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Thread: Can a right-handed made guitar be played left-handedly?

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2004

    Can a right-handed made guitar be played left-handedly?


    I am a left-handed musician and so far I custom ordered all my left handed guitars.
    I recently met a lefty guitarist who has lots of right-handed guitars and just switched the strings. He claims that the sound is exactly the same (assuming of course that the guitar's shape is strictly symmetrical)

    I am wondering whether the sound on Yamaha's best model - LL36 would change if the strings are switched. If not, I would seriously thinking of buying it. (Yamaha doesn't make a lefty version of this guitar)

    I would appreciate it if any one of you guys give me some feedback on this issue.

    I thank you in advance.


  2. #2
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Jimi Hendrix used to turn the nut of a right handed guitar around, and then string the guitar like a left-hand model. This is a good idea, since you might get some buzz and tuning problems if you don´t turn around the nut... the high E-string would run through the slot of the low E-string and vice versa. Some of the strings would get stuck in the slots which would be too narrow, while others would buzz in slots which are too big.
    Once you turned around the nut, it should work

  3. #3
    Laiho's heir guitarist wild_child's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Wales, UK
    the tone IS slightly different, because the pickups will be the other way round (assuming you don't switch them) thats why the pickups are upside down on the right handed jimi signature strats.
    "Remember, it's all good, everything goes and there ain't no damned rules or boundaries. So get off! Tear it a fresh ***, tear it hard, rip gaping holes in it! Make tracks, leave marks!

    "forever stronger than all" - Dimebag Darrell

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Atlanta, GA
    The other guitarist in our band is a lefty and he plays a right-handed guitar...upside down. No restringing required. And the guy shreds like Yngwie! Really amazing.

  5. #5
    Registered User Milo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    it depends on the type of guitar... if its a stratocaster or Les paul-like guitar, you wont be able to stand up and play, especially if you wanna play after the 12th, because the strap will be under and behind the neck, and will prevent you from playing after the 12th fret.. besides, you cant play high pitch notes because of the shape of the strat or les paul... i notied that after i bought my squier stratocaster..
    the good shape of guitar would be the SG or a "double cutaway" guitar (dunno if i'm right about the name).. but the other problem is that the place where you have to plug your jack can make it difficult to play, espacially on the SG, because you have to curve your arm around the jack to reach the strings... but what you can do i buy a jack whose shape is "flattened"

  6. #6
    An important fact that hasn´t been mentioned yet is that you have to re-adjust the bridge otherwise the intonation of the guitar is completely gone!

    That can be difficult depending on what system you have (fixed bridge, tune´o´matic, Floyd Rose etc.)

    I found out it works best with a simple Fender vintage trem system or Fender fixed bridge.

  7. #7
    Junkie for soulful guitar metalprep6969's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    North Carolina
    I'd say it'd definitely possible, but I'd worry about all the knobs getting in the way. Wouldn't strumming make all your knobs turn? And you'd only have to turn over pickups that had pole pieces that had staggering heights, right?

    ...Like a child who's run away...

    ...And won't be coming back...

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