Lefty-drummer's pet peeve

Headbanger

Senior Member
After all, I learned piano right handed, nobody makes left handed piano. However, I had teAchers who told me to go where my rhythm is, and it's on my left side.
Not a pianist at all so I could be way off. But it always seemed to me that the piano was designed for left-handed players, since the more rhythmic part usually comes from the left side. So why does nobody make right-handed pianos?
 

mmulcahy1

Platinum Member
Righties dominate the world and don't give a rat's a$$ about us lefties - this is undeniably true, unfortunately. This weekend, I am playing (as a sub) with my friend's church band. They have an outdoor festival with lots of arts & crafts, food, drink, etc. with all the proceeds going to Habitat for Humanity... but I digress... The back line kit is an old crappy Pearl Something-or-Other. I'm bringing my own kit because I'm left-handed and play that way and I have to move the back line set out of the way and set up my kit.

I would rather move 2X more equipment in order to play my drums than to play on that rotten kit. I used it once for practice and it was horrible. I'll let all the other righties use it and they can stand in awe at my grooves and my sound!!

Ah, a little cocky - but who cares!
 
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Matt Bo Eder

Guest
You mean like that terrible drummer Ringo???
Hey man, Ringo even said he wasn't that good.

But when you take into account the rest of the multitudinal masses of amateurs faced with their first drumsets, and they just set-it up the way they see it on tv, or they listen to people who tell them, "this is how you set it up, learn to play it that way", maybe that accounts for the fact that I hear better grooves from mostly all of the lefties I know, and a bit of substandard grooves for more righties than ever?

That's an interesting flame-worthy discussion right there, isn't it? Right-handed players just not involved inter own playing enough to know where their rhythm actually is. Talk about not knowing yourself, eh?
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Sometimes I think being forced to play right would have been a good thing. After all, I learned piano right handed, nobody makes left handed piano. However, I had teAchers who told me to go where my rhythm is, and it's on my left side.

This has led me to wonder about how many bad right handed drummers are out there because they're actually left handed forcing themselves to play right. There's a large percentage of them!

You mean like that terrible drummer Ringo???
 

Numberless

Platinum Member
I think it's simply because lefties are more used to switching things around and making do. In college all the drums in the practice rooms are right handed so I have to switch them up every time I want to practice. My classmates make it sound like a big fuzz "man I can't believe you have to switch the drums EVERY time you play" because they're used to never having to do that. But for me switching from right to left is a natural part of playing drums, I don't even notice it, like a wind player dealing with his reeds or a guitar player tuning his instrument, it's just part of the deal.

So of course when a rightie is faced with having to switch the drums, it's a bit more uncomfortable because it's an uncommon experience.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
For Gods sake the Brits accomodated you by putting the steering wheel and road traffic on the left side.
The steering wheel is on the right hand side if you're driving on the left hand side of the road so it's easier for right handers. I drove on the right hand side of the road in Spain in a left side drive and kept back handing the passenger door every time I went to change gear.

Basically the reason we drive on the left dates back to medieval times and jousting/sword fighting, it's easier to kill something with your right hand if you're riding a horse to the left of what you're trying to kill.

Similarly it's easier to flip an arsehole driver off with your right hand whilst steering with your left :)
 
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Matt Bo Eder

Guest
I agree with Larry. It is just we right handed drummers letting you lefty's know it's time you started doing things the right and proper way. For Gods sake the Brits accomodated you by putting the steering wheel and road traffic on the left side. When you shop you never see right handed scissors. Just scissors. And then of course left handed scissors. There is no right-handed persons day. But there is a national lefty day. I think it's just time to bite the bullet, realize you are in the minority, do things incorrectly, and learn to change. Another first world rant.

ps. I also learned to shoot a bow left handed because of eye dominance. Why not just learn to play on a standard kit since most drummers today play matched grip, just learn to play righty.
Sometimes I think being forced to play right would have been a good thing. After all, I learned piano right handed, nobody makes left handed piano. However, I had teAchers who told me to go where my rhythm is, and it's on my left side.

This has led me to wonder about how many bad right handed drummers are out there because they're actually left handed forcing themselves to play right. There's a large percentage of them!
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
I agree with Larry. It is just we right handed drummers letting you lefty's know it's time you started doing things the right and proper way. For Gods sake the Brits accomodated you by putting the steering wheel and road traffic on the left side. When you shop you never see right handed scissors. Just scissors. And then of course left handed scissors. There is no right-handed persons day. But there is a national lefty day. I think it's just time to bite the bullet, realize you are in the minority, do things incorrectly, and learn to change. Another first world rant.

ps. I also learned to shoot a bow left handed because of eye dominance. Why not just learn to play on a standard kit since most drummers today play matched grip, just learn to play righty.
 

calan

Silver Member
Lefty myself. Although an open handed one.

I tend to think lefties are more inclined to perform well on a right handed kit simply because lefties probably do things right handed more often than righties do things left handed. It's a consequence of living in a predominately right handed world.

Drumming seems like even moreso a right handed world. There was a jam I frequented for many years where there was enough room to flip everything around. Sometimes I would just flip the snare, hh, and floor tom. Sometimes I would do all that and also rotate the bd mounted rack tom. Sometimes I would do the whole thing.

