The guitar is one of the most popular and widely used musical instruments across the globe. From kids to adults, people of different age groups show interest in playing this magnificent and melodious musical instrument. Many people believe that the right-handed guitar is considered the dominant guitar design, which is completely misleading. One of the benefits of learning guitar is learning the instrument without compromising your comfort or changing your dominant hand. 

Guitar designs come in both left and right-handed varieties. You can choose the type of guitar based on your guitar playing preferences or comfort while playing the instrument. Some people are comfortable with right-handed guitar despite being left-hand users, while others stick to their dominant hand. Playing guitar is complex and it takes time to understand which hand can be considered the dominant while playing the instrument. 

If you are a beginner, this guide can assist you in determining the type of guitar and playing style suitable for you. Without wasting any time further, here is everything you need to know about left-handed vs right-handed guitar.

Difference Between a Left-Handed and Right-Handed Guitar

Before getting deep into the difference between a left and right-handed guitar, it is vital to understand the definition of left and right-handed guitar.

When playing a right-handed guitar, you have to use your left hand to press the chords or strings on the fretboard and right hand to play different strumming patterns. Whereas for left-handed guitar, you have to use your right hand to press chords and your left hand to strike different strumming patterns.

1. Strings placement  The major difference between left-handed vs right-handed guitars is the size of the strings. The thickest string on the right-handed guitar will always be on the left side, whereas the thickest string on the left-handed guitar will be on the right side.
2. Guitar design The design of the left-handed guitar will be different from the design of a regular guitar. Generally, it is not that easy to identify the design for left-handed guitars. You can consider asking staff members present in the store for better guidance. 
3. Pickguard  Pickguard is one of the best ways to identify whether you can play the guitar left-handed or right-handed. For the left-handed guitar, the pickguard will be on the left side of the instrument and the right side for the right-handed guitar. 
4. Nut orientation  Nut orientation can also help you determine which side should you play ( left-handed or right-handed) the guitar. Based on the slot of the string on nut orientation, you can easily verify whether it is a left-handed or right-handed guitar. 
5. Fretboard marks  Lastly, fretboard marks can also assist in determining which side should you play the guitar on. 

The little dots on the outer part of the fretboards are called freeboard marks. If the marks on the board are facing you when playing the instrument, the guitar is perfect for your playing style. However, if it is flipped, then the design is not suitable for your dominant hand playing style. 

FAQ For Left Handed vs Right Handed Guitar

I’m left-handed. Should I learn guitar right-handed?

Absolutely not! Fortunately, guitars come in both left and right-handed designs, so that players don’t have to compromise their playing style or preferences to play their favorite instrument. Nevertheless, if you are comfortable with left-handed guitars despite being a right-hand user or vice versa, you can play the instrument the way you want.

How to play guitar right-handed?

It is easier to play a right-handed guitar. All you need to do is press the strings/chords on the fretboard with your left hand and use your right hand to strike the strumming pattern. The hand used to play different strumming patterns is generally considered the dominant hand.

You can also enroll in our guitar lessons today to start to your musical journey.

How to play guitar left-handed?

For left-handed guitar, your playing pattern will be the opposite of right-handed guitar. You will use your right hand to press the chords on the fretboard and your left hand to strike strumming patterns on your guitar. With sheer consistency and practice, you can become a pro guitarist within a year or so.

How to hold a guitar if you are right-handed?

For beginners, we suggest playing guitar in the sitting position during their initial months. Learning guitar in a sitting position can help you achieve a better playing grasp of the instrument and avoid making silly mistakes right from the beginning. 

The waist of the right-handed guitar or the curve portion of the guitar should rest on your thigh while playing in the sitting position. Use your left hand or fingers to press the strings and your left thumb to hold the outer portion (curved portion) of the fretboard. Your right hand should be on the strumming board.

Can a left-handed person play a right-handed guitar?

Yes, if you are comfortable playing guitar with your right hand, you can easily play a right-handed guitar. However, we suggest playing guitar with your dominant hand as it makes learning fast and efficient.

How much does a left-handed guitar cost?

The price of the left-handed guitar depends majorly on the brand and type of material used to make a guitar. Depending on the quality, production country, size of the guitar, type of material used, and other guitar accessories the price of the left-handed guitar can vary.


How much does a right-handed guitar cost?

Similarly, depending on several factors, the price of a right-handed guitar can vary. Whether you plan to buy a left-handed or a right-handed guitar, you won’t notice much difference in their price. A brand might sell both types of guitars for the same price or with slight differences based on different factors.

How much does an electric guitar cost?

Compared to acoustic guitars, electric guitars can be quite expensive. The price difference might be huge (thousands of dollars or even more). You can purchase the one that fits well with your budget and other preferences.

Whether you are looking for guitar lessons or music lessons for kids, at Anselmo Academy, you can find a wide range of music and instrument lesson options to choose from. Contact us at (212)-665-9051 to learn more about our music lesson packages or the benefits of learning guitar.