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  #1  
Old 01-23-2021, 05:56 PM
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Cecil6243 Cecil6243 is offline
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Default Left handed guitar?

My sister who is a lefty wants to learn to play the guitar. I just got a new Martin, and was going to either reverse string my first guitar, an applause ovation for her, or let her try to learn right handed. After doing some research I think she'd be better off with a left handed guitar for several reasons.

I think I'm going to surprise her and buy and a left handed guitar from Sweetwater. Not a cheapo but not an expensive one in case she doesn't stick with it.

Thoughts?
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Old 01-23-2021, 06:09 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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There are three types of lefty players: ones that play a right handed guitar upside down, ones that just restring a righty (hopefully with a new saddle and nut), and ones that get a guitar built, braced and strung for left handed players.

Then there's people like me, leftys who play righty. Do you know which your sister is? Does she?
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Old 01-23-2021, 06:37 PM
Mirosh Mirosh is offline
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Yamaha FG820 has a lefty version. The righty version can be had for $279; lefty is $359 at Sweetwater.

I have an FG800, which although my least expensive guitar, I like a whole lot, esp. with a bone saddle and some Grover tuners. I tried an FG820 and was very impressed with it, but when the time came to buy, the store had only 800 and 830 and I liked the 800 better.

Last edited by Mirosh; 01-23-2021 at 06:51 PM.
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Old 01-23-2021, 09:23 PM
jswr450 jswr450 is offline
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I'm left handed. Lots of good options, but first I'd strongly suggest she learn right handed. I wish I had. It's awkward anyway at first and both hands do pretty much an equal amount of work in my opinion, if you're doing it right.

On the left handed guitar front, add a Yamaha LL16 to a list of possible contenders. Solid wood, playable, sounds great, well made. Jerrys left handed guitars has lots of awesome Eastmans, some really cheap for what you're getting, which are unbelievable for the price (or just great no matter the price). An Eastman Parlor (or OM or Dread) would be a fantastic guitar after a setup that any good shop can do in a half hour and little money. Martin and Taylor have great options too, depending on your budget.
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Old 01-24-2021, 12:07 AM
shufflebeat shufflebeat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jswr450 View Post
I'm left handed. Lots of good options, but first I'd strongly suggest she learn right handed.
Just to provide some dialectical tension, I'm left handed and would strongly suggest she learn left handed. This is a popular and ongoing topic of discussion, however, and there are some good arguments for both approaches (but lefty is better ).

It's relatively safe to buy Yamaha at the lower end but also see Vintage and LAG. Many other options available.
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Old 01-24-2021, 04:16 AM
NotveryGood NotveryGood is offline
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Lots of left handed options out there nowadays ,as luckily for us lefties its (mostly) no longer seen as some sort of defect that needs correcting! Good lower price (but not low quality) left handed models out there from Alvarez, Yamaha, Faith, Eastman, Seagull, and of course Martin and Taylor!
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Old 01-24-2021, 04:33 AM
Sammmydee Sammmydee is offline
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Fellow lefty here. You have some great options nowadays. A Martin dreadnought jr or anything in the X series or an Eastman would be great. If itís a nylon, canít go wrong with a Cordoba.

Try southpaw guitars and Adirondack guitars. Iím in Singapore and have bought lefty guitars from there no problem. [emoji1305]
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Old 01-24-2021, 06:33 AM
leinad leinad is offline
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i'm a lefty who plays with a left handed guitar , if she is a lefty get her a " left handed guitar " this isn't the 1950's where teachers would smack your hand if you wrote left handed. plenty of choices for leftys now a days also in comparison to years ago. give her what she is comfortable with.
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Old 01-24-2021, 06:44 AM
Methos1979 Methos1979 is online now
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I'm a lefty that plays 'right-handed' guitars. Why the quotes? Because as far as I'm concerned, right-handed guitars are actually left-handed guitars. When you're starting out playing guitar, what's the most difficult thing to do? Getting your left hand to make consistent and smooth chord shapes with your left hand or simple strumming with your right hand? Yeah, thought so. The left hand is doing all the hard work early on and therefore being left-handed is a benefit. As far as I'm concerned, the left hand is always doing the more difficult of the two and hence my opinion that right-handed guitars are actually best for left-handed players. Then when you grow up you have WAY more access to awesome guitars. Give her your Applause and see if she sticks with it.
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  #10  
Old 01-24-2021, 06:56 AM
EZYPIKINS EZYPIKINS is offline
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Agree with Methos 1979
We had a Lefty, guitar player. He was always telling me how he judged a guitar store by it's supply of left handed guitars. I was amazed at the selection at West L.A. Music in Santa Monica. He was not impressed. They had a huge selection (according to me). All they had for Lefties, was the same old Guitar Center budget crap guitars. And not very many of them. You are a good brother Cecil. I hope your sister appreciates you. But try to get her to play right handed. She will thank you in the long run.
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Old 01-24-2021, 09:02 AM
Jengstrom Jengstrom is offline
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Some lefties learn right handed. Some learn left handed. I played righty as a kid but could never coordinate anything other than cowboy chords and a few basic barres. No leads at all.

