(7/5/01 1:56:59 am)
My Daughter is certainly left-handed. She plays around with
my cellos and for her it is very natural to hold the cello on her
right side. The same goes for guitar and other instruments. I will
make sure to look for a left handed player next time I go to the
symphony but I just do not remember ever having seen one (never paid
attention). How do lefties solve this conundrum?
(7/5/01 3:58:43 am)
|Re: How do
There's nothing to solve. This comes up all the time on cello chat.
You'd be surprised how many people are left handed. Since both hands
and arms are doing things, consider playing the cello an
ambidexterous endeavor. It may even be an advantage to be left
handed when you think of the dexterity required of the left hand.
Justin Kagan, who writes on the other board, is left handed. He's an
excellent cellist; was principal cellist for the State Symphony of
Mexico for nine years. Laura Wichers is also left handed. There are
others who are but I forget who they are. I don't know if there has
ever been a survey of lefty well known solo cellists but I have a
feeling the numbers would surprise you.
|Re: How do
Dorie, your reply implies it, but does not specifically say, that
each of the cellists you mentioned play the cello in the normal
fashion, i.e. bow in right hand and fingering with the left hand, or
at least, that is how I interpret your post.
|Re: How do
Two things. I have a left-handed cellist daughter and she never
thought to hold a cello any other way. (I've seen right-handed
cellists try it to the right side of the head, though.) Whether her
dexterity and fluidity of movement is due to this or not, I don't
The second thing is that many people don't realize
that the cello which appears to be externally symmetrical, is not in
terms of construction: bass bar, sound post, planing of fingerboard,
Make that three things. Those who do reverse the cello
for necessary physical impediments sometimes don't reverse the
strings. Annotations as to bowing, and the actual movement between
strings, would be different for each setup. I wouldn't want to think
about the ramifications of playing chords...
You will be surprised to learn that you have already seen lots of
left handed cello players at the symphony. They are all playing so
called right handed. I am left handed and after much consternation I
learned to play so called right handed. Actually now that I have
been at it a while I realize the cello isn't left handed or right
handed; both hands are important, and both hands learn their jobs
equally well. So don't let the left hand worry about what the right
hand is doing! It's ok!
|Re: left handed
You have raised a good point about the cello being a neither left
nor right-handed instrument. I think most of us felt awkward and
unskilled in both hands when we first started out to play the
instrument. I am right-handed, but tend to be a bit ambidextrous in
some things. Even so the bow did not feel comfortable at all in my
right hand as I recall. What I have notice since playing the cello
is much more equality, in my motor skills of both hands and
especially the left hand. I can do things with my left hand now that
I could not do years ago. A lot of this I attribute to the fine
motor control developed in playing the cello.
Just the other
day I was painting some windows on my house and got into a tight
corner and automatically transferred the paint brush to my left hand
and continued to paint window sash. I don't think I could have done
that before playing the cello. So it is really a matter of training
both hands and supporting muscles to do things that neither of them
have done much of before. For the sake of ease of playing and common
setup of the instrument, it would, to my mind, be best to start
playing as instrument is set up to play and enjoy the benefits of
new skills development in both hands and arms.
(7/5/01 7:20:07 pm)
what I meant, Terry. (nt)
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(7/6/01 12:49:44 am)
I am left-handed, in my late forties, and started playing the cello
a year ago. I have always felt that being a leftie is a distinct
advantage in playing the cello--to the point where I pity
right-handed beginners. I cannot imagine trying to use my
non-dominant hand on the neck. However, humility may be forced on me
when I encounter more difficult bowing in more advanced pieces. But
right now I think of the cello as a left-handed instrument--a well
Also, I think lefties are generally more
ambidextrous than righties--from biology or just necessity.
Encourage your daughter. She may gain lots of confidence from the
rapid progress she makes as a beginner.
(7/6/01 1:56:59 am)
Thank you all for your commets -
(7/6/01 11:42:13 am)
|Re: How do
I'm left-handed but I play in the conventional way, right hand
holding the bow. No one even mentioned the possibility of playing
"left-handed" and I'm glad. If I had learned to play with the bow in
my left-hand, I would have had quite a struggle. The set-up is
different, bowings and articulations in music would be different,
I'd constantly be stabbing my stand partner and other musicians
around me, and it probably would have been difficult to find a
teacher willing to teach "backwards."
If anything, being
left-handed is a PLUS. I already had the dexterity in my left hand
to play the notes. My right hand is still a problem, but ask any
cellist no matter how accomplished and they will tell you that the
right hand/arm technique is MUCH more difficult to master than left