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#2260886 - 04/13/14 12:24 AM Any lefties?
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4931
Loc: USA
Are there any left-handed pianists here? What was it like learning to play? And do you feel like it has held you back in any way?

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#2260900 - 04/13/14 02:08 AM Re: Any lefties? [Re: JoelW]
phantomFive Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/14
Posts: 1770
Loc: California
Yes. I didn't notice anything different. You have to learn to use both hands either way.
_________________________
Poetry is rhythm.

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#2260907 - 04/13/14 03:14 AM Re: Any lefties? [Re: JoelW]
TwoSnowflakes Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1423
Lefty here. Well, fairly ambidextrous, but I prefer to write with my left hand.

I don't think it's held me back in any way. If anything, I think it might be beneficial: the right hand naturally gets so much training that maybe it's nice that things come easier to my left anyway. Might keep things more balanced!

Anyway, that's my theory and I'm sticking with it!

I will say that this year, in which I returned to piano, I had a LOT of tension to work out as you might imagine. The fluidity came back to my left arm pretty quickly but I'm fighting with my right. It's not that it isn't working at all, but the whole arm movement and wrist suppleness is coming more slowly. Without intense concentration, I paste my elbow to my side and get quite stiff in my wrist and shoulder. Even when it would be obvious to do something different, I don't do it. That was true of both arms in the first few months, but now, coming up on a year of a lot of work and teacher correction, the left now finds its way without me having to think too hard about it anymore.

There's just a difference in overall fluidity, and the left ended up being more "teachable" than the right. My left arm naturally absorbs corrections easier. What's helping is concentrating really hard to get my right arm to learn from my left now that the left is moving nicely. It's coming along, but the difference is visible. My teacher often comments on how the left arm has gained back its freedom of movement but the right arm seems to be struggling.

Anyway, I think it's a good thing that the right hand just naturally got more overall exposure to everything when I was growing up. If it were the other way around, I suspect there would be a larger problem.
_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suite BWV 814 No. 3
Chopin, Fantaisie-Impromptu Op. post. 66
Tchaikovsky, Mars: Chante de l'alouette Op. 37a No. 3

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#2260922 - 04/13/14 04:11 AM Re: Any lefties? [Re: JoelW]
phantomFive Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/14
Posts: 1770
Loc: California
Most left-handed people have to learn to deal with living in a right-handed world anyway, and piano is fairly benign compared to other things (like the fact that nearly all scissors are right-handed).
_________________________
Poetry is rhythm.

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#2260925 - 04/13/14 04:33 AM Re: Any lefties? [Re: JoelW]
bennevis Online   content
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Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5524
Other than when playing works for LH alone, of which there are several, many commissioned by Paul Wittgenstein (- I don't know of any piano works for RH only, which surely can't be PC wink ), I don't think that being a southpaw makes much difference. Though I believe there have been pianos made with reversed keyboard, just like guitars, specifically for lefties who prefer playing tunes with LH......

However, being ambidextrous might be useful when playing the music of the ambidextrous Gabriel Fauré, whose unique writing style (where melody, counter-melody and accompanimental figuration frequently passes back & forth between the hands) seems to show his lack of hand preference.
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2261054 - 04/13/14 01:47 PM Re: Any lefties? [Re: JoelW]
Atrys Offline
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Registered: 10/31/13
Posts: 990
We are absolutely at a disadvantage as far as acquiring and performing with the right hand. We simply cannot process as much information in the right hand, and we have less control over it. Not only is the ability in our right hand maximally limited, but it's also more difficult to make things we already know malleable.

Luckily, we also have a slight advantage with acquiring and performing with the left hand (obviously); the only problem is that the right hand is usually responsible for more demanding play.
_________________________
"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson

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#2261089 - 04/13/14 02:58 PM Re: Any lefties? [Re: Atrys]
Verbum mirabilis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/15/11
Posts: 208
Originally Posted By: Atrys
We are absolutely at a disadvantage as far as acquiring and performing with the right hand. We simply cannot process as much information in the right hand, and we have less control over it. Not only is the ability in our right hand maximally limited, but it's also more difficult to make things we already know malleable.

