Left-handed little people and trumpets - help please!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by juliamary, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

    Jan 21, 2010
    Great Southern Land
    Years ago I was told left handed soldiers would have their left hands strapped to their sides to "train" them to use their right hands as well as they use their left ones. I'm not sure what army, or what era, or whether it was effective, though it seems a bit cruel. But if it works, and the left-handed person is willing to give it a go, perhaps it has merit?

  2. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    My eldest son plays Tuba, he is left handed, both my father and I are essentially ambidextrous, but we encouraged right handed playing of the Tuba and he persevered successfully - after the initial reluctance he became competent as a right hander. Recently we played together and I noticed he switched back and forth from right to left hand, to scratch his nose BTW, but his brain works equally well with either hand. See if you can encourage him to use his right hand, but don't force it - you may put him off the trumpet - there will be others (teachers, peers) who will encourage right-handedness so you don't have to be the ogre.
  3. vern

    vern Piano User

    Mar 4, 2008
    My sister is right-handed and fingers with the left hand as is typical with french horns-it was no obstacle. Cornet is an excellent instrument for a beginner and, quite frankly, I woudn't be dissappointed if all trumpet players started out this way.
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Let's look at the real issue here - it has nothing to do with right or left handed even although the original reaction of the child was to do what is "easier" first.

    Nope, I see this thread as more about parents that care. I think we can all rejoice here - there are too many cases where they wouldn't even notice.

    My take on this is that ANYONE has to achieve a fair amount of motor skills in BOTH HANDS to be able to most easily deal with what comes along in life. A child that always stresses the "easy" side needs some gentle prodding to not neglect that bit of balance.

    Technically, the child will need at least a year of lessons if not two, before "fingering" becomes a big issue. By that time either hand has been specifically conditioned to do the required job. I would view the trumpet/cornet as an opportunity to achieve some balanced coordination. I would have a different opinion if fine motor control were necessary to get the job done. There we could speak perhaps of a handicap. My vote is for the right hand!
  5. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Initially I played the French horn and although I could do it well enough, IMO my left hand fingering just wasn't as fast as my right. Too, I'm not a believer that a pianist moves their left hand fingers as fast as their right hand and such is explained simply because bass parts aren't written as fast as the right. Too, I don't know of any fast solo improv for either bass or French horn.
  6. lakerjazz

    lakerjazz Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 10, 2006
    My friend is a left-handed trumpet player. He never plays with his left hand, but when he does just to try it out, his left handed fingering is much much faster. Your brain tends to mirror your two hands; I've never played with my left hand but I can finger everything I know with my left hand. But simply, the strong arm will always be better. You can put him on a right handed trumpet or cornet as others have suggested, and he should be fine. Later down the line, if he's still playing, you may consider buying a left-handed trumpet if it means that much to him. Also, be on the look out for F.E. Olds trumpets. Once a while, you will find an Olds trumpet with a left-handed option. They are vintaged so typically used a lot, but they are a lot cheaper and typically good quality. If you are lucky enough to find a cheap one any time soon, it may be worth buying. However, right now your son is probably just finding something to blame, because everyone struggles with fingering early on.
  7. Chuck Cox

    Chuck Cox Forte User

    Oct 3, 2008
    Cary NC
    I have always been the smallest trumpet player in the band. I was 13 when I broke 70 lbs. My heart goes out to the little guy. Even though it looks like he's struggling with the weight and size/length of his trumpet. I bet that you won't hear him complain. You're a good mom.
    tedh1951 likes this.
  8. Charles652011

    Charles652011 New Friend

    Sep 26, 2010
    Indiana, USA
    I am right handed. I started learning trumpet last year after 55 years of playing reeds. While playing sax, clarinet, or flute, I never slow down for the notes fingered with my left hand or those fingered in combination with left and right hands. Please let your child play with whatever he wants to use. After all, we are talking about "playing" trumpet, aren't we?
  9. xjb0906

    xjb0906 Piano User

    May 2, 2009
    Charlotte NC
    I am left handed. I have always worked the valves with the right hand. Think of piano and guitar players. They all have to learn to use both hands to play their instrument of choice. Practice and time will make this issue go away. Just have to put in the work.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2011

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