At first glance left handed guitars look exactly the same as the more popular right handed versions. In fact the major difference is simply that the strings are effectively strung in reverse order. In theory therefore, you could take your right handed guitar and reverse the order of the strings, Whilst this can be attempted, it is not recomended.
Why? The main reasons for not attempting this are because the bridge rail at the base of the guitar and the capo rail at the head of the guitar have a set of slots (or grooves) which are designed to hold the common string diameters which start with the thicker top E string and decrease in size to the thinner and lower E string. Also, many guitars have a comfort cut out and finger guard both of which are purposely located for right or left handed guitars. (See The anatomy of an Acoustic guitar)
Fig. 1 Right Handed Guitars
The vast majority of people play the guitar right handed.
This means the right hand is used to strum or pick the strings and the left hand is used to form the chords or finger the notes. See fig.1
Generally when choosing a guitar, unless you state otherwise you will normally be sold a right handed instrument.
It is therefore essential to specify this right from the start.
It is also important to understand that which ever way you decide to play, both hands are going to have to learn some deft skills in order to achieve a high degree of manual dexterity.
Fig. 2 Left Handed Guitars
Since the 1950's and onwards the left handed guitars have gained a level of notoriety in the hands of a number of iconic rock legends.
The late great Jimmy Hendrix, Paul McCartney and Kurt Cobain all played left handed Guitars, along with many others, too few to mention.
Whilst left handed guitars are certainly available today, the range is limited and you may have to pay a premium, not necessarily right now, but maybe at a future time if you are drawn to a particular brand. Consideration should also be given to selling on a left handed guitar, as lack of demand can make this a difficult task.
Be aware that when you hold any guitar for the very first time it can feel very awkward, and this feeling can grow still further when you try and coordinate left and right hands. The time involved in overcoming this is normally short lived providing you choose the right beginner guitar and of course practice regularly. This is why I always recommend starting right handed if you can. Don't be fooled into thinking a lack of progress is purely down to your choice of hand. It's arguably just as hard (or easy) to master either right or left hand, therefore choosing right hand simply makes more sense.
And finally. Mastering the guitar is all about comfort, feel and touch. Therefore, if the instrument feels more natural and comfortable left handed and you have considered everything I have mentioned above, then of course go ahead and learn the way that feels best for you. Just be aware that you will need your strongest hand for the fret board (In the case of a right hander that’s your left and Visa- versa) and this is of special importance for forming barre chords. A barre chord requires a strong index finger to bar all six strings.
Article Author: Rick Collins – Google