Are you a left-handed guitarist feeling overwhelmed with the number of acoustic guitar models available? Worry no more!
This guide to left-handed acoustic guitars will tell you all about the most popular models and unique features. Whether a beginner or experienced player, we’ll help you find the perfect fit!
Learning to play any musical instrument is a challenge, but playing a left-handed acoustic guitar can be especially tricky. Fortunately, this comprehensive guide offers everything you need to know about left-handed acoustic guitars in one place, so you can make an informed decision before investing in your first one.
This guide includes the key features of acoustic guitars, the different sizes available, popular models and necessary accessories. We’ll also go over some frequently asked questions about left-handed acoustic guitars to ensure that you have all the necessary information before taking the plunge. Whether you’re a beginner looking for an affordable option or an experienced player seeking something more advanced, there’s something here for everyone. So without further ado – let’s delve into the world of left-handed acoustic guitars!
Explanation of left-handed guitars
Left-handed guitars are specially crafted for those who play the guitar with their left-hand. Playing a normal acoustic guitar with a right-handed setup can be difficult, awkward, and dextrously confusing for lefties, so having a left-handed acoustic guitar is essential for any musician who prefers their non-dominant hand.
Though these specialized instruments are relatively common today in many music stores, it wasn’t until the 1960s when popular musicians such as British rock legend Jimi Hendrix began to endorse the idea of playing an instrument left-handed that this practice began to become widespread. Since then, there have been many advancements in the production of lefty acoustic guitars and they now come in a variety of styles and shapes.
The most important features of any good acoustic guitar are its body type, neck shape and materials used. In terms of body type, there are three common types; jumbo (the largest size), dreadnought (medium size) and concert/parlour (smaller size). The neck shape also plays an important role since it makes has a direct effect on comfortability. Generally speaking, wider necks provide greater stability while thinner necks allow for faster playing speed but can be more difficult to fret chords. Many guitar manufacturers additionally offer custom options such as choice of pickups or electronics etc., all aimed at ensuring you can put together your perfect instrument setup depending on your playing style.
Once you’ve considered these basics factors involved in choosing your perfect lefty acoustic guitar, it is then worth researching some popular models which fit within these parameters and have proven themselves over time to be amongst the best options available on today’s market.
Features to Consider
Understanding the features that left-handed acoustic guitars possess is essential to deciding which model will best suit your needs. From materials and size to sound qualities and tuning machines, many factors go into choosing the right guitar. Read on to learn more about the features of left-handed acoustic guitars and how they affect your playing.
Body Materials: Most acoustic guitars have large bodies made of solid woods, such as spruce or mahogany. While steel strings cause good vibrations in thinner tonewoods, it can also tear them apart if not properly supported. Quality acoustic guitars use a combination of heavy and light woods for added strength and durability without sacrificing tone or volume.
Joint Construction: Joints play an important role in directing sound to the appropriate areas and keeping the instrument in tune with itself. High-quality acoustic guitars use a combination of top-grade glue, truss rods, carbon fiber rods and fretboard binding for even tension, helping keep your guitar from warping or going out of tune as you play it.
Neck: The neck joint also plays a critical role in delivering quality sound from an acoustic guitar, but there’s more than one way this can be achieved. A reinforced neck joint guarantees sustain while producing smooth transitions between low note frequencies and high ones; laminated necks may sacrifice some resonance but are more reliable when playing light music styles that don’t require extreme tones or effects to create the desired soundscape.
Tuning Machines: Acoustic guitar tuning machines are as important as they are often overlooked – they should offer precise adjustments while also providing stability so any changes applied can last throughout performances holding perfectly tuned strings over time aided by quality six digit steelsplate tuners installed on both headstock sides enabling perfect tuning with single touch up pins with minimal effort between changing open tunings for those alternative chords by simply pushing them one by one according ot the desired sonority achieving gorgeous ambientalistic performances from start to finish!
Tonewoods used in construction
When it comes to choosing an acoustic guitar, the tonewood used in its construction is an important factor. Tonewoods have a direct impact on the sound of the guitar; different woods produce different tones, so it’s important to get familiar with the different types of tonewood that you may encounter in your search for the perfect left-handed acoustic guitar.
