What is the problem with a left-handed person playing a left-handed string instruments (bowing with left hand), and a right handed person playing the traditional ones made for right-handers? I am a lefty force writing righty that knows the challenges of lefties, as I am actually one of them. I play the flute, guitar, and piano so, I consider myself a musician.
Here's why I am writing this: 2-days ago my left-handed niece got her first instrument, a cello for her classes at school, a right-handed one of course. I called the store told them we needed to exchange it for a left-handed one. I was shocked when the man informed me that they don't make left-handed ones. Are you kidding me, in 2012 they don't make them? He then further goes on to inform me that it's an advantage for her since she fingers with her left-hand, plus she wouldn't be able to play in a professional orchestra...lol. This is one of the spews I have been reading over and over as reasons lefties should play a traditional string instrument. I have been reading forums and blogs in an attempt to support my argument when I make my case to the district manager to accommodate left-
handed players with left handed instruments.
It is my wish to assist people who do not fully understand that a true left-handed string instrument player is at a disadvantage playing traditional string instruments. I use the word true because not all left-handed people are right-brained, but for this argument I believe that it is the most challenging for the true lefty. I think this is probably one of the reasons some of the lefties state how easy it is bowing right handed, and feel like itís ridiculous for left handed people to think they are at a disadvantage. I am no doctor or scientist, but I was a compound archery competitor. Brainedness, also known as eye dominance, determines whether you needed to use a left or right handed archery bow, regardless of what your dominate hand is. I happen to be one that is right brained and so is my niece. In my personal experience, strumming with my left hand is easier than with my right.
A few misconceptions made by some musicians, that are not left-handed and donít know how challenging it can be doing certain task, that did not know that NOT all lefties are right brained, or that have adopted popular beliefs of those in the industry (basically the spew they heard from someone else in the industry) that I want to clear up:
1) Playing the flute is simply fingering positions achieved by using both hands to create one note. In reality the manipulation of air flow, using the tongue and lips, controls the rhythm and length of notes which is done using the bow on a string instrument. Therefore, it is no more challenging for a left or right handed player to learn to play most wind instruments and the playing field is equal.
2) Playing the guitar; however, is more challenging because the rhythm and beats are achieved by strumming with the hand that is not fingering. That hand should be controlled by your dominate hand, if you are a lefty and are right brained, it stands to reason that you should benefit from playing a left-handed instrument. But, left brained lefties might actually have the advantage using the traditional ones.
I am honestly frustrated by the number of musicians that are not in support of giving lefty beginner students the same chance of being successful as a right-handed student. To be honest, I believe that most left-handed children give up and quit because of the slow progress they are making trying to play on a traditional string. Can you imagine always being last chair no matter how much you try everyone else teacher included making you think you suck and should just give up. Yes, there are those lefties that do continue and end up being decent musicians, but do we know if they are the left brain lefties.
The idea that teaching a lefty is more difficult, why? The finger positions are still the same achieving the same notes and reading music sheets is the same. So, you might have to think a second when you are correcting a lefty, but from what I read it will be easier to stand in front of them instead of beside or behind them, which really seems like what a good teacher would do anyway. Take the extra time to insure the success of each and every student in their class.
Another issue I have is the fact that people are trying to say that left-handed instruments stay on the shelves. The main reason is because parents and students t are told that there are no left-handed ones, there is no demand for left handed instruments when you are told you have no option. Most parents that are not lefties or musicians trust what the teachers and store owners spew to them and donít know what they were told is absolutely not true. They make them, and would make and sell more of them if people would stop with the famous spew, and encourage lefties to get lefty instruments and finally allow them to realize their true potential.
But most importantly why in the world do you care if I use left handed scissors instead of traditional, you do not have to use them and I will make sure that I donít sit close enough that I cut your paper with them, so why do you care if I use a left-handed cello? I mean really can my niece have an even playing field and not have to overcome just to learn to play an instrument? Nothing will change unless we try to educate people on the misconceptions people have about left-handed instruments and players and the advantages they have which clearly is not true, for the true lefty. I mean even if you believe the spew, donít you think I should be allowed to learn with a spoon how to eat soup just like you do , instead of being forced to eat my soup with a fork? I mean you can still eat the soup with the fork, but it is unnecessarily more difficult, and I choose not to make it more difficult for myself or others, especially since they do make spoons that I can buy and use at the store too. Oh, and trust me you wouldnít want to have to use a fork to eat your soup either and you would buy a spoon as soon as you could, and no one would blame you for wanting a spoon instead.
Please Make a difference and encourage, not discourage.....