Why is the seemingly more complicated part of playing the guitar done with the non-dominant hand?


When a right-handed person plays guitar, they typically use their right hand to strum the strings while manipulating their left hand on the neck to adjust notes and chords (or something; I’m not a musician). It seems to me the fingerings along the neck require more dexterity than the strumming and would be easier to do with the dominant hand.

In: 2270

If you try playing guitar the opposite way it becomes pretty obvious that the strumming is actually the more difficult part. Much of the time you’re just forming your off hand into the correct fret positions to play chords. Even if you’re playing more melodically or a solo, it’s less difficult than you’d think to move your fingers around, and you have the neck to guide that hand if need be.
Strumming and picking end up taking more control and effort so your dominant hand is better at it.

I am left handed and I play guitar right handed. Both fretting and strumming are harder than the other because it’s 2 different skills. The technical playing, depending on what you’re doing, can be easy to fret and strum, easy to fret and hard to strum, hard to fret and easy to strum, or both hard. I play right handed because it feels natural to fret with my left hand, but I know that it would take a ton of practice for me to be able to strum really well because my right hand is lacking. It’s just a “what feels natural” kind of thing. And a money thing because normal guitars are cheaper, so lefty starting out is probably going to learn righty.

A dominant hand is usually more dexterous, has more endurance, and is stronger than the off hand. Of the three, dexterity is the quickest to train the off hand. Because both hands need coordination and dexterity, while the strumming needs endurance and strength, the dominant hand is used for strumming and the off hand just needs to get gud.

You don’t have to play like that.

I’m left handed, but my parents couldn’t afford a guitar until one cheap enough popped up in the local pawn shop.

Until then I was using a friend’s when I saw them, which was right handed.
I tried learning as much as I could when he was about so it became natural.

I tried playing left handed and it just didn’t work and continued on right handed guitars. I can’t imagine playing left handed and I’ve now been playing for over 15 years.
I feel I can do so much more on the neck with my left hand too that I don’t think I’d have been able to (at least so quickly) had I chosen to pick up a lefty.

That being said, I can’t use a pick and I haven’t put in the time to learn. It’s like using a pen with your non-dominant hand, but I can do everything with just my thumb, I even learnt to adapt to do pinch harmonics.

Guitarist here….as others have mentioned, the strumming or picking is the more difficult task, especially as you progress into finger picking or crazy metal solos