Tonewoods used in acoustic guitars vary greatly in character and suitability for certain styles of music; some are more suitable for mellow fingerpicking and bright strumming, while others provide plenty of volume when strummed hard. The most popular woods used in acoustic guitar construction include spruce, mahogany, rosewood, cedar and maple. Each has its own unique set of characteristics that will affect how it sounds once it has been constructed into a left-handed guitar.
Spruce: Spruce is perhaps the most common wood type used for crafting acoustic guitars as it produces a wide range of tones that can be adapted easily to match any playing style. It also has excellent projection qualities, making it a great option for those who need an extra bit of power out of their instrument.
Mahogany: Mahogany is noted for its warm midrange response and even balance between bass and treble frequencies; many players find this wood type extremely pleasing due to its natural resonance and low–end warmth that’s perfect for blues, jazz or mellow rock styles.
Rosewood: Rosewood produces a dark, full–bodied sound with plenty of sustain that is often favored by blues players; this particular tonewood is also known for having slightly sharp overtones that can cut through any mix nicely when playing with other instruments or vocalists.
Cedar: Cedar produces warm yet balanced tones preferred by country and folk musicians due to its slightly softer character compared to other woods such as mahogany or rosewood. This wood type generally offers more clarity than spruce regardless of how hard you strum or pick at strings thanks to its complex grain structure which helps disperse energy evenly and effectively throughout the instrument’s body
Maple: Maple provides brightness along with clarity – making this wood excellent at projecting high–end frequencies – while still being relatively lightweight in comparison to other tonewoods such as rosewood or mahogany which makes maple-constructed guitars easier on your arms during long performances/jams!
Body shape and size
The shape and size of the body of a guitar greatly affects both its sound and playability. For left-handed acoustic guitars, some popular body styles include dreadnought, auditorium, orchestral (also known as parlor), grand auditorium/grand concert and jumbo.
The dreadnought is the most commonly seen shape in left-handed acoustic guitars and it is recognizable by its large size and flat back. This shape produces a rich sound with plenty of volume for an acoustic guitar capable of being heard in the mix with other instruments. Suited for playing various music styles from small intimate settings to larger venues, dreadnoughts are likely to be found in most acoustic guitar collections.
Auditorium (sometimes referred to as concert) bodies are slightly smaller than dreadnoughts but still project plenty of power. They have a wide tonal range suited for the fingerstyle guitarist who desires clarity without sacrificing volume or that extra “oomph” when needed. Commonly used in both recording and performance settings alike, auditory guitarists use them to create their trademark sounds on any style of song.
Slightly smaller than the auditorium or grand auditorium/grand concert shapes is the orchestra body or parlor guitar (sometimes referred to as OM – orchestra model). They feature an oval soundhole at the center of their tops which increases projection from their short scale length neck and wide fretboard. This unique shape results in tighter lows that make a nice contrast against the bright highs produced from its light strings and small size frame – making it well suited for relaxed blues numbers or country twang tunes.
Neck shape and width
The neck is an essential factor to consider when selecting the right left-handed acoustic guitar. Its shape and width can make a major difference in terms of balance, comfort, and playability. Generally, there are two types of neck shapes to choose from — a “C” shape, which is wider and more rounded at the back; or a more slender, “V” shape.
When it comes to width of the neck, players should select a neck that fits their hand comfortably. Traditional guitar necks range from about 41mm (1.6 inches) for smaller guitars such as parlor-style models; up to 57mm (2.2 inches) for larger steel string acoustics or Spanish style instruments. For those who suffer from hand fatigue or have smaller hands, slim necks around 43–44mm are now available on certain guitars models.
The fretboard material plays an important role in shaping the sound of the guitar and affects the feel of the instrument. The most common fretboard materials are rosewood, maple, rosewood with ebony, and ebony.
Rosewood is well known for its dark, warm tonal quality and soft feel on the hands. Maple fretboards have a bright tonal character, but also offer more resistance to the fingers as you press down on them.
