Looking for your first steel-string acoustic lefty guitar? This article will help you find the best left handed acoustic guitar for beginners. Head to the bottom of the page for an in-depth list of the best beginner left handed acoustic guitars, sorted by price bracket.
If you’re looking to buy for a child or just have smaller hands, you may like to check out my article on 3/4 Sized Lefty Acoustic Guitars.
Just before we look at the guitars, there’s a couple of important questions that you’ll need to ask yourself…
Acoustic or Electro-Acoustic Guitar ?
The first thing you’ll need to do is decide whether you want a traditional acoustic or an electro-acoustic guitar. The main difference between the two being that you can plug your electro-acoustic directly into an amp or computer, whereas with a traditional acoustic you will need to use a microphone to amplify the sound when playing live or recording.
A great advantage to starting out with an electro-acoustic guitar is that many will come with a built-in tuner. If your guitar doesn’t come with a tuner I highly recommend a clip-on headstock tuner such as a Snark – find out more about these in Part 7 of the Newbie Guide.
After reading this you may be thinking of just buying an electro-acoustic. Hell, it’s the same as an acoustic with a few extra bells and whistles right? This is true, but these extra gadgets obviously come at a price. Think carefully about what you need.
Types of Wood
The main element which will affect the sound coming from your guitar besides the shape is the wood that it is made from. However, as a beginner this is not something you should be desperately concerned about. There is a difference, but to an untrained ear most acoustics will sound more or less the same! If you’d like to learn more about guitar woods, head to the bottom of the page for extra information.
Enough chat, let’s look at the guitars!
In every price bracket, I’ve arranged the guitars in order of my personal preference. For nylon string classical options, head to Part5 of the guide.
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 or Under $100
Neal Says: On a tight budget one of my top picks for a beginner electro-acoustic would be the Jameson Thinline. The guitar features a spruce top with nato back and sides, as well as a nato neck with rosewood fingerboard. This thinline acoustic also features a slightly thinner than usual body, making it a comfortable instrument for beginners and younger players alike. Comes bundled with a gig bag and plectrums – everything you need to get started! Pick your favorite color.
Another solid choice under $100 is the Omega Mentor electro acoustic, which is available in a choice of 3 different colors. The body is constructed fully of basswood and features a rosewood fingerboard and bridge. Includes a gig bag and strap.
Best Left Handed Acoustic Guitar Under $200
- Fender CD-60S / CC-60S – click here for info
- Ibanez PF15L – click here for info
- Kona K2L – click here for info
- Jay Turser JTA424 – click here for info
Neal Says: The Fender CD-60S and CC-60S are brand new for 2017 and have instantly become my top picks for those with a budget of around $200. These two guitars 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.
Which model to opt for? Both guitars are exactly the same, with the exception being that the CD-60S is a Dreadnought body shape and the CC-60S is a Concert. For most people, the Dreadnought is the most common body shape to start out with, but smaller framed individuals may prefer the slightly smaller Concert model. I have included links to both guitars above. Click here to check out Fender’s official video which gives a brief overview of the entire new Classic Design series.
My next choice is the Ibanez PF15L, which is a little cheaper than the two Fenders but does not come with the more sought after solid wood top. This dreadnought guitar features a spruce top with mahogany back/sides, a long proven tone-wood combination that resonates perfectly. It is a gorgeous looking instrument, and the respected Ibanez badge on the headstock will ensure that resale value will always be high if you decide to upgrade later on.
If you love the idea of a handy built-in tuner and the ability to plug into an amp, then either of the other two guitars listed above will surely tick your boxes.
Popular Lefty Acoustic Guitars Under $300
- Fender CD-60SCE/CC-60SCE – click here for info
- Fender CD-100 – click here info
- Stagg SA30DCE – click here for info
Neal Says: This is the price range at which we begin to see guitars from the bigger, well known brands (and if it were me personally, I’d start my search here!). In the previous price bracket I chose the Fender CD-60 as the pick of the bunch. In this bracket we get access to the brand new Fender CD-60SCE and CC-60SCE, which are the same guitars with the addition of a cutaway and quality Fishman electronics. The CD-60SCE features the common dreadnought body shape, whereas the CC-60SCE is a slightly smaller concert model. One of these will be my top pick in this price bracket.
The Fender CD-100 was pretty much the go-to beginner guitar for southpaw players for the past decade – it’s affordable, you’ve got the big name on the headstock, and it sounds great. It’s still a fantastic choice, but the solid wood tops on the newer CD-60 models give them a slight edge. I still include it as I believe it has no been discontinued, so you may be able to find a great deal on one of these.
Popular Acoustic Guitars Under $400
- Yamaha FG820L – click here for info
- Ibanez AEG18LII – click here for info
- Ibanez AC240L – click here for info
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 is one of the first guitars in this list to feature 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 Ibanez AEG18LII is one of the more visually exciting guitars in this list with its eye-catching Violin Sunburst finish. Important features are a cutaway for excellent upper fret access, and quality Fishman electronics. It features a slender body, making it great for smaller players.
