1. SubscriberFMF
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    28 Apr '13 06:33
    Why do almost all right handed people who play guitar end up doing the more complicated stuff [i.e. on the fingerboard] with their left hand?
  2. Subscribersonhouse
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    28 Apr '13 11:301 edit
    Originally posted by FMF
    Why do almost all right handed people who play guitar end up doing the more complicated stuff [i.e. on the fingerboard] with their left hand?
    Because there are more frets than strings. Watch this lady, left handed, playing a right handed guitar, bass runs with her fingers, melody with thumb:

    YouTube

    She was a great lady. She was the Seeger's nanny. I met her in DC once and she fed me a nice chicken dinner. I tried to teach her Gary Davis' Candyman but failed.
  3. SubscriberFMF
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    28 Apr '13 12:02
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Because there are more frets than strings.
    Right handed people tend to use their right hand to do detailed or fiddly things. When one plays a guitar - at least when I do [and i am right handed] - my left hand is doing more detailed and fiddly things on the fingerboard than my right hand is doing at the other end of the guitar.
  4. Cape Town
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    28 Apr '13 12:59
    Originally posted by FMF
    Right handed people tend to use their right hand to do detailed or fiddly things. When one plays a guitar - at least when I do [and i am right handed] - my left hand is doing more detailed and fiddly things on the fingerboard than my right hand is doing at the other end of the guitar.
    YouTube
    In the above, it sure looks like the right hand is more complicated. Can you find videos where the left hand is doing something more complicated? I suspect it has more to do with the nature of the moves than the complexity.
  5. Subscribersonhouse
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    28 Apr '13 13:152 edits
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2B4Xiz2GDQo
    In the above, it sure looks like the right hand is more complicated. Can you find videos where the left hand is doing something more complicated? I suspect it has more to do with the nature of the moves than the complexity.
    It's funny you should use that video. That is a Libba Cotton song! Freight train, Freight train, going so fast....Except she played a right handed guitar upside down left handed! That was because she was the only lefty in the house when she was a kid. She was naturally very talented and it soon came out in her guitar playing which she developed all by herself, lefty playing a regular right handed guitar. It's now called Cotton picking.

    Here is some right hand AND left handed intricacy, Chet Atkins in the early 60's live on TV:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=rltEI9PA5yo

    Here is some more Chet, this time duo with Mark Knopfler from Dire Straights getting a bit out of his realm:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=sSdThfseSkQ&NR=1
  6. SubscriberFMF
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    28 Apr '13 13:25
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    In the above, it sure looks like the right hand is more complicated. Can you find videos where the left hand is doing something more complicated? I suspect it has more to do with the nature of the moves than the complexity.
    When I say "almost all right handed people who play guitar" I am talking about ordinary people - not virtuosos playing complicated music, which is what your video clip presumably shows [sorry, I hardly ever look at clips... and I don't need to see a clip of someone playing the guitar as i have been playing the instrument for more than 40 years] - and ordinary people playing guitar [like me, despite the 40 years!!] generally strum with the right hand while playing up to maybe 12 or 15 different chords [or variations, possibly in more than one position] and may [as I do] pluck and hammer and slide with individual fingers with the left hand on the fingerboard. Right hand strumming ~ left hand doing the relatively detailed or fiddly things. Why would it be this way around for a right handed [ordinary] player.
  7. Subscribersonhouse
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    28 Apr '13 13:52
    Originally posted by FMF
    When I say "almost all right handed people who play guitar" I am talking about ordinary people - not virtuosos playing complicated music, which is what your video clip presumably shows [sorry, I hardly ever look at clips... and I don't need to see a clip of someone playing the guitar as i have been playing the instrument for more than 40 years] - and ordinary pe ...[text shortened]... ailed or fiddly things. Why would it be this way around for a right handed [ordinary] player.
    I thought you might like to see the difference in a lefty, especially Libba who developed her own style. Take a look at her clip at least.

    I have been playing longer than you! I started playing in 1958, 55 years now. I don't remember if I gave you my myspace address, I have 4 original acoustic pieces there from my first self made CD.
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    28 Apr '13 13:56
    I'd hazard a guess and say that the "strumming" or "plucking" or "picking" hand is vital for keeping the correct rhythm and that this is actually more a matter of "natural feeling" than just learned technical stuff. In that sense playing with your "natural" hand seems more reasonable.

