I just got my first fiddle yesterday and have been just doing some basic start messing around with first fiddle tutorials. While I was playing I tried bowing with both my left and right hand and it came pretty naturally to hold the instrument on the wrong shoulder.
I play an electric bass guitar left handed and my fretting is pretty decent. Because of this, with my right hand I can basically do 5 notes pretty quickly on the first three strings without even practicing it. When I switch to fingering with my left hand I don't have any muscle memory yet so I cannot.
Also the strings are identical in orientation to my bass guitar (EADG) just different string sizes of course.
I'm sure a million people have asked about playing a left handed instrument but what about just playing a normal instrument on the opposite shoulder? Other than the chin guard being in the wrong spot is there any negatives?
The answer is yes! There are a few champion fiddlers that play that way... also the late and famous Joe Holly played it leftest handed but with a right hand instrument.... the fiddle doesn't care which way and if you are more comfortable then all you have to do is learn tunes..
I think with other instruments when I've asked similar questions the answer is always "no learn right handed" or something so it's nice that the fiddling community is not so rigid.
The only problem is the chin guard is not in an ideal location - I need to research how difficult it is to move the chinguard. I looked and saw some metal under where it clamps on so I assume it is not like a shoulder rest that can be moved so easily...
Chin rest can be removed via the clamp that is holding it on. There are holes in the tube running to to bottom. Use a heavy paperclip end to turn the tubes sort of like you'd use a wrench, turn pull it out and there will be another hole, it will open or tighten depending on the direction of turn. It also might be stuck a little to the top if it is old.
Charlie Acuff and Bill Birchfield both played left-handed on right-handed fiddles with the strings in the standard order, so they were playing "over bass".
In later years Bill played a fiddle I made along with one he made. I once heard him tell somebody, who was playing the normal way, that they were doing it the hard way. I can do it both ways (lefty only because I lack a left hand) but find over the bass to be a little easier. But the argument will never be settled.
Thank you everyone for your personal responses - I really appreciate the information. Everyone here seems very welcoming so I hope (for mine, my family, and everyone heres sake) to continue on learning the art of the fiddle.
Maybe once I can stop making a noise like a screaming cat thrown at a chalkboard, I'll try to post a video or something for progress.