Fact – left handed guitar players rock! Don’t believe me? Well here are 9 left handed guitar advantages that ONLY we southpaw musicians will get to experience!
Left Handed Guitar Advantages
1. No One Else Can Play Your Guitar (And Break It!)
Consider this scenario.
You’re at band practice and your hyperactive drummer wants a play of your brand-spanking-new guitar. You agree and he proceeds to crank the amp to 11, thrashing around the room like a catnip fuelled feline.
In his over-excited state, he manages to cream your headstock into the wall after carelessly becoming entangled in a mess of cables. You exchange words and you leave the band with a broken axe (and possibly a criminal record).
Now consider this scenario as a lefty. Once again, said drummer asks for a strum of your pride and joy. “I do beg your pardon kind sir, but this instrument happens to be of the left handed persuasion, therefore rendering it useless to a right handed gentleman such as yourself”.
Potential disaster averted, band saved, jail time avoided! Huzzah!
Obviously, that’s a rather extreme example. But being a lefty has certainly saved my less-than-respectful acquaintances from getting their dirty paws on my guitars over the years!
2. You Look Awesome On Stage
Let’s consider aesthetics for a second, as nothing is more pleasing to the eye than symmetry.
If your band has either a left handed guitarist or a left handed bassist, you have perfect stage symmetry. It just looks good!
Also, ponder this. Whilst on stage any interaction will look infinitely better between guitarists and bassists.
If two right handers decide to stand next to each other for an epic solo play-off they’re just playing on top of each other, generally in each other’s spaces. However, with a right and left-hander you can stand back-to-back in full rock-god stance…awesome sauce!
Fun Fact! Statistically speaking, a band with a left handed guitarist in it is more likely to attract attention.
3. Left Handed Guitars Are A Good Investment
If you are lucky enough to snag a rare southpaw guitar and manage to keep it in mint condition, its value is only going to increase over time. Indeed, a large number of the most expensive guitars ever sold are lefties!
The same could be said for a right-hander.But when you consider how much rarer left handed guitars are you can genuinely view your guitar as a solid investment.
For example, look at the price of a vintage southpaw Fender Strat versus an equivalent righty. Even though both guitars cost roughly the same when they were made, the left handed guitar will command a much higher price now due to its increased rarity.
What is a hobby for you now could be a nice little retirement fund for you further down the line when your fingers are too arthritic to make sense of a fretboard any longer.
4. Less eBay Buyer Competition
If you opt to buy second-hand from an auction website such as eBay you are going to have far less competition when bidding. In fact, chances are you may be the ONLY person bidding, resulting in an absolute steal of a deal.
A lot of the time a good left handed guitar can be had for significantly less than its righty equivalent.
Although, as we’ve explained above, the rarity of lefty guitars can also drastically increase their value. So this isn’t always going to be the case – if you are bidding on a guitar that is highly desirable, for example.
5. Learning From A Left Handed Guitar Teacher Is Easy
Sitting opposite your guitar tutor he/she will effectively ‘mirror’ you, making it very easy to copy what he or she is showing you. Check out this article on Learning Guitar and the Mirror Effect.
Likewise, if you are a lefty considering a career as a guitar teacher the same benefit is implied. This is definitely one of the biggest left handed guitar advantages in the list.
6. They’ll Be In Better Condition When You Buy New
Depending on whom you ask, roughly twelve percent of the world’s population is left handed. And who knows how many of those play guitar the same way. Paul Reed Smith reckons we make up just 0.5% of the guitar playing population.
Also, consider that many lefties will source their instruments online knowing full well that their local guitar stores will most likely stock only a small number of southpaw models.
This should mean that any guitar you do find in-store should have had very minimal play (if any at all) and should be in mint or near mint condition.
Just go take a peep at the righties. I would bet that a significant number of those guitars had some decent fret-wear, grime on the fretboard, possibly a small ding or two, etc..
7. No One Can Force You To Perform At Parties
I have been at several parties where the host has had a guitar sitting in the corner. When they realize that I can play they get the entire party cheering me on to play something mind-blowing for them. Go on, we heard you were an amazing shred guitarist, let’s see some quick licks!
This is something I genuinely hate with a passion. It’s akin to strolling up to a comedian in the street and asking them to tell you a joke.
Fortunately the good old “oh I can’t, i’m left handed ” excuse saves my drunken ass from having to indulge their drunken asses.
8. Studies Show Left Handed Players Are Better!
If you visit a guitar forum and ask the community if you should play lefty, the general reply will be something along the lines of “oh, just play right handed so that your dominant hand will be able to perform the complex fretting easier “.
However, a recent study for the National Institute of Sports and Physical Education in Paris found that left handed people have faster eye-hand coordination with their right hand than even right-handers do.
9. The Horror Stories Are All Hype!
Don’t let the righties and the conformists sway you from rocking down southpaw street. If playing lefty feels natural to you then by all means dive in. Do not fall for the horror stories and just enjoy learning this fantastic instrument.
There are PLENTY of excellent lefty guitars available and they are made easily available via the internet, usually for more or less the same price as their righty counterparts. Although, sometimes they do cost more!
As you can see, there are plenty of left handed guitar advantages to be happy about. This is 2022, not 1985, and I’ve got to tell you, being a southpaw player is such a non-issue now. Don’t suppress your left handed roots guys and gals!