My Experience with being Left Handed - The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Left Handed Guitars

Introduction

If you didn’t know, I am left-handed, which is an issue when playing the guitar. I am a left handed guitarist, and I play left handed guitars, I don’t flip right handed or resting it, I tend to buy and play left handed guitar. This comes with some bad points, some good points and some ugly points. If you are a left handed guitarist you will have already experienced most if not all of these. In this article I will be going over them, and talk about my experience with being a left-handed guitarist, I understand why this can be the case sometimes and will touch on these at the end. Where shall we start? The bad? Let us crack on then, shall we!

Left Handed Guitars: The Bad & Ugly

So being a left handed guitarist has many bad points, What is the biggest one I can think of? The range of Left Handed guitars available. I can not even begin to explain how little left handed guitars there are, You either have to flip a right handed (Which I have done, didn’t like it) or you have to pay the premium (We will get on to this later) to buy a “proper” one. Now in the last few years, companies have got better, Gibson and Fender are releasing more and more left handed guitars. However some brands still only release a basic line up of left handed guitars. For example, PRS, they have their SE range in a left handed option, with a limited colour option and shape/design. If you wanted a higher-end PRS, you are 1. Going to struggle to source one, try one and then buy one, and 2. You will pay a premium. Which sucks! A personal experience with this is the PRS John Mayer “Silver Sky”. If they released a left handed version of this guitar, I would buy it in a heartbeat, but they won’t, ever!

Left Handed Guitars - Justin Hawkins Gibson Les Paul Custom in White

We mentioned this above, but there can come a premium when buying left handed guitars. I have a personal experience with this as well. When it was time to buy my first “Proper guitar”, by this I mean, A Gibson, I wanted a white Les Paul Custom. The same that Justin Hawkins played in the Darkness (for the record, I still want this guitar). So yeah, Gibson, Get in touch! Saying this, companies are getting better, They may not have the full range but I do know that Fender and Gibson have 80-90% of their range in left handed models, without a price increase. So they sell for the same price as the Right handed models. So it is getting better.

Another issue?

This leads me on to my next downside. Although some brands may make Left handed models, this doesn’t mean that shops stock them. Walking into a bigger guitar shop you will find that they might have 1 or 2 left handed models by the bigger brands, and the rest will be lower/cheaper brands. This makes it hard to try before you buy. Being a guitar play you want to try before you buy, but being a left handed guitar player this can be tough because they won’t stock a lot of left handed models, they will have to order them in, Which they will only do after you purchase or leave a deposit. 

Left Handed Guitarist - Black Les Paul Custom
Les Paul Custom (Right Handed)

Left Handed Guitars: The Good

Being a left handed guitarist isn’t all bad news. There are some good points. The biggest one is that left handed guitars tend to hold their value a lot more. This is down to the limited production run, meaning they are “rare”. I remember I had an Epiphone Les Paul in Heritage Cherry Sunburst (I settled for this when I couldn’t get the Gibson Custom). I think at the time this guitar was around £300-£350 new, I managed to sell it on Ebay for just under £500. You would not have been able to do that with the same guitar but right handed. Now, don’t think that all Left handed guitars will hold their value. On average it will only be the “bigger” brands or “More expensive” brands that will hold their value, the more left handed guitars that get made, the less chance of holding their value. So if you buy that Gibson, you are almost certain not to lose money on it.

Left Handed Guitars - Epiphone Les Paul Left Handed Cherry Sunburst
Left handed Guitars always look weird to look at don't they!
There is more good news!

Being a left handed guitarist means you are part of a “Club”, other left handed players will approach you and fire up conversations. I have made many friends that are also left handed and we bonded over that fact, talk about being a Left handed guitar player, the struggles and quirks that come with it.

On the same note of this, you will also find that a lot of people will talk to you about being a Left handed guitar player. Walk into a guitar shop, Plugin a left handed guitar and just start playing. I can almost guarantee that people will come up to you and fire up a conversation about you being a left handed guitarist. Another great way to meet people and make friends.

 

What you will find is that as the range of Left handed guitars is smaller or more expensive, you will naturally find yourself buying a “cheaper” guitar and upgrading it and modding it (As I have done). This is great fun and at the end of it you will have a “Custom” guitar that you have “built”. This is very popular as it is cheaper and can produce a guitar of very high quality. Head over to the Mods page to see what I have done to my guitar if you need ideas.

Conclusion

So yeah there are a few bad things about being a Left handed guitar player, but should you let this put you off or get you down? No! I have made some amazing friends through not only music and being a guitar player, but being Left handed guitar player specifically. All in all, the best thing about being Left handed is that it gives you an excuse not to play Wonderwall at that house party!

If you are a left handed guitarist, please head over and give us a follow on our Instagram. We want to hear from you! Build up a community. If you have anything to add to this list, or Stories you want to share about being a left handed guitar player, please head over to our contact page here and let us know, we would love to hear from you all.