Decided to try your hand at playing guitar? If you’re a lefty looking for the best left handed acoustic guitar for beginners, you have come to the right place! This article will lay down a list of choices along with their pros and cons so that you can make a sound decision and get your hands on the instrument that suits you best.
This article, however, will not cover nylon-string classical guitars but will only focus on the steel-string and phosphorus bronze acoustic and electro-acoustic guitars. A significant point to be noted here is that a beginner does not have to start with an acoustic guitar but can also begin their musical journey with an electric guitar or bass guitar, depending on their abilities and musical interests. We shall cover bass guitars and electric guitars for left-handed beginners in separate articles so look out for them if those are what you’re interested in.
There is quite a popular misconception in the case of purchasing left-handed acoustic guitars that revolves around how expensive they can be in comparison to their right-handed counterparts. On the contrary, it is not an impossible feat to get a good left-handed acoustic guitar within a buyer’s budget.
Table of Contents
- 1 In a Hurry? Here are Our Picks for Best Acoustic Guitar for Left Handed Beginners…
- 2 Advantages and Disadvantages of an Acoustic Guitar
- 3 How to Choose a Beginner Acoustic Guitar
- 4 Best Left Handed Acoustic Guitar Under $200
- 5 Best Left Handed Acoustic Guitar Under $300
- 6 Best Left Handed Acoustic Guitar Under $500
In a Hurry? Here are Our Picks for Best Acoustic Guitar for Left Handed Beginners…
Fender CD-60SCE Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar
- Full size cutaway dreadnought
- Fishman electronics with pickup, preamp, and built-in tuner, adjustable truss rod
- Enhanced bass and projection
Yamaha FG820 Left-Handed Solid Top Acoustic Guitar
- Full size dreadnought
- Adjustable truss rod and die-cast tuners
- New scalloped bracing design for greater projection in the low to mid-range notes
Sawtooth Left-Handed Acoustic Dreadnought Guitar Kit
- Full size dreadnought
- Adjustable truss rod
- Accessories are clip on tuner, guitar strap, upright guitar stand, gig bag, and ChromaCast 4 pick sampler
Advantages and Disadvantages of an Acoustic Guitar
One of the major questions that seem to arise in a beginner’s mind is the dilemma of learning an acoustic guitar or an electric guitar. To address this issue, we shall list some advantages and disadvantages of an acoustic guitar as opposed to an electric guitar. There are more differences between left-handed and right handed electric guitars than there are for acoustic. You may also want to know your options for how to play guitar if you’re left handed, but that’s a separate topic to discuss.
- Acoustic guitars have a hollow body which allows the natural amplification of the sound. This is not the case with electric guitars since they have a solid body and require an external electric amplification for the production of sound.
- Due to their hollow body, acoustic guitars are usually lighter than electric ones.
- Electric guitar strings are thinner and produce less volume and a lighter sound than acoustic guitar strings, which are thicker. It is easier to go from playing on thicker strings to thinner strings rather than vice versa.
- An acoustic guitar is considerably cheaper than an electric guitar since the latter needs an external amplifier that adds to the cost.
- They are also easier to carry around while traveling which cannot be said for the electric guitars and all their accessories.
- Since there are no extra attachments on the acoustic guitars like the pots, pickup, tremolo, etc. you can focus more on the basics of the guitar like the sounds, tone, etc.
- The acoustic guitars have a larger body than electric guitars, which are generally smaller.
- These guitars have quite hefty steel strings which makes it a little difficult for the beginner to hold them down without the fingertips hurting, which is not as big of a problem when it comes to electric guitars, since they have comparatively thinner and lighter steel strings.
- Without the aid of an external amplification, the acoustic guitars can be played only for some specific genres of music where the soft acoustic tone of the guitar is preferred, like country, blues, folk, etc.
How to Choose a Beginner Acoustic Guitar
The first step towards starting a musical journey as a guitarist is, of course, to purchase a guitar that suits you, but often it is quite difficult to find one if you do not have an idea about what you should be looking for in your first guitar. In this section, we will lay down some requisites to keep in mind while purchasing your first left handed acoustic guitar:
Acoustic or Electro-Acoustic?
