The Left-Handed Guitar-Playing Animal

I learned only recently that animals can exhibit handedness, or simply put, that some species statistically tend to prefer one side over the other.

In humans, the ratio of left-handed to right-handed individuals is about 1 to 9, which is pretty low. I ignore whether or not the ratio of guitarists to non-guitarists is the same for each handedness group, but still, I kind of suspect that left-handed guitarists are a minority. Suffice to check the price tag of the LH guitar variant as compared to the same “standard” model – which by the way isn’t even labelled as RH. Talk about offer and demand in play!

Seriously, though, I thought it would be a good idea to do something in Chronotron to help musicians learn songs regardless of their handedness. Left-handed pianos not being mainstream yet, this post is mainly for those who play other instruments, though you can of course use Chronotron no matter what instrument you play.

Video Flipping

For us right-handed guitarists, watching a video of a left-handed player and figuring out what she’s doing shouldn’t be more difficult than watching ourselves play in front of a mirror, right? Try that. For whatever reason the mirrored fingering looks really awkward.

In Chronotron, you can apply a mirror effect during video playback by turning on the corresponding switch in the Adjustments pane, which instantly turns Eric Clapton into his left-handed twin.

Note that in the current and earlier releases (version 99) this switch has effect during playback, but not when video is rendered to disk. In the upcoming release the mirroring effect will also work when rendering media.

Left-Handed Guitar and Bass Fretboards

The purpose of the on-screen instrument in Chronotron is twofold: it serves as the visual support for note detection, and it also allows you to play notes – or even chords, if you have a touchscreen – on the go. You can choose between a piano keyboard, a guitar or bass fretboard.

Unsurprisingly, the fretboards are right-handed by default, but with the flip of a switch they become left-handed.

Ideas are Welcome

If you’re reading this you’re probably left-handed. Are there any other valuable features for lefties you can think of? I’m all ears.

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