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Did you know that only about 10 percent of the world’s population is left-handed? It’s hard being different, especially as an aspiring guitar player. Most of the guitars on the market are made for right-handed players, so it can be tough to find a great left-handed instrument to play.
If you’re considering getting started with the instrument, it can be a frustrating and overwhelming experience. It may seem like all of the guitars out there are made for the right-handers of the world.
Fortunately, the truth is that there are plenty of great options out there for the left-handed guitar players too. You’re also in some great company since many of the most successful guitar players of all time were left-handed players.
Below you’ll discover the best left-handed acoustic guitar for beginners. Not only are all of the guitars on this list specifically made for the left-handers, but each of the guitars below can also be found for under $500.
As a beginner guitar player, there’s really no need to break the bank in order to get started. There are some great options for you in this price range that’ll be sure to set you on the right path.
Read on to discover the best left-handed guitar for you.
Best Left-Handed Acoustic Guitars – Quick View
Difference Between Right-Handed and Left-Handed Acoustic Guitars
So how exactly does a left-handed acoustic guitar differ from a right-handed one? The truth is, the differences are very subtle.
Guitar players usually strum and pick the guitar with their dominant hand and use their other hand to form chords and notes on the fretboard. If a left-handed guitar player uses a right-handed guitar, however, this hand usage will be reversed.
Because of the way that typical guitars are set up, they will be using their left (dominant) hand on the fretboard and their right (non-dominant) hand for strumming. This is the opposite of what typical right-handed guitar players do.
Can You Restring a Right-Handed Guitar for the Left Hand?
Additionally, it may seem like you could just restring a guitar and turn it upside down in order to play it left-handed. Unfortunately, it’s usually not that simple.
Since strings vary in size from the low bass strings to the high treble strings, they won’t necessarily fit well on the opposite end of the guitar neck. While the process isn’t too difficult, a steel-string acoustic guitar will usually take a bit of altering in order to allow the appropriately-sized strings to be placed on the correct sides of the guitar. With classical guitars, the process may be simpler, however.
Generally speaking, however, a right-handed guitar is set up and constructed for right-handers. While you can convert your instrument and restring it backward, it’s often a good idea to just get a left-handed guitar instead if you want the guitar to be set up correctly from the very beginning.
In addition to this, there are other things to think about as well. The pickguard on a right-handed guitar may also need to be changed if you’re converting it to a left-handed guitar.
While it is possible to make a right-handed guitar work for you or try playing with your opposite hands, you’re best off purchasing a left-handed acoustic guitar instead if you want to learn to play left-handed.
Best Ways to Play Guitar if You’re Left-Handed
If you’re interested in playing the guitar, you may be wondering whether it’s necessary to get a left-handed guitar or not. The truth is that there are many different options available to you if you’re left-handed and want to play the instrument.
Here are a few options that you may want to consider.
1. Adjust and Restring Your Guitar
The first option for playing the guitar left-handed is to restring a right-handed guitar so that you can use it with your left hand.
As mentioned above, this may require some additional guitar adjustments. It will usually take a bit more effort than simply changing the strings, putting them on backward, and playing the guitar “upside-down”.
The second option is to play a right-handed guitar just like a right-hander would. You can learn to play exactly as a right-handed guitar player would.
While people typically strum and pick the guitar with their dominant hand, you can choose to do so with your non-dominant hand instead. You’ll use your right hand for picking and strumming while using your left hand to fret the guitar.
While it may be slightly more difficult for you to learn the guitar in this way, you can do it as long as you stick with it. After all, you’ll need to use both hands to play the guitar anyway.
3. Buy a Left-Handed Acoustic Guitar
The third option is what this article is all about. You can choose to buy an acoustic guitar that is specifically made for left-handed players.
By doing this, the guitar will already come set up for you and you won’t have to make any adjustments to get started.
Features to Look For in a Good Left-Handed Acoustic Guitar
So that’s enough of the left-handed/right-handed debacle! Now let’s talk about the more general features of buying a left-handed acoustic guitar.
There are a few primary things you’ll want to consider when buying a guitar, and we’ll go over a few of these below.
Acoustic or Acoustic-Electric
One important consideration when buying a guitar is whether you will want a completely acoustic guitar, or if you would like an acoustic-electric guitar. An acoustic-electric guitar will have a built-in pickup that will allow you to use a guitar line to plug it into an amp.
An acoustic-electric will be good for you if you’re planning on playing with others, particularly others who have louder instruments such as a drummer or electric guitarist.
This will also allow you to perform live. If you plan on playing any open mic nights this will make your setup much easier to manage and you will easily be able to plug your guitar in instead of having to set up a microphone for the guitar.
A regular acoustic guitar won’t have any electronics and output abilities and will be more of a what you see is what you get sort of deal.
Steel String or Nylon
If you’re looking into getting an acoustic guitar, you may have heard about both steel string and nylon guitars. For most people, a steel-string guitar will probably be what you are looking for.
If you want to play pop, rock, or country you’ll probably want to go with a left-handed steel-string guitar. If you’re more interested in classical music or flamenco, on the other hand, a left-handed nylon-string guitar will be exactly what you’re in the market for.