Luckily, we also have a slight advantage with acquiring and performing with the left hand (obviously); the only problem is that the right hand is usually responsible for more demanding play.


I don't think being a lefty has put me "at a disadvantage". In fact, my right hand technique is better than my left hand technique.
_________________________
Working on
Beethoven: sonata op. 14 no. 2
Chopin: op. 25 no. 2, op. 10 no. 3, op. 47
Bach: P&F in D minor, book 2

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#2261097 - 04/13/14 03:06 PM Re: Any lefties? [Re: Verbum mirabilis]
Atrys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/13
Posts: 990
Originally Posted By: Verbum mirabilis

I don't think being a lefty has put me "at a disadvantage".

Whether you "think" so or not doesn't have any bearing on its truth. Having a left hand that is dominant over your right means you (we) have a right hand that cannot perform at the same ability as the left hand.

Originally Posted By: Verbum mirabilis

In fact, my right hand technique is better than my left hand technique.

There are several reasons why you might think this. If it actually does happen to be true, you may not actually be left-handed, but instead mixed-handed (which is apart from being ambidextrous). It may imply mixed-handedness, but doesn't guarantee it.
_________________________
"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson

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#2261123 - 04/13/14 04:35 PM Re: Any lefties? [Re: Atrys]
Verbum mirabilis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/15/11
Posts: 208
Originally Posted By: Atrys
Originally Posted By: Verbum mirabilis

I don't think being a lefty has put me "at a disadvantage".

Whether you "think" so or not doesn't have any bearing on its truth. Having a left hand that is dominant over your right means you (we) have a right hand that cannot perform at the same ability as the left hand.



I don't merely think so. I have experience on it (see below). Having a dominant left hand might mean that naturally the right hand couldn't perform at the same level as the left hand. However, the right hand gets trained more than the left hand which can make the right hand stronger compared to the left hand.


Originally Posted By: Atrys
Originally Posted By: Verbum mirabilis

In fact, my right hand technique is better than my left hand technique.

There are several reasons why you might think this. If it actually does happen to be true, you may not actually be left-handed, but instead mixed-handed (which is apart from being ambidextrous). It may imply mixed-handedness, but doesn't guarantee it.


I've certainly had difficulties in certain passages where the hands have to play parallel runs, and the weaker hand in these passages certainly was the left hand. Whether that's mixed-handedness, I don't know. I do consider myself left-handed.
_________________________
Working on
Beethoven: sonata op. 14 no. 2
Chopin: op. 25 no. 2, op. 10 no. 3, op. 47
Bach: P&F in D minor, book 2

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#2261188 - 04/13/14 07:03 PM Re: Any lefties? [Re: Verbum mirabilis]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8934
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: Verbum mirabilis

I don't think being a lefty has put me "at a disadvantage". In fact, my right hand technique is better than my left hand technique.

+1.

As a lefty myself, I have never even thought twice about it.
_________________________
Jason

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#2261189 - 04/13/14 07:04 PM Re: Any lefties? [Re: JoelW]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4931
Loc: USA
I couldn't imagine playing passages from, say, Chopin 54 with my left hand. Yikes.

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#2261200 - 04/13/14 07:36 PM Re: Any lefties? [Re: Atrys]
phantomFive Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/14
Posts: 1770
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Atrys
Originally Posted By: Verbum mirabilis

I don't think being a lefty has put me "at a disadvantage".

Whether you "think" so or not doesn't have any bearing on its truth. Having a left hand that is dominant over your right means you (we) have a right hand that cannot perform at the same ability as the left hand.

I'd really be interested in why you think this. Did you just 'hear it somewhere', or do you have some research or something real?
_________________________
Poetry is rhythm.

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#2261221 - 04/13/14 08:22 PM Re: Any lefties? [Re: phantomFive]
Atrys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/13
Posts: 990
Originally Posted By: phantomFive

I'd really be interested in why you think this.

I don't just "think" it; it's a fact. A person cannot process as much information coming from and going to their non-dominant hand as they can with their dominant hand.

Anyone thinking that they are not affected by it are lying to themselves, partly because they don't know what it's like to be right-dominant and therefore don't know what that would feel like.

