The Ultimate Article About Right Handed Guitar
Guitars appeared in left and right-handed varieties. If you’re a right-handed or left-handed player, you should think carefully about which guitar is right for you to learn. Unfortunately, lots of people who take up a guitar don’t immediately show a strong tendency for either right-handed or left-handed guitar playing. That’s because playing the guitar is complex, and it is not clear which hand plays the dominant role until you’ve spent some time practicing. Most people who have an interest in learning guitar simply go out and buy one, the right-handed variety, without necessarily even knowing that there is another kind. But it’s a good idea to think of this decision carefully. After all, you can’t go back on this decision 10 years from now.
What Is The Difference Between A Left And Right Handed Guitar?
In regards to orientation, it’s as follows:
- Right Handed Guitar-left bequeath the fretboard, right-hand, strumming hand
- Left Handed Guitar-a right hand on the fretboard, left-hand strumming
Visually, a left-handed guitar is the opposite of a right-handed guitar.
The obvious starting point is to check out the direction of the strings from thick to thin. Hold the guitar vertically in front of you and take a look at the strings. If the thickest string gets on the right the guitar is a lefty, and if it gets on the left it’s a righty.
The pickguard will instantly categorize the orientation of any guitar. Right-handed models have it to the right to reduce scuff marks from the guitar pick as you strum. The same pickguard will get on the left when you are facing a left-handed guitar. While you can string these guitars upside down, the pickguard will look awkward and maybe disorientating. You could take it out on certain models like the Gibson ES-335. You’ll also find that many acoustic guitars, especially nylon string guitars, don’t have a pickguard in any way.
3. Fretboard Inlays
Most guitars have fretboard inlays, the little white dots on the guitar neck to help you keep track of which fret you are playing. However, you’ll also see guitars that have side markers located on the side of your fretboard towards the top, facing the ceiling. Side inlays indicate the fret positions in order that you don’t need to look at the neck while playing. Left-handed guitar and right-handed guitars will have them on a different side. This isn’t a deal-breaker if you wish to modify the guitar. You can buy aftermarket inlay stickers on the cheap.
4. Nut Orientation
Another part you can investigate is the nut. This is the thin strip of material near the headstock end of the fretboard which holds the strings in position. Each slot in the nut is a different width so as to accommodate each string snugly. So if the thickest string won’t match its slot, and the thinnest string is rattling around in a wide slot, then this is a good sign that the guitar has been strung inverted.
5. Strap Pegs
A better indicator might be the position of the strap pegs, the little metal feet that you slot your guitar strap over. On most guitars, the rear peg will remain in the center of the body, but the front peg will get on the top side. If your front strap peg is located on the bottom half of the body then your guitar has likely been flipped. However, If the strap peg has been transferred to the correct position by the previous owner, they may have completed the old hole and refinished it. So once more, this visual aid might not be completely inside information of information.
6. Fretboard Side Markers
The side markers are the little dots you’ll usually, but not always, find on the side of your fretboard to indicate fret positions. You will find these on the top of the fretboard, facing you when in a playing position. If they are on the bottom side then your guitar has likely been flipped. When we experienced our upside-down right-handed guitar it was the side markers facing the floor that ultimately revealed what the guitar actually was.
7. Saddle Angle
On an acoustic guitar, the saddle is the thin strip of material at the top of the bridge on which the strings sit. Just one of its functions is to correctly set the intonation on the instrument. To perform this the saddle is set at an angle to slightly alter the length of each string. On a standard guitar, the saddle is angled so that the thickest string has the longest length. If it is the opposite way around, then that is a good sign that your guitar has been flipped. Check out the diagram above to see the correct angles on both left and right-handed models. If you wish to learn why the saddle is angled such as this, check out my in-depth scale length guide for an explanation. Investigating one or more of these areas should unveil the truth. So hopefully you now know whether your guitar is a right-handed model or a left-handed guitar.
Upside Down Guitar Players
Where it gets a little confusing is when it concerns upside-down left-handed guitarists. A very small minority of guitarists play left-handed orientation, but with the strings upside down! In other words, the thickest string is nearest the floor when in a playing position. This is usually because when they started playing, they just picked up a friend’s right-handed guitar, held it left-handed, and stuck with it. These players tend to have a mix of guitars, some being regular right-handed guitars which they hold upside down, and some being left-handed guitars which they string upside down. This method of playstyle makes sense because it means that as a left-handed guitarist, you can walk into a guitar store and play almost anything in the store, upside down of course. They are rare musicians who learn to play the guitar with the strings lined upside down, a convoluted and eccentric approach to learning the instrument. A lot of these guitarists and bass players say they started as kids who didn’t have access to any other instrument and decided to learn it upside down.
- Here is a small list of musicians who play with the thickest string closer to the floor and the thinnest string closest to the chin
- Eric Gales (Blues Guitarist)
- Bob Geldof
- Zacky Vengeance (Avenged Sevenfold)
- Mono Neon (Bass Guitar)
1. Is There The Same Selection For Right-Handed And Left-Handed Guitars?
Unfortunately not. Many manufacturers do not make a left-hand guitar, or they are special order or you do not have the same choices as those available to right-handed players. It can possibly be particularly hard if you are looking for a vintage guitar as left-handed versions are few and far between.
2. Is It Harder To Play The Guitar Left-Handed?
Assuming you are a left-handed guitar player, you will learn the guitar just as everyone else does. There is no tangible difference in how lefties are taught. There may be some less obvious obstacles, for example, confusion while watching instructional videos, it could be puzzling during the beginning to watch people playing the other way around. Overall, there is no reason to believe that it is harder to play left-handed guitar if you are a left-handed person.
3. Why Do Left-Handed Guitars Cost More?
If you are a lefty guitar player, you’re already aware that the left-handed versions invariably cost greater than right-handed versions. This oddity can possibly be attributed to demand and supply. We tend to consider left-handed guitars as an ‘alternative’ to the flagship model. However, to the manufacturer, the guitar is no different from a ‘special model’ because it needs innovation, special molds, and added labor costs. Plus, the demand isn’t comparable to right-handed models.
So now that you know the difference between a right-handed guitar and a left-handed guitar, you may be wondering which of these two you should be picking for yourself. We wish you good luck and great guitar practice!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What Is A Right-Handed Guitar?
A right-handed guitarist plays guitar with their left transmit the fingerboard, fretboard, otherwise called fretting, while they use the right hand to pick, strum, play the strings above the sound hole.
2. Can A Right-Handed Play Guitar?
Right, right-handed guitar player. Guitars come in right-handed and left-handed varieties. Many people who are interested in learning guitar simply go out and buy one, the right-handed variety without necessarily even knowing that there is another kind. But it’s a good idea to think about this decision carefully.
3. Can I Play A Right-Handed Guitar Left-Handed?
Obviously, you can! Some guitarists, for example, Jimi Hendrix and Albert King, simply restrung a right-handed guitar to invert the strings or played a right-handed guitar upside-down.
4. Do You Strum A Guitar With A Dominant Hand?
Their ‘dominant’ hand, the right hand, often does little much more than strum. The argument here is that players should pluck the string with their dominant hand, i.e. left-handed beginners or guitar players should use their left hand, left-hand to pluck the strings, just as right-handers finish with their right hand.