Smallish Guild for a Lefty?

MartyG

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My grandaughter is 9, and a lefty. She looked at my D25 and asked if she can learn to play. Not sure I can commit to a guitar right now, or lessons, but if I was looking, what should I be looking for? What models are OK for small hands? I need lessons myself, so I can't teach, but I can probably learn with her.

Input, advice, warnings, sympathy or experience welcome.

Marty
 

dreadnut

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I have a smallish Loar 000 type guitar that would be good for small hands and wouldn't break the bank. And I would string her guitar with silk & bronze strings, easier to play. I would avoid classical guitars as they have wide necks.
 

ruedi

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Hi Marty, great that you want to encourage your great-daughter to start playing guitar!

Maybe as an "involuntary" lefty I can contribute a few thoughts (I broke the pinky of my left hand when I was a kid, and that didn't heal well, so it's now useless as a fretting hand - picking works fine though).

First thought: It is quite possible to learn to play guitar as a left-handed person from scratch on a right-handed guitar without any disadvantage. The brain and muscle memory are flexible enough, especially in a child. There are some well-known examples of left-handed people playing a right-handed instrument, such as Duane and Gregg Allmann, Mark Knopfler, Gary Moore or Joe Perry.

Now, what are some good reasons to learn to play a right-handed guitar as a left-handed person?

- Learning is easier: You can just copy your guitar teacher without having to "transpose" every single chord into the lefty version. Same is true for chord tabs and instructional videos (there is a trick with a mirror though).

- Interchangeability: You can literally just grab any guitar and start playing, you can try out your friends instrument, you can replace your suddenly broken guitar by someone else's during a gig etcetera.

- Choice: The selection of right handed guitars is bigger, and they are a bit less expensive in average than their lefthanded equivalent (if there is any, at all). Plus on the used market, it's way easier to sell and buy a decent instrument.

- You don't have to talk about Jimi Hendrix or Kurt Cobain every time you grab your guitar in front of other people.

But still, there are some very good reasons to play a left handed guitar:

- You can talk about Jimi Hendrix or Kurt Cobain every time you grab your guitar in front of people

- By learning to "transpose" every chord into lefty, you have an extra brain training - for free!

- You don't have to discuss where your place is in the band. It's on the right side of the stage (facing the crowd).

- You stand out and are something special, to the point where being lefty becomes identity forming.

- You can relate to a lot of great fellow lefty guitar players.

So far my spontaneos two cents. I'm aware that this is highly subjective and for some parts contraversial. Please let us know where the journey leads ;)
 

Stuball48

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Maybe, even a Yukelele to begin with. If I remember correctly, the four Yukelele strings are tuned same as first four (E,B,G, and D) of guitar strings and played with same finger positions as guitar just omitting finger positions on chords that use A and E. For example, the "G" chord on a Yukelele is the high "E" string on 3rd fret as there are no "A or low E." Now that I have you, totally, confused - someone will clearify my explanation. Great on your 9 year old!
 

wileypickett

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Elizabeth Cotten turned regular righty guitars upside down and played them left-handed -- and fingerstyle to boot, playing the treble strings with her thumb and the alternating bass with her index finger.

In my previous reply I suggested a Taylor BIG Baby. That should have been a Taylor BABY.

The Big Baby is almost full size, but the Baby is a 3/4 size dreadnought, and as with all their models Taylor makes left-handed versions for no extra money.
 
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SFIV1967

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With 9 years she will grow fast, so you could already look at a "normal" small Guild guitar. The Chinese made Guild M-120 is such smaller model and it comes in Cherry red which a girl might like. Sometimes you also find the previous model called GAD-M20.
Also I think ruedi has a point that as a total starter in that young age she might be just fine learning guitar righthanded. Just to show you how they look:




See also here:




Ralf
 
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fronobulax

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FWIW Mrs. Fro. is nominally left handed. She learned and manages quite well playing guitar right handed. ruedi makes a good case for trying to learn righty. I like the idea of a properly tuned ukulele because the skills learned can be transferred and the cost is low if she decides it is not for her. I endorse the silk and bronze strings suggestion and making sure whatever instrument it is, it is well set up and easily playable. I'm just a bundle of advice that doesn't answer the specific question :)
 

Nuuska

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For what it's worth.

