5 Best Left Handed Classical Guitars (Beginner & Intermediate)

Best Left Handed Classical Guitars

As a new or advancing player, selecting the best left-handed classical guitar for your specific budget, tastes, and ability can be an overwhelming decision. There are so many great beginner left handed nylon string guitars to choose from these days!

So, throughout this guide, we will look at my top 5 picks, from affordable beginner left handed classical guitar bundles to more premium instruments that could potentially last you for life. To ensure that you aren’t paralyzed with too many choices, I have been careful to stick with a small number of quality guitars that each bring their own individual advantages to the table.

If you take the time to read through the entire list of left handed classical guitars I am confident that you will quickly be able to choose the guitar that is best suited to your particular tastes and budget.

Towards the end of the article, I’ll also answer a few key questions about nylon string guitars that every player should consider before pulling the trigger on their new axe.

Shorter people or those with smaller hands may also like to check out my guide to the best ¾ sized left handed guitars for some additional compact options.

What Is The Best Left Handed Classical Guitar?

The following are my personal top 5 choices for the best left handed nylon guitars for beginner and intermediate players. The list is arranged in order from the cheapest to the most pricey, with prices starting from around $150 and going up to $500.

Disclosure: If you decide to purchase one of these left handed classical guitars using the links in this article I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

Use the links below if you would like to jump directly to any specific guitar review. Make sure to also hang around until the end of the page as you’ll find a ton of useful buying information there.

  1. Ortega Student Series RSTC5M-L
  2. Ortega Family Series R121L
  3. Ortega Family Series Pro R131L
  4. Takamine GC5 NAT
  5. Ortega Family Series Pro RCE145L

1. Ortega Student Series RSTC5M-L

Budget Left Handed Classical Guitar

Ortega RSTC5ML

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Ortega is a brand that truly goes above and beyond in terms of catering to southpaw players. Those after a budget-friendly left handed classical guitar can look toward their value-packed entry-level Student Series models.

Included within this series is the Ortega RSTC5M-L, a solid left handed nylon string guitar aimed at new players who don’t necessarily want to drop a lot of cash on a first guitar.

The main features include a traditional cedar top for a warmer tone, and this is paired to a lightweight catalpa body – ideal for new players! Both the bridge and fretboard are made from walnut, with the neck being constructed from mahogany. A slight downside is that this model doesn’t have a truss rod for making neck adjustments.

The body is fully bound in tough ABS plastic to protect the edges from accidental damage.

You won’t get electronics or a gigbag with the Ortega, but you do get everything else that you would want from a beginner classical guitar. Ideal for new players on a budget!

Key Features:

  • Body: Catalpa w/ Cedar Top
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Walnut
  • Bridge: Walnut
  • Electronics: None
  • Gig Bag: None

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2. Ortega Family Series R121L

Step It Up A Notch

Ortega R121L Best Left Handed Classical Guitar

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For just a little extra cash, an incredible value lefty classical guitar would be the Ortega R121L from the brand’s popular Family Series.

The main features include a smooth satin spruce top with mahogany back and sides, a mahogany neck, plus the classic walnut fingerboard and bridge. These woods combine to give the R121L a balanced and warm tone, well suited to any genre of music.

Unlike the RSTC5M-L above, this model comes equipped with a truss rod to ensure that the guitar’s neck is straight and stable. Ortega also provides a bundled gig bag to sweeten the deal.

If you would prefer, the R121L is also available in a wine-red finish for a more contemporary look. Alternatively, the R122L is the same guitar with a cedar top instead, offering a more rounded, slightly less sharp sound.

The only downside is that this more affordable model does not feature any solid wood construction. On the other hand, the all-laminate body will be very hard-wearing and more resistant to the effects of temperature and humidity.

Key Features:

  • Body: Mahogany w/ Spruce Top
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Walnut
  • Bridge: Walnut
  • Electronics: None
  • Gig Bag: Included

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Guitar Center (USA)
Amazon (USA)
Thomann (Europe)

3. Ortega Family Series Pro RCE131L

Affordable Acoustic-Electric Classical

Ortega RC131L Lefty Classical Guitar

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The Ortega Family Pro series takes all of the features of the Family range and adds a solid wood top for an improved quality of sound. A great advantage of solid wood is that it will continue to sound better and resonate more freely as the guitar ages!

This Ortega RCE131L electro-acoustic classical also comes equipped with the brand’s MagusPro electronics, allowing for amplified play or direct recording. It includes volume, bass, middle, and treble controls, plus a handy built-in tuner. There is also a ‘phase’ button that can help mitigate feedback when the guitar is connected to an amp or PA system.

Like most other electro-acoustic guitars, the RCE131L also features a cutaway design that offers excellent upper fret access.

The main features of this lefty classical guitar include a solid Canadian western red cedar top and mahogany body. A smooth satin finished mahogany neck is paired with a walnut fingerboard and bridge. Ortega also includes a deluxe gig bag for carting around your new guitar in safety. 

If you can afford to step up to this solid wood top beauty, the RCE131L is an ideal beginner or intermediate-level classic guitar.

