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Left-Handed Keyboard Players


Moonglow

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So Im wondering if there are any special challenges left-handed keyboard players face? Guitar players can always play a left-handed guitar.....

 

Last I checked, IIRC, left-handed folks comprise approximately 7% of the population. I know Jonathan Cain of Journey is left-handed (as evidenced when he autographed my Escape CD), and Im sure there are many others.....any here? Just curious.

 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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So Im wondering if there are any special challenges left-handed keyboard face? Guitar players can always play a left-handed guitar.....

 

I'm left-handed, and I play a right-handed guitar without any trouble. Keys don't give me trouble either. Neither instrument has particular emphases that would mitigate "handedness" sufficiently to be an impediment one way or the other, AFAIC.

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OT a little: I am a righty who years ago got tired/disgusted with not using my left hand much...I mean, it's there all the time!

 

I started using it with eating utensils at supper at home. You use a lot of muscles while eating. After a while I got so I can eat 90% of anything out in public.

 

Point being this made my hand more dextrous for playing keyboard too, and other daily routine things.

 

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Well, I suppose that left-handed people are forced to learn many things the "right hand way" anyway. If it's of any consolation, I am *very* right-handed, and although I have developed some ambidextrous sense by playing keyboards, polyphonic music has always been a challenge for me. As much as I worship Bach, memorizing his pieces has been, and still is, quite hard.

 

By teaching a lot in the last few years, I've encountered many interesting cases of people who didn't know to be left-handed, for example, or a couple of kids who were right-handed but left-footed (yes, there are such cases), and a grand total of ONE really ambidextrous student. They're quite rare, it seems.

 

Btw yhis 15 y-o- boy used to amaze me. For example, he could start writing something with one hand and finish with the other, in a continuous way. He could really do anything with either hand.

 

At the piano, he was simply fantastic. Perfect timing, great coordination, photographic (phonographic?) memory... but unfortunately, he didn't get the artistic meaning of music. For him, playing was just a manual exercise. When I tried to explain a bit of the history and meaning of music and art, all I got was a blank stare.

 

He quit music after a while, to study mathematics I believe.

 

 

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I believe the question of left or right handed has come up before - and this forum had a lot of lefties! I wonder if it's a keyboard player thing.

 

I'm left handed, but my right hand technique is stronger - probably from being used more. I never have felt handicapped playing keys as a lefty. Using a pair of scissors - well that's another thing :laugh:

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I'm not sure I'd call what I have "technique", but I can play better with my left hand. I was self-taught and I used my left hand for everything, neglecting the right. I'm guessing lots of right handers are better with their right hand, but at least their good hand is up there in the treble clef. So in that respect, being left-handed has been an issue. Although really the issue is that I didn't learn correctly, I suppose.
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Did you say left-handed wind shifter?

 

OT a little: I am a righty who years ago got tired/disgusted with not using my left hand much...I mean, it's there all the time!

 

I started using it with eating utensils at supper at home. You use a lot of muscles while eating. After a while I got so I can eat 90% of anything out in public.

 

Point being this made my hand more dextrous for playing keyboard too, and other daily routine things.

I often mouse/trackpad with my left hand, partially for this reason, partially because of the way I found myself leaning on my right elbow when using my RH and the trouble that started causing me physically. I try to use my LH a lot, but after years of being right-handed, most of the time it's just quicker and easier to use the right. Such a waste of an appendage. ;)

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I was born right-handed, and now I'm predominantly left-handed. It has no bearing on my playing. I use my left hand for working a track ball with a computer, etc., but my right hand is still used for soloing on a synth etc.

 

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When I started on electric bass, I didn't even know there was such a thing as a left-handed bass; so I play standard RH bass and/or guitar.

 

On keys, some days both hands work very well; other days they both seem to be equally incompetent at getting the right notes.

 

Getting hand independence for different rhythms in each hand is still a work in progress.

