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Author Topic:  How many left handed steel players?
Jack Hanson

San Luis Valley, USA
Post Posted 29 Apr 2017 11:42 am     Reply with quote

Jerry Berger wrote:
I am also a lefty that plays a right handed steel. However, that's not the way I started out as a youngster. Check out this pic. I'm the kid in the foreground.

Are both kids leftys? Are both of those Magnatones leftys too? If so, what are the odds of that occurring? Minimal I would surmise.

Or is that photo merely printed backwards.
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Jerry Berger

Nampa, Idaho USA
Post Posted 29 Apr 2017 5:27 pm     Reply with quote

I am left handed but my Brother is right handed. Both of those Magnatones were for left handed players. My Brother quickly lost interest in playing lap steel. Sad
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David Mitchell

Texas, USA
Post Posted 30 Apr 2017 4:10 am     Reply with quote

I'm another lefty that plays guitar and pedal steel right handed. Anything else just seems weird after 50 years of it. Like someone else said you need good coordination in both hands so why learn left handed and have a hard time finding musical instruments to accommodate?
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Chris Sattler

Camden, Australia
Post Posted 3 May 2017 3:46 am     Reply with quote

There is some more on this topic here too:
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Robert Jones

Conway, Arkansas
Post Posted 4 May 2017 2:52 pm     Reply with quote

I'm left handed Jerry but I play right handed as well. I'm really curious now how that will work out. Keep us posted on your results.
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Winston Street

Laurel, Mississippi, USA
Post Posted 14 May 2017 2:03 pm     Reply with quote

I'm a left handed player. Played right handed for 7 years. Practiced from five in the evening until three in the morning for 3 months before I could play I Just Destroyed the World (or something like that). My right hand would cramp into a knot and I would run cold water over it to straighten my fingers back out and then do the same thing over again. I thought I would totally tear one up if I had a left handed one so I built me one. I used a hand router, table saw, little table top mill/drill, a commercial sized end grinder (like a dremel tool) and files to build everything but the legs, end plates, keys and pickups. I had to build the end plates in 3 pieces and have them heli arc welded together. BUT I don't think I'm any faster left handed than I am right handed. I know I used my bar smoother playing right handed. Gonna try to upload a picture of it.

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Sam Hammond

Alameda, California
Post Posted 15 May 2017 12:12 pm     Reply with quote

I agree with Bobby Burns, but I'm in the same boat as Winston Street.

The other day I was in the process of selling a left handed Big Baby Taylor to a guy. However, when he told me that it was for his 11 year old son, who "insisted on playing left handed" I talked him out of it.

Well, actually I said "have him talk to his music teacher, I think she'll convince him to play right handed," and he never called back.

Lefties can't share instruments - no matter how much they itch to play, they can't show how good they are when somebody's passing a guitar around. The best most of us can do is strum a few chords upside down.

You can't hand your beautiful new Martin or Tele to someone and say, "Here play this, it's so cool."

You also have to take what you're given in the used market. I've looked for a 50's - 60's Gibson ES175 (which I hear are out there) for more than 5 years - haven't found even a picture of one.

When righties go on Craigslist and look for an instrument, they put in, say "Guild Starfire." Lefties put in "LEFT" and then they have to remember to put in "LEFTY" and "LEFTHAND".

All that said, because I'm like Winston Street, a total left hander, I play a left handed BMI that I got from Jerry Roller. I was playing a right handed pedal steel, but my right hand could not do the picking that my left hand could. The lefty has made a BIG difference in my technique.

Thanks for letting me rant. And, Winston, that's a really nice looking instrument.


Last edited by Sam Hammond on 15 May 2017 2:02 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Micky Byrne

Essex United Kingdom
Post Posted 15 May 2017 1:37 pm     Reply with quote

Hi Jerry...Roger is correct. Years ago I'd read that Lloyd Green is left handed...but I didn't know about Curly...thanks Roger Very Happy

Micky "scars" Byrne U.K.
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Jim Palenscar

Oceanside, Calif, USA
Post Posted 16 May 2017 6:51 am     Reply with quote

I have a left handed steel for sale at the shop. It was fun putting my mind in reverse when I was assembling it. I eat and write left handed and my rhythm foot is my left foot (for drumming) but everything else is right-handed. Go figure!
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Winston Street

Laurel, Mississippi, USA
Post Posted 20 May 2017 8:06 am     Left Handed players Reply with quote

Hey Sam enjoyed your post. Look guys I've been on both sides of the fence and have found that the only hold back to playing left handed is that the music world is made for right handed people. But if a person feels more comfortable playing left handed I think he should go for it. There's plenty of people around that will build you a left handed guitar. Jerry Fessenden is the most accommodating person I have ever delt with and Jerry builds a fine guitar, and you just don't find a more friendly person. Dale Mullins also builds a fine guitar. All the builders can build as good a left handed as they can a right handed. Maurice Anderson wouldn't even consider building me a left handed guitar and I wanted one of the new wood bodies so bad I could taste it. Lloyd and Curley and a few others were great left handed who played right handed. But some people just have that feeling in their bones that they have to play left handed and I just wouldn't discourage them from doing it just because it's a steel guitar. There's plenty availability of them these days. One more thing that baffles me is; it always feels natural to walk up to any of my left handed steels, but when I walk up to my right handed MSA Super Short it feels awkward but when I sit down behind it it just automatically feels natural. Go figure. LOL
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