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Send an email to a friend to tell them about this site The original left-handed shop, in London since 1968

Left Handed Guitar

Click here to see the latest left handed guitar
information and links on our new website

Left Handed guitar background
The Anything Left-Handed guitar range
Where to find left-handed guitars and information
Learning left handed guitar
Famous lefthanded guitarists

Left Handed guitar background

We are often asked for advice from left-handed guitarists, both on the best way to teach guitar left-handed and for stockists of left-handed guitars.

As with most things left-handed, the answers are never as straightforward as one would wish. If you are thinking of buying a left-handed guitar, you will find that the choice is very limited indeed. Whether it is acoustic or electric you are looking for, you may find there are no left-handers at all among the glittering display or, with luck, perhaps two or three may be tucked away behind the right-handers. As with expensive equipment for many other hobbies or activities the economics of guitar production and sales makes it impossible for most stores to supply the range of choice that right-handers enjoy.
Unfortunately, reversing the strings on a right-handed guitar is not sufficient, since the entire instrument must have all its parts reversed to produce an acceptable tone. We have only two options: to purchase from the few left-handed versions available, even if they are not entirely suitable or to order a left-handed version of a right-handed model you have seen. The second option may seem a reasonable compromise, but actually carries a number of pitfalls. Firstly, assessing the merits of a right-handed guitar by playing it left-handed is far from ideal as you can get only a rough idea of its tone and action. As any guitarist knows, even two guitars of the same model can vary slightly. Secondly, and most seriously, most manufacturers insist that once a guitar is ordered by a customer to be specially made, the customer is then obliged to buy it, even if it turns out to be less than ideal. Bearing in mind the guitar in question may cost in the region of £3,000 if it is a top of the range model, this is a high-risk option. So, not only can the left-hander not, in most cases, walk out of the shop with the guitar of their choice, they may also be obliged to wait anything up to a year before obtaining their purchase.

The Anything Left-Handed guitar range

We have done extensive research and found that there are a small number of websites addressing this problem by providing a good range of left-handed guitars. We have decided to stock a "starter" acoustic guitar and instruction materials ourselves and to provide links to what we think are the best specialist sites on the web for the more specialist items.

Our own range includes:

  • Left-handed acoustic guitar
  • Left-handed thumb picks
  • A range of chord and instruction books
Click here for full details and buying links

Where to find left-handed guitars and information

Here are some links to sites that we have found useful for general information about left-handed guitars and some of the best guitar sales sites:

Instrument Pro (International)
Instrument pro
Instrument Pro is jam packed with a huge range of instruments. The guitar and bass sections to this website include hundreds of different types of products with many available in a left handed option.
 
Musician's Friend (USA only)
Musicians Friend
Musician's Friend offers over 36,000 products in its mail order catalogs and on its website. Products offered include guitars, basses, keyboards, percussion, amps, as well as recording, mixing, lighting, and DJ gear and they have a good selection of left-handed guitars.
 
Woodwind and Brasswind (International)
Woodwind and Brasswind
Woodwind and Brass have a range of guitars and offer a excellent variety and choice for left handed players. The left handed manufacturers include top names such as Gibson, Fender and Daisy Rock.
This company also sells a great range of musical instruments from string and woodwind to brass and percussion.
 
ZZounds (International)
zZounds music supplies
ZZounds is a leading international musical instrument retailer offering exclusive deals on the internet. They carry a huge product range including top manufacturers like Fender, Ibanez, ESP, Schecter, Jackson, Martin, Marshall and Boss at low prices.
 

Click here to view the rest of our guitar and musical stores all offering low prices

If you have any recommendations for links to guitar sites in other countries, please let us know. Email keith@anythingleft-handed.co.uk

Learning left handed guitar

Finding a patient teacher who can instruct in reverse is almost as difficult as finding a left-handed instrument, since most teachers are right-handed. Some even refuse to teach left-handed pupils! yet the solution can be simple: just seat the left-handed pupil opposite the teacher, so it is like looking in a mirror - a simple and effective way to learn.

Some teachers will even argue that with any stringed instrument the right hand has to be pretty dextrous so it shouldn't make any difference which way round the instrument is played. For folk or classical guitar playing, the argument goes against this theory because much of the control is carried out by the right hand, which left-handers might find difficult.