Key Features:

  • Body: Mahogany w/ Solid Canadian Western Red Cedar Top
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Walnut
  • Bridge: Walnut
  • Electronics: Ortega MagusPro
  • Gig Bag: Included

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Guitar Center (USA)
Amazon (USA)

4. Takamine GC5-NAT

Affordable Solid Top Choice

Takamine GC5-NAT

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If you require a solid wood top but feel that you don’t really need electronics or a cutaway, then this next guitar could be the instrument for you.

The left-handed Takamine GC5-NAT is a premium-looking classical guitar that will be sure to appeal to those who favor a more traditional-looking instrument. It offers a rich and well-balanced tone largely thanks to its walnut body and solid sitka spruce top.

Other features on this left handed classical guitar include a mahogany neck paired with a laurel fretboard, synthetic bone nut, and saddle, plus premium gold tuners with white pearl buttons.

The GC5-NAT is a solid guitar for a reasonable price, with the only real downside being that a gig bag is not included.

Key Features:

  • Body: Mahogany w/ Spruce Top
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Walnut
  • Bridge: Walnut
  • Electronics: None
  • Gig Bag: Included

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5. Ortega Family Pro Series RCE145L

Modern Thinline Electro-Acoustic

Ortega RCE145L Left Handed Nylon String Guitar

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If you’d prefer a more modern take on the traditional classical guitar, then the Ortega RCE145L-BK is likely to tick all of your boxes.

Also from the brand’s premium Family Pro Series, this nylon string beauty is finished in a classy black finish for a more contemporary look.

A versatile solid spruce top is paired with a mahogany body for a powerful and well-balanced tone. A slim mahogany neck and narrower 48mm nut make playability an absolute breeze.

The guitar also features a modern thinline body design (85mm depth) which should make it a lot more comfortable during longer play sessions. This should also make the RCE145L slightly less prone to feedback when plugged into an amp or PA system.

A premium Ortega gig bag is also included to cradle your brand new left handed classical guitar. There’s little not to like with this one! It’s the most pricey option in this list, but still comes in at just under $500.

Key Features:

  • Body: Mahogany w/ Solid Canadian Engelmann Spruce Top
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Walnut
  • Bridge: Walnut
  • Electronics: Ortega MagusPro
  • Gig Bag: Included

Get The Best Price
Guitar Center (USA)
Amazon (USA)

More Lefty Classical Guitars!

Looking for a more expensive option? Perhaps something with harder-to-find features? Why not use the links below to browse the full selection of southpaw classical guitars at our partner stores for an even wider selection of instruments?

And that concludes our list of the best left handed classical guitar choices for beginner and intermediate players. Keep reading for additional useful information!

Additional Nylon String Accessories

Get In Tune For Less Than 20 Bucks

Some of the guitars I recommended above have built-in tuners. However, if your choice doesn’t have electronics then I highly recommend picking up a good headstock tuner.

These handy little gadgets clip onto your guitar’s headstock and tune (very accurately!) via vibration. At a little under $20, there’s no reason not to have one! My personal favorite is the diminutive D’Addario Micro.

Smelly Strings?

Depending on the vendor you purchase from, your guitar could have been sitting around on display or in its box for a long time. Don’t ask me why, but nylon strings seem to start to really smell after a few weeks – give your fingers a sniff after a session on stale strings – yuck!

With that in mind, it would be a good idea to pick up a set or two of fresh strings to put on your new guitar when you receive it. My suggestion for a great all-round set would be the Pro Arte series from D’Addario.

Classical Guitar Buying Advice

Should I Start Out On Classical Guitar?

Many players (wrongly) feel that they should start their guitar journey on a classical guitar as the nylon strings are much easier on the fingers. This may be the case, however, this isn’t a good reason to begin here.

If you are new to guitar you should buy whichever type of instrument you ultimately want to play. You’re not going to have much fun trying to learn ‘Smoke On The Water’ on a nylon guitar!

What Is The Disadvantage Of Classical Guitar?

Classical guitars tend to have wider necks to prevent fingers from coming into contact with adjacent strings whilst playing complex pieces. The downside here is that players with smaller hands may find the beefier necks tricky to play compared to the slimmer necks on most steel-string guitars.

Are Older Classical Guitars Better?

If a guitar has a solid wood top or body it will sound better with age as the wood will begin to resonate better, offering a more pleasing tone. So, technically, you could argue that older guitars are better!

Why Do Classical Guitars Have Nylon Strings?

Nylon strings produce a much softer, mellower tone compared to steel strings which is better suited to the genres of music generally played on a classical guitar. These guitars are also not built to withstand the additional tension that a set of steel strings adds.

Why Do Classical Guitars Have High Action?

Classical guitars generally have a higher action (string height) than their steel-string counterparts. This is because the lower tension of the nylon string causes them to vibrate more when plucked. A slightly higher action prevents the strings from buzzing against the guitar’s frets.

Still have questions about the best left-handed classical guitars? Feel free to send me an email and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible! You’ll find a link to my contact form in the footer below.

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

Neal Author Bio
Author
Neal
Neal has been playing guitar (left-handed!) for over 20 years, and has also worked in various roles within the guitar retail industry since 2012. In his spare time he loves to travel, ride bikes, and suck at videogames. More Info