As a middle ages adult, after not touching a guitar for 30+ years, I bought a lefty guitar and went to work. Granted, Iíve had much better instruction and learning materials than I had as a kid, but lefty is correct for me.

I suggest you allow your sister to fiddle around for a while, trying a guitar both ways (better if you can find a lefty guitar for the lefty fiddling, but perhaps not necessary) and let her choose which way she wants to learn.

If she chooses righty, there will be many more guitar choices and learning materials will be more straightforward.

If she chooses lefty, she wonít be so tempted by GAS, because there wonít be so many choices. She will also have to learn how to interpret learning materials designed for righties, like chord diagrams. It makes things more complicated, but it is doable.

As for restringing your Ovation backward, guitars are braced assymetrically to account for the different loads caused by differing string tensions across the guitar. Also, the nut would have to be replaced. If the bridge is cocked or compensated, that would have to be addressed to. I recommend against flipping it. (Exception: most classical guitars are symetrical. Much lower string tensions make asymmetrical bracing unnecessary. The only thing you would have to changed is the nut. When I bought mine, there were no lefty classicals in the local stores. I picked a righty that sounded good and had reasonable intonation. Then I took it to a local luthier who flipped it and set it up for about $100.)

IMO, all of the complications/frustrations involved in learning left handed are worth it if your brain and coordination are telling you to learn left handed. At least it was for me.

John

Last edited by Jengstrom; 01-24-2021 at 09:17 AM.
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  #12  
Old 01-24-2021, 10:06 AM
OKCtodd71 OKCtodd71 is offline
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I'm just guessing that possibly your sister might find, as many men do, that a guitar smaller than a dread is a better fit. I'm going to suggest this:
https://www.adirondackguitar.com/lef...arez/af60l.htm

As I've mentioned here before, I am right handed but play lefty because I was born with this:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioulnar_synostosis
so I have limited rotation of my left arm and wrist; can't field a ground ball or hold out my hand to accept change from a drive through teller.
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Old 01-24-2021, 11:09 AM
jswr450 jswr450 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shufflebeat View Post
Just to provide some dialectical tension, I'm left handed and would strongly suggest she learn left handed. This is a popular and ongoing topic of discussion, however, and there are some good arguments for both approaches (but lefty is better ).

It's relatively safe to buy Yamaha at the lower end but also see Vintage and LAG. Many other options available.
I still agree with my opinion (but play left handed), despite your dialectical tension. You are certainly allowed your own opinion.

As a lefty who lives and breathes guitar (me), it's not very much fun to walk into every guitar store in the country and have maybe one or two guitars to play out of everything in the store.

If she doesn't stick with it then it won't matter if she learns right or left handed because she still won't be able to play anyway, and she won't be going to guitar stores or searching Reverb daily looking for the next perfect guitar.
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Old 01-24-2021, 11:13 AM
jswr450 jswr450 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Methos1979 View Post
I'm a lefty that plays 'right-handed' guitars. Why the quotes? Because as far as I'm concerned, right-handed guitars are actually left-handed guitars. When you're starting out playing guitar, what's the most difficult thing to do? Getting your left hand to make consistent and smooth chord shapes with your left hand or simple strumming with your right hand? Yeah, thought so. The left hand is doing all the hard work early on and therefore being left-handed is a benefit. As far as I'm concerned, the left hand is always doing the more difficult of the two and hence my opinion that right-handed guitars are actually best for left-handed players. Then when you grow up you have WAY more access to awesome guitars. Give her your Applause and see if she sticks with it.
Well said.
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  #15  
Old 01-24-2021, 03:26 PM
Left hand Sean Left hand Sean is offline
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Iím a lefty who plays left handed. Broke my arm in my teens and never felt comfortable with a r h model. Besides why should I adapt? I started with a Yamaha FG 365 (1979). In those days you just had the saddle and nut altered nobody mentioned internal struts. Great guitar but a bit boomy in the base quiet in the treble once reversed so these days I use it mainly in DADGAD.
Also got some l h models factory models, Taylor GS mini very nice but best of all I have a custom made l h guitar by Duncan Lannin of Devon. For me itís the business.
Iíd recommend getting a reasonably priced l h model to start. Why add to the burden. Donít go OTT with a fancy expensive model to start. She will want something to aspire to if she decides to continue.
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