But what if you have already been encouraged to play guitar right-handed - is it too late to change? The Guitar Workshop in New York made a detailed study of left-handed guitar playing and found that it took three to six months for players who changed over to regain their previous level of attainment, after which they improved even further! Composer and guitarist John Duarte, a 'changed' man said: "Now I would not encourage a lefty to learn right-handedly, and when I inherit a student who does play that way round, I advise him to change if he does not appear to be reaching his potential. I think there has been much irrational prejudice against lefties, and such things die hard"

Below is a selection of the best websites on the internet offering either online lessons, ebooks or complete DVD learning kits. These can be better than normal face to face lessons as you can go at your own pace and repeat each lesson as many times as you like.

Guitar and Bass

With Guitar and bass you learn by actually playing along to riffs and interacting with the program straight away. We offer you a revolution in guitar instruction – guitar lessons online, at home, convenient, inexpensive, fun – and effective.

GuitarAlliance.com is a comprehensive members only training program in the best and most effective popular techniques, styles, fundamentals and progressive topics for the guitar

Famous lefthanded guitarists

Thankfully, we can count some great guitarists among our numbers to even out the score. Here are a few we know and let us know of any other great left-handed guitarists to add to our Hall of Fame.

Picture Name Background Links
Jimi Hendrix Jimi Hendrix pioneered the explosive possibilities of the electric guitar. Hendrix's innovative style of combining fuzz, feedback and controlled distortion created a new musical form. Because he was unable to read or write music, it is nothing short of remarkable that Jimi Hendrix's meteoric rise in the music took place in just four short years. His musical language continues to influence a host of modern musicians.

Profile

Paul McCartney Played Bass for 'the Beatles' in the 60's. Generally considered the greatest pop composer of all time, along with fellow Beatle composer John Lennon. In the Guinness Book of Word Records for most records sold, most #1's (shared) and largest paid audience for a concert (350,000 people 1989 in Brazil). After 'the Beatles' formed Wings, one of the most commercially successful groups of the '70's. Solo carreer in post 70's has been sporadic in both commercial and artistic terms.

Profile

Bobby Womack He was born in Cleveland in 1944. Bobby and his brothers sang several memorable songs including his composition "It's All Over Now" which they recorded as The Valentinos for Sam Cooke's label, SAR. When the group who had begun as a gospel unit broke up, Bobby started out on a solo career. When he went down to Memphis to cut an album with Chips Moman, he met Wilson Pickett for whom he wrote "I'm A Midnight Mover". Bobby played guitar on Wilson's dates and began playing on many other sessions for artists such as Jerry Butler, Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick and Joe Tex. Bobby became a major soul recording artist of the 1970's, influencing folks such as Rod Stewart and The Stones. Site
Kurt Cobain Kurt Donald Cobain was the leader of Nirvana, the multi-platinum grunge band that redefined the sound of the nineties. He was introduced to music at a very young age, by his aunt. At seven years of age his parents divorced and he was forced to look at the world in a different light. He spent time under a bridge here he would spend the time alone writting his first lyrics. At the age of 15 Nirvana was born. However at the age of just 27 he killed himself after the presure became too much. Site
Tony Iommi As founding member of Black Sabbath and architect of such classic riffs as Black Sabbath, Paranoid, War Pigs, Iron Man and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Tony Iommi was - and is - the acknowledged progenitor of heavy rock guitar. His unique style and much copied sound have had a profound influence on succeeding generations of guitarists, and many of the leading bands of today owe more than a passing allegiance to the Black Sabbath sound as defined by Tony Iommi Site
Bob Geldof Bob Geldof was the leader of the successful punk group the Boomtown Rats. Inspired by a documentary on starving Ethiopian children, Geldof contacted music personalities from the U.K. and the U.S. to make a recording, "Do They Know It's Christmas," whose 80 million dollars in benefits were sent to Ethiopia. In 1985, he organized two enormous Live Aid concerts, again featuring some of the most popular acts in modern pop music, and donated the proceeds to charity. As a result, Geldof received a Nobel Peace Prize nomination. He was also knighted. Site

If you have any more information about these people or have any other successful left-handed guitarists that you would like us to feature, please let us know.

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