best left handed guitars for beginners

So you’re looking for your first guitar, but there’s a problem. You’re left handed, and it seems like every guitar on this planet is for right handers! Well have no fear, we have combed the back catalogs to find the best left handed guitars for beginners! Whether you’re on the hunt for a classic full-size dreadnought, or maybe a body shape with a bit more room to play, we have compiled the best Left Handed Guitars For Beginners for all you lefties out there, and best left handed acoustic guitar.

best left handed guitars for beginners

In every price bracket, I’ve arranged the guitars in order of my personal preference. 

It’s worth noting that with acoustics more so than any other style of guitar, you should really try to spend as much as you can comfortably afford. It’s a false economy to buy something cheap now, only to spend more later on getting the guitar you should have chosen in the first place.

Beginner Left Handed Acoustic Guitars Around $100

Best Cheap Left Handed Acoustic Guitar

Donner DAG-1CL –

Neal Says: On a tight budget my top pick for a beginner electro-acoustic would be the Donner DAG-1CL.  This guitar comes bundled as part of a package including absolutely everything you’ll need to get started (aside from lessons!). As well as the guitar you’ll get a gigbag, polishing cloth, plectrums, spare strings, capo, headstock tuner, strap and even an optional pickguard that you can add should you wish.

The guitar itself is the common dreadnought size, making it ideal for almost any style of music. It features the classic spruce top with mahogany back and sides tone-wood combination for a rich sound. The slim mahogany neck is ideal for beginners and is topped off with a beautiful dark ebony fingerboard. The Donner also has a cutaway to allow you to more easily access the higher frets. It’s a great little package for a new player on a tight budget. A 30 day money back guarantee is offered in case you need to return the guitar for any reason.

Check it out at the link above for the best current price.

Here’s a fantastic overview video of the guitar from our good friend Shane over at InTheBlues. I think you’ll agree that the little Donner sounds incredible!Donner DAG-C1 Acoustic Guitar Review – Only $125?!

If you’d like to drop a little more coin and put together your own beginner acoustic rig, keep reading!

Best Left Handed Acoustic Guitar Around $200

Best Lefty Acoustics Under 200

Neal Says: Bet you didn’t think you could get a real Fender for around $200, right?! Well you can!

The Fender CD-60S and CC-60S were launched in 2017 and have instantly become my top picks for those with a budget of around $200. These two guitars from Fender’s Classic Design series represent exceptional value for money, with features that you’d usually only find on much more expensive instruments. For example, both guitars feature a solid wood top (scroll to the end of this page for info), rolled fret edges, scalloped x-bracing, and a newly designed and more comfortable neck shape. One of these is the obvious choice in this price bracket (unless you require electronics!), and because they have solid wood tops, they’ll only sound better with age! Fender really hit a home run with these.

Both guitars feature a solid spruce top, mahogany back and sides for a balanced sound, and a mahogany neck with rosewood fretboard. Plus you’ve got that famous name on the headstock, ensuring that the guitar will hold its value over time. They are ideal for any style of music and could potentially last you for life.

Which model to opt for? Both guitars are exactly the same, with the exception being that the CD-60S is the more common Dreadnought body shape and the CC-60S is a smaller Concert size body. Either will be great, but smaller players may prefer the slightly more petite CC-60S as it will be a little more comfortable to hold.

The video below will give you a brief overview of the entire new Fender Classic Design series and is definitely worth a watch if you are considering opting for either of these two models. The video also mentions the electro-acoustic versions of these guitars which I will talk about in the next price bracket.Fender Classic Design Series | In-Depth Look with Patrick Matera | Fender

Popular Lefty Acoustic Guitars Around $300

Best Left Handed Acoustic Guitars for Beginners

Neal Says: In the previous price bracket I chose the Fender CD-60 and CC-60 as the picks of the bunch. In this bracket we get access to the new Fender CD-60SCE and CC-60SCE, which are the same guitars with the addition of a cutaway for improved upper fretboard reach and quality Fishman electronics. These electronics allow you to plug the guitar into an amp or speaker, plus you also get a handy built-in tuner.

Both guitars feature a solid spruce top, mahogany back and sides, mahogany neck with 20 fret walnut fingerboard, scalloped bracing, rolled fretboard edges and a low profile Fishman pickup/preamp.

The CD-60SCE features the common dreadnought body shape, whereas the CC-60SCE is a slightly smaller concert model. As I’ve mentioned in the previous price bracket, new players may prefer the comfort of the slightly smaller CC-60SCE. One of these will be my top pick in this price bracket. The main reason to pick one of these over the models above is the inclusion of the electronics, so think carefully about whether or not you would like this feature!

Popular Acoustic Guitars Under $400

Best Left Handed Acoustic Guitars for Beginners

Neal Says: My top pick in this bracket is the recently released Yamaha FG820L – Yamaha is famed for producing guitars that seem to punch well above their price – and this model is no exception. This is my top choice in this bracket if you don’t require electronics. Click here to see it in action.

