Black Guitars – The Scourge of the Left Handed Guitarist?

Is it just me, or is it safe to say that the majority of southpaws are sick to death of being force fed budget, gloss black guitars? Every time I post a new article which features the token range of black left handed guitars I will get a comment or two from you guys along the lines of “oh great, just what we need, another black guitar!”.

Black Left Handed Guitar Boring Dull

This opinion is seemingly unique to us left handed guitarists. While right handed players can more often than not pick and choose from a variety of finishes, we lefties are quite often presented with black as the only option.  Walk into any small music store and more than likely you will only have a couple of black Strats and perhaps a few budget black Ibanez models to select from – who wouldn’t get frustrated by this?

Thai food might be your cuisine of choice, but eat it every night and you will eventually grow tired of it, right?  Well this is exactly how I feel about black guitars – they are force fed to us by so many big companies that I am now completely underwhelmed by them.  For the first five years of my guitar playing career I almost exclusively owned black guitars because of a lack of other options, and as a result I wouldn’t touch one with a bargepole now.  It may be a safe and inexpensive choice for these brands to make, but good god it’s also a boring one.

A Reflection On You

As far as I’m concerned your guitar should reflect you, it should be an extension of your personality. Black is dull and gloomy. Are you dull and gloomy?

Let’s take a look at a few synonyms that a thesaurus might spew out when you plug in the word ‘black’…

atrocious, bleak, depressing, depressive, dismal, dispiriting, distressing, doleful, dreary, foreboding, funereal, gloomy, horrible, lugubrious, mournful, ominous, oppressive, sad, sinister, sombre

Pretty uninspiring right?

Don’t get me wrong, I think black guitars can look fantastic – they just need a little help to become less plain Jane.  It’s the dull as ditch-water, plain gloss black guitars that I despise wholeheartedly…and unfortunately this is more often than not the sole option available to the oft forgotten southpaw guitarist – at least until you are willing to shell out more serious money…


One goal of paramount importance when playing live is to be MEMORABLE. If you’re standing in the back in your black clothes and black guitar you’re not making much of a remarkable impression as far as appearances are concerned. Hell, if the lighting at the venue is poor people might not remember you at all when the gig is over…

Black left handed guitars are boring

Misjudged Sales Results

I also feel that it can skew the manufacturer’s perception of market interest.  If you bring out a black left handed guitar and it doesn’t sell well, you might assume that the demand just isn’t there and discontinue the model.  If that same guitar had been made in a color less despised by lefties it could have made all the difference and sold by the bucket load.  The point of view of the southpaw guitarist can differ greatly to that of a righty player – the brands who realise this are the brands who will have loyal left handed endorsers.

I had a couple digs at Ibanez in this article.  Recently they brought out the new RG721RWL, a beautiful guitar with a rosewood top and matching headstock veneer. At work we have plenty gloss black Ibanez on the walls – this new model sold out before they even arrived in the stores!

Do you agree with me, or am I alone in my quest to inject some color and interest into my guitar playing career? Leave a comment below with your own opinions. Are you bright and colourful, or dark and mysterious?

70 replies
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  1. JJ
    JJ says:

    I agree completely. First strat in 1986, could only get black or white. Black or white are now last on the list for color choice. Finally got a lake placid blue strat, and cannot stop staring at it.

  2. antoine
    antoine says:

    It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy: lefty guitars don’t sell. The shop keeper got his “mandatory” black cheap ibanez and squiers (one black strat, and one black tele OR one sunburst other strat…) and don’t sell it. Lefty guitarists like the others often buy guitars on a “love at first sight” basis. And won’t fall in love in love easily with the aforementioned. The shopkeeper offer to take an order, but it’s not the same…the mojo is not there, and neither the urge to pay for the object of desire ( …and it’s cheaper on the Internet …). Ugly guitar don’t sell

  3. Don
    Don says:

    I have a LH black strat, a black schecter. When I got my wine LP I had to praise God because it was my first non-black LH guitar. My Epi SG is also red but also a budget guitar. I had to order all but my strat online.

  4. terryprokopjr
    terryprokopjr says:

    I wouldnt by my first strat until I found a non black one! Found one in blue picked it up just becuse it was not black. What sucks not as color choses is we cant sit &play a lot of thrm till we find one that lets just say speaks to us. It was not till 2008 that I got to go around &play a whole 8 different strats to find one that felt & had the tone that spoke to me! By the way had to hit 8 different GC’s to play them & everyone of them were white!

  5. mike
    mike says:

    Yes and they all have cheap pickups etc.(GC) Dusty black or white Strats with right handed whammy bars on some of them. No respect.
    Just picked up a lefty 314ce taylor (sam ash).After 2 different taylors gtrs 144ce,214ce where delivered and returned.None in black lol!

  6. Rhitosparsh
    Rhitosparsh says:

    Well, I like black guitars a lot! But still, I feel pretty bored to see guitars which are black, black, black, black…………!!!

    Also, if the guitar doesn’t have a pickguard (most Ibanezes), they get scratched and finger marks quite easily!!

    Also, with lack of too many options and not-very-great budget for guitars of people like me, you’d get only black!!

    But, I’d really like to credit Greg Bennett! They have quite many options, and have other colours too!

  7. Folken
    Folken says:

    at least you can find lefty guitars, where I live the only option is to pick a right-handed one and transform it…

  8. Ed in Italy
    Ed in Italy says:

    I’m no longer a fan of Strats (after having played one for decades), but a black Strat is the worst of all the dozens of colors Strats come in. Some guitars just don’t look good in black. I love my (lefty) black Duo Jet, perhaps because it’s just like George’s! Anyway, thanks to the internet, we lefties don’t have to settle for anonymous, boring-looking guitars.

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