 06:49 PM.

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    Hey thanks for the replies guys! I appreciate the help and input, I'll post what I get and all that jazz when it comes time. Thanks again

  5. #5
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    This question has come up a few times, and I think I said before that if it were me, then I would at least try first with the usual right-handed guitar played the right-handed way around, ie as Jon said by using your left hand to fret the notes and make the chord shapes, and learn to pick with your right hand. When I said that before I think it was met with derision and suggestions that it would be a terrible mistake etc....but I really don't see why it should make much difference when you first start learning to play, and I suspect that that the “rule” of playing an instrument a particular way around may be as much of a historical tradition as any other really essential practical reason. But at any rate you could easily just go to a local guitar store and try their guitars all ways around, and see if any particular way seem obviously much easier.

    Obviously if you can buy a left handed model to begin with, then that is the simplest and easiest choice of all. But I suspect you will find a much smaller number of left handed guitars for sale, and the price may be higher too. Eg, you could save money and probably buy a better guitar too, just by buying a used guitar on eBay. It’s really easy to do that. And as long as you look carefully at a good set of pics, and as long as the sellers description of the guitar mentions all known faults (almost always just cosmetic marks), and providing the seller has good feedback selling similar things, then in my experience its’ just as good as paying twice as much in a shop … I’ve bought dozens on guitars on eBay, from all over the world, and all of them have been fine.

    Oh, and although we have a rule here against gear discussion with brand names etc., any strat shape, make or model, should be fine (inc. any Squier), and far too much is claimed for more expensive guitars … eg, the best guitars I ever bought have almost always been cheaper models, and the worst playing worst sounding ones have been the most expensive well known brands.

    The other advantage, if you buy a right handed guitar and just play it as intended (ie left hand for fretting, right hand for picking), is that all instructional books and DVD's etc., will have all their diagrams and explanations the right way around, so you won't have to be continually trying to work out how you turn all their explanations and diagrams the opposite way around. Big advantage in my opinion, especially when starting out and using a lot of instructional guides like that.

  6. #6
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    well i don't remember any "derision" that crossroads speaks about,

    it's simply a matter of opinion, there is no right or wrong answer

    however i do think you are wise to consider knowledgeable musicians advice,

    and fortunately for you there are many knowledgeable musicians that can help you at IBreatheMusic.com community

    Crossroads and JonR are very knowledgeable musicians, who have been members of IBreatheMusic for a long time, so please consider what they said, because they know what they are talking about

    Crossroads and JonR gave some excellent reasons why you might want to play a "right handed" guitar with your left hand fretting the guitar,

    I very much agree,

    not only will there be many more guitars available to you, when buying a guitar(you stated your "local guitar store" doesn't really have alot of guitars available, so this would solve that issue

    but also training materials will be more understandable if you play "right handed", since most are written and demonstrated/performed with a "right handed" guitar

    here's a fact, playing a guitar is a very physical act,

    it requires strength when bending strings(sometimes multiple strings at the same time), vibrato, hammer-ons, pull-offs, and especially barre chords and large stretches etc

    a person who's strong hand is on the fretboard will have an advantage when taken on these physical challenges, because your strong hand will be doing these tasks

    you will have your "strongest" hand as the hand that would normally take more time to adapt and learn necessary tasks like barre chords, because they have to build up necessary muscles to do these tasks,

    if your strong hand is learning these necessary tasks, it will take you less time to be able to do these things

    don't worry about if any famous musicians played guitar a certain way, do what is right for you, what is comfortable to you,

    there are always musicians who with persistance can play a certain way, examples that immediately come to mind is Jimi Hendrix, Marty Freidman, etc, but usually they did these "unorthodox" ways of playing for instance Jimi Hendrix because of having a lack of options, "necessity is the mother of invention", they adapted, and with dedication conquered

    when your first learning you don't know what is "right or wrong", and in reality much of what is right or wrong is personal opinion

    but you should also learn from others, especially learn from proven strategies, the majority of musicians do not PHYSICALLY play the guitar in the same exact method as Jimi Hendrix, etc

    the reality is that the majority play the guitar "right handed", and millions of people play the guitar this way, even "left Handers"

    many things will be uncomfortable when first learning the instrument, so since your first learning why not take the less challenging strategy, and play the guitar as a "right hander" for the MANY reasons given above,

    it's your choice, but

    to demonstrate this is a proven successful strategy, one of my favorite guitarists, Steve Morse(Dregs, Kansas, Deep Purple) is a "lefty" who plays the guitar "right handed" and no one would doubt his incredible Mastery and playing on the instrument,

    it just makes common sense

    when learning the guitar or any stringed instrument,

    there are 2 parts to learning the guitar,
    1. the mental(which not only includes getting your mind to control synchronization of both your hands, but also the musical theory) part
    2. the physical part that involves teaching your muscles to do the necessary tasks

    anyway as a GREAT start just start reading the many forum posts, especially those in the "Getting Started" also known as the Beginners forum at IBreatheMusic

    its an exciting journey, that with dedication can give you great joy

    congratulations on making the decision to become a musician
    Last edited by Schooligo; 01-16-2014 at 05:47 AM.
    "Success is arriving at a Personal Satisfaction within yourself"

    Dedicated To Guitar!!!

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