It doesn't matter if you "don't feel affected" by being a lefty; it does affect you.
_________________________
"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson

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#2261238 - 04/13/14 08:48 PM Re: Any lefties? [Re: JoelW]
FSO Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/03/12
Posts: 854
Loc: UK, Brighton
What does handedness mean to you then, Atrys? Bear in mind that definitions differ; I've, in the past, known someone who wrote with their left hand but used their right, primarily, for everything else...I mean, um, some here would define that as left-handedness, some would define it as a mix, some, even, would class it as being ambidextrous. It doesn't matter what the technical definition is, people's opinions *of* that definition will vary. If left-handedness were more common, one would say being right-handed does affect you...um...the fact of the matter is that everything affects everything; you wouldn't say the emotions you have affect you, or your genetic structure affects you, because it'd be redundant. Sorry...that's just how I feel...
Xxx
_________________________
Sometimes, we all just need to be shown a little kindness <3

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#2261242 - 04/13/14 08:53 PM Re: Any lefties? [Re: FSO]
Atrys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/13
Posts: 990
Originally Posted By: FSO
What does handedness mean to you then, Atrys?

It means to me what the definition of handedness says.

Originally Posted By: FSO

It doesn't matter what the technical definition is, people's opinions *of* that definition will vary.

It does matter what the "technical" definition is. A person assuming their own definition of the term is not reflective of reality. Opinions are apart from objective truth; to operate as if one's uneducated opinion is the objective truth is unequivocally ignorance in its finest form.

An unfounded belief in some conclusion does not warrant any amount of truth, and should not be taken seriously. Thankfully and fortunately, that's not how science works.
_________________________
"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson

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#2261252 - 04/13/14 09:21 PM Re: Any lefties? [Re: JoelW]
FSO Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/03/12
Posts: 854
Loc: UK, Brighton
I agree with everything you said, Atrys. Unfortunately, ignorance is endemic and unavoidable. If one were to operate as if ignorance was something to be deplored one would be deluding oneself as to one's own ignorance. Um...the technical definition of words has changed over the years; as such, *all* notions of information and intelligence based on lexical semantics is relative to the time *and* locale in which it is said...by which, obviously, that one believes a word to mean X, when it is agreed globally to mean Y, does *not* mean that one's belief is wrong. I mean, um, in short; you may not like the notion of relativity, but it applies...I think wink Oh, and science "works" on inductive logic. Induction is a form of guesswork. There is a half-life of information which applies to each genre of information. For instance, the half-life of surgical information is about 45 years; that is to say, these medical facts, scientific "facts", are 50% likely to be incorrect in 45 years. Once again, um, I don't mind that that's how it is, it's useful to get by on, but to come to the conclusion that science can tell the truth of any matter is short-sighted and, frankly, as ignorant, though not as unintelligent, as understanding nothing at all; neither reveal truth. Um...in my opinion. You'll disagree, of course, but that's okay too ^_^
Xxx
_________________________
Sometimes, we all just need to be shown a little kindness <3

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#2261254 - 04/13/14 09:26 PM Re: Any lefties? [Re: FSO]
Atrys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/13
Posts: 990
Originally Posted By: FSO
but to come to the conclusion that science can tell the truth of any matter is short-sighted and, frankly, as ignorant, though not as unintelligent, as understanding nothing at all

What? No one here is claiming that science has an answer to everything. The claim is that science reflects our current state of knowledge and explanation of our world. Beliefs held that are outside of this body must be proven.

You don't really seem to have a point, and I'm afraid this is deviating (and getting quite meta) from the OP.


Edited by Atrys (04/13/14 09:27 PM)
_________________________
"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson

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#2261256 - 04/13/14 09:33 PM Re: Any lefties? [Re: JoelW]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4931
Loc: USA
FSO, we all know what we mean by handedness and you know it.

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#2261258 - 04/13/14 09:44 PM Re: Any lefties? [Re: Atrys]
phantomFive Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/14
Posts: 1770
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Atrys
Originally Posted By: phantomFive

I'd really be interested in why you think this.

I don't just "think" it; it's a fact. A person cannot process as much information coming from and going to their non-dominant hand as they can with their dominant hand.

Right right, so how do you know this fact?
_________________________
Poetry is rhythm.

