From Jimi Hendrix to Kurt Cobain, some of the world’s most famous guitarists share one thing in common – they’re left-handed.
In a right-handed dominated world, those born left-handed get used to doing things a bit differently. Some great players like Albert King actually learned how to play by flipping a right-handed guitar upside down with the strings reversed!
Fortunately, these days there are plenty of options out there for left-handed guitarists to learn on guitars designed for their hand orientation. But with more options available than ever, it can be tough to know where to begin.
In this guide, we’ll explore the 10 best left-handed acoustic guitars for beginners. We’ll look at options for every budget, as well as different styles for a wide variety of genres. We’ll also take a look at important factors to consider like build quality, sound and playability.
Ready to take a left turn? Let’s go!.
The Best Left-Handed Acoustic Guitars for Beginners
- Yamaha FG820 Dreadnought – Our Pick
- Rogue RG-624 – Budget Pick
- Ibanez Performance Series PF15 – Best Under $200
- Fender CD-60S – Best Under $300
- Taylor GS Mini Mahogany – Best Under $500
- Guild M-120 Concert – Best Value
- Taylor 214ce – Best Under $1000
- Ibanez AW54LCE – Best Acoustic-Electric
- Martin LX1RE Little Martin – Best for Small Hands
- Cordoba GK Studio – Best Nylon String
Yamaha FG820 Dreadnought – Best Left-Handed Acoustic Guitar Overall
For a solid dreadnought acoustic guitar at a price that won’t break the bank, look no further than the Yamaha FG820.
The FG820 employs a classic acoustic guitar design, using traditional tonewoods for its build. The top is made of solid spruce, a classic choice for warm tone and a traditional look. The back and sides are made of mahogany, another classic choice for well-balanced tones that sound full while retaining the clarity of the top-end.
The Standard-shaped neck and rosewood fingerboard ensure easy playability, while the FG820 also comes set up for low action – perfect for beginners.
Another cool feature of the FG820 is that includes scalloped bracing, which is perfect for bringing out the low end and increases projection. Standard die-cast tuners and a rosewood bridge complete the solid package.
For those just starting out on acoustic guitar, you can’t go wrong with Yamaha. They’ve been making affordable yet great quality instruments for decades. Their FG series is currently the best-selling acoustic guitar series in the world. For under $400, you get a solid dreadnought instrument that you’ll likely hold onto for years to come even as you advance as a player. You could always spend more, but there’s no reason to. That’s why the Yamaha FG820 is our Editor’s Pick.
- Solid build quality
- Classic design, tonewoods
- Yamaha reputation
- Made in China
- Doesn’t come with gig bag or case
Read Also: The 10 Best Dreadnought Guitars
Rogue RG-624 – Best Cheap Left-Handed Acoustic Guitar
If you’re really on a budget or aren’t sure if guitar is for you, the Rogue RG-624 is a great way to get your feet wet without making a big investment.
At just around 100 bucks, the RG-624 is about as inexpensive as you can get for a beginner guitar. But that doesn’t mean that it’s a toy, either.
The RG-624 features a traditional spruce top for a classic, warm sound, as well as inlaid body binding. It also uses a standard dreadnought design which is great for projection and those percussive qualities that we all love in acoustic guitars.
A nice perk to the RG-624 is that it comes strung up with a pair of Martin strings. While this won’t make the Rogue sound or play like a more expensive Martin, it’s a nice touch and a definite step-up from the cheap, generic strings that many guitars at this price-point come with.
For under $100, you are getting a solid, starter dreadnought acoustic guitar. While it may not have the build quality and materials of more expensive guitars, it should do the job as an instrument to start learning on.
Many great players began on cheaper instruments to learn the fundamentals and establish callouses early on. Whether the instrument is for yourself or for a child with several other interests, you can’t go wrong with the amount of money invested.
