A lot depends on how "lefty" the student is. I am a lefty, but do most things the way a right handed person does - exceptions are eating, writing, using scissors, or throwing a ball. If you have two kits where you teach, perhaps you could observe the student in both set ups.Present them with the two options, outline the consequences of either option, and let them make the decision.
I'm a lefty and play righty because socializing and making music with other musicians is more important to me than adhering to the notion of an optimal setup.
For me, leading with the right hand was infinitely more difficult than the limb interdependence required to play a right handed kit.
I also play right handed guitar and switch hit, but cannot for the life of me throw a ball right handed or use a right handed hockey stick.
Thank you for this. I will heed these words and start moving things around next time I get a lefty.Yeah, I've always switched kits around to left handed. Doesn't take long at all. In my old teaching studio I had enough room for two kits, so I had one of them set up lefty as I had about five lefty students. I just played the lefty kit with my other students obviously.
I really don't like the argument that making a lefty play righty will create a better, more ambidextrous drummer. Why don't righties play lefty if that's the case? I can't see the people saying that ever making their right handed students play left handed. If that was the case, and it makes better drummers, why wouldn't they do that? It's a cop out and comes across to me as an excuse for the teacher to stay in their comfort zone rather than help the student achieve their goals in the easiest, most natural way possible.
I have had a few lefty students come over having learned right handed and I found you can often see them wanting to lead with their left hand for fills (or they just naturally do) and it was just obvious they naturally wanted to go with their left hand. So I would give them a shot at playing the lefty kit for a bit and they always preferred it and made the switch. Their left foot was nearly always as coordinated as their right foot immediately on switching too, or very soon after, which again shows that there seems to be an obvious natural preference and coordination that would be an advantage to them.
I think of it like this...How would I have felt being made to learn on a left handed kit? Would I been more comfortable on a left handed or right handed kit? A tiny inconvenience to myself seems worth it to set up a good drummer for life. There will always be exceptions, as Todd pointed out, but I think that most left handed players would prefer to do it lefty, just as most righties prefer to do it right handed.
Claus would win-- he has a lot more invested in this than I do.I'm really neither for or against open handed playing, and
with that being said:
I'd love to hear a discussion between yourself and Claus Hessler .
Hey, I went ahead and wrote a rebuttal to that thing. It boils down to: if handedness is so important, why are there so many good left-handed pianists?Here's an interesting take on the issue:
I tend to think this way as well. Right handed piano players don't get to forego difficult parts because they're written for the left hand and vice versa. For right handed string players the left hand does the very complex task of fretting/tuning. Don't even get me started on organists.I think which hand they write with is basically irrelevant to drumming. I'm left handed, and play right handed; I know one other professional who is right handed, but plays left handed. If they're a beginner, or near beginner, I have them play right-handed-- or I strongly recommend it, if they have an opinion/preference. I've have had good results with that, with zero/little adjustment period. I think teaching a beginner to play "open-handed" is malpractice-- that's a decision the student should make for himself once he's experienced enough to understand the issues involved.
If they're more than a year in, and are playing left handed, I go ahead and switch the drums around.
That may be true with writing, but in that case there's a language expression component that isn't involved in playing a musical instrument.Forcing a true lefty to go right (for a young enough student) can actually "shatter" the lateralization and even cause someone to have a permanent stutter. You have to be pretty extreme (studies here focus on lefties forced to write with the right) but it actually be a bad idea. For these drummers, a mirror image kit is generally best.
Whoops, I missed this before I commented, but as happens a lot, we're very much on the same wavelength. Nice post.
If I get the student from scratch, I'll sometimes try a left-handed set up with them to see how they get on if they're really struggling on a right-handed kit but that's not always the case and it's not always practicable as when, for instance, I'm teaching groups. If they've been on a right-handed kit for awhile, I stick with that usually. I had to play my father's left-handed kit as a righty (I used to move the ride cymbal but play with reversed feet) some of the time when I was young and I do think it helped my playing.I really don't like the argument that making a lefty play righty will create a better, more ambidextrous drummer. Why don't righties play lefty if that's the case? I can't see the people saying that ever making their right handed students play left handed. If that was the case, and it makes better drummers, why wouldn't they do that? It's a cop out and comes across to me as an excuse for the teacher to stay in their comfort zone rather than help the student achieve their goals in the easiest, most natural way possible.
This used to be a theory, almost 100 years ago (the 1930s), but neuroscience has come a long way since then. Stutterers obviously suffer from a neurological issue, but it's most definitely not caused by hand-switching, forced or otherwise.Forcing a true lefty to go right (for a young enough student) can actually "shatter" the lateralization and even cause someone to have a permanent stutter.