One of the major questions that pop into a beginner’s mind is regarding the difference between an acoustic and an electric acoustic guitar since they look so similar. An electro-acoustic guitar is almost identical to acoustic guitars in the way they are constructed, their acoustic properties, and their components. The only difference is the “electronics” that are added to electro-acoustic guitars. These “electronics” help the guitar to be plugged into an amplifier or a soundboard. They can be:
- Piezo pickup
- Magnetic pickup
- Built-in microphone
Along with the aforementioned components, electro-acoustic guitars also need a built-in preamp which aids in amplifying the signal that is received from the pickup before it is sent to the amp. The preamp also includes equalizers, tone controls, and a built-in tuner. This whole system of preamp requires power, which is the reason why batteries may be included with the purchase of an electro-acoustic guitar. When compared to the acoustic guitars, the pros and cons of this guitar are as follows:
- With an electro-acoustic guitar, you have the liberty to amplify your sound projection with the help of the pickups, so you can choose a slightly smaller or thinner model if you have a short torso and also make it more comfortable to reach the higher notes through ergonomic cutaways. This is impossible in the case of acoustic guitars where you have to completely rely on the size and shape of the instrument for the projection of sound. A large dreadnought will always project a deeper and louder sound that a thinner concert acoustic.
- You have the option of playing the guitar either plugged in or unplugged, which is not possible with acoustic guitars.
- With electric acoustic guitars, you get the freedom to move around while playing on the stage.
- You can customize your sound.
- Since an electro-acoustic guitar comes with external equipment, it can be quite cumbersome to carry the whole setup around everywhere. Moreover, there may be places where you might not be able to plug in your guitar. This is not a problem with acoustic guitars since they can be played anywhere and everywhere and need no special setup.
- We already know that the acoustic-electric guitars come with extra equipment, which is going to cost more than acoustic guitars.
- Electro-acoustic guitars are handy when it comes to live performances but if you are just a beginner and not planning on playing for a live audience yet, then it is better to get an acoustic guitar.
Type of Wood or Laminate
The quality, mix, and type of wood that is used while constructing a guitar determines the tone of the instrument. The best of them are constructed of solid wood which helps in producing a richer sound.
Spruce is the most common option when it comes to the construction of acoustic guitars since it has an excellent strength to weight ratio which makes it possible for the top to be thin but very resonant and strong. It is quite good for picking and strumming. Two kinds of spruce are used for the construction of the bodies: Sitka Spruce, which produces a powerful and clear tone, and Red spruce, a popular choice for acoustic tops with steel strings since it gives off a sound that is clear, loud, and rich.
Cedar is good for lower tension tuning and fingerpicking but since it is softer than spruce, it is not as good if you play it too hard because it causes the sound to lose its integrity.
Rosewood, which produces a tone that is extremely rich and warm, is a favorite of most musicians but it is quite an expensive option. Mahogany is perceived as a cheaper option and is the type of wood that produces warm sounds with mellow highs. It produces a more woody sound in comparison to the metallic sounds that are generally produced by rosewood bodies.
On the other hand, a guitar that has a maple body produces a high and dry tone with a well-defined, clear high end.
It is clear that the tonewood also helps in determining the overall cost of the instrument. Similarly, a guitar constructed with solid wood is comparatively more expensive than one made of laminated wood. This is because, with lamination, many thinner layers of cheaper wood are taken and stuck with the help of pressure or adhesives. Solid wood bodies need a stronger and denser wood when used on its own.
A solid wood guitar is more resonant and produces a better tone in comparison to a laminated wood guitar and the tonal quality of the former kind keeps improving with time whereas laminated guitars might deteriorate. Nevertheless, it cannot be ignored that solid guitars are far more expensive and more difficult to make well than laminated ones. When it comes to choosing a particular type of wood for the body of your first guitar, it all comes down to your preference and what sound you like in your instrument.
Body Style and Size
The size and shape of the body of the guitar also affect the tone and the sound that the guitar produces. There is a wide range of options when it comes to choosing a guitar as listed below:
- Dreadnought: it is one of the most popular choices when it comes to an acoustic guitar because it is extremely versatile in the sense that it can be used to play a lot of different genres of music- from indie to punk, from folk to rock. The guitar has symmetrical rounded shoulders and the point where the neck of the guitar joins the guitar’s body is the 14th fret. This guitar provides an even balance to players when it comes to the size, volume, and ease of playing, which is the reason why is the first choice for a lot of big guitarists.
- Jumbo: as the name suggests, these types of guitars are jumbo-sized ones and have a lot of pros. Owing to the extra wood that has been utilized for the construction of this guitar, there is extra room available for the sound to echo, which results in the production of a loud and bold sound that cannot be created through a small guitar. Musicians like Noel Gallagher and Bob Dylan have been seen with this type of guitar.
