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left handed but play clawhammer right hand

Posted by Ozziejewell on Sunday, April 7, 2013

Hi all. new to the site also very new to the wonder of banjo. I'm naturally left handed but play right as it feels better, probably due to playing the guitar as a lad that way. I say play. More like bash as my guitar playing didn't last long. So 40 years years on and I decide to learn clawhammer. So to my question.

How long am I to expect my Left hand to become in sink with my right, or is it the other way round. as a total beginner I aware that my speed will come but just wondered if I chose the wrong way??  

Loving the sound of clawhammer and the sound of the banjo. Could say I have the bug, but my hands are confused.


5 comments on “left handed but play clawhammer right hand”

Texasbanjo Says:
Sunday, April 7, 2013 @5:16:16 AM

Each person learns differently. Some learn fast, some slower. Your hands will eventually know what to do and when. It takes time, effort and lots of practice to get that "muscle memory", which is what you're trying to do.

Don't worry about it. Take it slow and easy, don't try for speed, try for timing, tone and technique and speed will come.

I'm lefthanded and play a righthanded banjo. To me, the left hand does more of the work as it makes chords, does slides, hammer, pulls, chokes, etc. and the right hand just picks (I play bluegrass) or strums.

Your brain will evenutally figure it out and it will become so easy you'll wonder why you ever had a problem with it.

Ozziejewell Says:
Sunday, April 7, 2013 @9:59:05 AM

Thanks for the reply Texasbanjo. I am learning 3 pieces at the moment and loving them. old joe clark, liza jane and barlow knife. Not sure about the brain bit though. Need one to start with. I like your theory about the left hand. I was thinking that before I got my Goodtime. Just hope the theory is out done by the fingers. l'll keep plonking away happily and try to keep the rythem and tune in some sort of order, but not forgetting to maintain the bum notes. They pop in at irregular intervals. All part of my practice which I do daily. If I don't I get withdrawal. :-)

Papa-Joe Says:
Monday, April 8, 2013 @10:01:38 AM

Ozziejewell welcome to the weird world of banjo. I am also a beginner with the banjo and have played the guitar for about 50 years now. I am also left handed and play all my musical instruments right handed. I am glad I never tried to learn to play left handed for several reasons, hard to find instruments and to get good teachers. You will do just find playing right handed you will probably pick up on the chording a little faster and the rhythm or rolls a little slower. But down the road no one will know and you will be amazed when one day you pick up that banjo and instead of you tring to make it play music, it will play music for you.

carlb Says:
Tuesday, April 9, 2013 @10:57:53 AM

Keep at it. It will eventually work for you. One advantage is a more powerful pinky (use it).

Carl, A left-handed person who plays fiddle, clawhammer banjo and guitar right-handed

Ozziejewell Says:
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 @2:24:46 PM

I really appreciate all you comments. As for the banjo playing music for me. Im liking that. But can't find one. Like a piano playing for you. Got four songs under my belt, all at various stages, slow, miss noted, faster and somthing in the middle. Still, my fingers are in working order and getting there. The main thing is, I'm totally loving the 5 string plonking machine. Just wish I had taken it up 40 years earlier.

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