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Can a Left-Handed Acoustic Guitar Be Changed to a Right-Handed

Yes, a left-handed acoustic guitar can be changed to a right-handed configuration. If you are a left-handed guitarist and have a left-handed acoustic guitar, but want to switch to playing right-handed, it is possible to convert your guitar to a right-handed set-up.

This can be done by restringing the guitar with the high E string on the bottom and the low E string on the top, as well as adjusting the neck, bridge, and saddle. While it may require some adjustments and potentially the help of a professional guitar technician, changing a left-handed acoustic guitar to a right-handed configuration is definitely possible.

We will explore the steps involved in converting a left-handed acoustic guitar to a right-handed set-up, as well as the potential challenges and considerations to keep in mind.

Understanding Left-Handed Acoustic Guitars

What does it mean to be left-handed?

Being left-handed refers to a person’s natural preference for using their left hand to perform various tasks and activities. This preference extends beyond writing and includes other activities such as playing sports, using utensils, or even playing musical instruments. Left-handed individuals make up about 10% of the population, and their unique needs and preferences often require specialized products, such as left-handed acoustic guitars.

Why do some people prefer left-handed guitars?

Left-handed individuals typically prefer left-handed guitars because it feels more natural and comfortable for them to play. Guitars are typically designed for right-handed players, with the strings and controls positioned for right-handed use. When a left-handed person tries to play a right-handed guitar, they have to perform complex and unfamiliar finger movements, which can hinder their progress and affect the overall playing experience. By using a left-handed guitar, left-handed individuals can enjoy a more natural and enjoyable playing experience, enabling them to reach their full musical potential.

Key differences between left-handed and right-handed guitars

Left-handed and right-handed guitars have a few key differences that cater to the specific needs of left-handed players. These differences include:

  • Reversed string order: One of the most noticeable differences is the string order. In a left-handed guitar, the strings are arranged in reverse order compared to a right-handed guitar, with the thickest string placed at the bottom and the thinnest at the top.
  • Control placement: The placement of controls, such as volume and tone knobs, is reversed on a left-handed guitar to ensure easier access for left-handed players.
  • Pickguard position: The pickguard, which is a protective plate located below the strings, is also positioned on the opposite side of a left-handed guitar to prevent interference with the player’s strumming hand.
  • Top nut and bridge: The positioning of the top nut and bridge is adjusted to accommodate the reversed string order, ensuring proper string height and intonation for left-handed players.

These differences might seem minor, but they play a crucial role in providing left-handed guitarists with a comfortable and enjoyable playing experience. So, if you’re a left-handed individual looking to play the guitar, a left-handed acoustic guitar would be the most suitable choice for you.

The Challenges Of Converting A Left-Handed Guitar

Converting a left-handed acoustic guitar to a right-handed one may seem like a simple task, but in reality, it comes with a unique set of challenges. The anatomy and design of guitars are inherently built for a specific hand orientation, making the conversion process more complex. In this article, we will explore the challenges associated with converting a left-handed guitar to a right-handed one and discuss the various factors that need to be considered.

Anatomy and Design Considerations

The first challenge in converting a left-handed acoustic guitar is the inherent design and construction. Guitars are built with specific features that cater to a particular hand orientation. The neck, fretboard, and body are all designed to accommodate the natural movement and reach of a player’s dominant hand. Reversing these features can result in difficulties in playing and diminished functionality.

One of the main design considerations is the location of the soundhole. In most acoustic guitars, the soundhole is positioned to optimize the projection and resonance of the instrument. When converting a left-handed guitar to a right-handed one, the soundhole will be obstructed by the player’s arm, affecting the sound quality. Modifying the soundhole placement can be a complex and irreversible alteration.

Reversing the String Order and Its Impact on Playability

Another significant challenge in converting a left-handed guitar is the reversal of string order. Left-handed guitars have a different string arrangement since they are strung in reverse compared to right-handed guitars. Reversing the string order requires swapping the strings and adjusting the tension and height of each string.

However, simply restringing the guitar is not enough to ensure optimal playability. The nut and bridge need to be adjusted accordingly to accommodate the reversed string order. The nut, which holds the strings in place at the headstock, must be modified to provide accurate string spacing and height. Similarly, the saddle, located on the bridge, needs adjustment to maintain proper string action and intonation.

Alterations to the Nut, Saddle, and Bridge

The nut, saddle, and bridge play crucial roles in determining the playability and tone of a guitar. When converting a left-handed guitar, these components need to be altered to ensure optimal performance.

The nut, typically made of bone or synthetic materials, needs to be reshaped to accommodate the reversed string order. It should provide proper string spacing and height to prevent buzzing and maintain accurate fretting.

The saddle, located on the bridge, also requires modification. It should be adjusted to match the reversed string order while maintaining the correct string action and intonation. Proper intonation is essential to ensure that the guitar plays in tune across the entire fretboard.

