We love lefties too! ❤ On the occasion of International Lefthanders Day we dedicate this blog article to our fellow musicians, who did things the other way around! Paul McCartney, Jimi Hendrix, Charlie Chaplin, Kurt Cobain… all lefties! ✌
Left-handed instruments turn left-handed people into happy musicians
The percentage of left-handed people in the population varies from 10 to 13% depending on sources. So out of a million musicians, this would mean that 100- to 130,000 of them are left-handed… in reality, the numbers are even less. Even today children don’t always choose the dominant hand for writing, even if they can choose freely.
But the days when left-handed people were taught to become right-handed are long gone: the fact is left-handed people need instruments tailored to their needs (mirrored!), notes and training in order to fully develop their musical potential. There are also left-handed musicians who play extremely well on right-handed instruments, for example Helene Grimauld on the piano. However, these are rather exceptions. Musical education including training materials tailored to the personal handedness of the individual has considerable advantages: significantly improved concentration, significantly reduced rehearsal or practice times, effortless memorization, flawless play, flow, better body awareness and motor skills, and allows for a natural brain development of the musical processes.
Instruments for left-handed musicians
The musical instrument industry already offers a number of instruments and accessories in this area. Guitar in particular is considered a pioneer and has a good selection for lefties. Many left handed electric guitars are available, as well as numerous left handed acoustic and classical guitars, basses, and ukuleles.
There are left-handed violins, but most players learn the instrument “the right way” or else the image of the orchestra would be disrupted. As far as cellos are concerned, left-handed musicians can simply reverse the strings, but this is also very rarely seen. There are a few left-handed double basses, but most bassists also reverse the strings.
For transverse flutes the position of the hands is the same for left- or right-handed players: the flute on the right. However, there are also exceptions. Other wind instruments such as saxophone, oboe, clarinet are often only available in left-handed version on special order.