 

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Another lefty here. I don't see it as a problem for playing keys. Actually, I play bass and guitar too, and play right-handed instruments, because that's all I've known. I don't know if I'd have more facility on those stringed instruments if I learned on left-handed ones, but that's idle musings at this point. I have no desire to change that up (and buy new guitars and basses). :o

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Yet another lefty. On piano/keys my right hand technique is much stronger than that of my left hand. Having chosen to pursue keyboards/popular music has had a lot to do with that. The thought of even attempting a concert piano career, with the resulting stronger LH, scared me. So I relate more to Billy Joel than Vladimir Horowitz (though Horowitz was amazing, and inspiring).

I played hockey right handed; also bat righty. Write lefty, though my handwriting/printing seem to get worse every year (too much time on a computer keyboard ?). I use scissors right handed only though; got tired of trying to find the special, usually 'missing' lefty scissors in 2nd grade, so I switched early and young. Probably couldn't cut a straight line with my LH if my life depended on it...

Guitar ? The past two weeks have been the start of my second attempt in learning to play the fretboard. Being left handed does seem to be helping there.

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...Although I have developed some ambidextrous sense by playing keyboards, polyphonic music has always been a challenge for me. As much as I worship Bach, memorizing his pieces has been, and still is, quite hard.

 

 

Another lefty here, but Carlo, I'm not sure I understand the connection between right-handness and the lack of ability to memorize Bach or conceptualize counterpoint. Is this something I'm unaware of because it comes naturally to me?

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I'm not sure I understand the connection between right-handness and the lack of ability to memorize Bach or conceptualize counterpoint. Is this something I'm unaware of because it comes naturally to me?

I'm talking from a purely pianistic point of view. In short, my left hand is damn lazy. Always been. I've noticed that people with a strongest degree of, um, ambidextrousity (is that a word?!), have not only more coordination and independence, but also more facility in memorizing long, multiple lines. I guess those different brain sections are at work not just for their hands, but in a more general way too.

 

Of course, playing contrapuntal music has helped a lot; with the years, my left hand has 'reawakened' a bit. But as I keep watching my students, I realize that many of them have more built-in facility than I had when I was at their stage.

 

 

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Yet another lefty. On piano/keys my right hand technique is much stronger than that of my left hand. Having chosen to pursue keyboards/popular music has had a lot to do with that. The thought of even attempting a concert piano career, with the resulting stronger LH, scared me. So I relate more to Billy Joel than Vladimir Horowitz (though Horowitz was amazing, and inspiring).

I played hockey right handed; also bat righty. Write lefty, though my handwriting/printing seem to get worse every year (too much time on a computer keyboard ?). I use scissors right handed only though; got tired of trying to find the special, usually 'missing' lefty scissors in 2nd grade, so I switched early and young. Probably couldn't cut a straight line with my LH if my life depended on it...

Guitar ? The past two weeks have been the start of my second attempt in learning to play the fretboard. Being left handed does seem to be helping there.

 

Pretty much identical story for me except that I cut lefty. Sports are all righty but I write left handed.

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  • 5 years later...

Nah, no impediment here.

I can just as easily play leads on my 6 oscillator MS-20 Korgzilla

with either my left or right hand.

I do notice that IMHO lefties have an advantage on bass leads!

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I developed focal dystonia in my right hand so I'm now left handed by default (I'm naturally right handed). I don't play a lot of piano (for obvious reasons); I stick mainly to the organ and synths. Foot controllers and pedals are good friends of mine.

 

I wish there was a controller with the mod and pitch wheel on the right hand side. Ah well.

Main Gear: Prophet REV2, Moog Slim Phatty, Doepfer d3m Organ Keyboard, GSI Burn, Roland Gaia
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An old southpaw here, and to boot, in the band I play with, the drummer and guitar player are lefties also.

I mostly play organ and synth.

As far as dexterity goes, my right hand is still more accurate then my left, even though I use my left hand for most everything else.

 

Karl

 

MPCX, RD-800, Vsynth, Matrix 12
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