Lefty Lowdown Newsletter Archive: May 2017 Lefty Lowdown

                             For Best Learning, Strumming or Bowing a Musical Instrument
                                                Belongs to the Dominant Hand

                                                               A Bonus for Teachers!

A stringed instrument that is set up for left-handed use (not just played upside down) means the player can use
all of the standard books and chord charts. So right-handed playing teachers don't have to teach the two groups
separately, everyone can be instructed together and also use the same learning materials.

                      Are Left-Handed Instruments Tough to Get, and Are They More Expensive?

Not these days! The internet makes it easy for parents, teachers and left-handed learners to shop around, and to
make sure the prices for left-handed instruments are comparative to right-handed instruments. Local music stores
will order left-handed instruments, especially guitars, on request, which can save on shipping costs. There are a
number of manufacturers, like Gliga, who specializes in left-handed violins and cellos for all playing levels.
And, if it's an instrument that's symmetrical inside, like most ukuleles, it's usually a simple matter of restringing
the instrument.

So Why Do Left-Handed People Sometimes Still Get Told They're Better Off Trying To Learn Right-Handed?

Simply put, old attitudes haven't yet caught up with reality. Some people really are clinging to the notion
that right-handedness is ingrained, and left-handedness isn't--or maybe they don't want to face competition
from left-handed players! :D

A Personal Example

I recently learned to play the ukulele left-handed, and love it. Because I play it naturally, strumming with my
dominant hand, my brain can have a good relaxing time playing this very happy instrument, and I even look forward
to practicing. I play in different groups, and we all have fun. Sometimes newcomers kind of look puzzled, and ask
me how I play left-handed--it's a great conversation piece!

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All cartoons, other
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copyright 2017, for
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For all inquiries
Contact Me.

Have a Happy

Final Note: I just got really great service as a left-handed stringed instrument player from
Long & McQuade here in Ottawa. They also told me they're happy to accommodate
left-handed players.
The Lefty Lowdown recommends this business!

I recently heard about a music teacher asking around to find out 'whether' they
should teach a left-handed student to play a stringed instrument left-handed.
This teacher was the victim of outdated thinking!

The teacher should have been asking '
how' to teach a left-handed student
to play a stringed instrument left-handed.

Why Does it Matter That The Dominant Hand Strums or Bows?

When playing a stringed instrument, although it is 'two handed', the two hands don't work
in the same way. The dominant hand (the one you write with, much better at fine, delicate
motor skills) is best at strumming or bowing the instrument; the non-dominant hand (also known
as the strength hand, much better for large or gross motor skill work) is best at holding down
the strings.

This is why it feels more natural to pick up and hold the instrument in one direction and not
the other.

Sheree A. Bradford-Lea (SABL)
Cartoonist, Provider of Happy Arts,
M.A. Psychology

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