A gauche, sinister thread for us southpaws

I get an access denied page!? :flushed:

That’s odd, it looks correct, and I cut and pasted it. Try this:

That one works for me. And I’d already found it and answered the poll, so apparently not something I did wrong… :slightly_smiling_face:

when my father taught me to bat and throw. he told me catchers don’t throw lefthanded. even though i did find one example of a lefty catcher (jack clements), he didn’t budge. so i throw right, bat left.

i’m fairly ambidextrous, as my mother was a bit anti-lefty.

Sometimes I eat things that require only a fork, like a salad. When I do that, I use my right hand. But if I’m eating a steak, I spear with the fork in my left hand, cut with the knife in my right hand…at that point, a lot of people switch the fork to the right hand but I don’t.

There are two basic methods for eating with a knife and fork. The “American” involves having your fork in your left and your knife in your right when cutting your food, then putting the knife down and switching your fork to your right hand to eat, tines facing upwards. (If you’re right-handed, that is.) With the “European” method, the fork remains in the left hand and the knife helps coax your food onto your . The tines remain facing downwards.

I see people do that “American” thing. Where I run into trouble is when I need to spear and scoop—steak and a salad at the same meal.

Tidbit from the same article:

According to Wikipedia, American spies were exposed in at least two American films by using the wrong fork technique: O.S.S. (1946) and The Big Red One (1980).


Lefty, tending toward Ambi.

I’ve always tried to learn to use both hands. I had a teacher who, early in my schooling warned I would have to live in a righty world. So try to learn righty ways.

I was never forced or made to use my right hand but I did try on my own.
My writing is equally bad with either hand. Which is funny because I draw well, I think, with both hands.

My one problem has come from shooting a long gun. Mr.Wrekker taught me to shoot right handed. I’m a decent shot but I always feel awkward. Maybe I would feel awkward either way, I’m not sure.

And yet, stringed instruments (at least in the western world) have always been played with the dominant hand doing the picking/strumming/bowing/whatever, and the non-dominant hand doing the stopping (or fretting, in the case of the guitar or most electric basses).

So I’m guessing that over centuries (literally), players and luthiers have come to know that dominant-hand technique is actually more complex and difficult than non-dominant hand technique.

I totally understand that it’s more intuitive that the dominant hand should be stopping the strings, but all those players and luthiers can’t have been wrong for hundreds of years.

Hundreds of years ago, did stringed instrument players have such intricate things to do with their non-strumming hand?

I don’t know the history of stringed instrument development, or stringed instrument music development, so this is a real question, not a position disguised as a question.

It seems to me that you could trust how musicians have always done it as being the best method, or you could figure that it made sense at the start, because fretting was simpler, but that now it might no longer make sense, but is just passed on as the self-evidently correct way, because it’s always been done that way.

I don’t know enough to know which is more likely to be correct.

Absolutely. Listen to lute (or vihuela) music from, say, the sixteenth or seventeenth century. For sure the right-hand technique required is more intricate than what a rock or folk player does. Look at any classical guitar music, going back centuries – the right-hand stuff is amazing. More so (in my opinion) than what’s going on with the left hand.

Not to mention the enormous literature for the bowed instruments. Different thing, of course, but the right-hand technique is still amazing. Far beyond anything I can do (but that’s not saying much).

And yes, if someone is just strumming a few chords on a guitar, the right hand isn’t doing anything incredibly intricate, that’s true, and that’s a lot of pop music.

But, as I said above, I’m guessing, and just surmising that there’s a reason it’s done the way it’s done, and has been for centuries.

I think you misread my question, or I did a poor job of asking it. I’m asking if the fretting or stopping of strings was as intricate hundreds of years ago compared to complex versions of it now? In other words, could it have made more sense hundreds of years ago to use the nondominant hand for fretting, but at some point it could have crossed over, to make more sense to use the dominant hand for fretting, but no one switched because now it’s just the way it’s always been done, and it’s assumed to be correct.

Again I don’t know, but part of what’s needed to figure it out is to know whether the fret hand required less dexterity hundreds of years ago.

Aha. OK, gotcha. Let me stress my lack of expertise, but my take on it is that non-dominant hand technique (and I’ll just refer to that hand as the left hand from now on, because I suck at typing) hasn’t changed nearly as much as right-hand technique over the centuries. Meaning that the left hand is doing pretty much what it’s always done, while new genres of music have called for new right-hand techniques (for example, country music’s hybrid plectrum-and-fingers technique).

Here’s an interesting discussion on this very topic:

Mixed lefty here. Anything technical I do lefty - writing, eating, shooting pool, fine touch things. Strength elements like shooting a basketball, throwing things are right though I did bat both ways in my younger days. I always confounded basketball defenders who saw me shoot right handed but I was equal or better going to my left and shot lefty from close range. I can learn to do most things passably left handed or right handed.

My username gives away my fitness to participate in this thread, I imagine. Anyway, I share a station at work with a fellow lefty; she uses the mouse left-handed and everything but I don’t, so we just keep the workstation computer mouse in the middle of the desk. I’m a bit of a mixed lefty in that respect and a few others. When she first saw me filling out the paperwork and ticking off boxes she remarked that I also make my checkmarks “the right handed way”. I didn’t know that was even a thing, but yes, she does her checkmarks like this:

I had never seen this before as I make my checkmarks the conventional way, with the big stroke looking like a forward slash, and it never occurred to me… not to? So is it really common among lefty folks to do the big stroke like a backslash?

Lefty here, and like you, this never occurred to me. I’ve never seen anyone make a checkmark like that before.

I don’t do this, but it looks very natural to me. Except that all other writing is so right-handed, too.

i check that way if i’m writing lefthanded.

I don’t do that, and I’ve never seen anyone else do it either. It looks like it would be a more natural motion for a right handed person. I just mimed it and it felt really awkward to move my hand “backwards” like that.

I usually check it away from the line of text.
\ example :heavy_check_mark: (Seriously? no left-handed check marks?)
And to really confuse people I say ambi-sinisteress (ambi-sinstress? Spellcheck and internet is failing me), though I am less ambi and more sinister. Though you can probably tell with all the ink smears…

When I use my left hand, I make tick marks that way; when I use my right hand, the other way.