Southpaw Lefty guitarists

SO whats the deal with being lefthanded. Left-handedness is relatively uncommon; 90 to 93 percent of the adult population is right-handed.  Chris McManus of University College London argues that the proportion of left-handers is rising and left-handed people as a group have historically produced an above-average quota of high achievers.cobain1

He says that left-handers’ brains are structured differently in a way that widens their range of abilities, and the genes that determine left-handedness also govern development of the language centres of the brain.


Most guitars are designed to be played right-handed and  although a right-handed guitar may be converted for left-handed playing (as was most notably done by Jimi Hendrix, Paul McCartney, and Kurt Cobain), this always requires replacing the bridge and nut for the strings to fit and the intonation to be correct.

This quick alternative to getting a “real” left handed guitar has only been necessary due to a considerable lack of true left handed instruments, manufactured specifically for the left handed player.


Gaskell Guitars is an Australian guitar manufacturer that makes production and custom left handed electric guitars that are not available (or not made any more) in left hand option by original manufacturers.

Left handed guitarists the world over have always had few options regarding availability of left handed guitars. This has always been the case, but in recent times several major guitar manufacturers have completely turned their backs on left handed guitarists and have stopped making left handed guitars altogether. When you do find a left handed guitar in a shop somewhere it is normally priced 10-20 percent extra! What is that really? A “penalty fee” for being a left handed guitarist? Not acceptable!

Even if you can’t look beyond the southpaw prejudice of the guitar manufacturing giants there`s just no excuse letting it get in the way of your playing. Here`s some great south paw lefty’s in the shape and form of Elizabeth Cotton, Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix and Albert King showing exactly just how to “get real”!

Luckily with the increasing popularity of the guitar there seem to be plenty of manufacturers around with an interest in catering to the southpaw!

Take it easy & cheers,

Jake Edwards


  1. Randsl

    Cam, same as me and the other guitarist in our band. I don’t know if this is common because we generally have to learn on a righty or not. However, I am guessing this is just one of the many things we have to adapt to in this right handed world…..we need to become ambidextrous to one degree or another.
    I recently tried playing left handed. I was uncomfortable and my left hand was quite uncoordinated. Maybe practice will fix that.

  2. graham

    I play right handed but have seriously damaged 3rd and particularly 4th finger of left hand with consequent reduction of movement but going left handed would presumably mean starting to learn from scratch again.

  3. cam

    I’m a lefty but have always played instruments right handed both bass and guitar…

  4. Leon

    I love the way Hendrix blends his voice into the sound of the guitar! It actually sounds like he is supporting the guitar with his voice and not the other way around, like most people. Phenomenal!

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