In the modern day, it would seem an obvious choice for manufacturers to cater to left handed guitar players, but it’s still surprisingly difficult!
It can be slim pickings for a left handed guitar player, and historically, lefties have restrung right handed guitars upside down like Jimi Hendrix, or in certain cases, learnt to play upside down like Dan Swanö of Bloodbath and Nightingale fame.
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Tony Iommi retells a famous story of acquiring one of his Gibson SGs by swapping his right-handed SG (strung upside down) with a right-handed guitarist who had a left-handed SG. What are the odds!
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In the modern day, it would seem an obvious choice for manufacturers to cater to left-handed players, but it’s still surprisingly difficult! For this reason, we’ve collated a list of some manufacturers who have some of the biggest offerings for lefties.
Fender are not only one of the biggest manufacturers of guitars in general, they also have a huge range of left handed guitars, just about everything available in a lefty. This is thanks in part to players like Hendrix and Kurt Cobain, Hendrix’s upside-down Strat, complete with angled bridge pickup, making up part of his unique sounds. Ironically, you can also buy right-handed Hendrix signature guitars strung upside down, so right-handed players can harness the unique tone and feel of Hendrix.
Kurt Cobain’s Jags are available in left and right handed models, as well as his Jagstang signature.
A lot of Fender’s range, including everything USA-made and down to the Squier series’, is available left-handed, with the exception of specific artist signature models. This extends to a lot of the Fender family including Jackson and EVH, and especially Gretsch!
Grestch are big advocates for offering lefty versions of their models, from the budget-friendly Streamliners up to the Japanese made Pro Series. Guitarists like Tim Armstrong of Rancid have helped this along, having traditionally played a right-handed single-cut upside down (no mean feat!), and now his signature model G5191 is available in both left and right handed orientations.
Gibson left-handed guitars
Gibson and Epiphone are another huge player for left-handed guitarists. Hendrix played Gibsons for a time, recently immortalised in his SG and Explorer signature models from the Custom Shop – again available in left and right handed options. Much of Gibson’s range of electrics and acoustics have a left handed option available, from the more accessible Specials and Tributes up to top-tier, Custom Shop USA production models.
Epiphone has an even more impressive range of lefties to suit your budget. Across both acoustic and electric ranges, there’s plenty of options available in a left handed guitar or bass!
Martin left-handed guitars
Martin is one of the oldest instrument manufacturers in the modern day, having been established in 1833. They have a huge range of guitars and plenty of lefties available, Martin invented the ‘dreadnought’ shape; and producing it in both right and left orientations today. From their parlour sized 000-size guitars up to dreadnought and beyond, Martin guitars have lefties covered.
Left-handed acoustic guitars
While on the topic of acoustics, it’s difficult to look past Sigma and Takamine acoustic guitars. They have huge ranges of acoustics to fit your budget – with plenty available in a lefty configuration. Sigma is to Martin what Epiphone is to Gibson, so you can rest assured they’ll fit the bill both aesthetically and sonically, while Takamine are a long established acoustic company based in Japan. Yamaha also have a great range of left-handed acoustics, and quality to boot.
While we’re discussing Yamaha, their growing range of electrics, such as Pacifica and Revstar, have a huge range of lefty models available. The Pacifica is Yamaha’s S-style electric with an option to suit every budget, while the Revstar is a revised version of Yamaha’s SG – a double cutaway electric style with (usually) dual humbuckers and (usually) a lefty variant available.
Finishing off with some more high-performance electrics, PRS and LTD have a great array of lefty options available
PRS are known for some of the best-made guitars on the planet, their accessible SE and S2 series’ borrowing from the designs of the top-tier USA-made models. Across the board, PRS have a huge range of left-handed models available, from Custom 22 and 24s, to Standards and even Baritone 277s!
Last but certainly not least is LTD, the smaller cousin of Japanese giant ESP. While ESP has a good range of lefties, the more accessible and budget friendly variants from LTD offer a great range of lefties. You’ll find a lefty option in a bunch of colours and body shapes from LTD, from the classic Horizons to the more unique Snakebyte (Hetfield’s signature model), as well as the Arrow, LTD’s take on an offset Flying-V shape.
While there’s many companies who offer left-handed guitars, not everyone has as comprehensive a range as the manufacturers we’ve named here. There is always the option of stringing a guitar upside down, but hardware, tremolos and pickups don’t always sit pretty with this option, so a dedicated left handed guitar is usually the go. While the ratio of left handed players may not be growing, thanks to a bunch of manufacturers named here – there’s at least a range of lefty guitars growing every day.
To keep reading left-handed resources, visit LeftyFretz.