Author Topic: LeftyLoosy  (Read 118 times)

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Offline LeftyLoosy

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« on: February 10, 2018, 06:25:49 pm »
I used to play guitar right-handed, until I severed the ulnar nerve in my left arm. My left hand being left poorly innervated, with very little sensation in my pinky and ring finger, I could not continue playing guitar in any reasonable capacity. Now, over seven years after the accident, I have decided that I'm going to learn to play guitar left-handed. My right arm is perfectly healthy, and my left arm should still be good enough for strumming and finger-picking. Not being able to pick with the pinky is a tiny handicap, compared to being unable to fret any chords that require more than two fully functional fingers.

I intend to use this road case as a public diary of sorts. I will post periodic updates, reflections, as well as goals I want to achieve and challenges I'm facing. If anything, this will selfishly serve me as a place where I can deal with my own frustrations. If I am successful, and manage to become a decent player once again, then those seven years of guitar abstinence since my accident amount to a gigantic missed opportunity. I hope that others who may now or in the future find themselves in my situation will be encouraged to not let those years go by, and to get started sooner rather than later. So let's get going!

Offline LeftyLoosy

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Re: LeftyLoosy
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2018, 06:56:58 pm »

I purchased the Ibanez V50NLJP-NT Jam Pack for 119€. I'm really impressed with the quality you can get for that kind of money. All frets on all strings play clear notes without ringing, the frets are flush with the edges of the fretboard (no sharp edges to snag on), the action is reasonably low, it has remained in tune since I first tuned it and it doesn't sound half bad. Of course, the left-handed version comes at a 20€ premium compared to the right-handed version and I couldn't get it with the sunburst paint job they offer for righties, but that seems to be par for the course for left-handed guitars.

Observations from my first week

When I first sat down to play, the first thing I noticed is that the guitar simply won't sit right on the leg. When I hold it righthanded, it just slides into a comfortable position by itself. Not so the other way around. I'm still trying to figure out how to just sit, how to hold my torso, where to place my strumming arm to hold the guitar firmly but comfortably, etc. It is very distracting.

Within seconds of fingering the first chords, my fretting fingers started hurting, as expected. My fingertips still feel tender now, but I'm already able to go through a full 15-minute practice session without any actual discomfort. Very light callouses have started forming, which definitely help, but more than that, my "feel" for putting the right amount of pressure on the strings and my dexterity in placing them close to the frets has improved a lot. Still, I'm surprised by how quickly this went from being a problem into being a slight nuisance.

I'm up to 1-minute chord changes between A, D and E at 26 or more changes per minute, and at this rate, I expect to be able to move on to section 2 of the beginner's course next week. What's becoming more concerning to me is my left hand. I can tell that my dexterity is awful, and my arm actually tires out noticably during a practice session. I've started using my left hand for a lot of everyday tasks, like brushing my teeth, stirring the pot when cooking, turning keys, etc., in an effort to increase dexterity, endurance, power, and so on. In the long run, I expect to have vastly more issues with my strumming and picking technique than with my fretting, so I'll do what I can to make these issues go away asap.

That's pretty much it for now. Next time, I may include video of me playing or practising. Until then, here's the only surviving video of me playing when I was a right-handed player.

Until next time, bye!

Offline DavidP

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Re: LeftyLoosy
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2018, 07:36:41 pm »
Here's wishing you every success. With patience and perseverance great things are possible.


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