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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:12 am 
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No doubt there Steve! I'm a huge fan of Seamus Egan! No one quite like him in my opinion. He is gifted with an incredible musical mind! Prolly why it doesn't matter which hand is top when playing flute or whistle...not to mention, Bango, guitar, mandolin and pipes...I'll have to find some videos of his pipe playing...I'm curious what hand he has on top. I've tried to play both ways, for a laff, it is very difficult to wrap my head around howhe can do that so effortlessly!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 2:44 pm 
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We really should knock this "playing left handed" phrase on the head.

I'm very left-handed and play the whistle the "conventional" way around with the left hand at the top. I can't for the life of me see it making a blind bit of difference, in terms of playing whistles, which hand is at the top.

It's convention, not a handedness thing.

PS. it may make a difference with other woodwind instruments, but that is simply how they've been designed for the conventional order of the hands.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:08 pm 
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I agree wholly with Andrew(although there does seem to be a need for naming conventions with such things). "Left-handed" et all is very misleading. I call BS on most of it - industry or marketing terms are prescriptive rather than descriptive. If money and convenience is a big consideration, then do whatever the norm is. But otherwise, do what feels right. Plenty of good players in all genres use "bad" posture and technique on a lot of instruments and do just fine. I've yet to be convinced that left-handed person should start on a left-hand instrument. Humans are remarkably adaptive, and even your non-dominant hand will learn the control needed on something like a fiddle bow. When shops and teachers shoehorn players into these categories, it creates biases and myths that are incredibly annoying.

So what if somebody starts lefty on tin whistle, and then switches to righty pipes or flute? It takes way way way longer to learn the difficulties of a new instrument than to overcome previous (minor) habits. It doesn't take that long to adjust....as I said before, humans are remarkably adaptive.


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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 1:21 am 
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awildman wrote:
I agree wholly with Andrew(although there does seem to be a need for naming conventions with such things). "Left-handed" et all is very misleading. I call BS on most of it - industry or marketing terms are prescriptive rather than descriptive. If money and convenience is a big consideration, then do whatever the norm is. But otherwise, do what feels right. Plenty of good players in all genres use "bad" posture and technique on a lot of instruments and do just fine. I've yet to be convinced that left-handed person should start on a left-hand instrument. Humans are remarkably adaptive, and even your non-dominant hand will learn the control needed on something like a fiddle bow. When shops and teachers shoehorn players into these categories, it creates biases and myths that are incredibly annoying.

So what if somebody starts lefty on tin whistle, and then switches to righty pipes or flute? It takes way way way longer to learn the difficulties of a new instrument than to overcome previous (minor) habits. It doesn't take that long to adjust....as I said before, humans are remarkably adaptive.


I think you've over-interpreted my comments rather.

I was referring to tin whistles, and *only* tin whistles. In this case I think that the terms are misleading.

Being left-handed is not due to "marketing BS" (quite the opposite in fact), and I would strongly recommend that left-handed people should be given the opportunity to start on left-handed instruments.

The best way to put off a left-handed child or adult from wanting to continue to play most instruments is to tell them to "do whatever the norm is". The very thought that you tell a left-handed child that what they are not "normal" is abhorrent; though, sadly, it seems that attitude hasn't died out yet.

Giving a left-handed child a left-handed instrument is not trying to shoehorn them into a category. Are you honestly saying that left-handed children are caused by teachers? That left-handed people are simply badly taught right-handers?

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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 1:37 am 
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Quote:
We really should knock this "playing left handed" phrase on the head.


It's shorthand, in a whistling context we know it to mean 'playing with the right hand on top'.

In the photo I posted earlier:

Image

there are several players who are not citeogs playing 'lefthanded' while there is at least one citeog playing 'righthanded'. It doesn't matter although it can become an issue when moving on to another instrument. One of the girls in the pic, playing 'lefthanded' but with a dominant right hand, moved on to the pipes and we had discussions about going with a left handed set or a standard one. She went with a left handed set but never got to playing regulators so it wasn't a problem in the end.

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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 3:06 am 
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ecadre wrote:
The best way to put off a left-handed child or adult from wanting to continue to play most instruments is to tell them to "do whatever the norm is".

