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  #1  
Old 07-30-2017, 04:21 AM
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Default Question regarding 'leftism'

Hi general forum!

I'm sure this has been discussed before, but me and my wife (both rightist musicians) had a discussion this evening and I couldn't seem to find any comprehensive forum ponderance online.

There's a lot of left-handed drummers on this forum with their lefty (or "links" as we say in Europe) setups. Also most lefty guitarists seem to use purpose-made left-hand guitars.

So my question is simply: Does turning around your instrument really make it easier to learn when you're a kid and the whole thing is alien to you anyway? With completely untrained limbs and fingers, wouldn't you be able to learn stuff just as good on a right-hand drum set or guitar?

We have players like Billy Cobham and Mark Knopfler who are left handed but are experts on right-handed instruments (although Billy mostly plays time with his left hand). Is their any reason why the "weak" hand should be inherently better to use as the snare or fretting hand on drums and guitar respectively?

I assume there are lots of virtouoso left-handed keyboard players within every genre. Even though they don't make reverse pianos!

Is there really any reason for kids to learn on "links" drums or guitars?

Discuss please!!
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Old 07-30-2017, 04:46 AM
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Default Re: Question regarding 'leftism'

Good evening, Sven.

Back in my junior-high days, the music teacher approached myself, along with two other band members in my class to visit an out of town school one weekend to work with students who didn't have a dedicated music program, so off we went.

As it was, the drummer I worked with that weekend was a lefty, and there was no convincing him to play a right-handed set-up, so I accommodated the backwards kit and recall becoming quite relaxed and efficient at playing that way by the end of the first day, granted, I already had seven some years under my belt by then, but I'm absolutely convinced either/or can be learned and mastered at the start.

As for the weak hand being reserved as the main snare hand, I don't think so, hence my belief of showing no favouritism to any single limb when learning.
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Old 07-30-2017, 05:00 AM
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Default Re: Question regarding 'leftism'

I'm a lefty on both drums and guitar. When I was a kid (about 13) I took classical guitar lessons right-handed. I got used to it pretty quickly but gave up learning the guitar at that point. When I hit my 40s, I decided I wanted to play the guitar again; this time I did it my way, as a lefty! Now I don't necessarily consider myself a guitarist, I don't perform with it or anything - I just know enough to play what I want and enjoy it. I used to have a left-handed Fender Strat, but I traded that for a couple of Paiste cymbals. I still have my Alvarez acoustic guitar and an old Pimentel classical guitar that I had the nut and side finger markers changed to suit my lefty-ness. Both beautiful guitars!

Now drums, I have always been a lefty drummer. Could I have learned the other way? Sure, but I didn't want to. I don't like being forced to alter the way I am programmed to do things because the vast majority of people are dominant with their other hand - I'm stubborn like that. It does make it difficult to play another drummer's kit, but I'm not bothered by that.
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Old 07-30-2017, 05:48 AM
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Default Re: Question regarding 'leftism'

All of the right handers who will respond about how well they do on a lefty kit should go and switch their kits to lefty immediately before an important show. No complaining! Nur links! Only Lefty!

This is the only way the argument lurking beneath the surface gets anyone to actually change their mind. There is such a thing as handedness in music, witness the left-handed guitar. Lefthandedness was literally beaten out of American schoolchildren in the 30s and 40s if not later. My first teacher who happened to be lefty also taught me lefty and I've dealt with the consequences, believe me. Backlining is oh so joyous.

...
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Old 07-30-2017, 06:19 AM
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Default Re: Question regarding 'leftism'

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Originally Posted by 500 Kicks, No Pedal View Post
All of the right handers who will respond about how well they do on a lefty kit should go and switch their kits to lefty immediately before an important show.
Moot point.

OP question reads, "So my question is simply: Does turning around your instrument really make it easier to learn when you're a kid and the whole thing is alien to you anyway? With completely untrained limbs and fingers, wouldn't you be able to learn stuff just as good on a right-hand drum set or guitar"?

