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Thread: Grand daughter is a Lefty - Help needed converting RH to LH

  1. #1

    Default Grand daughter is a Lefty - Help needed converting RH to LH

    Grand daughter is growing up to be a lefty. She is just shy of being 4 years old and I am planning to pick up a Rouge RM-100A for her. I can get a brand new one for less than $65 delivered to my door. I had planned to switch the strings over from RH to LH and just got to thinking I need to flip the bridge as well??
    RDB8847

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  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grand daughter is a Lefty - Help needed converting RH to LH

    You need to replace the nut and the bridge top. Simply flipping the bridge will cause the intonation to be off. People convert right handed A style mandolins to left all the time. The only other issue will be the side dots on the fingerboard will be on the bottom of the neck. You can add dots to the top fairly easily.

    http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Luth...ots/dots1.html
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    Registered User Greg Mirken's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grand daughter is a Lefty - Help needed converting RH to LH

    Speaking from the point of view of a left-handed person who plays in the so-called right handed manner, I'd ask you if she were interested in piano would you look for a left-handed one?
    Both hands must work in unison on any fretted instrument. If anything, the fretting hand does more complicated moves than the picking hand. For someone experiencing an instrument at that early age, it doesn't matter left-or-right handed. Don't even bring up the subject.
    Oh, and you can't just turn the bridge around; you have to buy a mirror-image bridge.
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  5. #4

    Default Re: Grand daughter is a Lefty - Help needed converting RH to LH

    I switched from left to right as a teen. My older brother had restrung his old Airline to lefty for me. When i wanted a better guitar like my buddies had, i couldn't find a lefty so i bought a righty. I don't remember the switch being difficult.

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    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grand daughter is a Lefty - Help needed converting RH to LH

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    You need to replace the nut and the bridge top. Simply flipping the bridge will cause the intonation to be off. People convert right handed A style mandolins to left all the time. The only other issue will be the side dots on the fingerboard will be on the bottom of the neck. You can add dots to the top fairly easily.
    What about the bass bar? Is it symmetrical or not?
    Does that model mandolin even have any?

    Good advice, though.

  7. #6

    Default Re: Grand daughter is a Lefty - Help needed converting RH to LH

    Good for you grandpa, see if she likes playing and then check out Jerry’s lefty Guitars - just scroll down for the mandos - when shes ready for an upgrade. Im a lefty playing righty and I sure wish I had started as a lefty and not been forced to play righty.

    https://www.jerrysleftyguitars.com/l...directory.html
    Northfield F5M #268, AT02 #7

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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grand daughter is a Lefty - Help needed converting RH to LH

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Mirken View Post
    Speaking from the point of view of a left-handed person who plays in the so-called right handed manner, I'd ask you if she were interested in piano would you look for a left-handed one?
    Both hands must work in unison on any fretted instrument. If anything, the fretting hand does more complicated moves than the picking hand. For someone experiencing an instrument at that early age, it doesn't matter left-or-right handed.
    I agree with this. At that age everything is difficult, and everything is fun. If she can play a regular instrument the regular way, she will have the life time advantage of not needing special (expensive) instruments in the future. As if it mattered, Chris Thile is a lefty.
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    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Grand daughter is a Lefty - Help needed converting RH to LH

    Music is in your head, not in hands. Older folks are often so "leftisied", that they just need everything lefty to satisfy their inner picture. The small kid with it's unbiased view will most likely progress just the same on righty instrument with all the advantages.
    I know one great banjo player who swithed from righty to lefty (being right handed) after some wrist problems. Took him less than a year of practice to get as good at left handed playing as he was (and still is) at right handed playing.
    Adrian

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    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grand daughter is a Lefty - Help needed converting RH to LH

    My understanding is I was a lefty, but was brought up a righty, as was recommended to my parents at the time... Really the only issues I have had were handwriting, which probably wouldn't have been much better if I were doing it left-handed; anyway, in today's world handwriting is largely a lost art.

    Musically I never really knew a difference. As has been mentioned, both hands are extremely busy with playing an instrument. Both hands have to be skilled and both have to know what to do when. Just like, typing, for example.

    My oldest son is a lefty. When he started showing interest in playing an instrument, we gave him a choice about right-handed or left-handed instruments, explaining the issues involved with finding nice left-handed instruments. He chose to play right handed, and plays guitar and electric bass wonderfully that way now...

    He's a switch-hitter in baseball, btw.
    -- Don

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    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Grand daughter is a Lefty - Help needed converting RH to LH

    Quote Originally Posted by dhergert View Post
    My oldest son is a lefty. When he started showing interest in playing an instrument, we gave him a choice about right-handed or left-handed instruments, explaining the issues involved with finding nice left-handed instruments. He chose to play right handed, and plays guitar and electric bass wonderfully that way now...