Crucially, this guitar features a solid wood top. Head to the bottom of this article for a quick primer on solid wood tops – but in a nutshell, these guitars should give a slightly improved quality of sound when compared to more affordable laminate topped acoustics. The FG820 features a solid sitka spruce top, mahogany back/sides, mahogany neck and a rosewood fingerboard – the classic tried and tested acoustic tonewood combination! Perfect for pretty much any style of music, and guaranteed to hold its value.

Like the Yamaha above, the Ibanez AW54LCE also features mahogany back and sides, but adds a solid mahogany top for a different look to the rest. Other features include a Nyatoh neck with ovangkol fretboard, full-size dreadnought body with cutaway, and Ibanez electronics to allow for amplified playing.Ibanez AW54CEOPN Acoustic Electric Guitar Sound Test ( Unplugged & Pure )

Where does it fit into our list? It is roughly the same price as the FG820 and of a comparable quality, but also features a cutaway and electronics for added versatility. Plus, the mahogany top just looks plain awesome!

If you like the look of the Ibanez but don’t need the cutaway or electronics, then the AC340 from Ibanez is probably going to tick all of your boxes. It is essentially the same guitar as the AW54LCE minus the electronics and cutaway, and it also features a slightly smaller Grand Concert body size.

Main features include a solid mahogany top, mahogany back and sides, mahogany neck, ovangkol fretboard and bridge, and quality internal x-bracing.

Popular Acoustic Left Handed Guitars Under or Around $500

Buy Left Handed Taylor GS Mini

Neal Says: Now we’re getting into the real quality picks – anything here will potentially last you for life. The Taylor GS Mini guitars are slightly smaller than usual (7/8 size), making them ideal for new/smaller players – but they sound every inch as big as a full sized acoustic. I keep one of these in my own guitar collection and it is easily my most played acoustic.

Various different models are available, but the most affordable is the mahogany version shown above which comes in at just under $500. It features a solid mahogany top, sapele back and sides, sapele neck with ebony fretboard, ebony bridge and a gorgeous mahogany veneer on the headstock. It also comes with one of the most impressive gigbags I have ever come across – seriously, it’s built like a tank!

The one thing the GS Mini doesn’t come with is electronics, however should you wish to make it an electro-acoustic later on you can! Taylor has developed the ES-Go pickup specifically for the GS Mini which can be easily added to offer extra functionality.

Common Mistakes When Buying Your First Guitar

Often people get inspired to play guitar and jump straight to purchasing something that might not suit them. Here are seven common mistakes people make when buying their first guitar:

Mistake #1. Getting the wrong sound – Classical, Acoustic or Electric?

You have 3 basic choices of sound when you buy a guitar:

  • Nylon String Classical
  • Steel String Acoustic
  • Electric

A lot of people believe that the best choice is to start on an Acoustic Guitar and build up to an Electric Guitar. However, I think that your first guitar should be appropriate to the style of music you enjoy listening to.

If you like AC/DC, Green Day, or say the Foo Fighters, you really need an Electric Guitar to get the sound you want. If you like Jack Johnson, Ben Harper or Taylor Swift, an Acoustic Guitar could be a good choice. Nylon String Guitars sound great for flamenco music, classical music and a lot of traditional music.

Having said this, if it’s for a child under 12 we normally do recommend a nylon string as it’s easier for them to press the strings down. Some children can have tougher hands than others, so if you have a rough and tumble child, they mght be able to handle steel strings earlier than usual. Check out our buying guide for Choosing a Guitar for a Child for more information.

If you’re not sure what type of guitar is best for you, then just think of the music that you like to listen to the most, and call or email us. We will give you a personalized recommendation.

Mistake #2. Getting the wrong size

This is something that a lot of people get wrong. Electric Guitars are much smaller than Steel-String Acoustic Guitars and Nylon String Classical Guitars, they can basically be used by most people, but you do need to consider the extra weight. An Electric Guitar can weigh 5-6 Kg which can be difficult for children to handle. We would normally recommend children be at least 13 years before they try an Electric Guitar, but this is a generalisation and some children (sometimes as young as 10) have been ok. Every child is different, and some children may be capable at a younger age, so if you consider your child to be quite strong for their age, then by all means go for an electric. We carry a broad range of sizes in our entry level range. The correct size is most accurately determined by the player’s heightage and in some cases gender. If you can tell us these three details we can give you a personal recommendation.

Electric Guitar:

  • Smaller in size than acoustic or classical
  • Good for rock, metal, pop and country music
  • Has steel strings which can be hard on young fingers
  • Can be heavy, depending on the model.
  • Recommended for:
AgeHeight (cm)Recommended Size
5 – 1280 – 125 1/2 Size – See MiniS
12+125 +Full Size – See STH

SHOP BEGINNER ELECTRIC GUITARS

Acoustic Guitar:

  • Good for folk, pop, country, slow rock music
  • Has steel strings which can be hard on young fingers
  • Sounds bright and loud, great for strumming chords 
  • Light weight but bulky
  • Recommended for:
AgeHeight (cm)Recommended Size
5 – 12100 – 120 3/4 Size – See LSP34
12 – 15 120 – 165 Small Body – See LSPS
15+165 +Full Size – See LSP

SHOP BEGINNER ACOUSTIC GUITARS

Classical Guitar (Nylon String Guitar):

  • Good for classical, flamenco, Spanish music.
  • Available in the smallest size – 1/4 size.
  • Gentle on finger tips – perfect for young children
  • Sounds mellow and soft – not as loud as acoustic
  • Recommended for:
AgeHeight (cm)Recommended Size
2 – 575 – 100 1/4 Size – See CL14
5 – 8 100 – 125 1/2 Size – See CL12
8 – 12125 – 1653/4 Size – See CL34
12+165 +Full Size – See CL44*

* A full size classical guitar has a wider neck than other guitars. If you have small hands we recommend the CL44S slim neck classical guitar.