This is exactly what I do when teaching guitar and bass to my school music classes except where I have pupils who've already started the other way. But then I'm right-handed playing strings left-handed by necessity, so understand the pros and cons of reversing the hands perfectly as well as knowing what it's like to be limited to left-handed instruments.

Quote:
The very thought that you tell a left-handed child that what they are not "normal" is abhorrent; though, sadly, it seems that attitude hasn't died out yet.

I have never told any of them they're not normal.

Quote:
Giving a left-handed child a left-handed instrument is not trying to shoehorn them into a category. Are you honestly saying that left-handed children are caused by teachers? That left-handed people are simply badly taught right-handers?

No, left-handed people are naturally left-handed. But some things are strongly handed, some are not, and I'd put guitar playing in the latter category for most people. As well as a number of world-famous left-handed guitarists who've done very well on standard 'right-handed' instruments.

Incidentally (re. comments further up about bands and conformity), I have a DVD at school of Britten's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra conducted by Simon Rattle with (I think) the CBSO where there's a left-handed viola player. Never been able to find all of it on the Internet, but here's the obvious shot from the viola variation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ku3TRcjLpyY&feature=youtu.be&t=365

And that's something I've never seen anywhere else in a professional orchestra!

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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 5:31 am 
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I too can't really think of whistles as 'handed' instruments. Guitar is different. Exactly why isn't fully agreed upon. Most, but apparently not all, left-handers can learn to play "right-handed". Mark Knopler is a well-known example, but there are many others. Jimi Hendrix played left-handed, but he could do both ways actually. But then you have Paul McCartney, who is on record saying that he tried for a long time learning to play guitar on a right-handed one, but couldn't. Then he got a left-handed instrument, problem solved. He didn't have any problems with piano though, but piano playing is different - and I've never heard about a lefty piano.


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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 5:55 am 
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Tor wrote:
but piano playing is different - and I've never heard about a lefty piano.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIgO4LqvU-0

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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 7:50 am 
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Since we have covered several instruments at this point, I saw an interesting interview with Ashley MacIsaac in which he describes in detail how playing a standard strung fiddle left handed has affected his style of play, giving him more direct access to the lower (G,D) strings. He also notes the limitations of this style of playing, or the counterpoint, as it were. I think its this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I88r9ZsTuec


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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 12:19 am 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
Tor wrote:
but piano playing is different - and I've never heard about a lefty piano.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIgO4LqvU-0
Thanks Peter - well, it just goes to show - anything that could exist may actually exist.


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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 12:24 am 
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Mike Clougherty wrote:
This is something I've been curious about. I play the whistle left handed, and out of all of the sessions and festivals I've been to, I have never seen another lefty. Is this a fluke or are there really not that many of us out there?
Mike
"I play the whistle left handed" I do too! I write right handed tho..... I just can't play a whistle right handed! Weird? Maybe?

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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 4:58 pm 
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I know a couple of lefty flute and whistle players, but it doesn't really make any sense from a dominate hand point of view. I am a left handed person who started playing flute in a grade school band so I got the classical hand placement instruction at that time. But the idea that a left handed person needs to play one way and a right handed another is sort of silly since there is no dominate hand in flute or whistle playing. I'd encourage a learner to go left hand top right from the get go. If they move on to keyed flutes there are more options in the future. Or if they, say, have a midlife ambition to try the saxophone they're a step ahead.


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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 5:55 pm 
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busterbill wrote:
I know a couple of lefty flute and whistle players, but it doesn't really make any sense from a dominate hand point of view. I am a left handed person who started playing flute in a grade school band so I got the classical hand placement instruction at that time. But the idea that a left handed person needs to play one way and a right handed another is sort of silly since there is no dominate hand in flute or whistle playing. I'd encourage a learner to go left hand top right from the get go. If they move on to keyed flutes there are more options in the future. Or if they, say, have a midlife ambition to try the saxophone they're a step ahead.

Exactly right. I had a student a number
of years ago who was right handed.
He played the flute and whistle, one
left hand on top the other right hand
on top with equal facility.

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