- Very affordable
- Real guitar; not a toy
- Martin strings
- Cheaper components, build quality
- Set up & tuning issues
Ibanez Performance Series PF15 – Best Left-Handed Acoustic Guitar Under $200
If your budget is a little bit higher than the Rogue guitar but you still want to stay under the $200 range, the Ibanez Performance Series PF15 may be your best bet.
Another classic dreadnought design, the PF15 has a spruce top with mahogany back and sides. It also employs a black-and-white multi-rosette with a natural high-gloss finish and chrome die-cast tuners. While these aren’t the highest quality components money can buy, they will definitely get the job done, especially for a beginner instrument.
Being a dreadnought, this is a guitar that will have a very full projection with a strong low end and well-balanced mids. Being an Ibanez, it’s sure to be a well-made, quality instrument that will stand up to years of use.
The PF15 is another great option for beginners who don’t want to spend a ton of cash upfront. It’s a little bit more costly than the Rogue, but it’s also a little bit higher quality. Ibanez always makes solid instruments, so you’re not taking a huge risk in picking their brand. The cost is also relatively minimal, so if you decide guitar isn’t for you or you want to upgrade to something else, it’s not a huge deal.
- Affordable yet solid
- Ibanez quality
- No gig bag
- Cheaper components
Fender CD-60S – Best Left-Handed Acoustic GuitarUnder $300
For an affordable classic acoustic guitar design from a classic company, take a look at the Fender CD-60S.
While Fender is best known for their classic electric guitars like the Stratocaster and Telecaster, they’ve been making solid acoustic guitars for years. The CD-60S is an entry-level Classic Design model that’s been recently redesigned to give you more bang for your buck.
The CD-60S is another dreadnought shape, with a solid spruce top and mahogany back and sides. A walnut fingerboard also offers smooth playability, while the easy-to-play neck comes with comfortably rolled fingerboard edges for a great feel.
Other great features of the CD-60S are its CD series pearloid rosette, multiple body binding and rosewood bridge. It also includes chrome hardware and Fender’s Dura-Tone coated 80/20 bronze strings for longer life and brightness.
The CD-60S would be a great first acoustic guitar for those looking for the reliability of the Fender name at an affordable price. At well under $300, it’s a nice step up from the previous two models on this list, for not much more money. This would be a solid first guitar for any aspiring southpaw picker. At this price, you can’t really go wrong.
- Fender name, affordable price
- Upgraded design
- Made in Indonesia
- No gig bag
Taylor GS Mini Mahogany – Best Left-Handed Acoustic Guitar Under $500
For a left-handed acoustic guitar that will be a professional-level instrument you can play for years to come, check out the Taylor GS Mini Mahogany.
Along with Martin, Taylor is one of the top brands for acoustic guitars. They are known for making some of the highest quality instruments anywhere. And while many of their models cater to a high-end clientele, they also have plenty of reasonable options.
The Mini Mahogany gives you Taylor quality in a smaller, more affordable package. As the name implies, it features a mahogany top. This will be a bit warmer than a spruce top, while still retaining plenty of punch and rich sound. The back and sides are made of layered sapele, which is great for stability.
One of the cool things about the Mini Mahogany is its smaller size. This reduced size, along with a shorter 23.5” scale length, makes it much easier to play for those with small hands. It would also be a great first guitar for a young person who might be overwhelmed by a larger, dreadnought-style guitar.
Other cool features of the GS Mini Mahogany are its ebony fingerboard, 3-ring rosette accent and TUSQ nut for stable tuning. Taylor definitely didn’t cut any corners with the hardware and materials of this guitar.
The Mini Mahogany would be a great guitar for those who are serious about learning the instrument and want something they can grow with for many years. It would also make a great guitar for younger people and adults with smaller hands, due to its reduced size. And since it comes with a hard bag, it could also make a great travel guitar!
For under $500, you probably won’t find a higher quality left-handed acoustic guitar. You’re getting the Taylor name and the craftsmanship that comes along with it. For many players, that will be worth it.