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#2261264 - 04/13/14 09:54 PM Re: Any lefties? [Re: phantomFive]
Atrys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/13
Posts: 990
Originally Posted By: phantomFive

Right right, so how do you know this fact?

A 2xx-level psychology course that I took last year.
_________________________
"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson

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#2261265 - 04/13/14 09:55 PM Re: Any lefties? [Re: phantomFive]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4931
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: phantomFive
Originally Posted By: Atrys
Originally Posted By: phantomFive

I'd really be interested in why you think this.

I don't just "think" it; it's a fact. A person cannot process as much information coming from and going to their non-dominant hand as they can with their dominant hand.

Right right, so how do you know this fact?

Unless you're ambidextrous, there's a very apparent difference in coordination.

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#2261274 - 04/13/14 10:20 PM Re: Any lefties? [Re: JoelW]
FSO Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/03/12
Posts: 854
Loc: UK, Brighton
Well...I...I *do* have a point, Atrys...and if I were to be pernickity I'm sure I could point out quite a few discrepancies ...but that truly *would* be pointless. Um...sometimes in determining A you have to prove B to define C, prove C can't be true if D is and note that D only ever occurs when A does, thereby showing that the definition of C is incongruent with A. My point is: to state the simple sometimes requires a convoluted pathway. We should never fear legwork in approaching an answer of substance...um...if you don't understand, or at least don't perceive, the "point" in defining what the OP means by being left-handed (see Joel, to *me*, it's simply the hand you write with, but as I mentioned there are some people to whom writing is the *only* thing they do, preferentially, with their left-hand. It's at your own discretion whether that's a true left-handedness, surely?) then that's, of course, your left (ha..ha...aw frown )...but I personally feel it's integral to the question. Um...to de-deviate, then, a good left-handed (writing *and* general activities) pianist I once knew told me that being left-handed was a blessing; the right-handed orientation of most devices means that the "weaker" hand has a lot more exercise, if you will, than the stronger one. Piano playing, generally, is also right-hand oriented, but in the pieces that aren't (a fair amount of Bach, for instance) a left-handed person is at an advantage as their "weak" hand has faced greater practice than a right-handed person's...um...in my own experience, being decidedly right-handed, I've developed skills in my left hand that I simply cannot do as well with my right, given how often I've had to perform them (broader arpeggios, block chords etc.). It would make sense to me that with time, it *almost* wouldn't matter how you are handed. I frequently play the left part in my right hand and right part in my left hand (just to see how it sounds and, of course, only with pieces I know quite well); it takes a lot of effort but it gets easier quite quickly. Um...as with all things, it's just practice, isn't it? The brain and the hand are one, like a series of pipes and valves. One set may carry more water more quickly, naturally, but creating a vacuum at the end of the other one may bring their volume/s in alignment...um...I could probably deepen that metaphor with the notions of rust and sediment, but I'd best not... wink
Xxx
_________________________
Sometimes, we all just need to be shown a little kindness <3

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#2261275 - 04/13/14 10:23 PM Re: Any lefties? [Re: JoelW]
Atrys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/13
Posts: 990
@FSO
Sorry, I'm not going to read that block of text that you've carelessly posted without consideration for the reader and its logical flow.

I'll give you that this is intentional ignorance on my part wink
_________________________
"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson

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#2261286 - 04/13/14 10:46 PM Re: Any lefties? [Re: JoelW]
phantomFive Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/14
Posts: 1770
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: phantomFive
Originally Posted By: Atrys
Originally Posted By: phantomFive

I'd really be interested in why you think this.

I don't just "think" it; it's a fact. A person cannot process as much information coming from and going to their non-dominant hand as they can with their dominant hand.

Right right, so how do you know this fact?

Unless you're ambidextrous, there's a very apparent difference in coordination.

Well yes, but there's a difference between "isn't as coordinated" and "can't be as coordinated"
_________________________
Poetry is rhythm.

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#2261419 - 04/14/14 06:17 AM Re: Any lefties? [Re: Atrys]
wr Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 8025
Originally Posted By: Atrys
@FSO
Sorry, I'm not going to read that block of text that you've carelessly posted without consideration for the reader and its logical flow.



