My family was given a lovely Westman Soprano psaltery at the same time that we were ordering a James Jones Alto. Both are right-handed instruments, since 2 of the 3 of us are right-handed, it seemed to make sense to order a right-handed instrument, since we all want to play it. I'm left handed. Although I play other instruments the same way as right-handed people do, I'm more comfortable bowing with my left hand.This seems to affect the mechanics, and since I'm new at this, I wonder whether any of you have tips to help me, as I'm playing across the instrument most of the time. I do wonder whether this is harder on my shoulder, so I'm paying attention to my arm position I seem to naturally angle the instrument with the "white keys" higher than the sharps and flats. My other challenge is learning to hold the bow in the best way for me--years of playing guitar and dulcimer, not to mention gardening and typing, have caused wear and tear on my hands. I'm experimenting with different "holds" and trying to keep the grip as loose as possible. I look forward to your comments and suggestions. Thank you!

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Hi Beth, thank you for your friend request, as you can see from my videos I play with two bows a lot. Some people say "you must be ambidextrous to do that", wrong, what I am is ambiwristrous, its more like typing with two fingers. Since your left handed your left hand will still play better than your right but I'd still have left hand play lower note position and be prepared for doing fancier playing with that bow than I am capable of! Start with "Chopsticks", playing the two bows at the same time and then practice alternating, its actually easier to play this way especially faster tunes than with one bow and you can get harmonies though not chords. I hold the Bow with my hand wrapped around the bow as opposed to holding it with your fingers like a violin bow, that wears your hand out really fast. Otherwise playing with one bow left handed should still be able do the slides and play in the keys using the black keys more, see my "Amazing Grace" in F# and others. One other thing I've seen is playing the Bowed Psaltery backwards the way Paulette Lucas plays, see "Down Home Psaltery NO.2". I hope this helps, Happy Psaltering! GREGG

Correction: "Down Home Psaltery Fest #4" not 2

Beth, Here is a video of a left-handed bower holding the psaltery "backwards" as Gregg suggested, so the "white keys" are on the left-handed side. You may want to try it.


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