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Dispelling The Myths About Left Handed Guitar And Left Handed Guitarists

There are a few things left handed and right handed guitarists need to get straight in their heads about the subject of left handed guitars and left handed guitarists.

There are various "ideas" floating around about this subject, which not surprisingly have been generated by ignorant right handed guitarists, or money-only motivated sales staff at musical instrument shops who are on kickbacks from some particular guitar brand, and sometimes even from bitter and twisted left handed guitarists who somehow feel "cursed."

Mainly these myths have sprung up because of lack of overall knowledge with the unfortunate consequence of these false data influencing people in their choices of playing or learning guitar.

Let's get one thing very straight. These common misconceptions ARE myths.

A myth ceases to be a myth once it has been dispelled. It is dispelled by providing TRUE DATA, ie. "the Truth."

So, left handed guitarists and right handed guitarists can equally learn something here. You may be very surprised to know some new things here or have some misconceptions dispelled. I hope so!

MYTH ONE. "A guitar is like a piano. There is only one way to play it." (The "one way" is right handed.)

This is one of the biggest, outmoded, ignorant, and totally incorrect statements there is on this subject. Yes, a piano is played one way. No, a guitar is not played one way.

In fact, the way people play guitars these days, right handed people - 80% of the Earth's population - in actual fact should be playing guitar left handed. That would mean they have their "stong" hand on the fret board doing all the work - like they do in Life!

Way back in the old days when a guitar was just a "strumming instrument" it was applicable that a right handed person would play the guitar with their "weak" hand on the fret board and their "strong" arm to strumso as to keep time. There weren't drummers and bass players in those days! Wake up! It is the 21st century. People don't play like that any more. Guitar playing has EVOLVED. Isn't it surprising that some of the world's best guitarists are left handed people playing guitar right handed - the reverse scenario?

MYTH TWO. "It is harder to learn guitar left handed in a world dominated by right handed teachers and right handed instruction books."

This is a doozer. In fact learning guitar left handed is EASIER from a right handed teacher than a left handed teacher because everything the teacher shows you is a MIRROR IMAGE of what you are doing and easier to follow! Right handed guitarists learning from a right handed teacher have to do a mental switcheroo to get what they are doing right! There is an extra step a left handed learner does not have to take!

And books? There are books for left handed instruction. They exist and they are not hard to get. There aren't as many but that is a good thing. Less possibilities of confusion. Right handed guitar instruction materials are so abundant that there is an OVERSATURATION of material which frankly makes anyone giddy when trying to make sense of it all.

MYTH THREE. "You can't get many left handed guitars." Or "It's hard to find a left handed guitar."

This WAS true until 2006 when an Australian company called Gaskell Guitars emerged . ( Gaskell Guitars makes left handed guitars and basses only, and is the only company in the world that makes left handed instruments exclusively. Gaskell has grown in the last few years to be the number one brand in the world for left handed guitars. Several major guitar brands have stopped making left handed guitars - Gibson, Paul Reed Smith, Rickenbacker. They stopped due to "lack of demand." That is another myth.

MYTH FOUR. "There is not much demand for left handed guitars"

This is the biggest myth of the lot.

This idea is definitely a right handed guitar manufacturer's point of view. The existence of Gaskell Guitars proves that this is false. Although there are much less left handed guitarists in the world there are still MANY. Many leftys need left hand guitars. And they are not all "old people." There are MANY young and old lefty guitarists in the world. This is a fact. This is a fact that right handed guitar companies will never be aware of because they operate on TURNOVER and their turnover consists of right handed guitars - for the majority. Understandable, but not true!

If you are a left handed guitarist reading this realize this: there are plenty of people like you in the world - PLENTY!

These are the first 4 myths. There are more. More will be covered in the next article. Stay tuned.

Kevin Gaskell is the business owner and designer of Gaskell Guitars which is a manufacturer of left handed guitars and basses, located in Sydney Australia. Gaskell guitars are available world wide.

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