Speaking of "logical flow" - your sentence doesn't.

But FSO's post does have a rather nice flow of thought, I think, as well as logic.

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#2261488 - 04/14/14 09:55 AM Re: Any lefties? [Re: Atrys]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3983
Loc: Rockford, IL
Originally Posted By: Atrys
Originally Posted By: phantomFive

Right right, so how do you know this fact?

A 2xx-level psychology course that I took last year.


Be careful, little eyes, what you see. Be careful little ears, what you hear. You would be wise to heed FSO's seminar-level trains of thought. When she said this:

Originally Posted By: FSO
[...] Oh, and science "works" on inductive logic. Induction is a form of guesswork. There is a half-life of information which applies to each genre of information. For instance, the half-life of surgical information is about 45 years; that is to say, these medical facts, scientific "facts", are 50% likely to be incorrect in 45 years. Once again, um, I don't mind that that's how it is, it's useful to get by on, but to come to the conclusion that science can tell the truth of any matter is short-sighted and, frankly, as ignorant, though not as unintelligent, as understanding nothing at all; neither reveal truth.[...]


...what immediately came to mind for me was an instruction booklet that I ran across as I was cataloguing materials at an educational resource center where I worked. The title, published in 1967, is:

"A Writing Manual for Teaching the Left-Handed"

Did you catch that? "THE left-handed." As if to say, "THE disabled." I'm sure someone has already done a credible semiotic analysis of the way beliefs and attitudes of the time affected the language and the "science" of all of that. To FSO's point regarding the half-life of ideas, I think it's safe to say that, generally speaking, there is a better understanding of "right-handed bias" nowadays than in 1967 (meta-thinking about it, if you will). My wife, a leftie, remembers when, as a child (in the 1960s) she was punished for using safety scissors with her left hand. The dark ages of education, you say? But those methods were based on SCIENCE!

Originally Posted By: Atrys
[...] I'm afraid this is deviating (and getting quite meta) from the OP.


Confront your fears, Atrys! "Meta" is where understanding and enlightenment starts. Go there! It will help you put into perspective all of those "facts" you like to cite. wink

--Andy


Edited by Cinnamonbear (04/14/14 10:20 AM)
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

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#2261516 - 04/14/14 11:12 AM Re: Any lefties? [Re: Cinnamonbear]
Atrys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/13
Posts: 990
Originally Posted By: wr

But FSO's post does have a rather nice flow of thought, I think, as well as logic.

Haha! You almost had me there for a second.

Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear

Confront your fears, Atrys! "Meta" is where understanding and enlightenment starts. Go there! It will help you put into perspective all of those "facts" you like to cite.

Oh please. FSOs post is nothing but a nonsensical, unintelligible ramble, and yours approaches the same level of absurdity. You've also completely failed to acknowledge that this is, in fact, drifting very far from the OP.

However, if the mods will allow this discourse, I'm totally up for it.
_________________________
"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson

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#2261518 - 04/14/14 11:18 AM Re: Any lefties? [Re: JoelW]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4931
Loc: USA
They are rambles, but they're not nonsensical and unintelligible.

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#2261525 - 04/14/14 11:34 AM Re: Any lefties? [Re: JoelW]
TwoSnowflakes Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1423
I would venture to guess that anybody who is left handed has had extensive experience using their right hand anyway. It's impossible not to in a right-handed world. There may be dexterity issues with the right hand but a left handed person's non-dominant hand generally has been put to more mixed use than a right handed person's non-dominant hand.

I am not sure whether I am fully left handed, mixed handed, or ambidextrous. I can write with both hands, but since it's a pretty boring party trick, I use my left and haven't bothered using my right in many years. There has always been a left preference there.

Yet I HATED when I would automatically be given left handed scissors. I use my right hand to cut and always have. But this is probably a function of the fact that the left handed scissors were always dull and/or bent. I have zero preference using a knife and cannot begin to tell you what hand uses the fork or spoon. It will be whatever hand is closest to the utensil.

