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.
What is the Best Left Handed Acoustic Guitar for Beginners?
Best Beginner Left Handed Acoustic Guitars 2020
- Donner DAG-1CL Lefty Acoustic Guitar
- Fender CD-60S Dreadnought Left Handed Acoustic Guitar
- Fender CD-60SCE Left Handed Electro-Acoustic Guitar
- Yamaha FG820L LH Solid Top Acoustic
- Taylor GS Mini Mahogany Lefty Acoustic Guitar
In case you are feeling impatient, these are my current top 5 beginner left handed acoustic guitars for 2020. Find out more about them below! You’ll also find a few more awesome choices arranged by price.
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 a standard 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!
Best Beginner Left Handed Acoustic 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 $100
Donner DAG-1CL – click for current pricing info
Neal Says: On a tight budget my top pick for a beginner electro-acoustic would be the Donner DAG-1CL. This guitar comes bundled as part of a package including absolutely everything you’ll need to get started (aside from lessons!). As well as the guitar you’ll get a gigbag, polishing cloth, plectrums, spare strings, capo, headstock tuner, strap and even an optional pickguard that you can add should you wish.
The guitar itself is the common dreadnought size, making it ideal for almost any style of music. It features the classic spruce top with mahogany back and sides tone-wood combination for a rich sound. The slim mahogany neck is ideal for beginners and is topped off with a beautiful dark ebony fingerboard. The Donner also has a cutaway to allow you to more easily access the higher frets. It’s a great little package for a new player on a tight budget. A 30 day money back guarantee is offered in case you need to return the guitar for any reason.
Check it out at the link above for the best current price.
Here’s a fantastic overview video of the guitar from our good friend Shane over at InTheBlues. I think you’ll agree that the little Donner sounds incredible!
If you’d like to drop a little more coin and put together your own beginner acoustic rig, keep reading!
Best Left Handed Acoustic Guitar Around $200
Neal Says: Bet you didn’t think you could get a real Fender for around $200, right?! Well you can!
The Fender CD-60S and CC-60S were launched in 2017 and have instantly become my top picks for those with a budget of around $200. These two guitars from Fender’s Classic Design series 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.
Both guitars feature a solid spruce top, mahogany back and sides for a balanced sound, and a mahogany neck with rosewood fretboard. Plus you’ve got that famous name on the headstock, ensuring that the guitar will hold its value over time. They are ideal for any style of music and could potentially last you for life.
Which model to opt for? Both guitars are exactly the same, with the exception being that the CD-60S is the more common Dreadnought body shape and the CC-60S is a smaller Concert size body. Either will be great, but smaller players may prefer the slightly more petite CC-60S as it will be a little more comfortable to hold.
The video below will give you a brief overview of the entire new Fender Classic Design series and is definitely worth a watch if you are considering opting for either of these two models. The video also mentions the electro-acoustic versions of these guitars which I will talk about in the next price bracket.
Popular Lefty Acoustic Guitars Around $300
Neal Says: In the previous price bracket I chose the Fender CD-60 and CC-60 as the picks of the bunch. In this bracket we get access to the new Fender CD-60SCE and CC-60SCE, which are the same guitars with the addition of a cutaway for improved upper fretboard reach and quality Fishman electronics. These electronics allow you to plug the guitar into an amp or speaker, plus you also get a handy built-in tuner.
Both guitars feature a solid spruce top, mahogany back and sides, mahogany neck with 20 fret walnut fingerboard, scalloped bracing, rolled fretboard edges and a low profile Fishman pickup/preamp.
The CD-60SCE features the common dreadnought body shape, whereas the CC-60SCE is a slightly smaller concert model. As I’ve mentioned in the previous price bracket, smaller framed players may prefer the comfort of the slightly more petite CC-60SCE. One of these will be my top pick in this price bracket. The main reason to pick one of these over the models above is the inclusion of the electronics, so think carefully about whether or not you would like this feature!
Popular Acoustic Guitars Around $400
- Yamaha FG820L – click here for info
- Ibanez AW54LCE – click here for info
- Ibanez AC340 – 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 guitar features 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 classic tried and tested acoustic tonewood combination! Perfect for pretty much any style of music, and guaranteed to hold its value.
