Yet another left-handed right-footed post/thread

Rochelle Rochelle

Senior Member
This is an issue that has gotten me upset for so long. I am left-handed. I do EVERYTHING left-handed. Why can't people do things with the hand that feels most comfortable to them? Why are we always expected to do everything right-handed? And if we don't, we're chastised for it because it's too hard and too difficult to make adjustments.

If you want to play drums, set your kit up left-handed and play that way. If you want to play baseball, buy a left-handed glove and walk up to the right side of the plate, put your left hand on top of the bat and hit the ball. Hold your tennis racket in your left hand. Buy left-handed golf clubs. Buy a left-handed guitar. Why is this such an issue? Why force yourself to do things that are uncomfortable and that will take way more time to master just so you can do it right-handed? I've never understood this concept.
 
This is an issue that has gotten me upset for so long. I am left-handed. I do EVERYTHING left-handed. Why can't people do things with the hand that feels most comfortable to them? Why are we always expected to do everything right-handed? And if we don't, we're chastised for it because it's too hard and too difficult to make adjustments.

If you want to play drums, set your kit up left-handed and play that way. If you want to play baseball, buy a left-handed glove and walk up to the right side of the plate, put your left hand on top of the bat and hit the ball. Hold your tennis racket in your left hand. Buy left-handed golf clubs. Buy a left-handed guitar. Why is this such an issue? Why force yourself to do things that are uncomfortable and that will take way more time to master just so you can do it right-handed? I've never understood this concept.
Naturally, I feel this. Problem is: I'm not a complete left-handed person. Upper body: left-handed. Except I've been playing the piano for 46 years now, so my right hand isn't completely useless. Still I do everything left - holding tools and enything that needs "feel". So a drumstick feels natural in my left, a foreign body in my right hand.

It's a bit more complicated below the belt. When I listen to a song I stomp the rhythm with my right foot, I do a running jump or kick a soccer ball with it, when I skate or ski I break with a turn to the right. If I were a kickboxer I'd kick with my left foot, though. Stepping on a kick pedal with my left foot doesn't fell too unnatural, but it jumbles my coordination. Stepping a Hi-Hat beat and playing kick drum at the same time just feels more natural when the Hi-Hat is at the left foot.

This MAY be the result of always fooling around on righty drum sets for all my life ever since. So it could be unlearned, I don't know. In the end it seems not better playing a righty setup, but it does feel less bad.

I do have lefty guitars and basses, though. But I could NEVER be comfortable using my "good" left hand on a fretboard - again the piano-thing I guess.

Just tried to get an outside view via your opinions and experiences here, not trying to be obtrusive and selling my life story :)
 

Rochelle Rochelle

Senior Member
Naturally, I feel this. Problem is: I'm not a complete left-handed person. Upper body: left-handed. Except I've been playing the piano for 46 years now, so my right hand isn't completely useless. Still I do everything left - holding tools and enything that needs "feel". So a drumstick feels natural in my left, a foreign body in my right hand.

It's a bit more complicated below the belt. When I listen to a song I stomp the rhythm with my right foot, I do a running jump or kick a soccer ball with it, when I skate or ski I break with a turn to the right. If I were a kickboxer I'd kick with my left foot, though. Stepping on a kick pedal with my left foot doesn't fell too unnatural, but it jumbles my coordination. Stepping a Hi-Hat beat and playing kick drum at the same time just feels more natural when the Hi-Hat is at the left foot.

This MAY be the result of always fooling around on righty drum sets for all my life ever since. So it could be unlearned, I don't know. In the end it seems not better playing a righty setup, but it does feel less bad.

I do have lefty guitars and basses, though. But I could NEVER be comfortable using my "good" left hand on a fretboard - again the piano-thing I guess.

