How to obtain a left handed guitar from a right handed one?

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Answered by: Aditi, An Expert in the Types of Guitars Category
People who develop an interest in playing guitar probably thank their lucky stars that they are right-handed (that is, the hand that they use to strum the strings)! It's a common perception that left handed guitars aren't found easily. For this reason, parents who have/want musically gifted children make sure their kids grow up to be right handed, or better yet, ambidextrous.

Here's something the newbie guitarists have probably thought of before: Can we not hold the same guitar the other way round and strum with our left hand?

Many people would have mindlessly said "No! Of course not!"

Why? Since the order of strings is reversed once you rotate the guitar, it will not produce the same music unless you train yourself to hold the chords in a reverse order as well! Agreed?

The truth is, yes, you can convert a right handed guitar into a left handed one - provided you make certain changes.

The solution is to simply remove all strings from the guitar and place them in a reverse fashion, where the thinnest string (initially 1st from the bottom) comes to the top and the thickest string (initially 1st from the top) goes to the bottom, same for all other strings - as seen from the viewpoint of a right handed guitarist.

Once you rotate your guitar 180 degrees, you'll have a left handed guitar - all set to be played by you - and your right handed friend can play it as well, provided they have the patience to reverse the order of strings!

Jimi Hendrix, a celebrated musician, used the above mentioned technique to play guitar, and he has been one of the most legendary guitarists in the history of music!

Albert King, an influential Blues guitarist and singer, played his guitar with his left hand, without reversing the order of strings! He added a lot of originality and weirdness to his compositions, which is amazing.

Lastly, sometimes people who are naturally right handed aren't comfortable strumming / picking / plucking with their right hands. In case you are a right handed person, don't feel disheartened if you aren't able to play the guitar well! Using the above mentioned method, convert your regular guitar into a left handed one then try playing with your left hand and see if you can conceive concepts faster.

Similarly, a lot of left handed people play guitar with their right hands, including myself. To a lot of people it is quite shocking, but it's a matter of pride for me. So do not worry about being judged, everyone is unique and this is a very cool reason for people to remember you after a great performance with your band!

So, good luck! Be careful with the strings. It may seem odd initially, but it's really better than seeking and buying "left handed" instruments (or so the shopkeeper will call the guitars), and paying double the price!

Hope this was helpful. May you produce beautiful melodies on your guitar!

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