- Taylor quality
- Smaller size, scale length
- Rich, full sound in small package
- No electronics, at this price
Guild M-120 Concert – Best Value Left-Handed Acoustic Guitar
Though not quite as well known as Martin or Taylor, Guild have been making high quality acoustic guitars for decades. The Guild M-120 Concert is no exception.
The M-120 is made of solid mahogany for its top and body, giving the instrument a rich, warm tone to compliment its concert body style. This type of body style is perfect for fingerpicking and single note lines, as well as rich, full chords.
For playability, the M-120 features a comfortable C-shape neck with a classic rosewood fingerboard. This makes for a smooth playing experience up and down the neck.
Another great thing about the M-120 is that it’s built in Guild’s new Rhode Island facility. This larger space ensures quality control and American craftsmanship that you rarely see in guitars at this price point.
Guild also didn’t cut any corners with the materials for this guitar. The M-120 includes a mother-of-pearl rosette soundhole, a genuine rosewood bridge, as well as a bone nut and saddle. It also uses scalloped spruce X-bracing for additional sustain and resonance. These are the type of premium appointments you usually find in guitars over $1,000, but Guild includes them here for under $700. For an American-made guitar at this price point, that’s an incredible value.
- American made, high quality
- Concert shape
- Top materials and wood
- No electronics
- Gig bag, no case
Taylor 214ce – Best Left-Handed Acoustic Guitar Under $1,000
If you’ve got a bigger budget and are looking for the best overall left-handed acoustic guitar under $1,000, look no further than the Taylor 214ce.
We’ve already said that Taylor makes some of the best acoustic instruments around, and that’s undoubtedly true about the 214ce. That quality starts with its solid Sitka spruce top and Koa back and sides for excellent depth and projection. A smooth ebony fingerboard ensures easy playability.
One cool thing about the 214ce is its Grand Auditorium body style with a cutaway. This body style gives you the width and depth of a dreadnought with a narrower waist. The cutaway makes it easier to reach higher frets. These guitars are popular live instruments because they can also be easily played while standing up.
Another great feature of the 214ce is its premium Taylor electronics. The ES2 amplification system uses a behind-the-saddle pickup combined with an active preamp. This combination gives you a clear, hi-fi tone with low noise.
The 214ce also includes an ebony bridge, TUSQ nut and Micarta saddle. These appointments ensure you’re getting a pro-level guitar that would be at home on stage or in the studio.
While we wouldn’t recommend the 214ce to an absolute beginner because of the price, it would make a great first acoustic for someone who has been playing electric a few years and wants something different. If you’ve got the $, you might as well get the best you can afford.
- Taylor build quality
- Great electronics
- High quality materials
- No case, gig bag included
Ibanez AW54LCE – Best Left-Handed Acoustic-Electric
If you’re in the market for a solid, affordable acoustic/electric guitar for lefties, check out the Ibanez AW54LCE.
The AW54LCE is a dreadnought with a cutaway, a great combination for those who want a big, full sound but also want to reach higher frets. It’s made of solid okoume, a naturally warm wood. To balance that warmth, Ibanez employs X-bracing to give you a wide-ranging tone that doesn’t get too muddy.
The AW54LCE also features a nyatoh neck with an ovangkol fingerboard for smooth playability and solid action. Part of Ibanez’s Artwood series, the AW54LCE uses a combination of these quality tonewoods with fine construction techniques.
Another great feature of the AW54LCE is its electronics. It uses Fishman’s Sonicore pickup, along with Ibanez’s AEQ-TP2 preamp. Fishman is pretty much the standard for acoustic electronics, so that’s a great deal for a guitar in this price range. You also get a built-in tuner to make sure you stay in tune on stage or at home.
The AW54LCE would make a great first acoustic/electric guitar for someone who really wants to hit the ground running. At under $400, it’s an affordable option with good quality components. While you may not need the electronics immediately, they will really come in handy when you want to try attending your first open mics and jams.
