Finding Lessons, TABS, Chords, and Equipment for Left Handed Guitarists

Hello Everyone! This article is aimed at helping left handed guitarists find lessons, Tableture, Equipment and other items they might need to make their learning more fun and enjoyable.  There are a ton of places scattered all around the Internet with Musical equipment and lessons but not alot of people carry information for the left handed Guitarists, and most places only have a few items here and there. Our goal here is to not only help provide the lessons we have found but to provide a place where the left handed guitarist can find TABS and Equipment as well. You could of course just do a google search on some of these things but I thought it might be easier if you had access to some of the more useful items here. Just look through this article for “Blue Links” to connect to different items you might be interested in checking out, WARNING – For Lefties only! 🙂

How are left Handed Guitar lessons Different?

Primarily, when dealing with the basics like scales, chords, theory and musical score all the content is the same for left handed palyers as it is for right handed players. Some exceptions would be like the following:
1) Video Lessons, the visual of a right handed player when trying to play left handed can be confusing.
2) Tableture, even though the patterns are the same they are just mirror image, so that can also be confusing.
3) Chord charts, again the mirror image, so pictures of chords can cause confusion as well.
Now this is just the basics and most left handed people are smart and can translate the right handed version in their minds, and this is not to say that right handed people aren’t smart too, but left handed people just have to try harder as WE, yes I say we as I am a Lefty too, are living in a right handed persons world. We have to adapt to things like Saws, and hockey sticks, and even phones…the buttons are all on the wrong side…you know what I mean!!!  🙂

How are left Handed Guitar lessons the Same?

Like above, when dealing with the basics like scales, chords, theory and musical score all the content is the same. What I mean by this is the basic structures and shapes are the same for scales, chords, and tableture, but just a mirror image as the pictures here illustrate. the picture on the left has a thin light blue line indicated for the Top Base String so the guitar on the left is the left handed one. We know this as the left or right handedness is indicated by the strumming hand not the chording hand.
So, in the image below we see the G Major chord shape and note how they are just “Mirror Images”. The basic chord shape is the same just flipped over.

In dealing with the Chord Charts, the tableture, and the video lessons all the shapes will be the same but they will all be mirror image like we illustrated above for you. Now reading music is still the same as that does not change a bit…..score is still score!

What else is different for the left handed Player?

The only thing that stands out besides the chord shapes and tableture is the fact that the guitars themselves are also Mirror images. So this means that the strings are put on the guitar in the opposite way. Like in the image above you can see that the base strings, or the Low E strings, are towards each other. Thus, when stringing the guitar the order is different. In addiditon to this the machine heads, the little mechanisms that tume the guitar also wind differently as well. Many people put these on wrong which can in turn cause too much tension on the neck and body. It is important to wind the strings onto the Machine heads the correct way for both the left and right handed guitars to prevent this.

What are some differences in the left and right handed guitar and why can’t I just take a right handed guitar and restring for Left handed?

There are a few technical things that go on here. One thing is the Bridge position is different as on most guitars is is not parrallel to the nut on the head stock but it angles slightly like in the image below. So, What happens is the intonation gets thrown off if you just try and flip the guitar over and restring it, which can make tuning it really hard and you will break alot of strings trying! Also when yiou press the strings down to create the chords the string lengths are altered due to the angle bridge and therefore the intonation will be off.
There is a great video I found where the guy talks about this more. He goes into great detail as to what the do’s and dont’s are for converting left and right handed guitars. He goes into electric too! But you can close it when he starts in on those as we are Acoustic junkies here!  ::Grin::
Click HERE for the Video. (This will open a new tab so you can close it to return).

What Else?

I think that I have hit the major points here.
As for the rest of the stuff like tuners, picks, straps, and plug in points for electric acoustics everything is basically the same. You can also Electrify your acoustic to give it a more Robust and throaty sound by applying simple inhole pickups that do not require any drilling or poking holes in your prized possession!
Well, guys and Gals, that is about all I have for today in this article, but keep an eye out for more content and useful tips and tricks for your Left Handed Acoustic Guitars….yes and not only for Lefties but for those Right handers as well.
Tip #1: Don’t let right handed guitarists get you down, I have your back!
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12 thoughts on “Finding Lessons, TABS, Chords, and Equipment for Left Handed Guitarists”

  1. This article creates a great conversation starter with my father-in-law. He is an avid collector of all types of guitars and so I plan on talking about parts of this post during our next conversation. I hadn’t thought about all the various differences between left handed and right handed guitar lessons. Of course there are similarities but I was really surprised by the differences. I am interested in my son and daughter taking lessons and one is right handed and the other is left handed so I will book mark this post for future reference. 

    Reply
    • Lee,

      I love the name as my middle name is Lee!

      Being a lefty myself who trained myself to play right handed I can truly say having access to left handed info is a bonus for the lefties in your family!

      Thanks for bookmarking my site and for your generous commments!

      Reply
  2. This looks like a great basic rundown of all lessons and equipment for left handed guitarists as this seems to show you everything that you could need to start learning exactly what a guitar is made of. Left handed gitarists need to take into account that they may need a certain amount of tuners or amps more or less than right handed counterparts.

    Reply
    • Thanks Jon, it is true, both lefties and righties will need equipment like amps and tuners. So do  you play?

      Reply
  3. So people would say playing left hand guitar is the best,If that were true, why are all righties not playing left handed? Why is a left handed guitar not the norm? It’s just completely nonsensical. But If you are using a left-handed guitar, the greatest thing is all of the chords and tabs you can see online will be the correct way around for you. Learning how to play the eight basic guitar chords can set you up for success as a beginner guitarist.

    Reply
    • Feji, it is true that learning the basic chords is essential, whether you are a right handed palyer or a left handed player. Thanks for your comment.

      Reply
  4. This would’ve been such a helpful tool for my friend back when we were in high school. She is left handed and it took her some time to find a guitar that suited her. She told me it was a whole different experience than what everyone else thought it was. She tried playing with her right hand but it was really hard. Luckily, she found some lessons on the web and started practicing on her own. I’m not sure if she still plays but I will text her this article just in case.

    Reply
  5. Wow! This is an exceptional post. For some time now, I use to believe that left handed folks can amount to nothing in other instruments except drums and piano, because of that I didn’t go on with my guitar lessons. 

    However, this article has not only  exposed me to the truth but has rekindled the passion for guitar in me. Thanks for sharing this article, it’s helpful!

    Reply
  6. I have some friends (fellow musos) that are left-handed and using lessons, tabs, chords, and even equipment are all things they complain about. It can be an issue unless you do a lot of research to find what they need. This post will help, so I am going to share it with them.

    It really is not that hard once you get used to the changes that you mention, and although I can say that as a right-handed person, I do see how it can be a change in mindset that is required. Good post that lays it out clearly for us right-handed would-be musicians (this is only a hobby for me, but one I love)…Thanks!

    Reply

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