A steel-string guitar will have a larger, more resonant sound that will really ring out compared to a nylon string guitar.
This article specifically looks at steel string guitars as these guitars will typically be best for most beginners.
Size of the Guitar
Left-handed acoustic guitars will also vary somewhat in size. There are differences and depending on the size of your hands a bigger or smaller size may be best for you.
For most beginners, a smaller-sized guitar may be better. Bigger guitars can be difficult since it will take you some practice to be able to adequately stretch your fingers across a guitar neck and form chords.
5 Best Left-Handed Acoustic Guitars For Beginners
Now that you understand a bit more about how to choose a left-handed acoustic guitar, it’s time to go over our top 5 picks.
While they all vary in price and features each of the guitars on this list can be found for under $500 and will work great for left-handed beginners.
- Solid top
- Great quality for the price
- A strong, resonant sound
- No strap pin at the base of the neck
- No electric pickup
The Yamaha FG820L Guitar has a solid spruce top and is a great value for its quality. The mahogany sides create a noticeably warm and strong tone compared to other guitars, and the mid-range of the guitar sounds strong. The guitar also features quality diecast tuners.
This is also known as being a folk-style guitar, and as such, it doesn’t have a guitar strap pin near the bottom of the neck. Instead, you will need to tie the strap around the top headstock of the guitar. This won’t be an issue for many people but could be considered a drawback to some.
2. Kona K1L
- Clean, natural design
- Good quality build
- 10-year warranty
- No electric pickup
Kona is also known as a district in Hawaii, but the company of the same name makes some great custom professional guitars and ukuleles. This left handed acoustic guitar from Kona has a great, classic design and is an ideal choice for beginners.
The Kona K1L is incredibly sturdy and has a nice, clean tone. Its natural cutaway body is made for easy playability and offers wonderful upper neck access.
An added bonus of this guitar over other options is that it includes a 10-year warranty. It also comes with two scratchplates and a polishing cloth.
It’s not ideal for playing live since it is not an acoustic-electric, but if you’re simply looking for a great-sounding instrument to noodle around on at home or on the beach, the K1L is a great choice.
Overall, it is a great value for the money. A beginner or an intermediate player will find a lot to love in this guitar.
- A great, slim cutaway design
- 4 Color Options
- Gigbag included
- Laminated wood
Another great option for an acoustic-electric model, the Jameson Thinline Electro-Acoustic has all of the main features you need in a great left-handed guitar. Its cutaway design makes the fretboard easy to access. It also has a thinner body than other left handed acoustic guitars and as a result, it will probably be easier for beginners to play.
Not only does it have a great slim design, but it is also acoustic-electric. It’s a great option for people looking to play live or at the local open mic night.
The Jameson Thinline Electro-Acoustic also has 4 different color options, so you have several possible choices for the look and feel.
This guitar even includes a gig bag, so it’s a great option for beginners that want to get started on the right foot and be able to take their guitar out and about with them.
- Natural-looking, classic Design
- Great for beginners
- No solid wood top/Laminated wood
- No electric pickup
The Fender CD-100 is a well-priced beginner guitar that has a laminated spruce top and laminated mahogany back and sides. It also features a rosewood fingerboard and a sleek but classic-looking design.
Unfortunately, the Fender CD-100 is completely acoustic and doesn’t feature an electric pickup. However, it does have two pins for a guitar strap, including one at the base of the neck, unlike the Yamaha model above.
It is reasonably well priced and goes for about $250 usually. Some users claim that the action is a bit high but it’s still a great left-handed acoustic guitar for beginners.
- Solid Spruce Top
- Stylish Design
- The built-in tuner could be better
- Some users had to sand the guitar after receiving
This Fender guitar is also an acoustic-electric guitar and features a great, full sound. This is a great choice for those looking to head down to the nearest open mic and play some songs.
The Fender Sonoran SCE also has a high-quality, solid spruce top. Solid tops are well-known for producing great sound.
This guitar also has a great look and feel to it and boasts a unique vintage design. Most noticeably, the headstock and tuners have the look of a Fender Stratocaster
This guitar is based on Southern California vibes so it has its own unique style. It just might be what you’re looking for if you’re looking to do some jamming at the beach.
Overall, the Sonoran SCE is a great choice if you’re looking for an instrument with a wonderful sound and a sleek vintage design.
So there you have it. The above guitars are the absolute best left handed acoustic guitars for beginners. Each of these guitars offers great quality at an affordable price, and although many of the guitars on this list are geared for beginners, many will also be great for players of all levels.
Overall, though, it is up to you and your specific needs and requirements. Be sure to choose the guitar that is right for you. And of course, don’t forget to practice every day!
Looking for a great gig bag for your left-handed acoustic guitar? Click here to see our list of the best acoustic guitar gig bags.
Hi, I’m Harrison! I created this website to help musicians navigate the ins and outs of their craft and to help them choose new instruments and gear to add to their collection. I have 15 years of experience as a guitarist and singer and have also played many other instruments throughout the years including the bass guitar, piano, banjo, mandolin, and harmonica.