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CelloTeotl
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Posts: 4
(7/5/01 1:56:59 am)
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How do left-handed play?


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?


thank you

DoDahlberg
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Posts: 108
(7/5/01 3:58:43 am)
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Re: How do left-handed play?
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.

Dorie

TerryM 
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Posts: 448
(7/5/01 6:38:42 am)
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Re: How do left-handed play?
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.

Terry

Ellen G 
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Posts: 798
(7/5/01 6:55:06 am)
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Re: How do left-handed play?
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 know.

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, etc.

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...

karenlee 
Registered User
Posts: 49
(7/5/01 9:32:30 am)
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left handed symphony players
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!

TerryM 
Registered User
Posts: 449
(7/5/01 12:44:32 pm)
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Re: left handed symphony players
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.

Terry

DoDahlberg
Moderator
Posts: 109
(7/5/01 7:20:07 pm)
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Yeah, that's what I meant, Terry. (nt)
(This message was left blank)

Dorie

kyasurine
Registered User
Posts: 2
(7/6/01 12:49:44 am)
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left-handed cellists
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 kept secret.

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.

CelloTeotl
Registered User
Posts: 5
(7/6/01 1:56:59 am)
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Re: left-handed cellists
Thank you all for your commets -

Laura Wichers
Moderator
Posts: 1048
(7/6/01 11:42:13 am)
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Re: How do left-handed play?
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 hand technique.


Laura

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Replies
How do left-handed play? CelloTeotl 7/5/01 1:56:59 am
    Re: How do left-handed play? Laura Wichers 7/6/01 11:42:13 am
    left-handed cellists kyasurine 7/6/01 12:49:44 am
       Re: left-handed cellists CelloTeotl 7/6/01 1:56:59 am
    left handed symphony players karenlee  7/5/01 9:32:30 am
       Re: left handed symphony players TerryM  7/5/01 12:44:32 pm
    Re: How do left-handed play? DoDahlberg 7/5/01 3:58:43 am
       Re: How do left-handed play? TerryM  7/5/01 6:38:42 am
          Yeah, that's what I meant, Terry. (nt) DoDahlberg 7/5/01 7:20:07 pm
          Re: How do left-handed play? Ellen G  7/5/01 6:55:06 am



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