Just tried to get an outside view via your opinions and experiences here, not trying to be obtrusive and selling my life story :)
I can understand some people may have a different foot preference than the hands, but I see so many teachers, coaches, etc try to get kids and even adults to use their right hands for everything without even asking the person what hand they prefer. When I started drum lessons (at 37) I told the instructor I was left-handed and that I wanted to play with a left-handed setup and he had no problem with it. It took all of a couple of minutes to switch things around at the music school and I was all the better for it.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
You can always set up the way you would set up a double bass kit lefty, just without the left kick. Your toms would be lefty and the bass still on the right. Check out Micky Dolenz setup. Same idea, just right hand left foot.

downloadfile-1.jpg
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
This is an issue that has gotten me upset for so long. I am left-handed. I do EVERYTHING left-handed. Why can't people do things with the hand that feels most comfortable to them? Why are we always expected to do everything right-handed? And if we don't, we're chastised for it because it's too hard and too difficult to make adjustments.

If you want to play drums, set your kit up left-handed and play that way. If you want to play baseball, buy a left-handed glove and walk up to the right side of the plate, put your left hand on top of the bat and hit the ball. Hold your tennis racket in your left hand. Buy left-handed golf clubs. Buy a left-handed guitar. Why is this such an issue? Why force yourself to do things that are uncomfortable and that will take way more time to master just so you can do it right-handed? I've never understood this concept.
Because it is more rewarding in the long run. I REALLY wish I had been required to play everything BOTH ways from the very beginning. Not just in drums, but in baseball and tennis too.
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
You can always set up the way you would set up a double bass kit lefty, just without the left kick. Your toms would be lefty and the bass still on the right. Check out Micky Dolenz setup. Same idea, just right hand left foot.

View attachment 93922
I think she said she needs the kick on her right foot, so that's not going to work. My science brain tells me it would be easier to retrain the hands than worry about balance issues with the larger muscle group involved in switching the feet. The kick is a dominant force in drumming. She can continue playing open handed on a righty kit while she practices leading with her right hand. I know I've practiced leading with my left on a ride/crash positioned above/left my hihat. It's not pretty but I think it can be done. And it might take better because it's a more "efficient" configuration - ie, it has to feel good on Karen's back and neck to allow her arms to cross.

Now you get to stay a righty Karen, and fit in with the rest of the crowd HA HA! :)
 
I can understand some people may have a different foot preference than the hands, but I see so many teachers, coaches, etc try to get kids and even adults to use their right hands for everything without even asking the person what hand they prefer. When I started drum lessons (at 37) I told the instructor I was left-handed and that I wanted to play with a left-handed setup and he had no problem with it. It took all of a couple of minutes to switch things around at the music school and I was all the better for it.
Oh, I well remember my first few days in school, when I was 6 years old. I got some hits with the teacher's cane on the "wrong hand" for writing lefty. In my naivité it took me a few days to tell my parents who immediately put me in another school where left-handed were welcome. It's better now, I think, but us lefties being a minority it's still a bit of a hassle to get lefty tools from time to time - they're just not produced in the same amount as righties'.
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
Yeah, Dolenz is completely backwards from what she wants. Mirror the image (IDK how) and its left handed right footed. Was just to show that there is a way to be one handed and the other footed.
Ok, I see now, sorry. You solved the high-to-low tom fill issue.

Though my comment is still valid for the kick. :)

EDIT: The other thing Karen can do is get a cheap kit to setup lefty and work both routes simultaneously to see which sticks faster.
 
Ok, I see now, sorry. You solved the high-to-low tom fill issue.

Though my comment is still valid for the kick. :)

EDIT: The other thing Karen can do is get a cheap kit to setup lefty and work both routes simultaneously to see which sticks faster.
Thing is: I actually DO have a cheap second kit, some discout Ludwig beginner set. :) It could be a space problem, though, setting both up. But could be worth a try
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
This is an issue that has gotten me upset for so long. I am left-handed. I do EVERYTHING left-handed. Why can't people do things with the hand that feels most comfortable to them? Why are we always expected to do everything right-handed? And if we don't, we're chastised for it because it's too hard and too difficult to make adjustments.