Rosewood with ebony fretboards combine both warmth and brightness to offer a tonal balance that works well for many genres of playing. Finally, an ebony fretboard offers an entirely different feel from other woods—with increased stiffness and a brighter sound than traditional rosewood or maple boards.
When shopping for a left-handed acoustic guitar, there are several electronic features that might be worth considering. Depending on your playing style, one or more of these features can greatly enhance the capabilities of the instrument and make it easier to take your music to even greater heights.
An onboard preamp is a must-have feature as it helps to amplify the sound of the guitar while retaining its natural acoustic tone. Common preamps include single-knob controls and three-band EQs (bass, mid, treble) with volume knobs for additional control over your sound. Some preamps also feature built-in effects such as chorus, reverb and delay. This is especially useful for live performances.
Another factor to consider is whether or not you need a built-in tuner since tuning can sometimes be an issue with acoustic guitars (especially when using heavier strings). A built in tuner eliminates this issue as it automatically maintains perfect pitch at all times.
For those who want to plug their guitar into an amplifier or go straight into a PA system, consider looking for guitars with one or two pickups. Most acoustic guitars come equipped with either one or two pickups (or both depending on the model) that allow you to plug directly into an amp or PA system with minimal setup needed on your part. Be sure to test out the sound of each pickup before deciding which one works best for you – some produce warmer sounds while others are brighter and more vibrant which can help bring out certain nuances in your playing style that might otherwise go unnoticed.
Popular Left-Handed Acoustic Guitar Models
When you are ready to purchase a left-handed guitar, you should consider what features are most important to you in a guitar. There are many different factors that go into choosing the perfect left-handed acoustic guitar, including things like body shape, scale length, bridge type and even materials used for construction. Many of the biggest and most popular brands of guitars have models specifically designed for left-handed players and in this section we will take a look at some of the most popular and sought after models from those brands.
One of the best known names when it comes to left-hand acoustic guitars is Taylor Guitars. There are numerous models for lefties from them, but one of the more popular ones is their 200 series dreadnought. The 200 series has been around for years now, and it offers great sound quality with a luxurious feel thanks to its solid Sitka Spruce top with Mahogany back & sides. It also has modern appointments such as green abalone binding and an ebony fingerboard & bridge.
Another great name in guitars is Martin Guitars and they have been making some excellent instruments since 1931. One of their top models for southpaws is their GPCRSGT Little Martin Steel String Guitar which offers a smaller body compared to other dreadnoughts but still provides amazing tone despite its smaller size thanks to its solid Sitka spruce top, basswood sides/back and german silver frets on its Richlite rosewood fretboard.
Finally we cannot forget about Gibson—the name behind some legendary acoustic guitars including the J45 which was first released in 1942 as part of their Jumbo flattop series. A popular choice for lefties is the J45 Lefty Studio which features a solid Sitka spruce top with AAA Figured Maple veneer back and sides along with Grover Rotomatic tuners & LR Baggs Element VTC electronics for easy amplification when needed.
The Taylor 114ce-LH Left-Handed acoustic guitar is a grand orchestra-style instrument that’s perfect for players who want a powerful voice and a unique look. Featuring mahogany top, back and sides along with an ebony fingerboard, the Taylor 114ce-LH offers professional grade sound at an affordable price.
The sloping peak body shape helps to achieve maximum note separation, and the shorter 24 7/8″ scale length makes it easy to play fast melodies on this guitar. The ES2 electronics provide excellent amplification of the natural tones of this instrument, making it great for playing solo or in a band setting.
With its unique design, tone and aesthetic appeal, the Taylor 114ce-LH is perfect for left-handed guitarists looking for an instrument that can keep up with their playing style.
Martin LX1E Little Martin Left-Handed
Martin’s LX1E Little Martin left-handed acoustic guitar is one of the company’s most popular models among left-handed players. This unique model has Fishman electronics for easy amplification and stage performance, as well as a compact size that makes it travel-friendly.