Finally we have the AC240L, which is from Ibanez. Like the Yamaha above, this guitar also features mahogany back and sides, but also adds a solid mahogany top for a different look to the rest. Where does it fit into our list? It is the same price as the FG820 and of a comparable quality, but it has a smaller ‘grand concert’ style body shape, making it ideal for smaller framed individuals. Plus, the mahogany top just looks plain awesome!
Popular Acoustic Left Handed Guitars Under or Around $500
- Taylor GS Mini – click here for info
- Seagull S6 – click here for info
- Fender Sonoran SCE – click here for info
Neal Says: Now we’re getting into the real quality picks – anything here will potentially last you for life. Personally, I would take the Taylor GS Mini (in fact, I did! I have one hanging on my wall right now!). These guitars are slightly smaller than usual (7/8 size), making them ideal for new players – but they sound every inch as big as a full sized acoustic. In my opinion, the GS Mini is the best left handed acoustic guitar for beginners – period. Click here to see it in action, with guest appearance by Kevin Bacon! Unless you’re 6’5 with shovels for hands…
For full sized options, the multiple award winning Seagull S6 is fantastic value for money with its solid cedar top. Seriously, people rave about these – this is the one to consider if the GS Mini is too small for you. Check out the player reviews at the link above – every single customer rated it 5/5 – very impressive! Click here for a quick video overview.
So there you have it! The best left handed acoustic guitars for beginners. Hopefully you’ll have spotted something that interests you amongst these choices. Now that you’ve hopefully found your dream guitar, your next step will be to visit Part Eight below to find out which accessories you’ll also need to pick up!
Up until now we’ve looked at things at a fairly basic level, with the aim of getting you into guitar as quickly as possible. But for those of you who really want to nerd out and learn a little more about what you’re about to buy, here’s a few more pieces of additional information that you may like to consider.
Steel String or Nylon String Guitar?
There is a common misconception that new players should start out on a nylon string guitar due to the strings being much easier on the fingers. My advice is to start out on the instrument that best reflects your musical tastes. Likewise, if you ultimately prefer electric guitar, there’s no need to start out on an acoustic. For some reason, many people feel like acoustic is a stepping stone on the way to playing electric. If you are unsure, just take a look at what your favorite artists use and go down that route.
Steel string guitars are best for rock, pop country, and to be honest, most other styles. The most popular style of steel string acoustic guitar is the Dreadnought shape (above left) as it can handle pretty much any style of music and is a good size for most people. For most new players, a Dreadnought steel string acoustic is the right choice. For a more in-depth look at the various different body sizes available, scroll down to the bottom of the page. I’ve recommended the best beginner left handed acoustic guitars in the lists above.
If you want to play classical, folk or flamenco/latin style guitar then you will need a Nylon string Classical (shown above right with cutaway) model. While steel string acoustics have a crisp, bright tone, classical guitars tend to sound a lot more mellow. If you decide that you need a classical guitar, click here to go to Part 5 of the Guide to check out the best nylon string options!
Solid Wood versus Laminate Acoustic Guitars
Alrighty! Broken down into its component parts, an acoustic guitar body is made up of a top, sides and a back section. As a general rule of thumb, more expensive guitars will be constructed entirely of solid woods, whereas cheaper guitars might be composed of laminate wood sections, or a mix of solid and laminate parts. Due to the low price of the guitars I’ve recommended above the majority are going to be full laminate, or laminate back/sides with a solid top.
Solid wood is exactly as it sounds – one solid piece of wood. Whereas laminate is constructed of several thin layers of wood – usually a more expensive piece on top and cheaper layers underneath. As I’ve already mentioned above, as a beginner you really aren’t going to notice too much of a difference, but it’s generally accepted that solid wood sounds better than laminate. Why? Laminate doesn’t resonate as well, giving a slightly thinner sound.
The big advantage to a laminate guitar however is the much lower cost, as well as the fact that they will be much more resistant to changes in humidity.
If budget permits, try and opt for a guitar with a solid top. But I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it…
Acoustic Guitar Body Sizes
Acoustic guitars come in a seemingly endless variety of different shapes and sizes and you’ll want to take this into deliberation when buying your first guitar. Various shapes and styles are suited to different genres and so this can be an important consideration to make. Let’s take a look at a few of the most common shapes – click each tab below for a brief overview.
Still have questions? Feel free to send me an email and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible!
Next up? You’ll probably want to check out Part Eight below, to get the low-down on a few accessories that you might also like to pick up with your new acoustic.
Part One : Tips Before You Buy
Part Two : Beginner Electric Guitars
Part Three : Beginner Acoustic Guitars
Part Four : Beginner Bass Guitars
Part Five : Beginner Classical Guitars
Part Six : Amps
Part Seven : Effects
Part Eight : Accessories
Part Nine : Lessons