A left handed baritone guitar will reward you with easy access to those low tunings you’ve been craving, and without the woes associated with down-tuning a standard scale length guitar.
Attempting to tune down super-low on a regular guitar will result in a whole raft of issues such as floppy strings, fret buzz, poor intonation, and a lower quality of tone.
Whereas a left handed baritone guitar with its longer scale length is built to handle sub-sonic tunings with ease.
In this guide, we’ll look at what a baritone guitar actually is, why you might want one, and then I’ll list some reasonably easy-to-find left handed options for those looking for inspiration.
What Is A Baritone Guitar?
A baritone guitar has a longer scale length than usual (typically 27″-30″), which allows the instrument to be tuned much lower than standard tuning. They are generally tuned to B standard (B-E-A-D-F#-B), although you can tune higher or lower if you’d prefer.
A baritone will also use much heavier gauge strings than you’ll find on your standard guitars. For example, many will come from the factory with .013-.062 string sets, whereas .010-.046 is more common on standard scale length guitars.
The longer scale length, coupled with heavier strings, gives the baritone guitar a very impressive tone on the bass notes, as well as the snappy feel of strings at their optimum tension.
Learn More About Scale Length
Learn how scale length affects your guitar’s tone and playability, and why baritone guitars are so useful in my huge scale length guide
Are Baritone Guitars Worth It?
Absolutely! Regardless of your musical tastes or specific playstyle, a baritone guitar will open up a whole new range of sounds while still retaining the chord and scale shapes that you are already familiar with.
Check out the video below which will explain why you might need a baritone guitar in your collection.
Left Handed Baritone Guitar Choices
In this guide, we will talk about guitars which are readily available as standard from popular brands. Obviously, you can order a custom left-handed baritone guitar and open up a much wider choice of instruments if you’d rather not buy ‘off-the-rack’.
Lefty baritone guitars are obviously a niche within a niche, so you may have to pre-order or special order one of these if stock is not currently available.
Danelectro Baritone Left Handed
The left handed Danelectro Baritone has a long 29.75″ scale length, making it a comfortable choice for both guitarists and bassists. It is currently the most affordable option on this list and is dripping with retro vibe.
It is tuned a perfect fourth below standard E, and should handle most musical genres from country to rock, and maybe a little beyond!
Main features include a lightweight, chambered spruce body with a hardboard top and back, to offer excellent sustain and resonance. A maple neck is paired with a 24 fret pau ferro fingerboard.
Other highlights are two high-output lipstick single-coil pickups which will sound great clean or overdriven. An adjustable saddle bridge allows for perfect intonation adjustment.
Eastwood Airline MAP Baritone LH
The left-handed Eastwood Airline MAP Baritone is Eastwood’s tribute to the classic National Newport (or Map guitar) from the 1960s. It was called the Map guitar because the body resembles a map of the United States.
This lefty baritone guitar has a 27″ scale length. Main features include a chambered mahogany body that aims to recreate the famous resonant tone of the original guitar.
Other highlights are a maple bolt-on neck with a 22 fret, bound rosewood fingerboard. The pickups are two vintage-voiced humbuckers, with a 3-way switch affording you a variety of tonal options.
Check out the video below to see it in action. Note, the guitar being demoed is the DLX version with a Bigsby tremolo.
Eastwood Sidejack Baritone DLX Lefty
The Eastwood Sidejack Baritone DLX is a tribute to Mosrite guitars from the 1960s. These guitars were built in the USA and gained a lot of popularity in the 60s thanks to the instrumental rock band The Ventures.
This southpaw baritone model has a 28″ scale length. Main features include a solid basswood body, maple set-in neck with 22 fret rosewood fingerboard, and two vintage EW P-90 pickups.
Other highlights include a PRO adjustable roller bridge and a Fender-style tremolo. It is available left-handed in black, with a white scratchplate, and classy gold hardware.
Why not check out the video below to see the guitar in action?
Rivolta Mondata Baritone VII Left Handed
Rivolta is a collaborative range of guitars from Denis Fano (Fano Guitars) and Eastwood Guitars.
The Mondata Baritone VII exudes more of a retro vibe and sports a long 28″ scale length. Main features include a chambered mahogany body with a raised center block, maple set-in neck, and a chunky neck profile with 12-inch radius 24 fret fingerboard. The fretboard stands out thanks to its unique, full-width pearloid block inlays.
On pickup duty is a Novanta P90 in the neck position, and a Brevetto PAF humbucker in the bridge. Additional mini-switches for phase and coil-splitting options ensure that the Mondata can offer a huge variety of different tones.
Other features include Kluson style tuners, a Nashville tune-o-matic bridge, and the bundled Rivolta premium soft case. The left handed model is only available in Fuoco Burst as shown above.
Check out the video demo below for some sound samples!
Schecter Hellraiser C-VI Left Handed Baritone
The monster left handed Schecter Hellraiser C-VI has the longest scale length of all options here at 30″, making it a great choice for ultra-low tunings. It actually comes tuned an octave below standard tuning as standard, so technically it’s a Bass 6! You’d probably be better off thinking of it as a guitar/bass hybrid.
Main features include a mahogany body with an arched, quilted maple top, and a mahogany neck with 24 fret rosewood fingerboard. On pickup duties are an active EMG 81TW in the bridge position and an EMG 89R in the neck.
Other highlights are a TonePros System bridge, Schecter locking tuners, and a fast thin ‘C’ shape set neck with ‘ultra-access’ to the higher frets.
It is available left handed in that classic Black Cherry finish which you will see on many Schecters in the Hellraiser series.
Schecter did also previously offer the 30″ Hellcat-VI as a left handed model, so you may be able to find one of these on the second-hand market.
Another option from the Schecter Vault is the 26.5″ Kenny Hickey C-1 EX S, which was also available left handed until recently.
Custom Left Handed Baritone Guitars
If none of these float your boat, then obviously there are a ton more options if you are willing to order a custom guitar.
I’m not going to list every brand, but a few that spring to mind are Kiesel, ESP, Mayones, Skervesen, Balaguer, the list goes on! If the company makes custom guitars, then chances are you can order a lefty baritone.
You’ll find a boat-load of custom brands in the lefty guitar database.
If you’d like to go the DIY route, Warmoth offers left handed baritone conversion necks which you can add to your current guitar.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I Get A Baritone Or A 7-String?
This is a difficult question, and the answer will vary depending on your situation. A baritone guitar will be a very familiar feeling instrument to pick up, and will generally offer better string tension. Whereas a 7-string will give you that additional range if you think you’ll need it.
For a more in-depth answer, check out this excellent video from Rabea Massaad.
Who Plays Baritone Guitars?
Baritones are used in a huge variety of different genres, but notable artists include John Petrucci (Dream Theater), Devin Townsend, Pat Smear (Foo Fighters), Brian Setzer, and Sungha Jung amongst others!
If there is a baritone model that you think is missing from this guide, please drop me an email!