Being a left-handed individual makes you stand out easily from most people – but the bad news is that you can only receive few simple pleasures from life, including guitars.
When your dominant hand is your left one, you may tend to strum and pick guitars using your right hand as your left hand controls the fretboard.
The younger you are, the easier it is to adjust to using this method of playing – but it becomes increasingly difficult if you are an older player.
That does not mean you simply give up the idea of playing guitars if you are left-handed – the good news is that there are several options available for you, which will allow you to enjoy playing the instrument while using your dominant hand without any issues.
Best left handed guitars in 2021 – Comparison Table
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Fender Squier Classic Vibe Telecaster
Rise by Sawtooth ST-RISE-ST-LH-SB-KIT1 guitar pack
Jameson Guitars Full-Size Acoustic Electric guitar
Ibanez GRGM 6-string electric guitar
Taylor GS Mini Acoustic guitar
Mahogany and laminated wood
Best left handed guitars in 2021 – Top Picks
It is not surprising to find Fender on this list, as they have long established themselves as a company committed to making the best products for musicians – including left handed guitarists.
- Uses a customized set of Alnico V single coil pickups
- Fretboard radius of 9.5 inches, with medium jumbo frets
- Tinted neck design to add an upscale vintage appearance
- Butterscotch blonde finish on a pine wood body
This guitar model has a distinct ’50s vibe in its design and sound output, making it a pleasing prospect for you if you love vintage-style guitars. Along with its pickups, it is an attempt at creating a reasonably-priced product with superior attributes.
It uses Alnico V magnets in its pickup configuration, so you are always assured that the sound is rich and well-detailed. For this reason, it is an excellent choice for playing blues and classic rock music. It also has a 9.5-inch fretboard, which is quite standard for most Fender products. For the price it comes in, it is definitely worth the bargain for any experienced guitar player that wants to challenge themselves more in their craft.
- Very attractive design
- Very good headstock and neck integration
- Durable build
- Very good, rich sound quality
- Can be quite heavy for people with smaller frames
This guitar is a sign of commitment by the company to create Telecasters that are of a vintage design, which will please anyone who prefers such options. It combines both contemporary capabilities and a classic look, which will easily leave you amazed at its value.
Sawtooth is among the most famous electric guitar manufacturing companies, and this guitar is among their left handed collection.
- Maple neck and basswood body
- Scale length of 25.5 inches with an adjustable bridge
- Maple fretboard with multiple dot inlays
- Hardware comprised of chrome
- The kit package includes an online lesson, 3-pick sampler, gig bag, guitar cable, pitch pipe, guitar, and portable beginner’s amp
- Humbucker pickup configuration
Using basswood as the main material for the body and back, the aim of this instrument is creating a crystal-clear sound at very high quality. Its neck and fretboard are comprised of walnut, making it very easy to play; while the dot inlays on the fretboard increase its playability because they make notes easier to achieve.
The fretboard measures 25.5 inches, and is flexible enough to make it easier to control the guitar according to your playing pace. The best aspect about it is the cost – the package includes extra items such as guitar picks and a gig bag, all coming at a relatively low cost. This makes it a good choice for an intermediate player or a beginner. It will work for you if you are a professional player as well, especially if getting an affordable instrument is your goal.
- Very good guitar for beginners
- Very good playability
- Includes quite a few items to give you value for your money
- The build can feel flimsy at times
- Setting it up can be a challenge
If you are a beginner and are looking for a good left-handed guitar to start you off, this is a nice choice to go for because of the easy playability, even though it has its issues with setting up the intonation and bridge.
This is a great option if you want an acoustic guitar that has electronics on-board to allow you to plug in an amplifier. It does not cost much either, so it is also a great budget purchase.
- Gives you the option to plug it in or play it acoustically
- In-built tone and volume
- Package includes guitar picks and a gig bag case
- High gloss natural finish
- Scale length of 25.5 inches
- Piezo pickup configuration
The design of the guitar uses laminated wood for the sides and back. Additionally, the best tonewood quality operates alongside gloss-finished nato sides and back to deliver superb quality of sound and strong tones without the risk of suffering temperature changes and humidity fluctuations.
The neck uses solid wood and a truss rod, though the manufacturer does not specify the details of the wood in use – it might even have nato in its composition. The fingerboard is comprised of rosewood and has 20 frets with inlay dots to serve as markers.
- Affordable cost
- Acoustic setup allows you to play it without plugging in
- Very good sound quality and tone
- Comfortable action
- Smooth and attractive design
- The amp cord connection point tends to unscrew and fall inside the guitar body, so you will need to check it often to ensure it is tight enough
If you are searching for a versatile left handed guitar that allows you to play in multiple setups, this is a good pick to start you off. It is affordable and a durable choice, and is also great for intermediate guitar players.
This instrument not only works for professional left handed guitarists, but is also a great choice for beginners that are starting off with the instrument and want to learn the use of electric guitars.
- High output Infinity R pickup configuration
- Scale length of 22.2 inches
- 24 frets
Even though it is in a modest size, you cannot confuse it for a toy guitar. The construction uses high-quality materials, and the entire design is a large-grade one. Interestingly, it relies heavily on a hands-on orientation; its neck is comprised of maple while poplar makes up the body.
The scale length measures 22 inches, while the fingerboard has a 15.7-inch radius. This section consists of medicated New Zealand pine alongside an inlay-generated shark tooth for added durability and strength. The pickup configuration system sports a 3-way choice switch, which allows you to change the tone and volume controls to change the sound quality.
