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Why do right handed players not use their dominant hand on the fretboard?

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by LPBlue, Jan 17, 2019.

  1. carver

    carver The East Coast Strangler Strat-Talk Supporter

    Haha perfect

    sounds like someone is getting an extra house!
    Will Lefeurve likes this.
  2. guitartwonk

    guitartwonk Strat-O-Master

  3. Cesspit

    Cesspit Strat-Talker

    Sep 4, 2016
    Oxford England
    I am left handed but play right I strange?????
  4. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 21, 2010
    Sheffield, UK
    I'm left handed and play right handed. Yes, you are strange.
    JustABluesGuy, Omar and Bodean like this.
  5. Cesspit

    Cesspit Strat-Talker

    Sep 4, 2016
    Oxford England
    Thank God for that, I wouldn't want to be seen as anything like normal. Now where's that hovercraft, it's full of eels.
  6. dippah

    dippah Strat-Talk Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    It always seemed to me that the fretting hand should be a nice balance of nimble and strong. If there's too much of one, it's at the expense of the other. Your dominant hand might end up being too strong and not nimble enough.

    I spent my early childhood with a grandma, who as a product of her time, thought that me writing with my left hand was weird. Consequently, she kept moving the pen to my right hand. These days, I write with both hands. My left one, because it's the one that feels natural, and my right one because that's how I first learned to write. I use my left hand for most things. But when I started playing guitar, I picked it up as a right-handed player, and that's how it stayed to this day.

    However, it took me years to realize that I tended to fret cowboy chords too strongly, pulling the strings out of tune. Then it took me a few more years to get out of the habit of doing so.
  7. Fretmeltkid

    Fretmeltkid Strat-Talker

    Feb 10, 2018
    United Kingdom
    Mark Knopfler is left handed
  8. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Apr 21, 2010
    London, UK
    I think this is a very good question! Unfortunately I don't know the answer.

    Logically, as a right handed person, I should be using my best hand for the most complicated stuff, which is holding down chords or fingering, bending & sliding single note stuff. The job of the picking hand is relatively straight forward in comparison.

    Mark Knopfler & Wilko Johnson are both lefties who play righty.
  9. Jimi Lightning

    Jimi Lightning Senior Stratmaster

    Dec 21, 2016
    Ontario, Canada
    It’s a great question...but some things shouldn’t be thought that we’re thinking about it will we ever be able to strum and chord again....:rolleyes:
    Jesse414 likes this.
  10. PBO Blues

    PBO Blues Strat-Talk Member

    Apr 20, 2016
    Chatham County, NC
    Here's my theory. When a newbie picks up a guitar, the first thing they think about is the strumming part (watch their eyes), thus the application of their dominant hand to what's perceived as the important part. Little do they know... Generations of this led us to the state we find ourselves in today.

    Me, I'm terrible with either.
  11. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 21, 2010
    Sheffield, UK
    The stolen guitar I learned to play on was right handed. So were the instructions in the book that was in the bag...

  12. AncientAx

    AncientAx Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Nov 24, 2010
    My son’s name !
    gwjensen likes this.
  13. Mansonienne

    Mansonienne Stratocrastinator Extraordinaire Strat-Talk Supporter

    Dec 2, 2015
    Paris suburbs, France
  14. Wrighty

    Wrighty Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 7, 2013
    Harlow, Essex, UK
    Hendrix always struggled as a lefty, poor sod finished up having to use his teeth
    LPBlue, dirocyn, stratman323 and 3 others like this.
  15. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Strat-O-Master

    Jun 30, 2016
    meridianam altum centralis
    Old topic, with eventual conclusion. 90% of the world is righthand dominant. Given the choice, right hand folk use their right hand for greatest faculty and finer motion and control from youth. Over the ages, activities develop to take advantage of this greater faculty and control. Therefore, the pick goes in that better hand, the bow [violin] goes in that hand, banjo picks, hammers, pencils, knives, etc. In otherwords, if the dominant hand belonged on the fretboard, then the uber-majority 90% of the world would play that way - but they don't because its not the most important function in playing an instrument.

    All that said, you can learn eitherway, but during youth you start using that one hand for everything, and it becomes superior at finer activities than the other, so its an advantage for the learning curve. That learning curve is less important if you are going to learn for many years. Its all important if you need to see results in a few months.

    For the lifetime student, or the injured person who only has ability in one hand, it doesn't matter.
  16. himijendrix

    himijendrix Senior Stratmaster

    May 2, 2012
    Barrow Upon Soar, UK
    It's because the dominant right hand is better at keeping rhythm than the left hand.
  17. Martins Strat

    Martins Strat Strat-Talker

    Jul 28, 2018
    Because guitar look better that way round! If all us right handed folk used the dominant hand to fret then the majority of guitars would look like current lefty models.......and they only look right in the mirror!! :D
  18. knh555

    knh555 Senior Stratmaster

    Dec 6, 2016
    Arguably, you’d want your dominant hand as the primary sound and tone generator. I.e working the strings. As someone who fingerpicks mostly, this makes sense to me, but I also think we’re much more adaptable than we sometimes think.
    JustABluesGuy and Stratoskater like this.
  19. guitartwonk

    guitartwonk Strat-O-Master

    Play-in-a-day is also where I started. I suppose there will be a few guys on here who can claim the same.

    I inherited my copy from my dad, who'd tried (and given up, sadly) learning guitar when he was about 15. The cover was all dog-eared and it had pages missing. He'd been given it by a well-meaning aunt along with an acoustic "guitar" that was all warped out of shape and had an action of about 3 inches. No wonder he quit. I'm more stubborn than him though and persevered, yes, on the same guitar, until I saved up my pocket money to get a cheap strat copy.

    Even though following the lessons in that book was tough (at the time) I have fond memories of it. :)
  20. guitartwonk

    guitartwonk Strat-O-Master

    Yeah, and you can really hear him struggling. Glad I'm not a southpaw.
    Mansonienne likes this.