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Thread: Cello for... A left-handed beginner

  1. #1
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    Default Cello for... A left-handed beginner

    Please don't bash me. This is no joke.

    First, well, is that really doomed or what? Do I really need to strain myself to learn to play with bow on my right hand? Because I felt comfy with bow on my left hand (I didn't change the position of the strings however, so it's still C-G-D-A).

    Second, do I really have to get a teacher? Because cello is not a popular music instrument here so there's no cello teacher here.

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    Senior Member Nix's Avatar
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    Yes and yes. I'm left handed and I bow with my right hand- everyone does. If you finger with your right hand you'll come across music that's impossible to play. And if your serious about the instrument (serious enough to buy one) then you really should take lessons.

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    The adjustment isn't very hard, particularly as you are just starting out in playing. It's best to adopt it in the orthodox stance if you're only learning - no different than learning to brush your teeth. Similarly, if you are left handed and a flute player, it makes sense to learn the orthodox stance, rather than acquire a $6k left handed baroque flute which is probably splintering. Part of the instrument training, for the flute in any case, requires the player to learn to 'free' his fingers from being associated with one another, so that fingering of notes can be applied, without constrains from natural finger movements.

    You're at the right stage of learning so no damage done - yet

    If you can get lessons, this is definitely the way to go, just to get a rock sure foundation. You can do it yourself by the crab method i.e. hit and miss ... making mistakes, then learning from your mistakes. That method of learning, will probably wear your patience out, and not only will you learn slower, and potentially wrong or develop bad habits, but also, you won't enjoy learning as much. Once you have a basic grasp of what to do through a few lessons (you might even limit this to once a month, just for 6 months), the rest is practice. If you practice before you have the foundation, you'll just frustrate yourself and give it up and play the hi-fi instead.

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    Senior Member Ukko's Avatar
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    Seems to me I read that Casals started out lefty - and soon switched. You will find, as Nix points out, that you will be forced to go righty anyway, so you may as well start that way. You would have a head start with fingering facility, it seems like. And you need lessons, even if you only intend to please yourself and friends. I don't play cello, but it's my favorite instrument to listen to; if you intend to make music you like to hear, get some lessons.
    I spent a fortune on deodorant before I realized that people don't like me anyway.

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    Because orchestral instruments are totally un-ergonomic by definition (imagine trying to get a design for a violin past the OH&S department today) the left-right thing doesn't matter.
    You'll learn stuff-all without a decent teacher. And what a teacher will want you to do will feel downright peculiar whichever hand you use, so go with the flow. The cello is hard enough to play anyway - don't make a difficult task impossible by trying to dio it '****-about'.
    cheers,
    G

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