I'm mostly right-handed - I think. Usual tools like wrenches, screwdrivers, hammer, axe, knife, saw, file, pliers etc I can handle about equally with either hand. I play guitar right-handed from beginning - but for some unknown reason I'm a southpaw when it comes to drums. Writing has always been right-handed.

So I'm partially left-right-handed ambidextrous.

Maybe you could try and see if your daughter can play right-handed guitar. After all - young ones are often open-minded.
 
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wileypickett

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Sorry to be pushing Taylors on you if it's GOTTA be a Guild.

I'm not a Taylor fan myself, but as Guild doesn't currently make 3/4 size guitars and I know someone who has had a good experience with a Taylor Baby and her young daughter, I made that recommendation.

A Guild option might be an A-25. Smallish body, lightweight, and (though it seems to get little respect here) a nice little guitar. (I have one.) But I've never seen a lefty A-25.
 

F312

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I bought a small Yamaha (forgot the model) for my grandson at the Texas guitar show. It plays and sounds nice for 100 dollars.

Ralph
 

5thumbs

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So I'm partially left-right-handed ambidextrous.
I can relate. I am definitely right handed. But for some reason, for example, I will drill holes with my right hand, then tap with my left. My left hand seems to be more sensitive and less likely to break a tap. I've been called ambidextrous on that account, but I'm really not. It's just that sometimes…
 

davismanLV

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At 9 they're still small and working on their coordination and growing so fast, I think it's a good suggestion to buy a smaller childs sized guitar, a starter model, spend a little money having it set up right with the right strings and not spending a bunch of money on something that's too big and more money should she decide not to follow through with it. They have them at Guitar Center or online at Musicians Friend and Sweetwater. Anyway, that's just a suggestion.
 

Guildedagain

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I'm left handed with a gimpy middle finger that was half chopped of when I was a kid, it got put back on but my first knuckle past the nail won't bend, it's fused, I don't even know why I play guitar sometimes.

Anyway, I've never played a left handed guitar, and probably never will.

I took a couple years of Classical lessons before the accident and was doing just fine until the accident.

Even though I'm very left handed, it was never suggested for a second that I play a left handed guitar.

I think fretting with your dominant hand is actually a boon.

I have fine rhythm in my right hand, everything worked out.

Is it really necessary to play a left handed guitar because you're left handed. No.

I'm glad I didn't learn left handed regardless of the injury. I can hardly handle looking a lefty guitars, they make me seasick. Also not nearly as much choice, I can play any guitar I want.

I even scored a left handed SG and seriously tried to relearn to play that way, absolutely not happening.

There's also lefties a la Hendrix who play right handed guitars upside down and don't flip the strings, and lefties who play right handed guitars upside down and do flip the strings.

When it comes to teaching guitar, you don't need to know that much. The first page of Mel Bay's Fun With Guitar will keep somebody busy for a long time.
 
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wileypickett

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Hendrix played upside down, but he DID flip the strings. Bass strings at the top, treble on the bottom.

Elizabeth Cotten is the only player I know who played upside-down and DIDN'T flip the strings, though I'm sure there must be others. She learned that way because she "borrowed" her brother's guitar (he was a righty) when he was away.

Saw both of them in concert several times (never together though!).
 

ruedi

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Hendrix played upside down, but he DID flip the strings. Bass strings at the top, treble on the bottom.

Elizabeth Cotten is the only player I know who played upside-down and DIDN'T flip the strings, though I'm sure there must be others. She learned that way because she "borrowed" her brother's guitar (he was a righty) when he was away.

Saw both of them in concert several times (never together though!).
Oh, there are some more! Albert King, Dick Dale, Otis Rush and all these guys here.
 
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