- Grand Auditorium: this guitar was designed to be a great all-rounder in the field of guitars. It is wider than a dreadnought across the lower bout and nearly as deep but with a narrower waist. It is the perfect amalgamation of comfort, size, volume, and shape. The modern version of this guitar has been used by pop stars like Taylor Swift. It is a good option for guitarists who want to travel with a single guitar but play a variety of styles.
- Classical guitars: these types of guitars have been around since time immemorial. These guitars are also referred to as Spanish guitars and have nylon strings instead of steel. This is the reason behind the warm and mellow sound that they produce. These guitars are used in classical music and flamenco music and can produce a multitude of different melodies and harmonies. Famous guitarists like Christopher Parkening, Andres Segovia, and Julian Bream have been seen using this guitar. They are also the most symmetrical of guitars so a left hander can most easily convert a right-handed classical guitar to a left-handed one.
- Small Body/ Travel guitars: these guitars are a fairly modern addition to the field of acoustic guitars and are a smaller version of the dreadnought guitars. They have been created keeping portability in mind. Being spotted in the hands of Ed Sheeran gave a major boost to this type of acoustic guitar. These guitars can be played comfortably both indoors as well as on stage and might be a good option for a child or an adult who has a small torso due to their compact size. In fact, we feature two that would make excellent beginner acoustic guitars for kids.
- Grand concert: these guitars are almost identical to classical guitars. The size and shape of this guitar make it possible for the guitar to produce a well-balanced mid-range tone, which adds to its versatility. The body of these guitars is smaller compared to the body of a dreadnought, which again can be quite suitable for children and smaller guitarists.
- Cutaway guitar: these guitars are the kind where the part of the guitar where the neck meets the body is cut away to provide the player a comfortable way to reach the higher frets. In this way the cutaway broadens the range within which the guitar can be played, thus delivering more flexibility and creativity to players.
The choice of the neck of the guitar depends on the size of your hand. You must be able to grip the neck of the guitar comfortably. Most of the time, the size and thickness of the neck depend on the number of frets that are there on the neck of the guitar and the size of the body of the guitar. Usually, there are 12 or 14 frets on the neck of acoustic guitars. If the strings of a guitar are spaced too far apart then it might be quite painful for your fingers, which indicates that the neck of the guitar is bowed. You need to make sure that the neck of the guitar is straight and not bent so that it won’t be difficult to play the instrument.
Intonation and Tuning Machine
Intonation helps determine whether the notes remain in tune as you move your fingers up the guitar’s neck. If the distance between the frets above the 12th fret is not right, it implies that the guitar will not be able to play in tune.
A guitar’s intonation also depends on the type of tuning machine that the guitar has since it is what helps the player fine-tune the instrument and hold the pitch. Open tuners are more attractive to look at and weigh less than closed tuners but closed tuners are preferred by many because they require very little maintenance and tend to last longer and are more durable than open tuners.
When it comes to purchasing a new guitar, you also need to have an idea about the accessories that you will need along with it. You can choose to buy the guitar and specific accessories separately if you like that flexibility, or you can buy a full kit that is often more economical than buying separate accessories. Some of the basic guitar accessories are as follows:
- Guitar amps: as mentioned above, an amplifiers is extremely important if you are planning on getting an electro-acoustic guitar. Beginners can start by purchasing a small “practice amp” while players who are interested in getting into genres like rock or pop can begin with a “two-channel amp” which can deliver a clean as well as a distorted tone.
- Guitar cable: this, again, is a necessary addition to your electro-acoustic guitar as it connects the amp to the guitar. Make sure to get a 10’ cable or longer so that it is long enough for you to play the guitar while sitting away from the amp or while moving around.
- Guitar Tuner: This accessory is relevant for all types of guitars. For acoustic guitars, you need a tuner that has a built-in mic. There are headstock tuners that can be used through vibration and which work on all guitars. Tuners are usually quite inexpensive.
- Guitar picks: these are little triangular plastic plectrums that are used for plucking the strings of the guitar and allow the players to strike the strings comfortably. They are available in different thicknesses, however, medium-sized picks are the best for beginners.
- Guitar straps: all acoustic guitars are made with a peg for use with a strap that comes in various adjustable sizes. You can try different straps to get one that suits you the best.
- Extra strings: the strings of guitars are prone to breaking from regular use so you should invest in a good set of extra strings.
- Guitar case: these protect the guitars in storage and while traveling and carrying them around. There are soft cases available that are quite inexpensive and protect the guitars during short car rides and while carrying them around for daily use. Hard protective cases are also available which provide more protection for longer journeys.
