What does ‘idiodextrous’ mean?


combining form personal, own


adjective showing or having skill, especially with the hands

‘Idiodextrous’ is a word made up to describe ‘playing left-handed on a right-handed bass without re-stringing’ – it was created as a shortcut, to avoid repeating that lengthy explanation.

On this site, it’s only used to refer to playing ‘left-handed’ on a ‘right-handed’ double bass, but it could also be adopted to describe any unusual, personalised way of choosing which hand does what in a given task. For example, playing ‘right-handed’ on a ‘left-handed’ bass is an idiodextrous approach – but I have yet to meet someone who does this regularly.

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One thought on “What does ‘idiodextrous’ mean?

  1. I’m a lefty double bassist but sometimes when touring I won’t bring my bass but use a right handed one that’s in the new town so have to play idiodextrously. The clarinet player of a band once wanted to see me do this before one tour so I borrowed one from a school I teach at to show him. As a lefty, I’ve had to play righty guitars and basses for so long, I don’t think about the change too much though of course can’t play as involved lines (or chords) as I can on a proper lefty.


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