Need some guidance on selecting the best left handed classical guitar for a beginner player? Great news! You’ve just stumbled across all of the information you’ll need to get started as soon as possible!
Just below, you’ll find a list of my personal favorite left handed nylon string classical guitars for new players, broken down into different price brackets. As is always my suggestion, try and spend as much as you can afford to ensure that you get the best introduction to your new hobby! It’s a false economy to buy a cheaper guitar now, only to spend more later on getting the guitar you should have picked up in the first place. As you move further down the list, the guitars will generally sound better, hold their tuning more easily, and have a higher level of craftsmanship.
All of the guitars I recommend in this article are full size models, but if you’d like to consider something smaller, check out my post on 3/4 sized options.
Best Beginner Left Handed Classical Guitars Under $100
On a tight budget I can happily recommend one of the two options above as a solid introduction to guitar. The Omega is absolutely unbelievable value for money – and it even comes with a gig bag to boot! At this price point most ‘left handed’ options will simply be right handed guitars strung upside down, but crucially the Omega is a bone fide lefty with the correct nut and bridge installed. This is your most affordable left handed classical guitar, great for beginners on a limited budget. When reading reviews on these guitars, please be aware that nylon string guitars do not hold tuning as well as steel string guitars due to the nature of the strings. This is normal.
Spend a little more money and you’ll be able to upgrade to the SX CL-150. The SX is similar to the Omega, but has a cutaway for improved upper fret access and also electronics which will allow you to amplify the guitar. It’s also available in 2 eye-catching colors. If you can spare the extra dollars this one is a nice step up from the Omega.
Popular Classical Guitars Under $200
My top pick here is the GuitarWorks classical. Coming from an independent store, this guitar is essentially non-branded, so you get a little more for your money here. However, the big selling point is that these guitars will all receive a full in-store setup before being shipped out. This means that the guitar will arrive in absolutely perfect playing condition, having had the bridge, nut, truss rod and frets adjusted. This is fantastic value for money.
Oscar Schmidt is a name which crops up regularly when it comes to quality, affordable left handed instruments. The brand is actually produced by Washburn Guitars, so you can be assured of great craftsmanship. Main features of the OC9 include a spruce top, catalpa back/sides and mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard.
The Stagg C546 is similar in features and price to the Oscar Schmidt. It also features a spruce top, but has basswood back/sides and a mahogany neck with a dark stained maple neck. Check out the stellar reviews at the link above and feel confident in the quality of the Stagg. For a little extra cash the C546 is also available with electronics and a cutaway.
Popular Classical Guitars Under $300
Plenty to choose from in the $200-$300 price bracket! First up is the OC11ce from Oscar Schmidt – essentially the same guitar as the OC9 above but with the addition of a cutaway for improved upper fret access, and electronics to allow for amplified play.
The Ortega R121 and R22 are the exact same guitar, except one has a cedar top, and the other spruce. Technically, cedar should offer you a warmer, darker sound over the spruce model – but as a new player it’s very unlikely you’ll be able to tell the difference. With that being said, I would pick whichever top you think looks better and not worry too much about it. It’s also worth noting the the spruce topped R121 is available in red. Both guitars come bundled with a quality gigbag for easy transport.
Popular Classical Guitars Under $400
The Dean Espana is the first guitar on this list to feature a solid wood top as opposed to a laminate option. Although as a new player you probably aren’t going to notice a huge difference, a solid wood top will in theory give you an improved tone that will only get better with age. The guitar is constructed from quality tonewoods and features a cutaway for excellent upper fret access. It also includes a handy built-in tuner!
If you don’t need a cutaway or electronics, then the Takamine GC5LH is going to be your best bet in this price bracket. Takamine is a well respected name and as with the Espana, this guitar features a solid wood top. Main features include rosewood back/sides, solid spruce top, mahogany neck and a rosewood fingerboard and bridge.
Best Left Handed Classical Guitars Under $500
If you really want to get off to a good start, then one of these two will be an excellent choice. The Cordoba C5 features a solid cedar top, mahogany back/sides, and a mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard. Quality stuff! It also includes a high quality Fishman Isys+ pickup system to allow for the guitar to be amplified. Construction is based on a traditional Spanish classical guitar.
Finally we have the Takamine GC5CELH, which is essentially the GC5LH from the previous price bracket with the addition of a cutaway and electronics/built-in tuner. This gorgeous looking classical has a solid spruce top, rosewood back/sides and a mahogany neck with rosewood fretboard.
Get In Tune For Less Than 10 Bucks
Some of the guitars I recommend have built-in tuners, but if your choice doesn’t have electronics then I highly recommend picking up a good headstock tuner. These handy little gadgets clip on to your guitar’s headstock and tune (very accurately!) via vibration. At a little under $10 there’s really no reason not to have one! My personal favorite is the Snark SN5X.
Depending on the vendor you purchase from, your guitar most likely won’t come with a fresh set of strings installed. Don’t ask me why, but nylon strings seem to really start to 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.
Still have questions? Feel free to send me an email and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible!
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