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Thread: brass instruments for lefthanded people

  1. #1

    brass instruments for lefthanded people

    hi all.
    Just to satisfy my curiosity: do brass instruments (from trumpets to bass) exist for lefthanded people? If not: how do lefthanded people manage to learn to play, I can't imagine that there are no "lefties" playing euphonium for instance. If they do exist: where can you find them?? Never heard of it or seen one, but it intrigues me!

    thx
    Johan

  2. #2
    There are none in standard production that I know of. I don't think the need is great. Look at French horn players. Most of them are probably right handed, but they manage the valves fine. And think about woodwind players. They have to use both hands.

    Adams Brass will do a lot of custom work, but I'm not sure they would make a left handed euphonium. The valves are engineered to fit on a right handed horn, and I think it would be a huge effort to redesign those.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
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  3. #3
    thx Dave, my curiosity is satisfied ☺

  4. #4
    Well, I'm left-handed and can't see the problem in playing brass instruments. I have a right hand, and it seems to work OK for many things. Being left-handed doesn't mean that my right hand can't do precise, coordinated things. I don't think it's really a problem, but having a left-handed euphonium in ensemble playing might present some difficulties, just due to its reversed position.
    3-valve Blessing B-350 Euphonium

  5. #5
    I have seen some trumpets that have been completely taken apart and put back together left-handed, but it's usually to accommodate someone who has an injury or something rather than for handedness. It's fairly common to see left-handed guitars, and much less common but still not completely unusual to see violin-family instruments that have been strung and set up to be used left-handed, but most left-handed string players are using standard instruments. A lot of early woodwind instruments were built such that they could be played right-over-left or left-over right, with extra holes that could be filled with wax if you weren't going to use them, but all of the modern ones have standardized on left-over-right. I'm sure special ones have been made, again probably for accessibility for a disabled person, but it's not really necessary just because of handedness.

  6. #6
    I'm a left handed euphonium and trumpet player. I don't think it is much of an issue. Part of the learning process of the instrument is getting your fingers to work and I suspect that the learning curve between left and right hand is not that much. I tried French horn for a little while when I was in high school and the hand switch was the least of the issues in terms of learning the new instrument. In fact my right hand could do some things it took my left hand a while to learn.

  7. #7
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    Thank goodness it's not like trying to throw a baseball with your left hand.

    Maybe little off-topic, but interesting to watch Leohnard Paul of Mnozil Brass playing two trombones with his feet and at the same time, two trumpets with his fingers. Note, he's fingering the trumpets backwards with his index finger on the 3rd valve.

    Mnozil Brass - Lonely Boy (the first 4 mins aren't worth much so you can drag the playback forward)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYRMbj6U2Ww
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  8. #8
    I just bought a miraphone left. Handed alto horn . plays fantastic


  9. #9
    I assume Miraphone builds those because French horn players use them. But you could always get one of these:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Good for use below the Equator
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garcky View Post
    Well, I'm left-handed and can't see the problem in playing brass instruments. I have a right hand, and it seems to work OK for many things. Being left-handed doesn't mean that my right hand can't do precise, coordinated things. I don't think it's really a problem, but having a left-handed euphonium in ensemble playing might present some difficulties, just due to its reversed position.
    At the risk of stating the obvious, piano players generally learn to move their fingers just as fluidly with either hand.

    I knew a left handed musician who played a standard guitar, claiming that it was the "right way," and any lefty could learn to play it that way. By doing so, he (a) saved some money on buying guitars, (b) had a larger pool of available instruments to choose from whenever he went shopping, and (c) could sit in on a jam session with a borrowed instrument.
    Dean L. Surkin
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