Modifying the bridge may also be necessary. The bridge, responsible for transmitting the string vibrations to the guitar body, must be adjusted to obtain optimal sound quality and projection with the reversed string order.

In conclusion, converting a left-handed acoustic guitar to a right-handed one presents various challenges. The anatomy and design considerations, as well as the need to reverse the string order and make alterations to the nut, saddle, and bridge, all contribute to the complexity of the conversion process. It is crucial to consult a professional guitar technician or luthier to ensure the conversion is done accurately without compromising the playability and sound quality of the instrument.

Options For Converting A Left-Handed Guitar To Right-Handed

If you are a left-handed guitarist and have acquired a left-handed acoustic guitar, you may find yourself in a situation where you want to convert it to a right-handed configuration. While it may seem like a daunting task at first, there are actually a few options available to address this issue. In this section, we will explore the different methods you can consider when converting a left-handed guitar to right-handed.

Consultation with a professional luthier

One of the best approaches to converting a left-handed acoustic guitar to a right-handed setup is by seeking professional assistance from a luthier. These skilled craftsmen specialize in guitar repairs, modifications, and customizations, making them the ideal choice for this type of conversion. A luthier will have the experience and expertise to ensure that the process is carried out correctly, maintaining the guitar’s structural integrity and playability. During a consultation with a luthier, they will assess your guitar and advise you on the feasibility of the conversion. They will consider various factors such as the guitar’s build, nut and saddle placement, and the potential impacts on its tone. Based on their evaluation, they will provide recommendations on the best course of action to convert your left-handed acoustic guitar to a right-handed orientation.

DIY methods and considerations

If you are inclined to take on the challenge yourself, there are DIY methods available to convert a left-handed acoustic guitar to right-handed. However, it is important to note that this approach requires a certain level of skill, knowledge, and patience. It involves tasks such as changing the string orientation, adjusting the nut and saddle, and potentially rearranging the bridge, among other modifications. It is crucial to approach the conversion with caution and follow industry best practices. You can find online resources, tutorials, and instructional videos that provide step-by-step guidance on converting a left-handed guitar to right-handed. Take the time to research and familiarize yourself with the process before proceeding, and always exercise caution to avoid any damage to the guitar.

Is it worth converting or better to purchase a new guitar?

When deciding whether to convert a left-handed acoustic guitar to right-handed or purchase a new guitar altogether, there are a few factors to consider. Guitars are designed and built with specific components and features that contribute to their overall sound and playability. Altering a guitar’s setup significantly, such as converting it from left-handed to right-handed, can potentially affect its tonal qualities and performance. If your left-handed guitar is of high quality and holds sentimental value to you, the option of conversion may be worth exploring. Engaging with a professional luthier can help you assess the feasibility and potential impact on the guitar’s playability and tone. However, if the guitar is of lower quality or the conversion process might compromise its integrity, it may be more financially viable and rewarding to purchase a new right-handed acoustic guitar. Investing in a new instrument ensures that you have a guitar specifically designed to suit your right-handed playing style, without compromising on sound quality or playability. Ultimately, the decision of whether to convert or purchase a new guitar is a personal one. It is essential to evaluate the condition and value of your left-handed guitar, consider the potential implications of the conversion, and weigh the pros and cons before making a final choice.

Potential Issues And Limitations Of Conversion

Converting a left-handed acoustic guitar to a right-handed one may seem like a feasible solution for left-handed guitarists who struggle to find suitable instruments. However, it’s important to understand the potential issues and limitations associated with such a conversion. While it is possible to make the necessary modifications, several factors should be taken into consideration to ensure the structural integrity, sound quality, potential damage, and reversibility of the modifications for resale value.

Structural Integrity and Impact on Sound Quality

One of the main concerns when converting a left-handed acoustic guitar to a right-handed one is the impact it may have on the structural integrity and sound quality of the instrument. Guitars are crafted with specific bracing and construction techniques that are intended for a specific hand orientation. Altering the design by reversing the strings and repositioning the bridge can potentially affect the balance and overall stability of the guitar.

Additionally, the sound quality can be compromised as the original bracing system may no longer support the intended tonal characteristics. The strings may not vibrate with the same resonance, resulting in a diminished sound projection and overall tone.

Potential Damage to the Guitar During the Conversion Process

Converting a left-handed acoustic guitar to a right-handed one involves several modifications, which may pose a risk of damage to the instrument. The process usually requires removing and repositioning the bridge, nut, and sometimes even the pickguard.

Improper handling and lack of specialized tools may lead to scratches, cracks, or even structural damage to the guitar. It is crucial to seek professional assistance or have an experienced luthier carry out the conversion, minimizing the risk of detrimental effects to the instrument.

Reversibility of the Modifications and Resale Value

Before proceeding with converting a left-handed acoustic guitar, it is essential to consider the reversibility of the modifications and the impact it may have on the instrument’s resale value. Reversing the modifications back to its original left-handed configuration might not be a straightforward process.