- Quality tonewoods and construction
- Fishman electronics
- Plastic nut & saddle
- No gig bag
Martin LX1RE Little Martin – Best Left-Handed Acoustic Guitar for Small Hands
If you’re looking to buy a guitar for a younger person, or you’re an adult with smaller hands, sometimes dealing with a full-size dreadnought acoustic can be tough. That’s where the LX1RE Little Martin comes in.
The Little Martin is more of a travel-sized guitar, with a shorter 23” scale length. That means less space in-between frets, and less ground to cover overall. That’s perfect for beginning students or those with small hands, especially when trying to stretch for your first chords.
Beyond its size, the Little Martin is built with the same quality as any other Martin. It starts with a solid sitka spruce top, which is complimented by rosewood patterned HPL back and sides. In a nod to sustainability, the neck is made of Rust Birch laminate, while the fingerboard and bridge are made of FSC Certified Richlite.
Another cool feature of the LX1RE is its electronics. Martin employs an industry standard Fishman Sonitone system, with the preamp mounted inside the soundhole. For a travel-sized guitar, having electronics like this is a definite plus.
For under $500, the LX1RE Little Martin would make a great first guitar for a smaller student, or anyone with smaller hands in general. You’re getting a well-made guitar with electronics in a smaller footprint. And since it’s made of sustainable materials, it won’t be susceptible to temperature and humidity changes. For a small guitar, that’s a lot of bang for your buck!
- Small size; great for small hands
- Fishman electronics
- Sustainable materials
- Not as full sound as larger guitar
Read Also: The 10 Best Guitars for Small Hands
Cordoba GK Studio – Best Left-Handed Nylon String Guitar
What if you’re a left-handed player who is more interested in classical guitar, or just wants the more mellow sound of nylon strings? Enter the Cordoba GK Studio.
Cordoba makes excellent nylon string guitars at pretty much every price point, and the GK Studio is definitely no exception. It starts with a solid European spruce top. The back and sides are comprised of cypress, while the mahogany neck is slightly thinner than most classical-style guitars.
Another cool perk you get with this guitar is its pickup system. Cordoba uses the Fishman Presys Blend system, a great fit for this guitar. The side-mounted preamp gives you 3-band EQ, along with controls for notch, mic blend and phase. As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also a built-in tuner!
Other great features of the GK Studio include gold tuning machines, along with a bone nut and saddle. There’s also Spanish style fan bracing, which is preferred over lattice bracing because it allows the guitar to vibrate more freely.
At just under $700, the Cordoba GK Studio is a reasonably priced acoustic/electric nylon string guitar for left-handed players. Many classical-style guitars go for several thousand dollars, so finding a high-quality guitar in this style for under a grand is always nice. It’s not exactly cheap, but it should provide you enjoyment for years to come, both on stage and in the studio.
- Well made, affordable
- Fishman electronics
- Fan bracing
- No case or gig bag
Read Also: The 10 Best Acoustic Guitars for Fingerstyle
How to Choose The Best Left-Handed Acoustic Guitar
Now that we’ve looked at each guitar individually, let’s explore some other factors to consider when buying a left-handed acoustic guitar.
Materials & Build Quality
As with any guitar, the materials used and the way they are assembled is a major factor in how that instrument plays and sounds.
Since we covered a range of price points here, there will also be a range of quality. The Taylor guitars are going to be made with nicer materials, and will have more care and attention to detail than something like the Rogue or the Ibanez PF15.
On some of the more expensive options like the Cordoba GK Studio and the Guild M-120, you’re getting nicer appointments like a bone nut and saddle. The Taylor Mini Mahogany uses TUSQ, which is also a great material just under bone. For the more affordable models like the Rogue and Ibanez models, we see plastic nuts and saddles. That’s not a dealbreaker and it’s something that can easily be upgraded, but it’s definitely a difference in quality.
Build quality can also be dependent in part on where a guitar is made. Guild is building guitars in their Rhode Island factory. Finding “Made in the USA” guitars these days for under $1,000 is pretty rare. A budget company like Rogue manufactures their guitars in South Korea, while Ibanez builds many of their budget models in Indonesia. These guitars can still be well-made, solid instruments, but labor laws in these countries are less-stringent and costs are cut there as well as in the quality of materials used.