SHOP BEGINNER CLASSICAL GUITARS

Mistake #3: Buying a guitar with strings that are too high and hard to play

String action is one of the critical things for getting an easy to play guitar. The easiest way to understand action is that it’s just the measurement of the gap from the bottom of the string, to the top of the fret and it’s measured at the 12th fret (the half way pint of the string).

For a beginner we recommend an action of:

  • Electric Guitars 2-2.3mm
  • Acoustic Guitars 2-2.7mm
  • Nylon String Guitars 3-3.6mm

A common issue with most entry level nylon string guitars is that the necks are usually made in a very traditional manner using a section of metal bar a few mm thick to keep the neck straight (you can’t see this bar it is built into the neck).

We started finding that this type of construction leads to the neck bending (or bowing) after about 6 months. Unfortunately with the traditional method there is not an easy way to adjust it back to normal – once it is bent it’s time to get a new guitar! This lead us to re design our classical guitars to use a truss rod. A truss rod is a much stronger example of the bar used in traditional manufacturing, but its main advantage is that it is adjustable. So if in the future you neck begins to bend it can easily be adjusted back into correct shape. Here’s our guide to adjusting your truss rod.

Mistake #4: Getting stuck with bad machine heads guitar that don’t stay in tune

Here is an example of a basic covered machine head:

These are made out of gears and pressed metal, it used to be the only way to make machine heads (so a lot of vintage guitars use this type). While it can look cool and retro, these vintage style tuners are often very hard to tune and to keep in tune.
Now there is a modern way to get a much better guitar – the die-cast machine head:


Made from a mould these machine heads are much smoother and more accurate than a covered machine head.

Mistake #5: Choosing a popular brand name because you think you’re getting a superior product

Most popular brand name guitars are indeed very good quality at the higher levels but their entry level guitars, in our experience, are not such a great deal.

In the entry-level market, brand-name guitar companies are usually forced to make their guitars with cheaper materials. There is a simple reason for this. Most major brand-name companies have a brand owner (sometimes an American company). That company buys from a factory in China, and in Australia they will have a distributor who will sell to a retailer (your local music store). It’s pretty easy to see why they can be forced to use cheaper materials. There is a lot of price pressure to get a guitar manufactured at a low enough price for everybody to take their cut of the profit down the chain.

At Artist Guitars we manufacture our Australian designed guitars at our trusted factory in China and sell direct to you. There is no need for us to choose inferior components because we don’t have the pressure of keeping the costs low.
 

Mistake #6: Buying a guitar without any support materials

When most people buy their first guitar they can be a little confused about what to do. A guitar can be a confusing purchase and most guitars don’t even come with a manual explaining how to use them. That becomes a problem because most people then have to search for the information (which
can be hard to find).
Unfortunately it’s during this critical time that a lot of people get discouraged and may even give up on playing altogether. The first 6 months of learning guitar are critical, statistics show that if someone can still be playing at 6 months they will be much more likely to go on to play guitar for life, so the first 6 months are actually the most important time.

Mistake #7: Paying for features you just don’t need

At the beginner level, you need a good quality instrument, but having a more expensive instrument generally doesn’t make your playing any easier. Higher level instruments are designed for high-level players who want the ultimate in sound.

As a beginner most people are not very sure of the sound, style or type of guitar that they would ultimately like to play, but after playing for 6 months or so I’m sure you will know a lot more about guitars and when it comes time to choose your next guitar it will be an easy choice. The key features a beginner needs is a guitar that is well set-up and easy to play, but you don’t really need to spend too much money on getting a better quality of sound. Higher level guitars will only sound better when your playing has progressed to the level that you can play quite well.
Most beginners find that during the process of learning (after a year or so) you will figure out your own sound. You will naturally be drawn to music that features guitar in it, and great guitar parts. So what usually happens is that your own musical tastes will change and with this change the type of instrument that suits your sound the best will also change. So when you’re ready to take the next step, you will have a much better idea of what you really want.


So in summary…

The 7 key mistakes when buying a beginner guitar are :

  1. Getting the wrong sound
  2. Getting the wrong size
  3. Buying a guitar with strings that are too high and hard to play
  4. Getting stuck with bad machine heads guitar that don’t stay in tune
  5. Buying a brand name and thinking you will be getting a better guitar.
  6. Buying a guitar without any support materials
  7. Paying for features you just don’t need

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