Some alterations, such as filling old holes, replacing the bridge or nut, may require additional expertise and resources. It is important to assess whether the guitar is a permanent investment or if the option to resell it in the future is a consideration.

In conclusion, converting a left-handed acoustic guitar to a right-handed one is possible but comes with essential considerations. Ensuring the structural integrity, sound quality, avoiding potential damage, and evaluating the reversibility of modifications are all crucial aspects before making any changes. Seeking professional assistance and carefully weighing the pros and cons are recommended steps for a successful conversion process with minimum impact on the instrument’s overall value.

Verdict: Can A Left-Handed Acoustic Guitar Be Successfully Changed To Right-Handed?

If you’re a left-handed guitarist and considering purchasing a left-handed acoustic guitar, you may be wondering if it’s possible to convert it to a right-handed instrument. While it is technically feasible to make the switch, there are several factors to consider before making a decision. In this article, we’ll explore these factors, including personal preferences and playing styles, as well as the cost and effort involved in such a conversion.

Factors to Consider Before Making a Decision

Before taking the leap and attempting to convert your left-handed acoustic guitar to a right-handed one, it’s crucial to evaluate a few key factors.

Firstly, adjusting to a new playing style can be quite challenging. As a left-handed guitarist, your muscle memory and hand coordination have developed specifically for playing in a left-handed orientation. Switching to a right-handed configuration means retraining your brain and fingers to adjust to a different hand position and playing technique.

Additionally, another important factor to consider is the original design of the guitar. Some left-handed acoustic guitars may have asymmetrical shapes or components that make them more difficult to convert. It’s essential to carefully examine the structure and components of your specific guitar model to determine if a successful conversion is achievable.

Personal Preferences and Individual Playing Styles

When contemplating whether to change a left-handed acoustic guitar to a right-handed one, your personal preferences and individual playing style play a significant role in the decision-making process.

One key consideration is playability. For some left-handed guitarists, switching to a right-handed guitar may feel uncomfortable, affecting their ability to play with precision and fluidity. However, others may find that the transition is relatively seamless and that playing a right-handed guitar opens up new possibilities and flexibility.

Besides playability, sound quality is another important factor to take into account. Altering the orientation of your guitar strings may affect the instrument’s tone and resonance. It’s crucial to ensure that the converted guitar still produces a desirable sound that matches your musical preferences and requirements.

Weighing the Cost and Effort Against the Benefits

Lastly, before deciding to convert your left-handed acoustic guitar to a right-handed one, it’s crucial to weigh the costs and efforts involved against the potential benefits.

One aspect to consider is cost. The conversion process may involve replacing the nut, bridge, and possibly even the bridge saddle. These expenses can add up, especially if you decide to enlist the help of a professional guitar technician. Therefore, it’s essential to assess whether the investment is justified based on your needs and budget.

Furthermore, effort must be taken into account as well. Converting a guitar’s orientation requires meticulous attention to detail and precision. If you’re not confident in your technical skills, it may be worthwhile to consult an experienced luthier or guitar technician to ensure a successful conversion.

In conclusion, while it is possible to change a left-handed acoustic guitar to a right-handed one, it’s essential to carefully consider various factors. These include personal preferences and playing style, the original design of the guitar, cost, and effort. Ultimately, the decision rests upon your willingness to adapt to a new playing style, as well as whether the benefits of converting outweigh the associated costs and effort.

Can a Left-Handed Acoustic Guitar Be Changed to a Right-Handed


Frequently Asked Questions Of Can A Left-Handed Acoustic Guitar Be Changed To A Right-Handed

Can You Switch A Left Handed Guitar To A Right-Handed Guitar?

Yes, it is possible to switch a left-handed guitar to a right-handed guitar by restringing it and flipping the nut and bridge.

How Do I Change My Guitar From Left To Right-Handed?

To change your guitar from left to right-handed, you need to remove and reverse the strings, adjust the bridge and nut, and reposition the strap buttons. Make sure to consult a professional or follow a detailed guide for accurate and safe conversion.

Can You Reverse A Left Handed Guitar?

Yes, a left-handed guitar can be reversed by restringing it and adjusting the nut, bridge, and intonation. However, some guitars are specifically designed for left-handed players and don’t require modification.

Can A Lefty Play A Righty Guitar?

Yes, a left-handed person can play a right-handed guitar by either restringing it or adjusting their hand position.


Converting a left-handed acoustic guitar to a right-handed one is possible, but it requires professional adjustments. The process involves swapping the strings and resetting the nut and saddle to accommodate the opposite hand. While it may seem like a simple task, it is crucial to entrust this task to a skilled luthier to ensure the guitar’s playability and overall quality.

Whether you’re a lefty or a righty, remember that finding the right instrument that suits your playing style is essential for an enjoyable musical journey.

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