I’m a left-handed person but a right-handed guitarist, so I kind of feel like a traitor in addressing the concerns of the left-handed guitar population. No one knows what the ratio of left-handed to right-handed people is, but most guesses put it around 10%.  But, a lot of guitar players are like me and wind up playing right handed.  A lot of times this is due to no left-handed guitar being available, which is the case with me where my older right-handed brother got a guitar first and I learned to play it.  Also, there are probably degrees of left-handedness, meaning some people will find switching OK and others won’t feel comfortable.  Plus, I’m kind of skeptical about handedness for guitar playing in the first place, since you really need a lot of dexterity in both hands to play.

Some famous guitarists who are left-handed but play right include Mark Knopfler, Duane Allman, and Gary Moore – and there are many more.

Apparently Michael Angelo Batio is left-handed, but I can’t really figure out if he’s a left-handed or right-handed guitarist.  (Note: I have met Michael a number of times and he is a super-nice guy and a MONSTER player).

 

It’s unknown how many left-handed guitarists are out there, but I have heard some industry guesses putting it at about 4% of the population.  This creates a huge problem, as left-handed players deserve as much selection as right-handed players do, but it’s hard for manufacturers to have this make business sense.  And I have to admit sometimes retailers like us don’t do as good a job as we could in stocking left-handed stuff. It’s especially hard for electric guitar manufacturers, as many of the components on an electric guitar can’t be flipped over, meaning they would have to incur serious costs in tooling up for left-handed parts.  In most cases this doesn’t make financial sense, so left-handed players are left with few choices, and in some cases major manufacturers don’t make even a single left-handed guitar.

Fortunately, acoustic guitar manufacturers (and players) have it a bit easier, as most major acoustic brands like Taylor, Martin, and Larrivee offer most of their models left-handed and at no additional charge.  I think this is because most components for acoustic guitars are made on CNC machines, which can easily be programmed to make the parts opposite to what they normally are, so there are fewer costs and problems with parts.

So all of this is a long-winded way of saying we finally have a situation where left-handed players win.  We will be having a left-handed event Saturday February the 22nd in our Langley store (19638 Fraser Highway at Willowbrook), featuring a nice selection of left-Handed Taylor guitars at really great prices.  I was able to make a great buy on some amazing guitars, and we will be passing on the (very significant) savings.  We have some really unique guitars such as 12-strings, a rare left-handed baritone, a couple of koa models, and more – about 15 guitars in total (please note all guitars subject to prior sale).  Here’s a quick look:

If you are still reading at this point, I realize this doesn’t apply to about 96% of you – however if you happen to know a left-handed guitarist, you might want to pass this along to them, because they really deserve a nice selection of premium left-handed guitars at really great prices.

And if you can’t make it to Langley, after the weekend any guitars that haven’t sold can be transferred to any of our stores for you to try – just ask our store staff at any of our locations.

Brendan Jang- Guitar and Drum Buyer at Tom Lee Music - has over two decades of experience in the musical instrument industry. He takes comfort in knowing even if he had learned to play left-handed, he wouldn’t have been anywhere near as good as Hendrix, McCartney, or Cobain.