The Struggle is Real -- But Things Are Getting Better For Lefty Guitar Players!

February 17, 2019 8 min read

The Struggle is Real -- But Things Are Getting Better For Lefty Guitar Players!

What Being a Left Handed Guitar Player Used to be Like

In an interview with Guitar Player, legendary lefty guitar virtuoso Elliot Easton described the struggles he experienced learning to play guitar as a southpaw in a right handed world:

“First I had an inexpensive [right handed] Japanese guitar that we bought in a department store,” he says. “I figured out barre chords upside down, and then I realized that there would be a lot of things I couldn’t do. So I took the guitar into a local mom-and-pop music shop and had them turn the nut and strings around for me. That’s when I really started learning.” (All quotes are from the Guitar Player interview mentioned above.)

Anyone growing up during the vintage guitar era (the mid to late 1950‘s forward to the late 80‘s) can tell you about the limitations that left handed guitarists and bassists faced when looking for high quality left handed instruments. Not only were there very few models made in lefty versions at that time, there were actually very few music stores that carried more than a single left handed guitar at all. The local music store that Easton frequented carried only one southpaw guitar in the entire store:

“My local music store in Long Island was this place called Grayson’s Music, and they had a left-handed all-mahogany Favilla (acoustic) guitar in the store,” Easton recalls. “I rode my bike every day to a job at a bagel factory to earn the money for it.”

Elliot Easton

When it came to finding a left handed electric guitar, however, Easton wasn’t quite as lucky. A fan of Robbie Bobertson, Easton wanted a Telecaster, but he couldn’t find a left handed telecaster anywhere.

“So in 1971, I got a job washing dishes in a restaurant and saved up $225 for a custom-ordered lefty Fender Telecaster. I drove Grayson’s nuts, because I would call them every day to see if the guitar came in.”

Like Easton, most lefty guitarists have a story about how they have had to settle and make do with a guitar that they never wanted simply because the guitar they were looking for was not available. Whether it was turning a right handed guitar upside down the way Hendrix did, or saving up to buy the one overpriced lefty model available in your local music store, the struggles players have had finding their ideal guitars has been a defining problem for southpaw guitarists like Easton for more than a generation.

Lefty Guitarists Don’t Need to Settle Any Longer

Today, things are different. Just a casual perusal of guitar websites like reveals that there is a much larger selection of left handed models available today than ever before. Not only can you find the most popular models available for both hand styles, but custom ordering from manufacturers like G&L, Ernie Ball Music Man and Spector has never been easier.

Today’s lefty guitarists are likely to find left handed versions of their favorite styles and models in stock in some music stores and especially on most guitar websites. Whether you are a country player, grunge rocker, blues player or a metal head, finding the perfect guitar has never been easier!

Improved Selection

Today, brands like Reverend, G&L, Schecter, ESP/LTD, Martin, Takamine, Rainsong and Teye offer a wide selection of models in lefty versions. In the past, you could find a left handed Strat copy or southpaw Les Paul style guitar, but anything else, as Easton saw, had to be custom ordered. Today’s most popular models and styles are now relatively easy to find in left handed versions that sound, look and play just like their right handed counterparts. A few perfect examples include:

Reverend Left Handed Eastsider S Pete Anderson Signature Series Electric Guitar

Reverend Guitars has teamed up with country/blues rock legend and Grammy award-winner Pete Anderson to bring you a modern update to a rock and roll classic. Taking a cue from a classic Fender Tele style guitar, Pete Anderson came through with a hot-rodded guitar that is stage ready right out of the box.Read more here!

Schecter Left Handed Blackjack ATX C-1 FR Electric Guitar

The Schecter Left Handed Blackjack ATX C-1 FR is an affordable guitar with tons of high end features that are not usually available under $1000. It’s really comfortable to play, particularly for metal players and shredders, and features a super fast Ebony fretboard, a Floyd Rose locking tremolo system, and a super aggressive heavy metal sound from its active Seymour Duncan Blackout pickups. This powerful metal machine is available in limited quantities --get yours before they’re gone!

G&L Left Handed Tribute ASAT Classic Electric Guitar

The Left Handed Tribute G&L ASAT in gorgeous translucent orange is a classic T-style electric with a number of impressive refinements designed and inspired by Leo Fender, available at a price that is attainable for the working musician. The key to this guitar’s incredibly versatile tone is the addition of Leo Fender designed MFD™ single coil pickups in the bridge and neck positions. If you are looking for a classic T-style guitar that is versatile enough for Country, Blues, Jazz or Rock, theG&L ASAT Tribute will be perfect for you!

Martin Left Handed 00L-17E Whiskey Sunset Acoustic Electric Guitar

The Left Handed Martin 00L-17E is a sloped shoulder flat top model featuring a beautiful, antique-inspired whiskey sunset burst finish on a top made from solid Sitka Spruce. The aesthetics of the 00L-17E are inspired by classic flat tops from the 1930‘s, but one strum on this new offering reveals the warmth and impressive mids that we have come to expect from Martin guitars.Read more here!

More Models New and Used Available In Stock to be Tried Out

Unlike Easton back in the 1970's, who had to have his lefty Telecaster custom built, today a left handed guitar player can walk into a store like Adirondack Guitar and find dozens of left handed beauties ready to be tried out and played in the showroom. No matter if you are a  metal head, a shredder, a blues player, country or grunge player, you are sure to find the brands and styles you are looking for in southpaw versions in stock and ready to be tried out in the Adirondack Guitar showroom. Read on below to learn more about all of our lefty options!