The shape of a guitar can really affect how comfortable it is to each individual player. A small child might not be able to get their hands around a full-size dreadnought or jumbo acoustic, while someone with fat fingers may find playing a Little Martin incredibly comical.
For young players and those with smaller hands, something like the Taylor Mini Mahogany or the Little Martin would be perfect. For larger youths and adults, the Fender CD-60S or Ibanez AW54LCE would work great. Go with what is most comfortable for you.
If you’re looking to play higher up the neck, you may want a guitar with a cutaway. The Ibanez AW54LCE would be a great option, as well as the Taylor 214ce.
Ideally, you want a guitar that’s easy to play, especially if you’re a beginner. While that can be simply an issue of how the guitar is set up, materials play a factor as well.
The thinner neck of the Cordoba GK Studio is definitely gonna be easier for many than the thicker necks of most classical-style guitars. The Guild M-120 Concert has a smooth C-shape neck that is very comfortable and perfect for fingerstyle as well as flat-picking.
Generally speaking, the nicer a guitar is, the easier it will be to play. However, getting a good set up on a cheaper instrument can go a long way to making it play better, especially if it comes from the factory with high action. Polishes like lemon oil can also help make the fingerboard smoother and faster to play. And there’s always lighter strings!
While sound can be an individual preference thing, there are general buzz words we all seem to like with acoustic guitars. Things like warmth, depth, projection, full-bodied, etc.
Usually, the larger the guitar, the more full it will sound and the more volume it will project. However, thinner and smaller guitars can also be very resonant and cut through a mix better.
A guitar like the Yamaha FG820 will have that classic acoustic sound we usually think of. It’s using traditional woods like spruce, mahogany and rosewood, and it has the standard dreadnought body shape.
The Taylor Mini Mahogany compensates for its smaller size by using a mahogany top instead of spruce, which gives it a warmer, fuller sound in a smaller package.
Different shapes can be preferable for different styles, as well. A concert-shape like the Guild M-120 is well-known for its articulate single-note tones, while a dreadnought like the Yamaha FG820 may work better for percussive strumming. But you can also fingerpick on the Yamaha and strum on the Guild and they will both sound great. Experiment to find what best matches the sound in your head.
Everything and everyone has a price. As with anything, you get what you pay for.
If this is your first guitar, or you’re buying it for a child who’s not sure if they’re going to stick with it, then something inexpensive like the Rogue RG-624 or Ibanez PF15 would be a low-risk way to decide if it’s for you.
However, if you’ve got more money to spend and want to start on something that is high quality, by all means go for something like the Taylor 214ce or Guild M-120. The upside to buying a bigger brand name is that those guitars will have better resale value, so even if you decide it’s not your thing, you should be able to recoup most of your investment.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to do the research and buy the guitar that is closest to your needs for the best available price. Hopefully this list is a big help in making that decision!
Recap of the Best Left-Handed Acoustic Guitars
|Left-Handed Acoustic Guitar||Award|
|Yamaha FG820 Dreadnought||Editor’s Choice|
|Rogue RG-624||Budget Pick|
|Ibanez Performance Series PF15||Best Under $200|
|Fender CD-60S||Best Under $300|
|Taylor GS Mini Mahogany||Best Under $500|
|Guild M-120 Concert||Best Value|
|Taylor 214ce||Best Under $1,000|
|Ibanez AW54LCE||Best Acoustic-Electric|
|Martin LX1RE Little Martin||Best for Small Hands|
|Cordoba GK Studio||Best Nylon String|
No matter which way you decide to go, there are plenty of great options for left-handed players on the market. While that hasn’t always been the case, we’re living in a great time for music gear in general, with more options than ever before. For lefties and righties alike, that’s pretty exciting! So enjoy the journey, and good luck in your search!