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Thread: sorry for the stupid question...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Giggle Squirt's Avatar
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    Default sorry for the stupid question...

    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?????

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    Senior Member \m/ Rich \m/'s Avatar
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    Default Re: sorry for the stupid question...

    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.
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    Senior Member Upper Decker's Avatar
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    Default Re: sorry for the stupid question...

    Us lefties need to stand up against the world and demand equiality for everything. LOL

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    Default Re: sorry for the stupid question...

    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.

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    Senior Member rmkryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: sorry for the stupid question...

    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.
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    Default Re: sorry for the stupid question...

    He'll be a better player if he learns to play it right handed.

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    Default Re: sorry for the stupid question...

    Quote Originally Posted by rmkryan View Post
    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.

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    Default Re: sorry for the stupid question...

    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.

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    Default Re: sorry for the stupid question...

    THAT is a good name guitar!!!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: sorry for the stupid question...

    Quote Originally Posted by rmkryan View Post
    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.

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    Senior Member Tutones's Avatar
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    Default Re: sorry for the stupid question...

    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.
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    Default Re: sorry for the stupid question...

    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.

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    Default Re: sorry for the stupid question...

    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.

  14. #14
    GRUMPY
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    Default Re: sorry for the stupid question...

    personally I think it might be easier to just get another one so that its easier for him.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Giggle Squirt's Avatar
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    Default Re: sorry for the stupid question...

    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...

  16. #16

    Default Re: sorry for the stupid question...

    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

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    Default Re: sorry for the stupid question...

    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.

  18. #18
    Senior Member \m/ Rich \m/'s Avatar
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    Default Re: sorry for the stupid question...

    Quote Originally Posted by HBomb View Post
    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.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member Giggle Squirt's Avatar
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    Default Re: sorry for the stupid question...

    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.

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    Default Re: sorry for the stupid question...

    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.

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