I received an email from a parent asking me about her left handed son that wants to start playing guitar. Here is what he asked me and my thoughts on this. Thanks for the question Paul! Question: My son is left handed and in doing my research online I seem to be finding that there are many more right handed guitarists. Should I encourage him to try to play righty?
Answer:I would have to say no. If your son is a confirmed lefty and holding a left handed guitar is more comfortable then he should definitely go lefty. First, he will be more comfortable and it will encourage him to play and practice more often and second there are plenty of guitar manufacturers building great left handed models.
I have heard about some folks that encouraged their left handed kids to play righty and most of them became very frustrated and eventually gave up. It is true that there are more options as far as guitars go for right handed players especially when it comes to vintage instruments but more manufacturers are offering left handed models than ever. I remember working with Jim Pasch at Outlaw Guitars as the repair tech back in the 90s and when a left handed vintage guitar came in the door it was sold within the same day. Why? It’s because left handed vintage guitars are very rare. A young budding rocker that’s left handed and just getting started needn’t worry about the vintage market so soon however. Let him be comfortable and enjoy the experience of playing the guitar and all the joy that learning can bring. This will help him with focus, achieving goals and working together as a team when he starts to play with other musicians.
So encourage him to be a lefty and don’t try to sway his DNA (hey I rhymed….). It will be a much more pleasurable experience for him and for you, the parents! Besides he will be among many lefty great such as Jimi Hendrix, Paul McCartney, Dick Dale and Kurt Cobain.