# Is it harmful for a right handed person to play a left handed guitar

This is a little bit of music especially handedness. But I do believe it's more inclined to cognitive sciences. Here's my case. I'm naturally a right handed person, writing, throwing, picking up objects. When I clap, it's my right hand that does most of the clapping, when I drink, I lift the glass with my right hand.

I also play guitar with my right hand.

• Right handed guitar playing means, you strum with your right, and fret with your left.
• Left handed guitar playing on the other hand is strumming with your left and pressing the fret board with the right.

Sadly with the loss of my left pinky, I am unable to play the guitar effectively. I've known people losing the dominant parts of their body (some even a whole arm) and forcing them to adapt, and use their non dominant part. And through time and practice, they've managed to use the non dominant part effectively.

So I've been researching some articles regarding left handedness, cross dominance, and ambidexterity, interesting reads. I've read an article about the benefits of using your opposite hand stating that using your non dominant hand strengthens neural connections in your brain, and even grow new ones, increases creativity, and memory function, another article states that it is actually harmful for a person to switch from his dominant side to his non dominant function, effects include :

• Stuttering
• Poor concentration
• Neurotic personality

There are a lot of resources stating the same negative effects of cross dominance, and forcing oneself to become ambidextrous. But most of the articles I've read (supported by studies) are concerned with children under pre-teenage years, having abnormalities in cognitive and psychological development - causing from being forced to write with their right hand even if they're naturally lefties.

As for adults, who are considerably grown. and people who have lived their entire lives right handed, Would shifting to a non dominant hand to perform a task such as playing the guitar affect (while keeping other tasks the same) a person's entire cognitive and psychological function? (I'm limiting this just to guitar playing)

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I can't answer your question, but would say this: Well done on researching your topic and linking sources before posting. However, bear in mind that neither site you link is exactly authoritative (especially anythinglefthanded.co.uk, which has an obvious bias). Usually, Google Scholar would be the best place to search, but I haven't been able find anything there myself, in a quick search. – Eoin Apr 29 '14 at 8:39
On a less scientific note, I would imagine that the benefits (training a new skill, still getting to play guitar) would outweigh any disadvantages of changing the habit of a lifetime, though again this is speculation, not evidence. You also might be interested in the discussion around the cognitive effects of bilingualism, for which wikipedia is always a good start, which might have some parallels. – Eoin Apr 29 '14 at 8:42