It's clear that the basis of this discussion revolves around early learning, not someone who has already established right or left dominance.
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Old 07-30-2017, 06:21 AM
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Default Re: Question regarding 'leftism'

I recall receiving my first kit at the age of 14 or 15 (I had been playing in the school concert band for a few years, so I wasn't a complete novice) and just feeling... a bit off on a right handed kit. I stuck with it in that configuration for a month or two, but I never felt comfortable until I started moving things around and got into a more lefty configuration. suppose that since I already had some training, I can't answer in the frame of the original question, as I had already developed some muscle memory prior to having a kit.

Could I have stuck with it and learned differently? Perhaps, but playing righty was sucking all the joy out of playing so I may have just quit entirely. Setting up and playing left handed was just fun; I could almost instantly start emulating some of the songs I was into. So, my personal experience is that the value lies in having fun.

These days I can navigate around a righty kit fairly well, as long as I'm set up open handed, but I can lead either way with some confidence. My biggest weakness is my footwork, I can't always seem to combat my instincts, and I certainly just don't have the nimbleness on my right foot for doing doubles or triples on the bass drum. I would never play righty when it matters, inconvenient back-lining be damned.

Interestingly enough, I naturally play stringed instruments right handed.
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Old 07-30-2017, 06:27 AM
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Default Re: Question regarding 'leftism'

Then no, it wouldn't seem that way if Knopfler or Ringo learned right handed, which they did. Was that from childhood do you think?
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Old 07-30-2017, 06:40 AM
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Default Re: Question regarding 'leftism'

Here is what I believe:
When we start life there is no weak hand. We train one hand to be weaker than the other. Or should I say we favor one hand over the other. We do more things, more often, with our favored hand. Therefore it develops differently.

If you switched everything you do with your hands you would eventually switch your favored (stronger) hand. If you are right handed and you did all of your right handed stuff with your left hand, eventually you would become left handed. Brushing your teeth, opening doors, writing, waving goodbye, etc. The older you get the longer this would take.

If you want to develop both hands so that you have no “weaker” hand then you need to start performing the same duties on both hands. Several years ago I hurt my right shoulder. So I started operating the computer mouse with my left hand. At first it was difficult. Slowly I became really good operating the mouse with my left hand. An amazing thing happened; I noticed that my left hand became better at playing ghost notes on my snare drum.

You can start out, as a new player, playing drums left handed or right handed it does not matter. You will develop your technique to the same degree no matter if you start out playing left handed or right handed. Your example of the piano is perfect. And it proves this theory. Left handed piano players are just as good as right handed piano players.

By the way. In drumming, I think the hand that primarily plays the snare drum (back beat) does more work than the other hand that plays on the ride cymbal and the hi hat. The snare drum hand has more responsibility and is responsible for ghost notes and groove. I think it would make more sense for a right handed person to learn to play the drums in a left handed set up. Thereby using their right hand (stronger hand) to play the back beat on the snare drum. Just sayin’ !


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Old 07-30-2017, 06:42 AM
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Default Re: Question regarding 'leftism'

As a left-hander (your use of the term, "leftism" makes it sound like we have some kind of disease), the only practical reason for learning how to play right-handed would be in your ability to sit-in on other people's drums without much fuss.

I get your argument about having to learn piano the way it is built (and I've done that too), but the drum set is not built like a piano. It's designed to be adapted to how ever the player wants to use it.

Getting back to sitting in, this would be good providing you sounded good. I had a teacher who stressed that I'm better off learning how to play left-handed because my rhythm was more dominant in my left hand. It was also more dominant in my left-foot. Having me play like I was afflicted with rightism (see what I did there?) would just slow me down to the real task of making music while on a set of drums.

And this was put to the test when I joined a drum & bugle corps when I was 15, and forced myself to play right-handed so I could compete and play with all the other kids. When my d&b, and drum instruction days were over, I had to re-train my hands to get back to my leftism. Now, in my 50s, I can look back at that and say, "I wasted a lot of time having to go through that".

When I encounter kids who naturally lead with their left side, I present the practical advice of being able to sit-in, as well as the natural advice of possibly being a better player by not forcing yourself into playing a way that is not natural to you, and let them decide. If I forced them to go one way or the other, it'll just frustrate the situation, and picking up to learn a new musical instrument, especially the drums, is already daunting - if not in commitment, then in expense too. Being a musician is already hard, don't make it harder and see them quit, you know?

