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Being Lefty (using left hand as main)


Was a Bassoonist
Mar 27, 2024
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Republic of Turkey
It is said the worst thing is to be lefty in music. Almost everything (notation and education methods) is designed by pre-thinking you use your right hand as main. Lefties have to invent their own methods translating from right oriented. I ve had 2 lefty students, thought they will use both hand anyways and I go on with right main hand style. They got used to that. What are your thoughts?
There are quite a few instruments that require tricky left hand work, notably strings and guitar. On stradella bass (and especially free bass) accordions the left hand has work that is as complicated (if not as fast, typically) as the right hand. There’s a lot to be said for playing the accordion the usual way—and on a two-row melodeon with a thumb loop you’d even need to modify the instrument to work upside down. And it seems like it would be a pain to have the bellows strap adjustment on the bottom…
Don’t weird Al hold his accordion upside down ? It can be done lol
I ve seen one person in a video playing accordion upside down. It was weird as same as AL. Mirrored camera is common you may think they play from the other side. Here is my lefty student plays normal and well. He started with me from the beginning as normal, after 2 years of weekly lessons. I generally take 2 hours as one lesson 1 for note reading and music theory (that is very much needed in Turkey because people doesnt get good music education in schools) and 1 hour accordion with optional general chat to take their anxiety and/or being friends a little bit. People generally scares from me because of my Conservatory education and other various genuine degrees :LOL: :
My wife is a lefty and so is my son. They never had any issues learning to play the accordion in the normal orientation (treble on the player's righthand side).
Trying to play the accordion upside down or having a special instrument built for the left hand only makes sense if you are severely handicapped on your right hand, like Rudolf Würthner was.
What are your thoughts?
Here's a previous thread on the topic 🙂:
Here's a previous thread on the topic 🙂:
I do searches in the site before posting but it doesnt shows these to me...
Who gave you the idea of instruments being left handed or right handed? That is a personal or social bias, not a mechanical bias. Many instruments require busy hands of both the left and right variety. Guitar, in particular, often has a more demanding left hand than a right hand, yet for some reason a bias exists as to which hand needs to fret, and which hand needs to pluck.

IMO, forget the biases and just play.
Being left handed or right handed doesn’t mean that you can’t use your “weaker” hand. We accordion players have plenty of work cut out for us with those buttons, and it happens!
Hmmmmm. I do delicate actions like drawing or eating left handed, but larger sports like baseball or tennis right handed. For watercolor painting I do delicate stuff left, washes with right. I play drums with snare hand left. I can tell you that different sorts of ideas occur when drawing or painting with my right hand. I can see where free bass would open a different level of expression and wonder about the “handedness” of our Mr. Bach.
Many instruments require busy hands of both the left and right variety. Guitar, in particular, often has a more demanding left hand than a right hand, yet for some reason a bias exists as to which hand needs to fret, and which hand needs to pluck.
How true. My right hand is dominant. It's difficult to play the piano without active involvement with both hands, although when I broke my left wrist in high school I refused to give up and managed one handed. Guitar, not so much. Trumpet and other brass, no problem. If strong in the left but not the right there is always the french horn, keyed with left hand only. I had zero problems going from trumpet to french horn. I can write with both hands but only backwards with the left!

How about some other things? I do paint, draw, carve, and such with the right. But the skills involved for high-end woodturning require sensitivity and dexterity with both hands. Same with horse-back riding and operating heavy equipment.

My lefty middle son, an architect, draws with his left but is a pro on the cello and plays the piano well. With anything, unless there is some physical disability I think it all depends on the effort and time in the practice.
I have two good friends within the piping fraternity.
one is left handed, the other right handed.
The right handed one was brought up in an orphenage in Scotland, where he was taught to play the pipes.
He learned by watching the instructor and copied his hand positions in mirror image, which was never picked up by the instructor. Consequently he now plays "lefthanded" although right handed.
The other is left handed, but was taught in a very posh public school, again in Scotland, the normal right handed way which he does exceedingly well.
Just shows there is no reason not to play an instrument designed to be played right handed, the "correct " way whether you are right or left handed.
As a bye, I haven't seen any left handed pianos or organs. :unsure: