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Best left-handed guitars 2020: southpaws, these are the top left-handed guitars for you

Best left-handed guitars 2020: southpaws, these are the top left-handed guitars for you
(Image credit: Getty/Wachiwit)

Over the last two decades, there has never been more left-handed guitars on the market than there are now. Instead of ordering specialist instruments months in advance at considerable mark-ups, you can now walk into virtually any guitar store and find great options at all price points for the best left-handed electric guitars and acoustic guitars.

Now we’re starting to see more lefty models priced exactly or almost the same as their right-handed equivalents, which is why we thought we’d round up all our favourite southpaw axes in one place…

Best left-handed guitars: The MusicRadar choice

Available in both Vintage Sunburst and Charcoal Burst, the PRS SE Custom 24 Lefty is one of the best-sounding and most versatile left-handed electric guitars you’ll find under $1,000/£1,000. The mahogany body packs plenty of punch for higher gain playing, though it can be easily tamed thanks to the push-pull pots for coil-split pickup configurations, making it our top pick for the best left-handed guitar.

We also heartily recommend the stunning Taylor 114ce-LH Grand Auditorium Acoustic-Electric. Granted it’s not as affordable as full-sized, entry-level acoustic guitars made by other brands, but what you do get is an instrument worthy of the iconic logo on its headstock. The perfect blend of quality woods and electronics makes this one of the top acoustics under $1,000/£1,000. 

Choosing the best left-handed guitar for you

With any electric guitar purchase, power should be one of the first aspects for consideration. A high-output ceramic pickup might not suit those searching for slinky tones, like funk or RnB players, and similarly a low-output single-coil might not have enough thickness and sonic mass for those who prefer higher gain tones.

That said – different things work for different artists – so follow your ears and don’t be afraid to break trends. For acoustics, the shape and size of the guitar is always an important factor. Some – particularly those who play leads or bend – prefer the cut and feel of parlour or auditorium instruments, others gravitate towards more chunky and rounded dreadnoughts and jumbos.

Looks can be deceiving here – a bigger guitar doesn’t necessarily mean a bigger sound – so it’s best to sit down, try a few and figure out which works best to your needs. Ready to find the best left-handed guitar for you? Let’s meet our top picks…

The best left-handed guitars to buy now

Best left-handed guitars: PRS SE Custom 24 Lefty

(Image credit: PRS)

1. PRS SE Custom 24 Lefty

An affordable Custom 24? Yep, it's as tempting as it sounds

Price: $829/£799/€899 | Body: Mahogany With Maple Veneer Top | Neck: Maple | Scale: 25" | Fingerboard: Rosewood | Frets: 24 | Pickups: 2x 85/15 'S' | Controls: Volume, tone (with push-pull coil-split), 3-way selector | Hardware: PRS vibrato, PRS tuners | Finish: Vintage Sunburst, Charcoal Burst

Sturdy vibrato system
Great pickups
Tad pricier than right-hand version
Maple veneer not the same as maple top

Bearing in mind just how much an American-made PRS Custom 24 sells for, this lefty in the more affordable SE range compromises very little on quality and build. The 85/15 'S' pickups offer plenty of power but there’s also added versatility thanks to its split coil options – meaning all kinds of tones can be covered with minimal ease. 

The PRS vibrato system is one of the best of its kind, it’s able to take a fair amount of abuse and hold tuning well while remaining more user-friendly than the double-locking tremolos made by companies like Floyd Rose and Kahler. Ultimately, you’re getting a guitar that looks and sounds very close to its bigger boutique-priced brother…

Read the full PRS SE Custom 24 review

Best left-handed guitars: Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro

(Image credit: Epiphone)

2. Epiphone Left Handed Les Paul Custom Pro

One of Gibson’s best-left handed guitars ever

Price: $709/£599/€555 | Body: Mahogany With Maple Veneer Top | Neck: Mahogany | Scale: 24.75" | Fingerboard: Rosewood | Frets: 22 | Pickups: ProBucker-2 (neck) ProBucker-3 (bridge) | Controls: Volume, tone (with push-pull coil-split), 3-way selector | Hardware: LockTone Tune-o-matic/Stopbar, Grover tuners | Finish: Ebony

Classic Les Paul looks
Options for coil splits
Compromises made with the woods

The ‘Black Beauty’ Custom with gold hardware is one of the most classic electric guitars of all-time, dating back to 1953 when Les Paul wanted to create a luxurious instrument that looked almost like a tuxedo. This Epiphone retains a lot of the characteristics you’d get from the much more expensive Gibson Custom Shop version, with a familiarity that feels authentic. 

The Probucker pickups are more than capable of capturing that famous Les Paul magic, and are actually even more versatile thanks to a split-coil mode not featured on the Gibson version. 

The main sacrifices made here are in the woods: the fretboard is Rosewood instead of Ebony, and the Epiphone maple veneer is much thinner than what you’d find on a Gibson maple top. Nevertheless, considering it costs six times less than its Custom Shop equivalent, this is easily one of the best Les Paul-shaped left-handed guitars out there.

Best left-handed guitars: Squier Classic Vibe '70s Stratocaster HSS

(Image credit: Squier)

3. Squier Classic Vibe '70s Stratocaster HSS Left-Handed

Quite possibly the best left-handed guitar under $400

Price: $399/£329/€369 | Body: Poplar | Neck: Maple | Scale: 25.55" | Fingerboard: Laurel | Frets: 21 | Pickups: 2x Fender Designed Alnico Single-Coils and 1x Fender Designed Alnico Humbucking | Controls: Master Volume, 2x Tone, 3-way selector | Hardware: 6-Saddle Vintage-Style Synchronized Tremolo, Vintage Tuners | Finish: Black

Extra power thanks to bridge humbucker
Ace performance for the small price tag
Only one finish

If you’re on the hunt for an affordable Fender Stratocaster with a bit more output, this Squier offers much of the glassiness Strats are renowned for, plus some additional power courtesy of its humbucker in the bridge. 

Instead of an alder or ash body and maple neck, as with the American-made Fenders, you’re getting cheaper tonewoods – poplar with laurel – but it still sounds close enough at this lower price. And with a 70s-era headstock, vintage-tinted glass neck finish and nickel-plated hardware, this is one left-handed guitar that definitely looks the part too…

Best left handed guitars: Taylor 114ce-LH Grand Auditorium Acoustic-Electric

(Image credit: Taylor)

4. Taylor 114ce-LH Grand Auditorium Acoustic-Electric

There's so much to love here if you're a singer-songwriter

Price: $899/£779/€899 | Body: Solid Sitka Spruce Top, Layered Walnut Back And Sides | Neck: Hard Rock Maple | Scale: 25.5" | Fingerboard: Genuine African Ebony | Frets: 20 | Preamp: Expression System 2 Professional Audio-Grade | Controls: Preamp EQ, Volume, Active Bass and Treble, Onboard Phase Switch | Hardware: Chrome Tuners with Chrome Buttons | Finish: Natural

Same price as right-handed version
Little compromise on quality
Great for singer-songwriters
Not a premium Taylor

It’s no secret that Taylor guitars have been producing some of the world’s best acoustics for nearly five decades. And while their instruments aren’t exactly known for being cheap, this entry-level grand auditorium acoustic-electric lives up to the brand’s pedigree and still feels like an instrument someone would treasure for life. 

The preamp controls and phase switch helps players dial even further into that sweet spot, though it has to be said these guitars also have a wonderfully balanced and articulate resonance unplugged. That makes them the perfect writing tool for those on the search for extra inspiration. 

Though it’s priced exactly the same as its right-handed version – which is great news for lefties – it may not be suited to those working to tighter budgets.

Best left-handed guitars: Fender American Original '60s Strat Left-Hand Guitar

(Image credit: Fender)

5. Fender American Original '60s Strat Left-Hand Guitar

The best left-handed guitar for Jimi Hendrix fans

Price: $1949.99/£1,659/€1,699 | Body: Alder | Neck: 1-Piece Maple | Scale: 25.5" | Fingerboard: Round Laminate Rosewood | Frets: 21 | Pickups: 3x Pure Vintage '65 single-coil | Controls: Master Volume, 2x Tone, 5-way selector | Hardware: 6-saddle vintage-style synchronized tremolo, Vintage-Style tuners | Finish: Olympic White

A classy and timeless design
One of the best American-made Strats
On the more expensive side of Fender

An American-made Strat is one of those guitars that everyone should own, no matter what style of music they play. The American Original '60s is very much the modern equivalent of what Jimi Hendrix rewrote the rulebook with five and a half decades ago, with an Olympic White body complimented by a mint green scratchplate. 

