my parents bought me a guitar last year as for a number of years I have been talking about wanting to learn how to play. It's time I got past the talking stage, but I'm a left hander, and need to get the guitar converted (tried playing right handed but it doesn't seem right!)
Can anyone recommend a shop which would do the conversion?
And does anyone know of any good guitar teachers charging reasonable rates in the local area?
I may be wrong, but I think getting the guitar converted would probably cost more than the guitar cost originally. Unless you have a good reason not to, the simple answer is to turn it the other way round as it is, and put the strings on 'the other way round' - i.e. making sure the lowest sounding string is still the one nearest you.
If the guitar is an acoustic one, this should pose no problems. If it's electric, then there may be knobs in the way - but Jimi Hendrix was left handed and played a right handed guitar upside down, and he didn't do a bad job of it! He saved a few bob in the process too - left handed guitars are always slightly more pricey simply 'cos they're more rare...
Remember also, before you choose not to play right handed - all the music books will show the chords as played on a right-handed guitar, so you'll have to mirror-image them in your mind. I don't know if anyone releases left-handed guitar books.
As for a tutor - I don't know of any in the area. I've taught myself all I know, and it must be said that although it's nice to have a tutor who can play (their skill spurs you on somewhat), the books and CD-ROMs you can get these days are pretty good, if you can make yourself sit down and practice. Also, if you teach yourself to read tablature, you can print loads off free (www.olga.net) and teach yourself to play songs...again, it's just a case of giving lots of time to listening to the songs, and working out how the numbers on the paper equate to the strings.
Ok - I'm waffling, but if you want to know more, I can always mail you and spread the (little) wisdom that I have. Besides, I need a guitarist so I can start up another band!!!
It's a classical guitar and it was actually the simple string flipping operation I wanted done, which, I'm told shouldn't cost much -- I don't know how to do it myself, as I would need to flip the bridge thingy around as well, and the guy who sold my parents the guitar said this was quite a standard thing music shops often do.
I've given the right handed / left handed things quite a bit of thought, and have tried a few sample lessons off the net both ways round, but left handed still feels more natural and comfortable.
I know what you're saying about being self taught, but sometimes it helps just to have a few lessons to start you off, and often just to give you (well me) the discipline to keep practising regularly. I'll check out the site you recommend once I've got this guitar in a left handed order!
I don't know what I've got -- I'll have to have a look when I get home. May be being very dim here but I thought that the groovy bits (technical term) were wider for the thicker strings on the bridge. It might be at an angle too -- can't remember though!
If you have a digital camera and can take a pic, that'd be good. My saddle (the bit with the notches) just slides out if you tap it, and it could just be turned round. Some saddles only have very slight notches (especially when a guitar hasn't been played much), so it may not matter too much if you just restring it.
In short, I'm just saying that I'll be pleased to help you get it sorted without spending any money, but I just play the things really - my expertise is not in repairs and maintenance!!!
My boyfriend teaches guitar and is very good and extremly reasonable...
We live in SE1 and he will come to you if its easier.
Drop him a line on email@example.com if you would like any lessons.