Acoustic guitar for the southpaw

What is guitar?

In simple words guitar is a musical instruments made of strings to make the sound. Guitar usually has 6 strings (there are varieties in this even with 12 strings) in it and the sound is made by strumming the strings with the right hand and by pressing the strings with the left hand fingers. As per the historical data available some say that the guitar was originated in 8th century, however some of the historians say that guitar is originated at the time of Babylonians.acoustic guitar

Types of guitars

There are mainly two types of guitars, acoustic and electric guitars. There is another classification as classical guitar which uses strings made of nylon. Acoustic guitars use steel strings and electric guitar uses magnetic pickups. The difference between acoustic and electric is mainly in the technology used to amplify the sound. An acoustic guitar amplifies the sound produced by the vibration of strings using the hollow body. In an electric guitar the strings are attached to electromagnetic pickups that convert the vibration into signals and are fed to the amplifier. The signals are transmitted through a radio transmitter or patch cable.

The construction

For left handed players it was never easy to use the standard guitar. They had to alter the standard acoustic guitar to a left handed acoustic guitar. Left handed players usually adjust to this but sometimes they choose to play a mirror (opposite-handed) instrument. Yet some other left handed players opt to play the guitar reversed and very little people play the guitar strung in reverse (Jim Hendrix). This can be achieved either by using the true left handed guitar or by modifying the right handed instrument to play left handed.

Little more about the left handed acoustic guitar

left handed acoustic guitarYou cannot just go ahead and swap the strings for left handed player. The strings that pass through a slot near the neck are cut according to their width and this will have to be recut to swap the strings. The bridge of the guitar is inclined to a particular direction to control the intonation. In electric guitars this is adjustable but in acoustic this cannot be adjusted. So here you will have to remove the bridge and mount it in the opposite direction.

So in summary converting a right handed acoustic guitar to a left handed acoustic guitar is not a good idea. It is better to buy a left handed guitar (little difficult at times) and has the benefit that you do not have to swap the strings or other components and you can have the satisfaction of playing the instrument as you wish.

Struggles faced only by left handed acoustic guitar players

The scarcity of left handed model – Nowadays you will get left handed models but if you want a vintage guitar you will have to adjust with the right handed guitar.

Cannot play to their full potential – Left handed guitar players can play in their full potential only using a left handed guitar not on a right handed guitar.

Tend to be more expensive – Thanks to the evolution of the musical instruments now you can buy a left handed guitar. But they are relatively costly and you may need to order it specially to get one. The stores do not stock these since only about 10% of the players are left handed.

Get to construct guitar – even though this is a struggle it is a good thing too. You get to construct your own guitar which will help you understand the tips and tricks of playing guitar.

Awkward moments – You cannot pick up a random guitar in a party and play. You will have to master the way to play the right handed guitar too, however it is always better to carry your own guitar. Another awkward moment is when you go to store and look at the standard guitar and thinks “There is something wrong with guitar”.

Stage Position with righties – this is another concern for left handed players, where to stand with other players. The best suggestion is to stand to the right of the right handed players.

You would have noticed that I mentioned struggles not problems of let handed players. Yes these are the struggles they face to produce a mind blowing tune with their customized guitar. End of the day the important thing is to enjoy playing your instrument and producing amazing tones. After all you have some amazing lefty heroes to look up to like Sir Paul McCartney, Kurt Cobain and Jimi Hendrix!