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View Full Version : sorry for the stupid question...



Giggle Squirt
12-27-2008, 06:56 PM
my son got a guitar for christmas... but he is lefthanded.. and well can i just get it resturng upside down or do i have to buy a new guitar that is made upside down?????

\m/ Rich \m/
12-27-2008, 07:42 PM
you COULD restring it, but depending on the type of guitar it will likely throw off the intonation of the guitar.

I'm a lefty who's been playing 15 years, and i have "flipped" many many guitars. If he is just learning a re-strung righty may do the job, but there will be a point when having a left-handed guitar will be a must.

Upper Decker
12-27-2008, 08:04 PM
Us lefties need to stand up against the world and demand equiality for everything. LOL

Barry Morris
12-27-2008, 09:12 PM
Or bite the bullet and play the thing right handed.

Think about it for a second. Which hand is doing the most work??

I knew a couple of brothers in TO who were lefties, great guitar players. They could play righthanded guitar, righthanded guitar lefthanded, and lefthanded guitar.

rmkryan
12-28-2008, 12:35 AM
well he is only 5 and it is just a beginner guitar, he plays the drums and is some basic piano... i tried to force him to hold it and play it right handed but he looked like he was trying to warp his hands in positions they shouldn't be in... amusing but he got upset. oh well i will take it monday and see if they can string it backwards.... I have a feeling it won't sound right at all though... It does not look like it was made to be strung backwards at all.

Crusty
12-28-2008, 02:14 PM
He'll be a better player if he learns to play it right handed.

Barry Morris
12-28-2008, 02:21 PM
well he is only 5 and it is just a beginner guitar, he plays the drums and is some basic piano... i tried to force him to hold it and play it right handed but he looked like he was trying to warp his hands in positions they shouldn't be in... amusing but he got upset. oh well i will take it monday and see if they can string it backwards.... I have a feeling it won't sound right at all though... It does not look like it was made to be strung backwards at all.

I'll tell you my story FWIW.

My son bugged me about getting him a guitar from the time he was 8. I told him then, and repeated it many times, I'll buy you a gutar when your hands are big enough.

When he was 13, I bought him the best I could afford, a Fender Squire Strat electric. He didn't touch it for about a year, but then he picked it up. Now he's 30 and a way better guitar player than me, not to mention an awesome bass player.

If you ask around, you'll find most guys who play guitar stared when they were 13 or 14. I believe it's an out, an introspective thing, for those years when kids go through puberty and get a little nuts. Worked for me, worked for my son, and I know a lot of other guys the same.

IMHO, 5 is too young. Don't push him yet, he may rebel and dump it entirely.

When he's 13, buy him the best guitar you can. THAT'S when he'll start.

Good luck.

Sillyme
12-28-2008, 04:05 PM
It won't work to string it backwards. The saddle is on an angle, and it won't play in tune at all.
I have a small left handed guitar you can have for 100 if you need one. Might still be a bit too large for a 5 year old, but it's a Jasmine S-35 by Takamine.

Barry Morris
12-28-2008, 04:21 PM
THAT is a good name guitar!!!

GRUMPY
12-28-2008, 04:28 PM
well he is only 5 and it is just a beginner guitar, he plays the drums and is some basic piano... i tried to force him to hold it and play it right handed but he looked like he was trying to warp his hands in positions they shouldn't be in... amusing but he got upset. oh well i will take it monday and see if they can string it backwards.... I have a feeling it won't sound right at all though... It does not look like it was made to be strung backwards at all.

This has nothing to do with the guitar but never try to force a left handed kid to do anything with his right hand. It's ok to let them try doing it with their right but you could actually be opening up a can of worms.

Tutones
12-28-2008, 04:31 PM
At 5 his hands would be too small to play chordal guitar (strumming style). If you are really serious about him learning how to play you should enrol him in classical guitar first, it is more melody based and he will learn the chords eventually when he his older and his hands can form them properly. If he is already learning piano, classical guitar will allow him additional practice on his note-reading skills as well.

As for learning to play right-handed... it won't make him a better player - practice will...if he can do it. I've been teaching beginning guitar to teens for 10 years now and some lefties can easily learn to play right-handed while others absolutely cannot function on a right-handed guitar. Some lefties have absolutely no ambidexterity to switch while others do. My Dad is left-handed and yet is an amazing guitar player... on a right-handed guitar.

If he feels really uncomfortable holding a right-handed guitar, get him a leftie and let him at least have a chance to play in tune as a restrung rightie will not hold intonation well.

Barry Morris
12-28-2008, 04:33 PM
You're right about the force, Grump, I would never do that.

Like I said though, for the beginner guitarist, it really shouldn't make a difference. You'll notice that the pick is held in the right hand, while the chords are played with the left. A right handed guitar should be EASIER to play for the lefty beginner.

Barry Morris
12-28-2008, 04:35 PM
BTW, a righty can be made a lefty, with a new ivory, and the bridge modified. Whether a particlar guitar is worth it, is another story.

GRUMPY
12-28-2008, 05:02 PM
personally I think it might be easier to just get another one so that its easier for him.