Best Left Handed Acoustic Guitar Under $200
Sawtooth Left-Handed Acoustic Dreadnought Guitar
The Sawtooth Left-Handed Acoustic Dreadnought Guitar is a full-sized dreadnought with a design that features great tone and playability but in a value package! It has a mahogany body with a solid spruce top, rosewood fretboard and bridge, bone nut & saddle, chrome hardware, and a set of phosphor bronze/steel strings. You have 20 frets along a 25.5″ scale length.
This model has unique bear claw fret marker inlays and you can choose between no pickguard, a plain one, or one with a gold inlay. It comes with a clip on tuner, guitar strap, upright guitar stand, nylon gig bag, and a ChromaCast 4 pick sampler.
The strings are low action, so while you’ll notice some buzz, it’s easy on the fingers and requires little effort to do Barre chords. If you find the action too low, you can get the truss rod adjusted by a pro or someone more experienced. It comes with an Allen key just for that. However, the strings themselves are the weakest part of the instrument and will break quickly so you should invest in a better set of strings right off the bat.
All in all, this instrument has a wonderful tone, clarity, and resonance and the package is of exceptional value.
Complete beginner bundle.
Good action that can be adjusted using the included Allen key.
The stock strings of the guitar are not of the best quality.
Some customers report that the pick sampler and any instructions for the online lessons were missing.
Ashthorpe Full-Size Left-Handed Dreadnought Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar Bundle
The Ashthorpe Full-Size Left-Handed Dreadnought Cutaway is a great choice for someone who wants to try out playing the guitar without spending too much money at first. You can choose from 6 glossy finish colors.
It comes with everything needed to help you along including a nylon gig bag, a shoulder strap, a cable, three celluloid picks of varying thickness, an extra set of strings, and even an instructional sheet. It features upgraded phosphor bronze strings and chrome tuning pegs, all of which make sure that the guitar stays tuned properly.
Additionally, the on-board 4-band pickup equalizer has slider controls for presence, bass, mid-range, and treble as well as a volume knob to give you complete tonal control. You can use the included 9V battery for its preamp and plug it into your own amp.
This 4.5″ thick guitar is full size at 41″ and is made of solid spruce and basswood for the body and Okoume for the neck, which are known for resiliency, versatility, and warmth. The guitar retains its tonal integrity and remains responsive whether played soft or loud, flatpicking or strumming. Its cutaway at the neck gives you better access to the top frets.
The best thing about this electro-acoustic guitar is that it provides great value for money.
Super affordable with the included accessories.
Has a 4-band pickup.
6 color options to choose from.
Tuner not included.
Ibanez Performance Series PF15 Left Handed Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
The Ibanez Performance Series PF15 is a full size dreadnought with a spruce top, mahogany body and neck, and an easy-playing rosewood fretboard. Its scale length is 25.5″ and it comes with black and white multi-rosette chrome die-cast tuners. The Ibanez Advantage bridge pins enable quick string changes.
It provides smooth medium action and is perfect for beginners looking for quality construction and finish along with a great sound. If you want to buy your first guitar separately from any accessories, then this would be our pick for best budget left handed acoustic guitar.
Very nice construction and gloss finish.
Gig bag has to be purchased separately.
Best Left Handed Acoustic Guitar Under $300
Fender CD-60S LH Acoustic Guitar and Fender CC-60S Concert Left-Handed Acoustic Guitar
The Fender CD-60S and CC-60S are two guitars from the Classic Design series that are the same in all respects except that the former is a dreadnought with a walnut fretboard, while the second is a smaller concert-size with a rosewood fretboard. Both have a 25.3″ scale neck with a 20 fret fingerboard. Both are excellent and are two of the most popular guitars in the beginner level bracket overall.
Choose the CD-60S dreadnought if you’re an adult that can handle the full size or get the CC-60S concert size if you’re short torsoed. The dreadnought is also great if you’re playing with other instruments and you want your sound to stand out. It projects more and has a little bit more bass. The concert size is great for Flatpicking and if you want the notes to have extra clarity.
Both of these guitars come with tops constructed of solid Sitka spruce, while their sides, back, and neck are made of mahogany. For entry-level guitars, having a solid top is great because it will transmit more sound and vibrate better than a laminated one.
They come with steel strings and their necks are easy to play, as they have rounded fingerboard edges and frets, and nothing that grabs your hands. Guitars of vintage eras and higher-end ones usually have their fretboard edges rolled. On entry-level guitars, this is rare so it is a nice feature here. When playing Barre chords and learning how to bend strings, wrapping your thumb around the neck is much more comfortable and your hand won’t cramp up, so you can progress a little bit faster.