Custom Shop Ordering for Lefties

While Easton had to custom order his Telecaster in the 1970's to get a lefty Tele at all, today left handed guitar players use custom ordering to create their dream guitars and basses. Custom shops are now offering more left handed models than ever before, with more options than you ever thought possible.

The G&L Custom Shop officially opened in 2018, though G&L has been filling custom orders for righty and lefty guitarists for decades. Offering an unprecedented number of options, today left handed guitarists can order the G&L guitar of their dreams with the same custom refinements and craftsmanship that Leo Fender made famous. Contact us for more information on ordering theG&L custom shop lefty guitar of your dreams!


Spector also offers a variety of custom shop bass guitars made in their world famous custom shop in the Czech Republic. Dedicated to creating the finest electric stringed instruments, including guitars and basses since 1974, Spector uses only the finest woods and highest quality components in an effort to reach each instrument’s complete tonal capabilities. All instruments are crafted to achieve maximum performance prior to shipping and are designed and built to last a lifetime.

Spector Factory in the Czech Republic

Spector Left Handed Euro 4 LX Electric Bass Guitar

The Spector Euro4LX  is another thunderous lefty bass. A favorite among rock and roll bassists because of it's dual humbucking EMG pickups, this is a seriously powerful package.Contact us to order one today!

Affordable Options for Lefties

Students and working musicians often can’t afford to buy custom shop guitars, but still don’t want to sacrifice on quality. For these lefty guitarists, we have a variety of high-quality instruments that deliver premium features at surprisingly affordable prices:

ESP/LTD Left Handed MH-203QM HSS Electric Guitar

The Left Handed LTD MH-203QM is a powerful metal/shred guitar with face melting tone and premium feel and playability. In an ocean of student to intermediate level metal guitars, the lefty ESP/LTD MH-203QM stands out because of the attention to detail and high-end performance-based features it offers. With a quilted maple top, bound maple fretboard, meticulously seated extra jumbo frets and a smooth as butter satin finish neck, the ESP/LTD MH-203 offers the tone and feel of a premium guitar at a surprisingly affordable under- $500 price point.Read more here!

ESP/LTD Left Handed B-205SM NS 5 String Electric Bass

The lefty ESP/LTD B205SM NS 5 string bass features a stunning spalted maple top with a natural satin finish over an ash body with a 5 piece maple neck and a rosewood fingerboard. The extra thin u neck features 24 extra jumbo frets, esp tuners and a LTD BB-605 bridge with string thru body.Buy yours here!

Schecter Left Handed Omen 8 8-String Electric Guitar

Featuring a Maple neck and lightweight Basswood body, a Rosewood fretboard and Schecter Diamond Plus high gain pickups, this southpaw Schecter Omen-8 is an incredible value that stacks up with 8 strings at twice the price!Buy yours here!

ESP/LTD Left Handed EC-256FM Electric Guitar

The lefty ESP/LTD EC-256FM Electric Guitar is a stage-worthy axe featuring set-neck construction and a flamed maple top over an all-mahogany body. The neck features a rosewood fret board, which has 22 extra jumbo frets and a 24.75" scale length that is built for both speed and comfort. The left handed EC-256FM features two powerful ESP humbucker pickups, independent volume controls, and a master tone control with push-pull coil-split adding to the versatility of this great lefty axe.Read more here!

Boutique Guitars

Boutique guitars are musical works of art crafted in artisan guitar shops by master luthiers and superior craftsmen, with painstaking commitment, one at a time. Building boutique guitars is a labor of love and begins with hand-selected materials and exotic woods designed to make a visual as well as a sonic impression. Boutique guitars are available in lefty versions that we carry in stock in our showroom. Contact us for information about the availability of select models like:

Reverend Left Handed Billy Corgan Signature Electric Guitar

The Left Handed Billy Corgan Signature guitar features a futuristic offset all Korina body, strategically chambered under the pickguards to increase the overall resonance of the guitar and reduce its weight, giving it that ‘cocked-wah’ sound that Corgan loves. Featuring a raised center section with thinner wings, a satin finish maple neck and fretboard, and a string-thru-body bridge design, the Corgan Signature delivers a considerable amount of sustain combined with a curiously Strat-like percussive attack.Buy one here! Read more about Reverend's commitment to creating incredible guitars and basses here.

Teye Left Handed Electric Gypsy Fox Electric Guitar

Teye’s Lefty Gypsy Fox has been called a Swiss Army knife for serious guitarists looking for a versatile electric guitar that plays and sounds as good as it looks. Similar to the Super Coyote Model also from the TMF series, the ‘Gypsy’ Fox has the same familiar single-cutaway body shape made from beautifully figured mahogany and a unique maple cap decorated with acid-etched aluminum in ornate patterns that are nothing short of mesmerizing. Read more andorder yours here! Read more about Teye's paradigm-shifting electronics here.

Whether they are beginners looking for entry-level left handed guitars that boast a number of premium features, or seasoned professionals looking for hand crafted lefty masterpieces built to their specifications, left handed guitarists have more options than ever before when it comes to finding the perfect lefty guitar for their musical style. Visit our website and check back here for more news and notes about the growing number of lefty guitars and basses in the Adirondack Guitar inventory!

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