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


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post  Posted 29 Apr 2017 11:42 am    
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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


From:
Nampa, Idaho USA
Post  Posted 29 Apr 2017 5:27 pm    
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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


From:
Texas, USA
Post  Posted 30 Apr 2017 4:10 am    
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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


From:
Hunter Valley, Australia
Post  Posted 3 May 2017 3:46 am    
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There is some more on this topic here too:

http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=194584&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0
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Robert Jones


From:
Conway, Arkansas
Post  Posted 4 May 2017 2:52 pm    
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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


From:
Laurel, Mississippi, USA
Post  Posted 14 May 2017 2:03 pm    
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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


From:
Alameda, California
Post  Posted 15 May 2017 12:12 pm    
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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.

Sam


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


Post  Posted 15 May 2017 1:37 pm    
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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


From:
Oceanside, Calif, USA
Post  Posted 16 May 2017 6:51 am    
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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


From:
Laurel, Mississippi, USA
Post  Posted 20 May 2017 8:06 am     Left Handed players
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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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John Sadler


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 5 Sep 2018 9:01 pm    
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I'm a lefty, and I play lefty. My first instrument was trumpet - your right hand presses the buttons, and your left hand just sits there most of the time holding the trumpet. I think this predisposed me to feel more comfortable playing lefty the first time I held a guitar. Then a lefty pedal steel appeared on Craigslist (thanks John Howard). I am hooked.
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John De Maille


From:
On a Mountain in Upstate Halcottsville, N.Y.
Post  Posted 6 Sep 2018 2:05 am    
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I'm a natural leftie. I do most things left handed, but, I taught myself to play guitar right handed. That's how I saw it done, so, I just did it that way. When I started playing steel, I didn't even know that there were left handed models to be found or made. So, I just picked right handed. And so, I continue to do so. I had a friend who played steel using his left foot for the volume pedal and floor pedals were setup right to left. But, he picked right handed. Really confused me on that one. So, in the long run it doesn't matter which way as long as you get it done.
I think most lefties are ambidextrous anyway. We learn to cope in a right handed world.
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David Mitchell


From:
Texas, USA
Post  Posted 6 Sep 2018 7:28 am    
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I'm left handed but play guitar and steel right handed.
In 1962 when I was looking for my first guitar my parents drove all over East Texas and couldn't find a left handed guitar so I said I"ll just take a right handed one and that is what I learned on. A $20.00 one that was brand new! I payed for it with money I earned mowing yards. I sold guitars in music stores for 20 years and my advice to parents looking for a first time guitar for a left handed child is just buy them a right handed one and they will never know the difference and years later they will have a much larger selection of guitars to choose from. I'm glad I never found a left handed 🎸.
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Roy Glaze


From:
Blessing, Texas
Post  Posted 18 Feb 2019 7:09 am     Roy Glaze
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Johnie King


From:
Tennessee, USA
Post  Posted 18 Feb 2019 7:56 pm    
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Congratulations Winston that’s a really nice looking steel build.
I’m a right handed amateur that sounds like I should have tried playing left handed.
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Ronald Ballister


From:
New York, New York, USA
Post  Posted 19 Feb 2019 3:05 pm    
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Do everything left-handed but play all instruments right handed. I do remember as a 14 year old kid the first time I picked up a guitar it felt weird to try and play righty. Still, its a right handed world. Own a couple of pairs of lefty scissors.
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Steve Duke


From:
Missouri, USA
Post  Posted 21 Feb 2019 7:14 pm    
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I'm also a lefty but play a Gibson Console Grande D-8 right handed but do use my left foot (leg) for my volume pedal.
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David Martin


From:
Kingsport, TN 37663 USA
Post  Posted 21 Feb 2019 7:44 pm    
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I am left handed but play steel righty. I learned guitar left handed and still play that way. I do a lot of things with either hand. I throw and bat right, shoot a rifle left, bow and arrow right, use a hammer left, write left handed. In the military, I qualified sharpshooter on rifle left handed and expert on m60 machine gun right handed. I do what feels natural. I personally think left handed people have somewhat of an advantage on pedal steel. Most lefties are left footed which helps with the foot pedals, also using the tuners and changing strings.
Using the right hand to form grips is similar to making chords with the right hand if you were a left hand guitar player.
Whatever works for you...
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Barry Yasika


From:
Bethlehem, Pa.
Post  Posted 22 Feb 2019 5:14 am     Lefty Steel Players.
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There's a guy in from New Jersey now living in Florida, his name is Jimmy McManus. He's one of the best steel players I know. I grew up with him and watched him go back and forth from righty to lefty playing and finally decided he could play best left handed. He's good too, really fast and articulate runs on both E9th and C6th necks. He could play that western swing stuff really well on the C6th. I think he told me his only regret was the lack of inventory out there in the event he wanted to change guitars. He had a Mars custom made and Bobby Seymour built him a SD10. It was always odd for me to watch him play since I play right handed. I don't think Jim is on the forum, just not his style I suppose.
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Jamie Mitchell


From:
Nashville, TN
Post  Posted 3 Mar 2019 11:25 am    
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I'm a lefty - play everything righty. probably why I'm not any good!! Laughing
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John Sadler


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 6 Mar 2019 4:46 pm     Lefty lefty
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I play left handed pedal steel. Deal with it. There aren't many of us. I started as a trumpet player, where the right-hand does all the button pushing. The first time I held a guitar in my hands, the fretboard felt better on the right, and that is where it has stayed.

Among guitar players, the percentage of lefties who play lefty is less than 10% - many play right-handed, and some play a right-handed guitar flipped over. Oddly, I've seen some right-handed guitarists play a lefty upside down.
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