Some things have clear preferences. I play tennis left handed. I play baseball right handed. These two things can't be switched. I knit left handed. Knitting is interesting--when done well it's an extremely fast motion but from a mechanical standpoint the necessary reverse (purling) is always slower. Unless you can switch hands, and then just keep knitting. Turns out, I can do that just fine, but it's not fast. I keep avoiding "practicing" because my left handed purling is still faster than my right handed knitting, but if I did, the speed would pick up. It's as if one hand does scales, the other arpeggios, and that seems inefficient. If I ever get back to knitting more regularly (which I did a LOT of before I realized my hands, which just wanted to move, move, move, were simply missing piano) I will take the time to make that work, haha. Somewhere in my not-too-distant future is a long flight, and no piano, I'm sure.

So, to me, it's kind of unclear whether my odd collection of hand preference and ambidexterity is a result of exposure, necessity, or innate dominance. And I bet it's the same for most left handed people other than the ones who have such a firm overwhelming dominance that even the natural exposure to having to use the non-dominant hand in a reverse dominant society doesn't do much to alter that.
_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suite BWV 814 No. 3
Chopin, Fantaisie-Impromptu Op. post. 66
Tchaikovsky, Mars: Chante de l'alouette Op. 37a No. 3

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#2261652 - 04/14/14 04:08 PM Re: Any lefties? [Re: JoelW]
Tim Adrianson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/10
Posts: 1118
I'm completely left-handed -- but, as others have indicated, at the piano I have more agility and technical skill with my right hand; and I suspect this is simply the result of learning the body of keyboard music which overwhelmingly favors the right hand. As a kid, I do remember being told time and again that my left hand was louder than than my right, and that I needed to tone down the left -- but that's about the only effect that I can recall. I do make a point of trying to "shape" the left hand musical ideas as well as the right, and it does seem to me that the best keyboard composers take pains to prepare "good" left hand interaction as part of the entire conception.

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#2261766 - 04/14/14 08:43 PM Re: Any lefties? [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3983
Loc: Rockford, IL
Originally Posted By: TwoSnowflakes
I would venture to guess that anybody who is left handed has had extensive experience using their right hand anyway. It's impossible not to in a right-handed world. There may be dexterity issues with the right hand but a left handed person's non-dominant hand generally has been put to more mixed use than a right handed person's non-dominant hand.[...]


Too true, TwoSnowflakes, too true. However, I want to interject that, while I am "right-handed," I am a left-handed coffee pourer. That is because, early in our relationship, back in the days when coffee was still perc'd in a stainless steel pot, my dear Lisa made the coffee and naturally oriented the handle for herself, left. I, not quite awake and a little bleary eyed, went for the pot with my right. Lesson learned. It's a left-handed coffee pot and always will be in our household.

Another non-sequitur: My dad told me that in one of his choir conducting classes, one of the assignments was to use one's non-dominant hand for *everything* for one week--opening doors, opening cans, writing, eating, shaving--and leave one's dominant hand at one's side or behind one's back as much as possible.

And, while I remain off-topic as a rightie (sorry Joel), I love to play the music of Bach and Handel, with the intricate interplay between the left and right hands. I can actually execute *some* trills better with my LH than with my R crazy (not that they are all that well-executed with either hand). grin

Oh--also off-topic--

Left-handed piano
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

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#2261844 - 04/15/14 12:00 AM Re: Any lefties? [Re: JoelW]
TwoSnowflakes Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1423
The left-handed piano just hurts my brain.

The idea of remapping my brain to make a left-handed piano work has about as much appeal as grabbing your percolator from the right-handed side.
_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suite BWV 814 No. 3
Chopin, Fantaisie-Impromptu Op. post. 66
Tchaikovsky, Mars: Chante de l'alouette Op. 37a No. 3

Top
#2263593 - 04/18/14 03:10 PM Re: Any lefties? [Re: JoelW]
thalbergmad Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/02/05
Posts: 181
Loc: England
Interesting thread. It would never have occurred to me that I might be at a disadvantage being a lefty pianist, since within reasonably parameters, both hands are operating in a similar fashion.

However, playing a right handed banjo was impossible for me and I had to acquire a left handed instrument.