When I took guitar lessons, a guitar player friend said the same thing, that my rhythm is in my left hand, and rhythm is more important in the beginning. Because the only way you get to be inspired to continue on is by hearing yourself imitate and perform songs you want to play. Being able to nail the rhythms made the chord changes easier to navigate. It was because of my good sense of rhythm that it allowed me to perform in public on guitar and singing much quicker than I was actually ready for (and I only did two Beatles songs). But that's the point, isn't it?

I get this could be an argument that could go on for decades (and probably has been, since you've brought it up), and I'm sure there's some real good academic theories and advice to be discussed on the topic. But let's face it, music is all about communication of a joy one has, and it has to get out. Making someone take extra steps to satisfy their teacher (by doing it unnaturally) just adds time and would be a musical turn-off to a lot of youngsters. We need more young people taking up instruments and learning how to play - so however they want to play so they're comfortable is where I'm at. We already have too many kids who are great at Guitar Hero and other fantasy video games. We need more kids actually achieving stuff - like learning how to play an instrument, or actually participating in martial arts (instead of fantasy shoot-em up video games), no?
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Old 07-30-2017, 06:53 AM
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Default Re: Question regarding 'leftism'

My teacher also approached the teaching/learning lefty issue the same as Matt Bo Eder. He presented the future hassles as best as I could understand them at the time and we went from there.

Last edited by 500 Kicks, No Pedal; 07-30-2017 at 06:57 AM. Reason: clarity
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Old 07-30-2017, 08:57 AM
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Default Re: Question regarding 'leftism'

Looks like I'm the only open-handed lefty to respond so far.... I feel strongly that my ability to have a professional music career would be significantly impeded if I didn't make the (wise) decision to learn how to play on a right-handed kit. The amount of times per week I need to sit on someone elses setup within a 15 minute window is hilarious. And there's enough to do in that window where I don't need to deal with completely flipping a kit around 2 times. Being open-handed gets almost the best of both worlds; I can play anywhere, and my 'weaker' hand is pretty damn strong with all the ride-work that comes with drumming.

Put practically, if I summed up all the time required to constantly change a righty setup to lefty, it would FAR outweigh anytime required to build up rhythmic ability in both limbs.

And, speaking of rhythmic ability favoring one side, most would argue being strong rhythmically in either limb is vital to being strong rhythmically period. You're only as strong as your weakest link. I don't think many would make a case that being able to play a lefty setup vs. righty is vital to good drumming though.
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Old 07-30-2017, 09:09 AM
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Default Re: Question regarding 'leftism'

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Originally Posted by jdhardrummer View Post
Looks like I'm the only open-handed lefty to respond so far.... I feel strongly that my ability to have a professional music career would be significantly impeded if I didn't make the (wise) decision to learn how to play on a right-handed kit. The amount of times per week I need to sit on someone elses setup within a 15 minute window is hilarious. And there's enough to do in that window where I don't need to deal with completely flipping a kit around 2 times. Being open-handed gets almost the best of both worlds; I can play anywhere, and my 'weaker' hand is pretty damn strong with all the ride-work that comes with drumming.

Put practically, if I summed up all the time required to constantly change a righty setup to lefty, it would FAR outweigh anytime required to build up rhythmic ability in both limbs.

And, speaking of rhythmic ability favoring one side, most would argue being strong rhythmically in either limb is vital to being strong rhythmically period. You're only as strong as your weakest link. I don't think many would make a case that being able to play a lefty setup vs. righty is vital to good drumming though.
In my case, whenever I was invited to sit in, I never flipped the whole kit. I'd just flip the hi hat and snare. The floor tom either also got flipped or just moved out of the way. I can groove a band with just the essentials. Your argument for the practical side, as I said, does make sense, I was just pointing out that people should feel comfortable however they want to play without the pressure of having to fit in thinking about starting a career. The joy of just playing should trump "why" I set up like I do first - that's what other people will notice and remember more than the hassle of taking three minutes to flip around what I need.
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Old 07-30-2017, 09:37 AM
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Default Re: Question regarding 'leftism'

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Originally Posted by Matt Bo Eder View Post
In my case, whenever I was invited to sit in, I never flipped the whole kit. I'd just flip the hi hat and snare. The floor tom either also got flipped or just moved out of the way. I can groove a band with just the essentials. Your argument for the practical side, as I said, does make sense, I was just pointing out that people should feel comfortable however they want to play without the pressure of having to fit in thinking about starting a career. The joy of just playing should trump "why" I set up like I do first - that's what other people will notice and remember more than the hassle of taking three minutes to flip around what I need.
I completely agree with you on the joy part... if it's a tradeoff between someone getting turned off from playing just because of handism, it makes zero sense to force it. Perhaps I would offer a little 'nudge' if they are starting off from a neutral point. For most, it's all 'uncomfortable' at the beginning for most, so I tend to agree with the OP that it won't affect the joy angle too much for most.