Though it boasts a modern fretboard radius and modern switching, the wax-potted Pure Vintage '65 single-coil Stratocaster pickups are about as period-correct as you can get. And the thinner Nitro-Cellulose finish enables the wood to breathe and age like the classic Strats of the 60s. All of that gives you vintage looks and tones which, combined with modern functionality and versatility, are virtually unbeatable.

Read the full Fender American Original '60s Strat review

Best left-handed guitars: Gretsch Guitars G5622LH Electromatic Center-Block

(Image credit: Gretsch)

6. Gretsch Guitars G5622LH Electromatic Center-Block

Get your country/rockabilly on with this super-cool left-handed guitar

Price: $799/£649/€789 | Body: Maple | Neck: Maple | Scale: 24.6" | Fingerboard: Laurel | Frets: 22 | Pickups: 2x Broad'Tron Humbucking | Hardware: Adjusto-matic Bridge, Die-Cast Tuners | Finish: Georgia Green

Oozes Gretsch appeal
Cracking semi-hollow body for sub-$800
Might feel a bit bulky for some

With a silver pickguard, aged white body binding and finished in a gorgeous Georgia Green that packs plenty of vintage appeal, this G5622LH Electromatic Center-Block features a double-cutaway maple body with chambered spruce center block for dynamic resonance, high gain power and lightweight comfort. 

The two Broad’Tron humbuckers can cover a lot of tonal ground at all sorts of volumes without much worry of feeding back. It’s designed for everyone from country and rockabilly players to those in favour of metallic crunch. A great all-rounder left-handed guitar that screams old-school Gretsch without breaking the bank.

Best left-handed guitars: Fender Player Telecaster

(Image credit: Fender)

7. Fender Player Telecaster Left Handed

The best left-handed guitar for a traditional Tele twang

Price: $699.99/£549/€599 | Body: Alder | Neck: Maple | Scale: 25.5" | Fingerboard: Maple | Frets: 22 | Pickups: 2x Player Series single-coil Alnico | Hardware: 6 steel saddle string-through-body, Die Cast Sealed Tuners | Finish: Butterscotch Blonde, 3-Color Sunburst, Black

Amazing value for money
Butterscotch Blonde finish is ace
High gain players may prefer a Tele Deluxe

The Fender Player series could very well be one of the most popular lines of guitars to come out of the Ensenada factory – bringing those ground-breaking designs and tones to a more affordable price range with marginal sacrifices made along the way. 

The Player series instruments use the same kinds of woods – alder and maple – and the Player Series single-coil Alnico pickups are incredibly versatile, covering darker tones for rock and jazz just as well as the honky and high-endy sounds the Fender Telecaster has been long renowned for. 

The thru-body-strung, six-saddle bridge provides precise intonation and the steel saddles add some extra bite to the Tele’s traditional twang. And the option for Butterscotch Blonde means you can get one of the most famous Tele finishes of all-time on a budget. A worthy addition to our round-up of the best left-handed guitars.

Read the full Fender Player Telecaster review

Best left-handed guitars: Ibanez AEG19LII Acoustic-Electric

(Image credit: Ibanez)

8. Ibanez AEG19LII Acoustic-Electric

Beginner strummer? Grab a hold of this left-handed acoustic

Price: $399.99 | Body: Flamed Maple Top, Sapele Back & Sides | Neck: Nyatoh | Scale: 25.5" | Fingerboard: Laurel | Frets: 21 | Pickup/Preamp: Fishman Sonicore with Ibanez AEQ-SP1 | Hardware: Ibanez Advantage Bridge Pins | Finish: Transparent Tiger Eye

Huge performance for under $400
Fishman pickup with an Ibanez EQ system
Finish might not be for everyone

Perhaps compared to their electric guitars – favoured by metal musicians and jazz virtuosos alike – Ibanez’s acoustic instruments have often been the unsung heroes in the Japanese company’s catalogues. But few acoustic-electrics under $400 could out-perform this AEG19LII left-handed guitar, with its bold Transparent Tiger Eye finish and flamed maple top. 

Then there’s the Fishman Sonicore pickup, a welcome addition for those hoping to amplify themselves with extra control thanks to the Ibanez EQ system. At this price it’s an ideal acoustic guitar for beginners or a second guitar for anyone looking to get a bit more serious with their playing.