    He's a switch-hitter in baseball, btw.
    I'm righty but I hold bow (archery) with right hand as lefty would... I only learned I've been wrong after years of this "bad" habit. Never felt I could shoot better the other way (actually holding friends right handed bow feels awkward to me now). If we mention hockey players... I don't think there is consensus what is the "correct" way of holding the stick. And when I was younger and pitched baseball I tried to do it left handed and after just few weeks I could throw decent fastball left handed.
    Back to mandolins.... WHen I carve tops and backs I normally hold the gouge handle in right hand but when there is lot of heavy hogging to do I switch hands after each quarter of plate carving to save my right hand palms. You just have to switch your mind to mirror image and do all mevements mirrored (posture and all).
    Adrian

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    mandolin slinger Steve Ostrander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grand daughter is a Lefty - Help needed converting RH to LH

    You said that she’s four years old. Has she played any other instruments like guitar or violin? If she hasn’t had any formal lessons, it really doesn’t matter. It’s kind of arbitrary anyway. I wouldn’t worry about it. My friend and picking partner is a lefty, but he plays RH guitar just fine. It’s all about what you learn first.

  16. #12

    Default Re: Grand daughter is a Lefty - Help needed converting RH to LH

    Thank you for the replies. I am going to get her a mandolin and we will see how it goes before converting.
    RDB8847

    Kimble #244

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  18. #13

    Default Re: Grand daughter is a Lefty - Help needed converting RH to LH

    A little late to this, but, I am a lefty and, I never played an instrument until my mid 30s.
    Then, I picked up the bagpipes (go big or go home I guess!!!) My first instructor asked me if I needed to learn left handed or right handed. I told him I had no clue what I was doing at all, and learned the "normal" way (left handed bagpipes cause issues when playing in a group. Not insurmountable, but they do exist).
    When I was looking at mandolins, I considered right handed. But, I couldnt do it. I dont know why-I will attribute it to being almost 50, and kinda set in my ways

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    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grand daughter is a Lefty - Help needed converting RH to LH

    I will say what I always say, first instrument, at that age, start her righty and she will not know the difference. Then when she gets more proficient she can walk into any store and play anything on the wall! I am painfully left handed but, do many things right handed.
    Just see how she takes to it Grandpa! Both my grandchildren are left handed but, play righty.mwhen you’re young you don’t know what you can’t do!
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

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    Registered User Rodney Riley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grand daughter is a Lefty - Help needed converting RH to LH

    Had a lady musician visiting our church music ministry leader one evening. Handed her my mando. She turned it upside down to play left handed (strung right handed for me of course) Her playing blew me out of the water. Another lady from a musical family here in the area. Plays fiddle right handed, but the bass guitar left handed. Might be something to the “learning at an early age” thing.

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    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grand daughter is a Lefty - Help needed converting RH to LH

    Quote Originally Posted by oldsoldier181 View Post
    ... (left handed bagpipes cause issues when playing in a group. ...
    Hmmm. I'm biting my tongue about a snippy reply to this. But then, I've heard them all, I play banjo.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodney Riley View Post
    Had a lady musician visiting our church music ministry leader one evening. Handed her my mando. She turned it upside down to play left handed (strung right handed for me of course) Her playing blew me out of the water. Another lady from a musical family here in the area. Plays fiddle right handed, but the bass guitar left handed. Might be something to the “learning at an early age” thing.
    One of our best musical friends, a musician in the Las Vegas area, plays mando, guitar and double bass this way. Amazing!!!

    And no problem playing right handed instruments -- that's what he always plays.
    -- Don

    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."

    2002 Gibson F-9
    2016 MK LFSTB
    1975 Suzuki taterbug
    (plus a large assortment of banjos, dobros, guitars, basses and other noisemakers)
    [About how I tune my mandolins]
    [7/29/2019 -- New Arrival!!!]

  23. #17

    Default Re: Grand daughter is a Lefty - Help needed converting RH to LH

    Quote Originally Posted by dhergert View Post
    Hmmm. I'm biting my tongue about a snippy reply to this. But then, I've heard them all, I play banjo.



    One of our best musical friends, a musician in the Las Vegas area, plays mando, guitar and double bass this way. Amazing!!!

    And no problem playing right handed instruments -- that's what he always plays.
    Not the playing itself so much, as the marching and counter marching. I should have been more clear . One of the best pipers I have ever witnessed, lives just north of me, and plays lefty.

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  25. #18

    Default Re: Grand daughter is a Lefty - Help needed converting RH to LH

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    As if it mattered, Chris Thile is a lefty.
    Pretty much end of discussion.

    I know you want the best for your grandchild, but at 3 years old, a mandolin is little more than a tennis racket, anyway. At 6 or so, we can figure out if she is a Ricky Skaggs or a Ronnie Reno......

    My parents wanted the best for me, too, when buying my first guitar in the 60's. The conversation was short: "He is left-handed". The salesman's reply: "You DON'T want a left-handed guitar." Needless, to say 55+ years later, the single BEST advice I've ever been given in my life.

    I like JeffD's calling it a regular instrument, rather than a right-handed instrument........I agree, instead of right vs left, think of regular vs weird......

    I like Greg's piano example, too. Just play it.

    How about a left-handed Chess set?

  26. #19

    Default Re: Grand daughter is a Lefty - Help needed converting RH to LH

    Thanks for the help.

    Short story - I bought a 1948 Martin D 18 from the original owners son a few years back. The son was a lefty and when he was young his dad bought him a guitar and stung it up left handed and sat him down to teach how to play. After about 2 weeks he said "Son I think you are going to learn how to play the piano instead"
    RDB8847

    Kimble #244

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