Interestingly enough, I have no idea what the lead-hand of my 2 year old is and he continually confuses me playing the drums, but I have a feeling he's a lefty too so I'll carry out some experiments on him and report back :)
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Old 07-30-2017, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by jdhardrummer View Post
I completely agree with you on the joy part... if it's a tradeoff between someone getting turned off from playing just because of handism, it makes zero sense to force it. Perhaps I would offer a little 'nudge' if they are starting off from a neutral point. For most, it's all 'uncomfortable' at the beginning for most, so I tend to agree with the OP that it won't affect the joy angle too much for most.

Interestingly enough, I have no idea what the lead-hand of my 2 year old is and he continually confuses me playing the drums, but I have a feeling he's a lefty too so I'll carry out some experiments on him and report back :)
When I was four, it never occurred to me about the open-handed way - I had seen too many Ringo and Buddy Rich telecasts by then and was convinced about crossing over of hands. I would love to play open-handed, I'd just have to get my feet together - which may be easier than getting my hands together - but at 51, it may be too late since I'm busy enough playing out the way I already do. It just wouldn't be right to subject bands I sub in to my right-footed experiments ;)
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Old 07-30-2017, 06:01 PM
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Default Re: Question regarding 'leftism'

I would think that If you had never sat at a kit or held a guitar before, in your life, and an instructor showed you how to play it, right handed, and you were a lefty,you would have no problem. If the guitar was a left hander and they gave it to a predominantly right handed person, they would still learn at the same rate as they would if the instruments were the other way round.

I was all fingers and thumbs when first learning to play guitar, It would have been the same If I had started playing it left handed. Its all about muscle memory. I can play drums left or right handed but only because I practiced both ways for a personal bet.
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Old 07-30-2017, 07:46 PM
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Default Re: Question regarding 'leftism'

I would not know if I ever had a propensity to become left handed. I was born in 1949 and in school everyone was taught to write with their right hand.
And at home my Dad's drum set was set up for right handed playing. And at 3 or 4 years old I just copied what my Daddy did.


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Old 07-30-2017, 08:19 PM
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Default Re: Question regarding 'leftism'

I see leftism as a philosophy and leftitis as a disease. Ringo's blames his grandmother for forcing him to play right handed.
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Old 07-30-2017, 08:48 PM
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Default Re: Question regarding 'leftism'

I served in the British forces during the 80s when they changed from SLR to the SA80 as the standard rifle - unlike the SLR the SA80 CANNOT be used lefty style as the bolt will shatter your cheekbone. Through necessity I did get used to it and reasonably proficient in marksmanship, although in 15 years I never became fully comfortable with the damn thing and found it awkward and cumbersome to manoeuvre on my right hand side - so my reactions were slower and in 'unfortunate' circumstances I would have been at a disadvantage. I asked the other lefties about their experiences with the SA80 and the responses were about 50/50, half adjusted fairly quickly, the other half (like me) didn't and would have preferred something that wasn't procured by cretins who didn't realise that 13% of Brits are left handed.

As for drums - I when I got my first kit I tried setting up both lefty and righty but very quickly found lefty setups more comfortable and intuitive for me and have stuck with it. I've read a few suggestions that it doesn't matter - if a lefty learns on a righty set their progress would be exactly the same as if they had reversed the kit for a lefty setup - and for some people this appears to be true. This was definitely not the case for me - however I started at age 55! Maybe if I'd started much earlier right-handed setups would not have been so problematic.
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Old 07-30-2017, 09:04 PM
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Default Re: Question regarding 'leftism'