Thal
_________________________
I'm inclined to agree with Thal

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#2264918 - 04/21/14 11:07 AM Re: Any lefties? [Re: JoelW]
Brad Hoehne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/22/11
Posts: 375
Loc: Ohio
I'm strongly left-handed according to a number of skills assessments (i.e. a series of "which hand do you perform x with" tests) and I do notice a few problems as a result.

http://lefthanded.cdf-design.com/test/html_test.php

Most notably, my right hand seems to have a little less "natural" velocity. For instance, despite not having practiced trills much with my left hand, my left hand trills are cleaner and have more endurance than those performed with my right. I tend to find my left hand more assuredly placed on the center of notes than my right. Finally, learning the left hand part of just about any piece (even left-hand dominated ones like the second Chopin op 28 prelude) seems relatively quicker than learning the right.

I'm currently working on the Rachmaninof Prelude Op 32 #12. On the fourth beat of Measure 16 there is a quickly descending and widely spaced (an octave + a sixth) four note arpeggiation which, by the looks of it would be very difficult to play. It's in the left hand. I was able to get this "under my fingers" in relatively short order. It's now stable and feels secure. On the other hand, I had massive trouble with the roll in the fourth beat of measure 37 and, even after a lot of practice, never really ended up getting it. I ended up playing it by bringing the left hand over the right to hit the high D# and adding a bit of Rubato to make up for the loss of time involved in this.

Obviously this is a bit of an apples and oranges situation, but it's a fairly common occurrence with me. Stuff in the left hand is "natural" whereas stuff in the right needs work to master.

Alas, piano music is dominated by right hand virtuosity- as that is where the melody and, importantly, its ornamentation are.

These things are, of course, a matter of degree. Over time, experience makes up for what feels like a lack of natural ability. There are certain things I am better at with the right hand- scales, for instance- but I think this is mainly because the repertoire emphasizes them.


Edited by Brad Hoehne (04/21/14 11:32 AM)
_________________________
1999 Petrof 125-111 (upright)
Casio Privia PX-330

Currently working on:
Chopin Etudes op 10 #12 "Revolutionary" and op 25 #2
Chopin Nocturne op 37 #2
Playing by ear and "filling out" pop tunes

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#2264925 - 04/21/14 11:27 AM Re: Any lefties? [Re: JoelW]
Brad Hoehne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/22/11
Posts: 375
Loc: Ohio
Re: left handed piano.

I think had I started on a left handed piano, I would have performed very well on it. However, re-mapping ones brain after one has learned the layout of a normal piano would be very awkward- like learning a DVORAK keyboard after growing up on a QWERTY.
_________________________
1999 Petrof 125-111 (upright)
Casio Privia PX-330

Currently working on:
Chopin Etudes op 10 #12 "Revolutionary" and op 25 #2
Chopin Nocturne op 37 #2
Playing by ear and "filling out" pop tunes

Top
#2265020 - 04/21/14 05:11 PM Re: Any lefties? [Re: JoelW]
TwoSnowflakes Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1423
I trill a million times better with my right than my left, but considering the left seems to have it all over the right in terms of fluidity and accuracy, I wonder if it's just because the left never had to do much trilling and any time the left trills, it just feels awkward and then before I have to do it very much, I'm on to something else anyway. Nothing I've worked on for an extended period of time has a left hand trill. Several smaller supporting study pieces have, but I'm on and off them in a week or two. I wonder whether it would get better at trilling if I just gave it the opportunity to do so.
_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suite BWV 814 No. 3
Chopin, Fantaisie-Impromptu Op. post. 66
Tchaikovsky, Mars: Chante de l'alouette Op. 37a No. 3

Top
#2265021 - 04/21/14 05:14 PM Re: Any lefties? [Re: Brad Hoehne]
TwoSnowflakes Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1423
Originally Posted By: Brad Hoehne
I'm strongly left-handed according to a number of skills assessments (i.e. a series of "which hand do you perform x with" tests) and I do notice a few problems as a result.

http://lefthanded.cdf-design.com/test/html_test.php



I came up utterly ambidextrous. I guess, though, I didn't need an online test to tell me that!
_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suite BWV 814 No. 3
Chopin, Fantaisie-Impromptu Op. post. 66
Tchaikovsky, Mars: Chante de l'alouette Op. 37a No. 3

Top
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