Giggle Squirt
12-28-2008, 08:29 PM
yes i am getting him lessons. I was just wondering if i could get it restrung upside down, or get a new guitar. I am not trying to force him to play it right handed, i just asked him to see if he could hold it comfortably upside down ( to him). So long story short,he is getting a guitar made for left handed people. which is hard as hell to find one in small form. If anyonw has any recomendations for someone who does lessons for kids either private lessons or group let me know...

sls
12-28-2008, 11:35 PM
seriously he is 5 ? my kids play all my guitars, their guitars, right handed. so many things come and go. drums, keyboards,sing . my kids are 8 and 10. I would say as a father whom would love my kids to continue. just let him have fun with it. leave it right handed, be better for him in the long run. the reason there are less lefty guitars is because there is less demand. Why would any manufacture prod X of lefties if there is no demand. At least far less than the righty. he's 5, let him deal with the uncomfortable hand thing, nobody said left handed is would be easier. may be more natural now, but when and we hope when he is old enough to buy his own he 'll have all the righties to pick from. at 5 just the sounds are cool enough

HBomb
12-29-2008, 06:00 AM
Since he's so young and its not entirely sure if he'll take it up or not I say just flip the guitar. If you do decide to flip it, search around for a good guitar tech. Don't let the first crook you find do the job. Some people may be good but overcharge way too much.

\m/ Rich \m/
12-29-2008, 12:22 PM
Since he's so young and its not entirely sure if he'll take it up or not I say just flip the guitar. If you do decide to flip it, search around for a good guitar tech. Don't let the first crook you find do the job. Some people may be good but overcharge way too much.

i was thinkin of them just flipping it for now as well - the kid is just beginning, and before they go out and spend more money on another guitar, it would be a good idea to find out if is truly a lefty or not.

Its not like the kid is skilled enough at this point to say "hey, the intonation is out around the 15th fret". Also it depends a lot on what type of bridge it is. Most guitars i've flipped in the past i was able to get intonated properly. I wasnt so lucky with my acoustic though. Even still, its not out enough that it's unplayable.

Giggle Squirt
12-29-2008, 07:38 PM
It is an acoustic. After talking to my dads friend in NC (who teaches guitar) he told me to let him play with it for a few days and if he still can not hold it comfortably then to just get a new one and not to flip an acoustic. Thanks for all the advice. He is so egar to learn and is very frustrated that he can't hold his guitar right.

Sillyme
12-29-2008, 09:12 PM
If you want to try the Tak, let me know. It's not a real expensive guitar, but it gets decent reviews as a good beginner guitar, and doesn't sound half bad. It's about 3/4 size, and with extra lights on it is easy to play. I'm a lefty, and bought it to learn on , but have since switched to a right handed guitar. It's just collecting dust right now.
Starterwiz said he would tune it up, and lower the action for you as well. He does some guitar work on the side.

Might be good to have both around for a bit, and he can decide which one works best for him. Better to have one that sounds nice than to lose interest 'cause it's too hard, or buzzes. Then you can sell the one you don't need.
Some players even have learned to play right handed guitars upside down, and do rather well at it.

GRUMPY
12-29-2008, 10:56 PM
It is an acoustic. After talking to my dads friend in NC (who teaches guitar) he told me to let him play with it for a few days and if he still can not hold it comfortably then to just get a new one and not to flip an acoustic. Thanks for all the advice. He is so egar to learn and is very frustrated that he can't hold his guitar right.


I think that is the best route, at that age or any other now that I think of it its better to get rid of anything that might take the fun out of it. If he gets frustrated with just holding it what are the chances that he will carry on? By the way if he doesn't carry on with the guitar let him find something that does catch his fancy as the ability to play an instrument is a gift that last a life time.

Vox Boy
12-29-2008, 11:50 PM
Not a stupid question at all. IMHO it doesn't matter that he is left handed in other things he does. He's 5 and if taught to play right handed...he will learn to play right handed. Many people I know are left handed... ie. writing, hockey, golf......but play a right handed guitar. The only real disadvantage is if your son sticks to the guitar and later on in life he will be very limited to what guitars are available for a left handed player. Being a right handed player does not mean he will be better player....didn't stop Hendrix, David Cook, Tony Iommi, or McCartney.....
Also if you decide to teach him lefty, you can switch the nut and bridge on a beginner acoustic guitar because they are usually "overbuilt" in th efirst place...meaning...they have laminate tops, heavy bracing and so forth. On more expensive acoustics the bracing inside the guitar is a bit more on the heavier strings because of the tension...not all but most.

X-Man
12-30-2008, 03:13 AM
He'll be a better player if he learns to play it right handed.

tell that To Jimmy Hendrix

Upper Decker
12-30-2008, 09:50 AM
forcing a kid to try being right handed when he his left handed will create a very stubborn left handed kid. My family tried thier damndest to turn me right handed and now my right hand is useless lol.

GRUMPY
12-30-2008, 11:08 AM
tell that To Jimmy Hendrix

So you mean that all lefties can play like him? I'd let the kid play around with it for now and if it bothers him too much trying to be a righty then switch him over. In this day and age it ain't no big thing and besides the easier it is for him the more likely he will won't to carry on.

Giggle Squirt
12-30-2008, 08:58 PM
He has been around people who play guitars since he was little and every time he was handed one he always held it left handed. Even when he had the fake play guitars he holds it left handed. he plays hockey and golf left handed and eats left handed. So it is not like this is the first time he has ever been given a guitar. He wants to learn which is why he got a "real" guitar for christmas. But stupid me was not thinking and he ended up with a right handed one. Mind you that is not the first thing i think of when i walk into a store... I am keeping the right handed one he got (hopfully his brother will use it) and trying to find a kids sized left handed guitar. I have found a bunch online but nothing locally yet. I have yet to check out the music depo but if anyone knows if they have them or not to save me a trip let me know.

salmoneggs
12-31-2008, 04:34 AM
Check the pawn shop for a cheap beginners guitar.Do a trade in?

GRUMPY
01-05-2009, 11:19 AM
that might be the easiest route to go.