I'm a lefty, playing open-handed on a righty kit, with the hi hat on the left and the ride on my right. When I started playing, my teacher let me try to play both ways, and I felt more comfortable using my right foot on the bass drum, but riding with my left. So I started playing open handed on a righty kit, but he/we kept the ride to the right, and I had to practice every exersize both on the hi hat and the ride, making both my hands more or less equally "useable". Even when I had to do pure snare drum exersizes, I always had to learn to play them leading with both left and right hand.
What I find interesting is that I've always found it difficult to play with the ride to the left; leading with the left on the ride, while I feel equally comfortable playing the hi hat with both hands. It just feel "weird" playing the ride with my left hand. I do lead naturally with my right playing fills, though.
A good drummer and friend of mine is also a lefty, and he played open-handed on a righty kit, including the ride to the left. After playing for more than 20 years, he finally decided that "enough is enough", he was never quite comfortable playing that way, flipped the kit around and started playing a lefty kit. He spent a year or two until he felt his left foot was good enough on a bass drum pedal, and not mixing thing up when playing open/closed hi hat patterns. But he finally had "come home" after switching to a lefty kit.
To answer the OP's question: I think different lefties will have different solutions. Playing the piano is maybe not the best example for this lefty/righty discussion, since both hands are doing the same motions. It's more interesting that there are no lefty string instruments! How many lefty violinists have you ever seen?
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Old 07-30-2017, 09:44 PM
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.... It's more interesting that there are no lefty string instruments! How many lefty violinists have you ever seen?
I believe since stringed instruments like violins are ancient relatively to drum sets, this is where the equally ancient "play it the way it is" approach take precedent. And most people begin learning violin when they're very young and as was already argued, what kid would know the difference? However, I think string students have a more difficult time learning because they spend years making unattractive sounds so it takes special parents and kids to tackle those.
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Old 07-30-2017, 09:58 PM
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Default Re: Question regarding 'leftism'

I am fairly new to drumming, but I have been playing guitar for almost 40 years. I am right-handed, and yet my left hand does most of the work on a right-handed guitar. Somehow my "weak" hand is able to do complex chord changes, and rip out blazing solos---because that is how I learned to play! One of the best drummers I know (also my teacher) can't even write his name with his right hand, but plays a right-handed kit because that is how HE learned to play! If you play left handed it's because that's how YOU learned to play!
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Old 07-30-2017, 11:02 PM
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Default Re: Question regarding 'leftism'

I am very left handed and right footed, so I play a right-handed kit open handed. I tried setting up left handed, but it seemed awkward to me. When I was young, before I was a drummer, I always kicked a ball with my right foot. So I set up like this:
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Old 07-31-2017, 01:15 AM
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Default Re: Question regarding 'leftism'

[quote=VitalTransformation;1514995]Hi general forum!



So my question is simply: Does turning around your instrument really make it easier to learn when you're a kid and the whole thing is alien to you anyway? With completely untrained limbs and fingers, wouldn't you be able to learn stuff just as good on a right-hand drum set or guitar?

I'm pretty much left handed in everything. I've learned a lot of right handed things on the drum set, just to make me a better player, but not to play right handed per say. I think for a left handed beginner, who has never played drums before, they would still favor a left handed kit. I say that because in everything else in life they've established their left hand as their primary hand. The most important, or the one they use the most. So it seems to me that would be the hand they would use the most on the drum set, which would be the hand that they ride with and lead on fills. I really don't know how long I played left handed before my mother found me a teacher, I don't think more than a yr. I was around 10 or 11 yrs. old. The teacher was left handed who played right handed and wanted me to play right handed. I tried it for a little while and gave up. I think I had 2 lessons for him. Those were all the lessons I've had. That was in 1970.
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Old 07-31-2017, 02:32 AM
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Default Re: Question regarding 'leftism'

Full lefty here, on everything except the drums. Right kicker.

I had to learn overhand righty for convenience (school teacher would not let me shift to lefty setup), and now I would never trade my good left hand playing with full control on the snare for the weaker one. That one is for ride and hh.

I did tend to start fills with my left hand, but got corrected quickly enough to avoid turning into a habit.

But having to work twice as hard in the beginning contributed to the way I play today, so I would not have it any other way.
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Old 07-31-2017, 04:58 AM
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Default Re: Question regarding 'leftism'

I'm left handed and learned how to play on a right handed kit but with the ride cymbal on the left side. I am not inherently coordinated and had to work very hard to learn to play drums (started when I was 10, I'm 46 now).

