One request I receive fairly regularly is from parents asking for a suggestion for a smaller left handed guitar for their child to begin learning on. This guide will be split into two parts – this first article will discuss ½ sized options and the second article will look at ¾ sized options.
In general there is a much larger selection of smaller lefty acoustic guitars than there are left handed electric guitars. An in-depth look at why this is the case can be found in my article on left handed guitars on the production line, but to put things simply – lefty acoustic guitars are much simpler to produce than electrics. As a result you may struggle to find a quality smaller body electric, especially if you are outside of the U.S.A and Canada.
So let’s take a look at a couple of methods which will help you unearth what you require.
Brand New ½ Sized Lefty Guitars
If you want to buy new then I would suggest Google Shopping to be your first port of call as this will give you some options from a wide variety of stores. To do this go to your country’s Google homepage and enter these search terms – “left handed ½ guitar”. On the results page you will see a link for “Shopping” along the top bar – click that to display what Google has found for you.
Some of these won’t be ½ sized guitars as other guitars and products with similar keywords will get mixed into the results. For example you may get some guitars with a 25 ½ inch scale length thrown in. To overcome this you can sort the results by price or play around with your search terms until you find a happy medium.
Used ½ Sized Lefty Guitars
Being from the UK I am not familiar with the likes of Craigslist or any other American based auction-style websites, so for the purpose of this example I will use eBay. Of course, not all guitars on eBay are used and as such it can be a great alternative source of new guitars.
Head over to your country’s eBay, find the guitar section and enter these search terms into the search box at the top – “(left,lefty,lh/l/h,southpaw) ½”. If you’ve read my eBay Guide you will understand exactly how to make the most of the results.
Here are my personal recommendations from looking through Google and eBay USA.
½ Sized Left Handed Acoustic Guitars
Wasburn Oscar Schmidt OGHS/B – ½ and ¾ sizes available
Yamaha CGS102 Classical
Aranjuez A4-Z Classical
½ Sized Left Handed Electric Guitars
Axl Headliner – ½ and ¾ size available
Slim pickings i’m sure you will agree but obviously results will differ from country to country.
I wouldn’t concern yourself too much with quality as it just isn’t a big issue with ½ sized guitars. These guitars are cheap and designed to give the kids an easy introduction to playing guitar but will be quickly outgrown and discarded in favour of larger, better sounding/playing guitars. The guitars I listed above are what I chose as the best but you may find that the $30 pink guitar on eBay will do the job just fine! Of course there’s always the option of restringing a right handed guitar upside down. I know I didn’t recommend this route in my earlier post on restringing upside-down but at this introductory phase of guitar it wouldn’t be a complete disaster!
Of course, depending on where you live you may not be able to find any guitars at all. After all the ½ sized market is incredibly niche already and it can be hard even finding a right handed guitar in this size bracket. If you want an electric you are almost certainly going to have to look at larger guitars.
So if you can’t find what you need you may want to consider moving up to a ¾ sized guitar as these are much more readily available and are generally no more expensive than their ½ sized counterparts. A ¾ sized guitar may be more of a handful for younger kids but it will make the transition to full size guitars that much easier later on. Talented kids such as Sungha Jung have no problems playing full size guitars and unless your children are very very young I’d suggest starting on a ¾ if possible.
Check out the 3/4 Sized Guitars Guide as well!
Hope you found the information to be useful.