I sometimes play on a completely right handed kit, but it has a double pedal so I can lead left footed. Obviously the hi hat work isn't great, but I have a lot of fun with fills, especially incorporating the hi hat and ride bell with the opposite sides. I played on a purely right handed kit a couple of weeks ago. I can't say I enjoyed it much, but some of the people told me they didn't know until I told them, so I guess that's good. I knew.

I guess I don't really find it a peeve. I think it's pretty dumb, at least at a jam, to be told I can't move anything. If I do it, I can usually have it done before the rest of the guys even have their instruments plugged in. More often than not I pass, usually because the amps are in the way of me moving stands or the drummer has things set up in a way that make it a trial to do so. That's fine, I don't need to play. I can do that on my own, and I don't feel any particular need to show people what I can do or whatever.

I just know that when I'm the house drummer at a jam, I make it a point to set up in a way that makes it easy for lefties, righties, and open handers to get as comfortable as possible. It just seems like the right thing to do. If it's an actual gig, then I'm not asking anybody to get up anyway.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
If I'm just jamming, or it's a simple groove song everyone knows, then I don't care what the kit is like. To be honest, I have a lot of fun on crap kits, being creative and seeing what I can do with the weird sounds or layout at my disposal.

But if it's a serious thing, or I'm playing a bands original stuff, then you bet I'll swap the kit round.

Muscle memory is a real thing. To really play our best, we like if things are setup so that we can execute the same movements in the same ways we've done it 20,000 times already. I'm not one to go changing other people's kits too much when I sit on them, but I've never gotten bent out of shape if another drummer playing my kit needs to re-arrange things. Even a lefty swap. Honestly, it doesn't take that long. We're talking like 3-5 min.
 
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Matt Bo Eder

Guest
Another peeve of mine is when people come up to me and ask to play. Like every gig is a party or something. What we do is actually work, you know? And unless the client wants us to let someone sit in, I'm reluctant to just let people come up and play. We don't know if these people can play, or if they're going to make everybody stop dancing, etc.,...what is with that anyway?

I think I posted in some other thread, a young man came up to me in the late 80s, and asks if he can 'jam', then holds up a picture of Michael Anthony from Van Halen and declares to me that that's his 'cousin'. Right, buddy. Who cares? I wasn't about to let some untested amateur take over the best seat in the house while it's rocking' and making money for the owner. Where do these people come from?
 

JimFiore

Silver Member
I never have this problem because people are just confused when they see my kit, lefties and righties alike. Kick, HH, snare, ride set up right handed. Toms set up left. HH is remote and I play open handed.

I like the low stuff on my left, like it is on the other instruments I play.

I'm a rightie at most things but a leftie when I vote.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
I almost never sit in with anyone, no matter how much they ask. There are a couple times I've given in, but it's rare. Mostly because I hate dealing with stuff like this, adjusting gear, etc.
 

Mikeyboyeee

Senior Member
Sorry to hear that Bo -- I typical NEVER approach a drummer to sit-in (left or right handed)... but I have a couple lefty friends who I'll sit-in on their kits and swapping FT/Snare&Hats is all I'll ever fool with -- if I was a little better playing open-handed, I'd just suck it up and go with it.

My experience has been that the more someone asks to sit-in (Lefty/Righty, doesn't matter) and the more they adjust/swap your kit around to suit them -- the more they suck... Just my experience - maybe I've been very unlucky!
 
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Matt Bo Eder

Guest
I hate to break it to you, but lefties can be just as bad when sitting in on a righty kit.

I have a theory that it's related to performance anxiety. Some people are very nervous about playing even when they're in their “comfort zone”. So if you give them some unfamiliar music or a setup they haven't practiced on, you could provoke a full-blown panic attack.

Mr. Eder, if you want to fly me out to Disneyland, this righty will gladly play your southpaw kit without changing a thing.
I don't deal with people who have performance issues. They're in the wrong business if they don't have their $&/! together. And get yourself out here. If you wanna cut it with me you can pay for it ;)
 

mikel

Platinum Member
If I was a Lefty I would have learned to play the kit right handed, Imagine how strong my snare hand would be now, playing conventional cross handed on the hi-hat. My right hand would also be super strong due to all the hi-hat and cymbal work, and having to lead right handed. Oh, if only.
 

drummerfish

Senior Member
i guess i'm lucky that i never had to use a righty kit for gigs were everyone used the same kit. and also lucky that no one attempted to play my kit because its set up lefty.

i only get on a righty kit if it was just some friends jamming, i was asked to show them something or setting up kits at namm, drum shows or back when i was a drum tech.

believe it or not, to me when i see a righty playing a lefty kit, it looks like they're not hitting things correctly. like it seems so foreign to them that its difficult to hit the kit. weird.
 

Headbanger

Senior Member
I hate to break it to you, but lefties can be just as bad when sitting in on a righty kit.

I have a theory that it's related to performance anxiety. Some people are very nervous about playing even when they're in their “comfort zone”. So if you give them some unfamiliar music or a setup they haven't practiced on, you could provoke a full-blown panic attack.

Mr. Eder, if you want to fly me out to Disneyland, this righty will gladly play your southpaw kit without changing a thing.
 
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