Should a Left handed guitar play right handed?

I write with my left hand but years ago, when I first picked up the guitar, I played right handed and never thought that I should be playing left handed. I've been studying jazz guitar since last September, about nine months. When I started, I could already play some chords. I've been practising seriously since then, but i struggle to break 100 beats per minute. My teacher says it's because I'm a lefty and I started late, (I'm 39).

Is this true? Will this influence my guitar playing?
How can I improve my speed?
Regards,
Mario

ANSWER

Hi, Mario--

I think that playing right handed may be causing some problems for you, but I TOTALLY disagree with your teacher about the "starting too late.."

My advice is to first try some concentrated exercises aimed at improving your speed. You can find excellent ones here:

Practicing Guitar Scales for Rhythm and Speed

Alternate Picking Scale Exercises

If you make an honest and diligent attempt at the above exercises and do not see improvement, then I would advise you to try switching to playing left handed. This is the more expensive alternative, as you would need a suitable guitar, but for some left handed people, playing right handed just does not work.

I would also advise you to consider finding a teacher who does not attribute your difficulties to your age or the age at which you began to study. That is poisonous thinking.

Please let us know how you progress!

Best Wishes,
Lynne

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