Monday, August 11, 2008

Left Handed Guitar Player Playing Right Handed Guitar

I've read some articles recently on the Internet that explain how to convert a right handed guitar into a left handed guitar. They explain the problems that you would have with the nut, bridge, and saddle. This is all fine and dandy if you are converting an electric solid body guitar, but it is a gamble with a hollow body electric and/or acoustic. I covered this in my article Should I Play A Right Handed Guitar Left Handed? You can try it if you want, but I would use a very cheap guitar to try it on.
Like I said in the article, I asked a Luthier from a very well established guitar manufacturer who explained that when converting to a left handed guitar, "The bracing, bridges, and tone bar are set up for right handed players". The bracing and tone bar are inside of the guitar. When a string is tuned, it adds tension to the guitar. Each string adds a different degree of tension and the bracing and tone bar are in a position to compensate for the different degrees of tension. When the strings are reversed, the degrees and position of tension are changed, hence his quote, "The bracing, bridges and tone bar are set up for right handed players". It could cause cracking or warping of the internal parts. The bracing and tone bar add structural reinforcement to the guitar.
I had a cheap $20 guitar when I was a kid and I switched the strings around to play left handed and didn't notice any adverse affects, but I could barely tune it at that time much less know if I broke something.
The point is that if you are left handed playing a right handed guitar, it is better to be safe than sorry. Either learn how to play it right handed or learn how to flip it over and play upside down, especially if it is an expensive acoustic.

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Ben Willis demonstrating the "left handed upside down guitar method".


A chord

B Chord

C Chord

D Chord

E Chord

F Chord

G Chord

B Barre Chord

D Barre Chord

Contact Info

E-mail Ben Willis at
bwillismusic@gmail.com