- Quite inexpensive for an electric guitar
- Good quality of pickups and their sound tones
- Short scale makes it easier for intermediate and small-handed players
- Compact design
- Tends to have issues with holding a tune
This is mostly a guitar meant for light playing sessions, rather than extensive gigs. It is difficult to push it past its limits, but it will serve you well if you are right in your expectations while using it. It will work best for beginners, as it allows you to make the most of your guitar skills.
The Taylor series of guitars are difficult to leave out when discussing the best picks – even in the realm of left-handed guitars. While this instrument is among their shorter-scale options, it works very well regardless of whether you are a beginner or an experienced guitarist.
- Taylor Grand Symphony body type
- Layered Sapele bracing pattern
- Matte 2.0 body finish
- African ebony fingerboard
- Scale length of 23.5 inches with 20 frets
The build is a dreadnought structure for ¾ of its physique. It consists of layered Sapele that wraps around the sides and back to give it a unique voice that can even outmatch the most complete acoustics. Other parts such as the neck are made from African ebony that extends clarity and retains the tone of each note you play, while the bottom section uses x-bracing to produce the highest levels of responsiveness and tone.
At the end of the day, this is a modern take on the parlor guitar because of its portability and homeliness, even though it does not include extra accessories like clip-on tuners.
- Very good and rich sound quality
- Very good sustain with no dead spots
- Durable build quality
- Very good tonal quality
- Excellent choice for beginner players
- None noted so far
This is probably the best left-handed acoustic guitar you can get in the market today, as it offers value for your money and excellent playability alongside a durable build of guitar.
What are some things you should know about a left-handed guitar?
When starting off playing guitar, a left-handed player often struggles with a certain question that a right-handed player often takes for granted: how should they hold their instrument?
Before finding out the criteria to use when selecting a left handed guitar, there are some things that you need to know first to help you understand why that factor needs to stay in mind.
They are not reverse versions of right handed guitars
There are numerous left handed guitar players in history, and yet some of them played the right handed guitar backwards – a good example would be Albert King, who is considered among the best blues players in music history. However, this technique did not catch on, understandably so – it takes too much effort for a guitarist to shape chords correctly when the strings are in backward order.
That is why left handed guitars exist – they take that tedious job out of your hands and make things easier for you when playing your instrument.
Certain guitars are better for flipping
Certain guitar models are better options for flipping – also known as the process of changing the order of strings to accommodate multiple playing styles – thanks to their ease of access of their upper frets.
These models include Stratocasters, which use angled cutaway body frames. However, a single cutaway guitar like a Gibson Les Paul cannot work like this, because your fretting hand will encounter a mass of guitar body and make it harder to play the instrument comfortably.
It is possible to learn to play right handed guitars
Just because you are left handed, it does not mean you can only resign yourself to these instruments. You can also learn to play right handed guitars and make things easier on your end in the long term.
What to look for in a left-handed guitar
Most of these criteria will apply to all guitars and stringed instruments in general.
Play it before buying it
Always aim to try out the instrument before purchasing it. After all, you may not like how it feels in your hands. That is a problem I experienced repeatedly, unfortunately, but it helped me to hone my preferences and know what I wanted from my instrument.
If you are buying a guitar online, you may not have this opportunity, so check if the manufacturer has a return period to cover for any instances where you may not like the guitar.
Ensure you do your research
Always make sure you do your research, because guitars vary greatly and you are the sole determinant of the tones you prefer. For instance, if you do not like distortion, then you should avoid purchasing guitars that have active EMG pickups.
Different materials have different capabilities when transporting sound, so the wood in use greatly determines the tonal qualities and responsiveness levels of the instrument. Some woods will produce a deep overtone full of richness, while others produce a brighter tone. Some woods are rarer compared to others, which in turn will affect the price of the guitar – so it really depends on what you want.
Some of the common woods used in guitars are:
- Ash: This is a bright sounding wood and is renowned for high sustain levels on both notes and chords. It is among the strongest woods and the most economical, making it very affordable.
- Alder: Originally from Europe, it is popular due to being lightweight, as well as its very rich and balanced tone that has a generous distribution of both low and high frequencies. Its properties make it a popular choice to play rock and blues music styles, and it is also quite affordable.
- Basswood: A soft tone wood that is native to the Americas. It produces a warm, balanced tone, and is frequently used to make mixed-wood guitars.
- Mahogany: A hardwood that is extremely resonant and produces warm tones. It is also very durable, and is quite heavy – so any guitar using it will be noticeably heavy as well.
- Maple: This is quite common in the fretboard and neck, and its hardness produces a very bright sound. It has excellent resonance and produces a biting, defined tone, so it is usually used alongside other woods to balance out their darker tones.
- Rosewood: This is a visually stunning and very heavy wood, usually featuring on the fretboard. It produces a very loud and rich sound, and is also quite expensive because of its rarity.
Whether you want an acoustic or electric choice
It is important to think about your own needs as a player, and what fits your overall collection better when looking at it from a long-term perspective. For instance, you may admire an acoustic guitar, but what you really need is an electric one.
Because of this, it is a good idea to avoid going guitar shopping until you narrow down your list of preferred guitars that you really want.
These are among the best picks you can find when it comes tom getting a left-handed guitar, so it is a good idea to get them if you are struggling to find a suitable instrument. Some of these picks are made for professional players and may be pricier while others are suited for beginners and intermediate players, so pick the ones that work best for you.
Are left handed guitar chords different?
No they are not. They are the same as right handed chords, with the only difference being that they are mirrored. Therefore, when seeing something that illustrates the regular guitar chords, you can simply visualize them in the opposite direction.
Are left handed guitars more costly?
Yes, they tend to be more expensive compared to regular guitars. It is likely that you will need to shop online or put in special orders to get one.
Why is it so challenging to get left handed guitars?
This is because their demand is much lower, so they will naturally sell at slower rates.