They also have scalloped X-bracing a little detail that helps in delivering a more responsive sound, has more bass and is even a little louder than guitars with straight braces.
These come with just the right action, however, there is a truss rod inside the guitar that you can adjust if you start to hear some buzz after a while.
High-quality guitar at an affordable price.
Since it’s available in two different sizes, it is suitable for both adults and children.
Easy to play neck.
No extras are included so you will have to invest in some accessories.
Ibanez AEG50L Left-Handed Acoustic Electric Guitar
The Ibanez AEG50L Left-Handed Acoustic Electric Guitar is a slim cutaway that is light and designed to be easy to play and control. It has a top constructed of spruce with sides and back made of Sapele which helps in delivering a rounded and sweet sound. The 24.9″ Scale neck of the guitar is made of Nyatoh and has a fretboard made of walnut, which enhances the playability of the instrument.
The compact shape and size of this guitar is a big advantage to beginner players; not only is it comfortable to play, it keeps excess boom that is usually associated with big acoustic guitars at bay and is comparatively lighter than its contemporaries.
An Ibanez AEQ-TTS preamp is the heart of the AEG50L. It’s a straightforward preamp with just two controls, volume and shape. In the center position, the tone control provides natural acoustic sound. With it, players can control their tone easily and switch from low, fat, and powerful sounds to crisp and bright ones by only turning one knob. The preamp has an LCD display that makes it easy to read the onboard tuner.
A slimmer body that allows comfortable playability.
Straightforward preamp for tone control and onboard tuner.
Stays in tune.
Comes with no extras so you will have to invest in additional accessories.
Best Left Handed Acoustic Guitar Under $500
Fender CD-60SCE Dreadnought and Fender CC-60SCE Concert Acoustic-Electric Guitar
Both the Fender CD-60SCE Dreadnought and the Fender CC-60SCE Concert are the cutaway electro-acoustic models that are in the same Classic Design series as the CD-60S and CC-60S acoustic guitars that we have already mentioned. Hence, they are quite similar in a lot of aspects. Some of the only differences are that the acoustic guitars do not have the cutaway or a built-in tuner, and the electro-acoustic guitars can be plugged in because of the onboard Piezo pickup and preamp.
The cutaway on the CD-60SCE and CC-60SCE allows you to easily get higher up on the neck. With these guitars, you will have Fishman electronics built-in when you need to plug them in. You can shape your sound by controlling your volume, bass, middle, and treble. You also have a built-in Tuner on the top so you’re always ready to play.
Available in dreadnought and concert-size, so ideal for both adults and children.
Cutaway and inclusion of good electronics.
Yamaha FG820 Left-Handed Solid Top Acoustic Guitar
The Yamaha FG820 Left-Handed Solid Top is a full-size dreadnought with a solid spruce top, mahogany sides and back, Nato wood neck, and a rosewood fretboard. This again aids in delivering a full, balanced, and warm tone. The guitar has amazing playability and wonderful quality at a super affordable price. The neck is a standard shape but feels very smooth along with the easy-playing fingerboard.
Yamaha has managed to come up with good options for left-handed guitars and is known for its strong and loud sound production. This guitar is also no less. It has a truss rod that can be adjusted and it comes with die-cast tuners, making it ideal for both beginners and professionals.
The lower and mid-range notes are naturally louder due to a new scalloped bracing design, which also enhances the durability of the top board.
Extremely high quality at an affordable rate.
Extra features like the adjustable truss rod and the tuner make it appealing for beginners as well as professionals.
Low frequencies and projection are boosted by the new scalloped bracing.
Comes with no extras or gig bag.
Ibanez Artwood AC340 Grand Concert Left Handed Acoustic Guitar
The Ibanez Artwood AC340 Grand Concert guitar has a solid mahogany top coupled with mahogany back, sides, and neck and an Ovangkol fretboard. The thermo-aged wood and rosewood bridge create unique responsiveness with a balanced and bright tonal character. You can expect a wide dynamic sound while strumming and a strong and quick response when finger picking.
With a 24.9″ scale length and 20 frets, it has a grand concert body, which makes it quite comfortable for beginners, children, and adults with a small stature. Take note, however, that at 16 pounds, this guitar is deceptively heavy, which is the only drawback for beginners. Therefore, you will probably need to buy a guitar case, which is not included.
Excellent dynamic range and sound at an affordable price.
Grand concert size ideal for beginners and children.
No gig bag or tuner included.
On the heavy side.