    Meh... could be complete bollocks. Luckily, I play pretty much the same with my left hand, right hand or front teeth.

    Bad.
  9. SubscriberFMF
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    28 Apr '13 14:57
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    I have been playing longer than you!.
    That's great. I am not a very proficient player but I play for about an hour every day. Always have done.

    Anyway, every common or garden [non-pro, non-brilliant] right handed player I know does far more involved things with their left hand when they strum a guitar. I am curious that's all.

    A similar question can be asked about cricket. Why are so many 'right handed batsmen' actually right handed. With the top hand being more important than the bottom one, shouldn't right handed kids be encouraged and trained to bat 'left handed' [i.e. with the right hand on top]? A best friend of mine is an ex-first class cricketer who batted 'right handed' but writes with his left hand.
  10. Subscribersonhouse
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    28 Apr '13 16:47
    Originally posted by FMF
    That's great. I am not a very proficient player but I play for about an hour every day. Always have done.

    Anyway, every common or garden [non-pro, non-brilliant] right handed player I know does far more involved things with their left hand when they strum a guitar. I am curious that's all.

    A similar question can be asked about cricket. Why are so many 'r ...[text shortened]... is an ex-first class cricketer who batted 'right handed' but writes with his left hand.
    Do you have any guitar pieces posted anywhere?
  11. Cape Town
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    28 Apr '13 16:56
    Originally posted by FMF
    When I say "almost all right handed people who play guitar" I am talking about ordinary people - not virtuosos playing complicated music, which is what your video clip presumably shows
    I admit to knowing next to nothing about guitars and certainly couldn't play one. However I am interested in how brains work so its a very interesting question.
    I think that Great King Rat may be on to something and the rhythm is the key.
    I notice from the clips I have watched in which the player is picking the strings not strumming, they still mostly look at the left hand (or whichever is on the frets) so chords certainly seem to need some attention. However if I imagine paying attention to my right hand and tapping out a rhythm with my left it just doesn't seem right.
    Have you tried playing the Guitar back to front? Can you keep a rhythm with your left hand?
  12. Subscribersonhouse
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    28 Apr '13 18:103 edits
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I admit to knowing next to nothing about guitars and certainly couldn't play one. However I am interested in how brains work so its a very interesting question.
    I think that Great King Rat may be on to something and the rhythm is the key.
    I notice from the clips I have watched in which the player is picking the strings not strumming, they still mostly l .
    Have you tried playing the Guitar back to front? Can you keep a rhythm with your left hand?
    Here is an instructional video on exactly that subject:

    YouTube

    Here is a more advanced version of that technique:

    YouTube

    And the amazing Tommy Emmanuel explaining about percussive guitar:

    YouTube

    Here he is again in all his glory, great stories:

    YouTube&NR=1&feature=endscreen
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    28 Apr '13 20:03
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I admit to knowing next to nothing about guitars and certainly couldn't play one. However I am interested in how brains work so its a very interesting question.
    I think that Great King Rat may be on to something and the rhythm is the key.
    I notice from the clips I have watched in which the player is picking the strings not strumming, they still mostly l ...[text shortened]... .
    Have you tried playing the Guitar back to front? Can you keep a rhythm with your left hand?
    I tried but it was to awkward to say anything useful about it. I did a quick google search and found this reply from someone about this same question:

    "I've always thought the picking hand needed more dexterity and was more intricate and difficult to master, and that the fretting hand was more of muscle memory. Maybe its just me though, not sure!"

    And:

    "Also, your picking hand has to be in time, whereas your fretting hand just has to be in place some time before the note is picked."

    A bit of an exaggeration, but not entirely incorrect.
  14. SubscriberFMF
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    29 Apr '13 02:24
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Do you have any guitar pieces posted anywhere?
    No, sorry.
  15. Subscribersonhouse
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    29 Apr '13 14:18
    Originally posted by FMF
    No, sorry.
    You have gigs of stuff by other people like the Dead but nothing of yourself. That is extraordinary in itself!
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