I am very glad that I didn't learn on a lefty kit because now I'm often either playing at jams where the house kit is set up right handed or I'm playing with my band on a kit in a practice space that is set up right handed. If I can, I'll move the ride to the left side; if I can't I just ride on the crash cymbal. Not ideal, but overall it has worked for me.

Sometimes wish I learned to lead with both hands, but I'll fully admit that would have taken me a lot of work at the expense of learning other things, like developing my time keeping. I agree with those that say it's really good to learn how to lead with both hands, but I would say the most important thing to learn as a drummer is how to consistently keep steady time. Even now there are a lot of drummers at jams or in other bands that have better chops than me, but I get asked to be in the house band at jams and play in bands over those guys because people tell me I keep steady time and that's ultimately what they want from a drummer.
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  #26  
Old 07-31-2017, 06:43 AM
Matt Bo Eder
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Default Re: Question regarding 'leftism'

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Originally Posted by pfastfoot View Post

Sometimes wish I learned to lead with both hands, but I'll fully admit that would have taken me a lot of work at the expense of learning other things, like developing my time keeping. I agree with those that say it's really good to learn how to lead with both hands, but I would say the most important thing to learn as a drummer is how to consistently keep steady time. Even now there are a lot of drummers at jams or in other bands that have better chops than me, but I get asked to be in the house band at jams and play in bands over those guys because people tell me I keep steady time and that's ultimately what they want from a drummer.
^^This.

And I totally believe that you must learn how to be comfortable behind whatever kit you have, however way you want to play it. That's the beauty of the drum set: you can set it up however you want.

The great Alan Dawson said in an old interview that he encounters drummers with incredible chops all the time. But have them hit two drums at once in a simple direct manner and no one can seem to do that. Getting back to basics and learning how to really lay down the time is still the drummer's job in my book.
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  #27  
Old 07-31-2017, 02:27 PM
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Default Re: Question regarding 'leftism'

While in college I took an archery course just for yucks. Because my left eye was my better eye, and since I had never shot a bow, I learned the whole process left handed and did very well. Was also watching golf on TV yesterday and they spot lighted a golfer whose kids wanted to learn, they were younger than ten, did everything right handed but dad was left handed and they learned to play left handed and were proficient to say the least.
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  #28  
Old 07-31-2017, 03:13 PM
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Default Re: Question regarding 'leftism'

I have had this discussion several times with the bassist in my band (who is a lefty). What I have decided is that the dominant hand is just naturally better at keeping rhythm. It would seem that as a guitarist you would want you fretting hand to be your dominant given the needed dexterity, but people naturally keep rhythm better with that hand, so we have adapted the instrument so the weak hand actually does the more dexterous work. Its the same with the drums, while the snare hand would seem to be more important, its actually the high-hat, or ride hand that is more important in time keeping. This is why even as kids learning the instruments we tend to play the instruments when our dominant hands in the typical positions.
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  #29  
Old 07-31-2017, 05:29 PM
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Default Re: Question regarding 'leftism'

I am a complete lefty at everything I do and I started playing drums at 37 well after my left hand and left foot had become dominate at everything I do. Maybe if I had started as a child I might have been able to learn as a righty.

I immediately setup my kit as a lefty and even when I took lessons I switched the kit around when I got there and the teacher had no problem with it. It is definitely much more comfortable for me and I just play at home so no problem with having to sit in on a righty kit.
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  #30  
Old 07-31-2017, 08:39 PM
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Default Re: Question regarding 'leftism'

Quote:
Here is what I believe:
When we start life there is no weak hand. We train one hand to be weaker than the other. Or should I say we favor one hand over the other. We do more things, more often, with our favored hand. Therefore it develops differently.
There is evidence that handedness is genetic. We don't know which genes, or how many, impact handedness. But there is evidence that preference for the right hand has been present for half a million years. Even some primates seem to demonstrate a preference for the right hand.

There's still a lot we don't know, but it seems to be about more than just how we're taught.
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  #31  
Old 07-31-2017, 11:32 PM
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Default Re: Question regarding 'leftism'

Weird that we aren't wired to be symmetrical, eh? We have body symmetry, but not use-symmetry.

