Q: I am left-handed and a few years ago, I took guitar lessons from a teacher who told me to play right-handed. I found the going extremely difficult, either because I was playing right-handed or simply because I had no talent. Now I would like to try again, this time, playing left-handed. Would your book help? If not, could you please recommend some other book? Also any recommendations for a good left-handed guitar, or should I buy a right-handed guitar and reverse the strings?
A: I do have some books that I think would be good for you. It's really a matter of whether you want to spend the time dealing with the fact that they are written for a right handed guitarist. For Instance, Music Theory Workbook for Guitar Volume One and Two are excellent for helping you build up your knowledge of Music Theory and the fretboard. All exercises could be filled in, it wouldn't matter if you were right or left-handed, but the answers in the back of the book would be shown for a right-handed guitarist. You could hold the back of each page up to your computer monitor and read through the back-side of the page to see the left hand answers. Most students only need the answers for the first couple of pages and then they understand the process and continue without constantly checking the answers so this book might work for you.
I think 1st Steps for a Beginning Guitarist would be good too. There are three important things you could gain from this book.
1. How to physically play correctly. There is a detailed explanation of how to use both hands with pictures and videos to help you understand. This information is crucial to developing proper technique, which will make all the difference in the world for your progress.
2. Chord progressions with rhythms written out for your strumming hand. This will help you develop basic strumming skills. For the chords you will have to once again look through the back of the page. For most chords I think it would be quite simple for you to figure them out quickly.
3. A detailed explanation of rhythm and reading rhythm. This will be important when you come across rhythms in music that you might need to read. It will also help you to gain a mental image of how music is organized rhythmically. Working through the strumming patterns will also help point out any rhythm problems you might have. This is very important to your rhythmic development and overall musicianship.
There is one more book I would get that is an ear training book and wouldn't be affected by your left hand approach. This book is Ear Training One Note Complete. I can't stress how important it is to also develop your ear as you develop musically. It will make all the difference in the long run to your overall ability.