If you want to play drums, set your kit up left-handed and play that way. If you want to play baseball, buy a left-handed glove and walk up to the right side of the plate, put your left hand on top of the bat and hit the ball. Hold your tennis racket in your left hand. Buy left-handed golf clubs. Buy a left-handed guitar. Why is this such an issue? Why force yourself to do things that are uncomfortable and that will take way more time to master just so you can do it right-handed? I've never understood this concept.
Oh, I well remember my first few days in school, when I was 6 years old. I got some hits with the teacher's cane on the "wrong hand" for writing lefty.
This is an entirely different thing from writing, or any other one-handed activity. Playing the drums you have to develop both hands equally, and in terms of playing ability it really doesn't matter which orientation you choose. The natural advantage of playing your "dominant" hand on the hihat is negligible compared to the amount of practicing you have to do with both hands (or feet) to learn to play well. There are good left handed people who play drums righty (like me), and there are a few good right handed people who play drums lefty, for some reason. On instruments where there is no option to play left handed-- like piano-- there are plenty of skilled left-handed performers.

There are some good non-playing reasons to choose a right handed orientation over left handed-- for ease of sharing drum sets, or if a person ever wants to play rudimental percussion, mallet percussion, or timpani. Choosing unconventional hybrid orientations lead to the sort of problems we're seeing here, which you started the thread to talk about. Mainly, it's hard to find a satisfactory set up, it can take a lot of ingenuity/effort to do normal things, there are few competent teachers who teach it, and few books to help you figure it out.

My problem with this whole issue is with the teachers who are taking zero responsibility for the future of their students in advising them about this. They set them up with some jive orientation, teach them for a few months, and then throw them to the wolves to figure out what to do with the rest of their playing lives-- leaving it to other teachers to clean up after them, and figure out how to move these students forward. And of course the internet doesn't give a damn-- it's purely a factional argument, and nobody has any stake whatever if someone else learns how to play.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I'm right-handed, but I've been slowly teaching myself open-handed playing.

I injured my right side neck/shoulder area some time back, and while it's mostly better, playing open-handed reduces the pressure on my right side.

It's really just about putting in the time.

But there are no rules on how to set up. I've seen some people put their hi hat in the middle of their set, in front of the snare, so they can play it with either hand. Mike Mangini has hi-hats on both sides, with cables running to the opposite side (he controls the left hat with his right foot, and right hat with his left foot). Whatever makes you feel best.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
I have a friend, who is a local pro, who is right handed, but switched to lefty (completely, hands and feet) after breaking his right ankle as a teenager. A few months went by while the injury healed, and he still plays lefty to this day. Any ambidexterity he has, or had, doesn’t come through in his playing, that I can see. I thought he was born lefty until I saw him writing with his right hand.

I have a left handed student, who began lessons at age 45, and drums righty. It was a very well-considered decision we discussed thoroughly. At the studio where I teach, there are rehearsal rooms for bands, and my lesson room has two kits side by side. Also, the drum kit is shared on the school’s gigs/recitals. It really is a huge pain to flip the kits around.

This student is decidedly left handed; his right hand needed work, and it frustrated him. Six months into lessons, he flipped his kit around to lefty, at home. And he comes to the conclusion that he’s better, already, on a righty kit. Enough miles we’re already on the odometer. Two years later, he’s in two bands, and has sat in on my gigs.

I have a young student who is lefty, but wants to play snare in marching band one day. We learn righty because of the uniformity of appearance in a section.
 

Rochelle Rochelle

Senior Member
This is an entirely different thing from writing, or any other one-handed activity. Playing the drums you have to develop both hands equally, and in terms of playing ability it really doesn't matter which orientation you choose. The natural advantage of playing your "dominant" hand on the hihat is negligible compared to the amount of practicing you have to do with both hands (or feet) to learn to play well. There are good left handed people who play drums righty (like me), and there are a few good right handed people who play drums lefty, for some reason. On instruments where there is no option to play left handed-- like piano-- there are plenty of skilled left-handed performers.

There are some good non-playing reasons to choose a right handed orientation over left handed-- for ease of sharing drum sets, or if a person ever wants to play rudimental percussion, mallet percussion, or timpani. Choosing unconventional hybrid orientations lead to the sort of problems we're seeing here, which you started the thread to talk about. Mainly, it's hard to find a satisfactory set up, it can take a lot of ingenuity/effort to do normal things, there are few competent teachers who teach it, and few books to help you figure it out.