Like the Yamaha above, the Ibanez AW54LCE also features mahogany back and sides, but adds a solid mahogany top for a different look to the rest. Other features include a Nyatoh neck with ovangkol fretboard, full-size dreadnought body with cutaway, and Ibanez electronics to allow for amplified playing.
Where does it fit into our list? It is roughly the same price as the FG820 and of a comparable quality, but also features a cutaway and electronics for added versatility. Plus, the mahogany top just looks plain awesome!
If you like the look of the Ibanez but don’t need the cutaway or electronics, then the AC340 from Ibanez is probably going to tick all of your boxes. It is essentially the same guitar as the AW54LCE minus the electronics and cutaway, and it also features a slightly smaller Grand Concert body size.
Main features include a solid mahogany top, mahogany back and sides, mahogany neck, ovangkol fretboard and bridge, and quality internal x-bracing.
Popular Acoustic Left Handed Guitars Under or Around $500
Neal Says: Now we’re getting into the real quality picks – anything here will potentially last you for life. The Taylor GS Mini guitars are slightly smaller than usual (7/8 size), making them ideal for new/smaller players – but they sound every inch as big as a full sized acoustic. I keep one of these in my own guitar collection and it is easily my most played acoustic.
Various different models are available, but the most affordable is the mahogany version shown above which comes in at just under $500. It features a solid mahogany top, sapele back and sides, sapele neck with ebony fretboard, ebony bridge and a gorgeous mahogany veneer on the headstock. It also comes with one of the most impressive gigbags I have ever come across – seriously, it’s built like a tank!
The one thing the GS Mini doesn’t come with is electronics, however should you wish to make it an electro-acoustic later on you can! Taylor has developed the ES-Go pickup specifically for the GS Mini which can be easily added to offer extra functionality.
Still not convinced? Check out the video below which shows just what the little Taylor GS Mini is capable of!
Next up we have the Canadian Seagull S6.
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!
Main features include a solid cedar top, wild cherry back and sides, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard and bridge.
The video below gives a brief overview of the guitar.
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) 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.
The most popular acoustic guitar body shape. Dreadnought guitars have large body shapes which will equate to a louder sound being produced. Due to the deeper soundbox the Dreadnought style will produce a very bassy, boomy sound. For the average player, this is the right style of guitar to go for. This is however a fairly large guitar and may be a handful for a smaller framed individual.
Grand Concert Guitars
The Grand Concert (GC) body style is the major body style most directly derived from the classical guitar. It has the thinnest soundbox and the smallest overall size of the major styles, making it very comfortable to play but also one of the quietest. Its smaller size makes it suitable for younger or smaller-framed players
Grand Auditorium Guitars
The Grand Auditorium (GA) is very similar in design to the Grand Concert, but slightly wider and deeper. Many GA-style guitars also have a convex back panel to increase the volume of space in the soundbox without making the soundbox deeper at the edges, which would affect comfort and playability. The result is a very balanced tone, comparable to the GC but with greater volume and dynamic range and slightly more low-end response, without sacrificing the ergonomics of the classical style, making these body styles very popular.
Jumbo Guitars are designed to be loud and full of bass. It’s basically similar in function and usage to the dreadnaught. In some situations, the mid frequencies get lost, overpowered by the bass. Again, due to its size, it may not be right for a beginner player, or a small framed person. Ideal for use in large open environments where sound projection is import
Classical Nylon String Guitars
Classical guitars are characterized by the use of nylon strings. Typically, these instruments have a wide neck and a very flat fingerboard. Some “old school” instructors feel that this is the only guitar a beginning guitarist should consider as the lighter string tension and nylon material are easy on the fingers.
Travel Guitars / Small Scale Guitars
If you need something to learn with on the road then these more compact guitars are an ideal choice. Likewise, if you are a smaller individual a travel guitar can be much easier to tame than the more sizeable options. We have an article on current travel guitars, or you can check out our list of 3/4 Sized Left Handed Guitars. Keep in mind that these smaller guitars will also have a much smaller ‘voice’ than their full bodied cousins.
All of the body styles listed above can have a portion of the body ‘cut away’ on the bottom side to allow easier access to the upper frets. The cutaway will affect the tone of the guitar to a degree.This type of guitar tends to be favored by players who are more into a fingerstyle type of playing due to the better access to higher frets. Most manufacturers will differentiate between full body and cutaway guitars by adding ‘CE’ to the end of the model name
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