What evolutionary gain caused handed-ness to prevail in the grand scheme of human development...

Or animal development, for that matter. My cat is right handed/pawed.
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  #32  
Old 08-01-2017, 01:54 AM
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Default Re: Question regarding 'leftism'

It may be in our brains. We only use a small percentage of what our brains are capable of. If we could use our brains to a fuller extent, we might not favor one hand over the other. We could have great motor skills with all parts of our bodies. When I was around 5 yr. old my older teenage brother had an electric guitar (right handed of coarse). When I held it I held like a lefty. It's just natural for me. Even though the only exposure to the guitar was through my right handed bro. Everything about me has been lefty all my life. I weld right handed some now days to make certain jobs easier, but it sure doesn't look like my lefty welding. Same with drumming, but the drumming is getting better.
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  #33  
Old 08-01-2017, 06:53 AM
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Default Re: Question regarding 'leftism'

I'm left-handed with writing and using a fork. But righty with everything else.

It is FAR more natural for me to lead with my left hand in drumming. I can just feel it when I play. The body wants to do what it wants to do. And unless you buy a double-bass pedal, right or left doesn't matter setting up anyway, hardware-wise.

But I'm also blind in my left eye and I cannot deal with the illusion of my left hand's stick looking as though it will whack me in the face all day playing quarter-notes lefty. Lack of depth-perception sucks.

So I set up righty and deal with it.

It actually really bothers me to watch lefty drummers like Rod Morgenstein. Although it was really cool to watch him and Van Romaine playing mirrored drums at the same time that one DD/SMB tour.
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  #34  
Old 01-12-2018, 11:57 PM
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Default Re: Question regarding 'leftism'

I'm just bumping my thread just to thank you guys for all the incredible replies! I started this thread just before taking a little break from internet forums and just forgot it existed.

And Matt: I put "leftism" in the title as a bit of humor just to attract some interest to my thread, not to implicate any sort of disease or disability... Notice in my OP I declared both my wife and myself as suffering from "rightism"..!

But reading through this thread right now is a real learning experience!
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  #35  
Old 01-13-2018, 01:30 AM
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Default Re: Question regarding 'leftism'

Can I still get in on this? Lol...

Right-eye dominant "lefty"..

Never had lessons when I started, but as a grade school (forced into it) trumpet player wanna-be drummer, my only exposure to a real live drum get was at school...

At 14 I bought a bass drum, mounted tom, and snare drum off a classmate.
Took them home and set them up... Bass drum on the right, hi hat on the left. Didn't have a ride or crash cymbal. Put a record on and started banging away.
LEFT hand on hat...RIGHT hand on snare... And off I went.

Six months later...got a Rogers five piece with two 18" Zildjian crash rides...
I could ride on the left or ride on the right lol.....

But...BUT! I never developed my left hand to do more than straight 16th notes, no spang-a-lang, no doubles, no ghost notes, etc. Any "finesse" work (to this day) mostly has to be done by the right hand... (Get a teacher when you are young kids!). This slso means that I have learned to cross over by necessity if I want to play any decent pattern on the hats.

Today I am in the process of developing my left hand. And that obviously, wiuld have been much easier at 14 than it is today at 55! Lol
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  #36  
Old 01-13-2018, 03:28 AM
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Default Re: Question regarding 'leftism'

I'm a righty and I'm 40.

The last couple of months I've been playing not only open handed a lot, but full lefty, too.

The main point was to get my left hand more in shape, especially match grip as I'm mostly a trad player. The jazz ride was the hardest. French grip on the left still needs some work. Playing bassdrum with the left, being used to playing melodies on the hats, really doesn't make much of a difference to me, though. It really doesn't.

I guess some find this to be a silly thing to practice, but it really is just a bit of independence work that has a tremendous effect on bringing the weak side up at the same level. Seems to work well for me.

The simplest and most fun way, for me anyway, is to do something about that 4 to 1 ratio. Just makes me feel more balanced and confident about playing in general. Combined with mostly groove based improvisatonl pracice these days I definetly feel it helps. A lot.
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  #37  
Old 01-13-2018, 08:13 AM
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Default Re: Question regarding 'leftism'

Lefty here that grew up in a musical family, so all right handed instruments. Playing righty makes social interaction and gear sharing a lot easier.

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