My problem with this whole issue is with the teachers who are taking zero responsibility for the future of their students in advising them about this. They set them up with some jive orientation, teach them for a few months, and then throw them to the wolves to figure out what to do with the rest of their playing lives-- leaving it to other teachers to clean up after them, and figure out how to move these students forward. And of course the internet doesn't give a damn-- it's purely a factional argument, and nobody has any stake whatever if someone else learns how to play.
While most drummers can develop their non-dominant hand/foot in order to play well, I bet most of them could not sustain a show or any other long session switching to the other configuration. Also, this is what I'm talking about when I say left-handed people are chastised for wanting to use their dominant hand when others say things like it's not to your advantage or it's too hard to share equipment or to change things around. It really isn't. It takes a few minutes to switch drum orientations or to bring your own equipment such as sporting equipment.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
While most drummers can develop their non-dominant hand/foot in order to play well, I bet most of them could not sustain a show or any other long session switching to the other configuration.
I guess I don't understand what you're saying here. All drummers who play well DO develop their "non-dominant" hand, regardless of whether it matches their orientation in playing the drums. Being able to play the drums backwards from your normal orientation is not an expected skill for ANY drummer.

Also, this is what I'm talking about when I say left-handed people are chastised for wanting to use their dominant hand when others say things like it's not to your advantage or it's too hard to share equipment or to change things around. It really isn't. It takes a few minutes to switch drum orientations or to bring your own equipment such as sporting equipment.
Sorry you take this as "chastising", it's just reality. Asking people to decide how they're going to play the drums without giving them complete information is irresponsible-- for a teacher to do it is malpractice.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I'm a righthander who drums with a traditional righthanded orientation, so the whole openhanded question is more academic to me than applied. I understand, however, how lefties are up against it in a world that perceives them as aberrant. I see nothing wrong with a lefty playing a lefthanded setup if doing so doesn't impose dire limitations upon him or her. In baseball, you don't see lefties playing second base, third base, or shortstop, as the turn necessary to make efficient throws to first base is too cumbersome from a mechanics standpoint. That's a problem, however, only if a lefty wants to play one of those positions. If not, maintaining a lefthanded orientation isn't an impediment at all. The same holds true for drumming. Phil Collins, for instance, hasn't suffered much from being lefthanded. That goes for lots of other drummers too.

Note: I concur completely that developing both hands (and both legs) with equal attention is compulsory if one is to be a well-rounded drummer.
 

Rochelle Rochelle

Senior Member
I guess I don't understand what you're saying here. All drummers who play well DO develop their "non-dominant" hand, regardless of whether it matches their orientation in playing the drums. Being able to play the drums backwards from your normal orientation is not an expected skill for ANY drummer.
I took your post to mean that everyone should develop the ability to play proficiently with either hand/foot. Sorry if that is not what you meant.


Sorry you take this as "chastising", it's just reality. Asking people to decide how they're going to play the drums without giving them complete information is irresponsible-- for a teacher to do it is malpractice.
As someone who has experienced this left-handed bordering-on-discrimination problem for 45 years, I feel it's not ok to force us to just live in a right-handed world. It doesn't have to be that way and all teachers/coaches should give students/players the option of playing however they feel comfortable doing. I think I have derailed this intent of this original post and I apologize to the OP.
 

Lee-Bro

Senior Member
1594066787476.png

I tried to use this cymbal on the right side of my set and it didn't work. Not a single sound could be generated from it until I put it on the left side of my kit. :ROFLMAO:


If you truly want to be ambidextrous, learn to wipe your butt w/ you non-dominant hand and have it not feel awkward.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
View attachment 93963

I tried to use this cymbal on the right side of my set and it didn't work. Not a single sound could be generated from it until I put it on the left side of my kit. :ROFLMAO:


If you truly want to be ambidextrous, learn to wipe your butt w/ you non-dominant hand and have it not feel awkward.
Ha! That ride was designed by Peter Erskine. He likes to use it to his left, thus its title. It should include a warning about the dangers of placing it in a traditional position.
 
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