The LX1E features a 22-fret solid Sitka spruce top that provides plenty of projection and clarity to be heard through a mix or over other instruments. Its mahogany grained high pressure laminate body delivers great tones with plenty of sustain, enhanced by a set of custom black satin Lucite bridge pins with Paua pearl dot inlays for an added bit of sophistication. The design also includes chrome die-cast Grover tuners and compensated saddle for accurate intonation, and is strung with Martin SP Lifespan strings.
Whether you’re shopping for studio recording equipment or need something to jam on the go, the Martin LX1E Little Martin Left-Handed Acoustic is a reliable choice.
Gibson J-45 Standard Left-Handed
The Gibson J-45 Standard is an iconic left-handed acoustic guitar. This instrument has a long and beloved history, going back to its introduction in 1942 and gaining fans throughout the decades. It was developed from an earlier model called the Jumbo, and quickly became known for its exceptional tone and playability.
The Gibson J-45 Standard Left-Handed is the perfect choice for players looking for a comfortable guitar with great sound quality. It features a Sitka Spruce top, Rosewood back and sides, and a 24 3/4″ scale length. Its body style is similar to dreadnought guitars, but it has a curved waist that many guitarists find more comfortable when playing seated or standing up straight. The top of this model is scalloped bracing system, which results in improved sustain and resonance while reducing feedback caused by loud amplifiers or tight strings.
This low action acoustic guitar also features an LR Baggs Element Pickup System so that you can easily amplify your sound when needed. Additionally, the distinctive look of this instrument will impress audiences: The Gibson J-45 Standard Lefty comes equipped with robust mother of pearl dot inlays across its fingerboard, as well as classic Gibson headstock logo to remind everyone where it came from!
While the popular models of left-handed acoustic guitars are available from many well-known manufacturers, it’s important to play as many different brands and styles before buying. Every guitar is unique due to the way it is crafted and the type of wood and materials used. Play each guitar to determine the sound, feel and quality that you enjoy.
Remember that a “best” guitar is subjective; your preferences may differ from the reviewer’s opinion. Be sure to talk with knowledgeable retailers in order to get the right fit, quality and sound for your needs.
With all of this information in mind, you’ll be able to make an informed decision when choosing your perfect left-handed acoustic guitar!
Which guitar is best for left-handed?
For left-handed players, any guitar can be suitable as long as it is a left-handed model, which means the strings and construction are designed for left-handed players. It’s a matter of personal preference and playing style.
What is the most popular acoustic guitar model?
The most popular acoustic guitar model can vary depending on the year and region, but some consistently popular models include the Martin D-28, Gibson J-45, Taylor 814ce, and Yamaha FG series.
Is there a special guitar for left-handed?
Yes, there are guitars designed specifically for left-handed players. These guitars have a mirrored construction and reversed string order compared to right-handed guitars.
Is there such a thing as a left-handed acoustic guitar?
Yes, left-handed acoustic guitars exist and are designed specifically for left-handed players.
Is it better to buy a left-handed guitar?
For left-handed players, it is necessary to purchase a left-handed guitar as playing on a right-handed guitar can be uncomfortable and hinder progress. For right-handed players, a right-handed guitar is the standard.
Why are left-handed guitars so expensive?
Left-handed guitars can be more expensive because they are produced in smaller quantities and require specialized construction. Left-handed players also make up a smaller portion of the guitar-playing population, leading to a smaller market and higher prices.
Why are left-handed guitar players more gifted?
There is no evidence to suggest that left-handed guitar players are more gifted than right-handed players. Success in playing the guitar is determined by factors such as practice, dedication, and natural ability, regardless of handedness.
How do I know if my guitar is left-handed?
A left-handed guitar will have a mirrored construction and reversed string order compared to a right-handed guitar. The headstock will be on the opposite side, and the lower-pitched strings will be on the bottom.
How rare are left-handed guitars?
Left-handed guitars are less common than right-handed guitars, but they are still widely available from most guitar manufacturers. The exact percentage of left-handed guitars produced varies by manufacturer.
Are left-handed guitars expensive?
Left-handed guitars can be more expensive than their right-handed counterparts because they are produced in smaller quantities and require specialized construction. However, the price can vary depending on the brand, model, and quality of the guitar.
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