Firstly, I am a left handed guitarist. Every bit of frustration, anger, resentment, or apathy you have ever felt about left handed guitars or about being a left handed guitarist I too have experienced. I know what it is like! Only a left handed player knows.
Being a lefty guitarist or bassist is a bit like being part of a family that you didn’t necessarily want to be part of, but by circumstance you ended up being a member of anyway. If you are a lefty player you are a member of a unique family spread around the world. Like any member of any family, you can be close to other members of the family or you can be distant from or even oblivious of them. But you are still a part of that family.
There are three fundamental facts that unites all lefty players in the world:
- You are in the minority,
- left handed guitars and basses are harder to come by than right handed ones,
- Only left handed players know and understand what it is like to be in this situation.
Because you are “the minority”, large corporate musical instrument makers are inclined to pay little attention to you. You are not a “market” in the eyes of some of these companies. Big corporations are money-motivated first, and customer service motivated second, no matter what their spin is. This is good enough reason for guitar manufacturers to not make or offer their product range in lefty versions. They can sell right handed guitars any day of the week. They might sell a left handed guitar once in a blue moon. That’s what they think. “Not sustainable.” This is what every single guitar brand in the world that does not make left handed guitars says is the reason for why they do not make left handed guitars.
Other top-rated “reasons” guitar manufacturers use to justify why they don’t make left handed guitars are:
- “It costs too much money to make left handed guitars”,
- “Making lefties is harder than making righties because we have to re tool/re-program everything”
- “We have to shut the factory down for a whole day just to make a run of lefties.”
These are real, stated reasons by the “big brands.” You may have even heard some of these yourself.
It is not necessarily true that making left handed guitars is “harder” than making right handed guitars.
The great Gibson Guitar Corporation has been in existence for 112 years. They have many popular guitars. Next to Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, they are the second most popular guitar brand in the world. Their most popular and well-known product is the Les Paul. They begrudgingly make a few left handed Les Pauls out of their factory in China under the Epiphone brand, but they do not make Explorers, Firebirds, or Flying Vs in left hand. Considering that an Explorer is a slab-body guitar and can simply be flipped and made left handed with a whole less trouble, time or cost than a Les Paul which has a carved top, tells you that any reason given stating “difficulty” and “tooling” is completely BOGUS. Same with a Flying V. The easiest guitars in the world to make are slab-body guitars. They can be made left handed just as easily as right handed. Anything said to the contrary is simply a LIE.
Some companies give token offerings. They might make a lefty version of a right handed model that sells well but in one or two colours, usually black or sunburst. And this is somehow supposed to appease us? If you can paint a guitar black or sunburst then why not another colour? FACT: A burst is harder and more time consuming than a solid colour, and black is a colour that has to be done with much higher precision than any other colour as it shows up the smallest imperfections that other colours don’t. That is the nature of the colour black. Two complex paint choices, yet they paint those and tell us that there is nothing else available? Really?
Then to cap it all off, left handed instruments are usually charged out at 10-20% more than the right handed equivalent. Supposedly because it “costs more to make a left handed guitar.” What absolute nonsense! That 10-20% upcharge is nothing but a face-to-face insult to you as a lefty player. It’s a penalty fee for being a left handed guitarist. Make no mistake. Do not be fooled.
Why should you support that? Why should you give your hard earned money to those people? Why should you have to force a smile and be “thankful” as you take a knife in the back? Are you ok with that?
I am not.
If you are, then I feel sorry for you.
- I believe lefty guitarists and lefty bass players don’t deserve any of that.
- I believe lefty players deserve equal opportunity and shouldn’t have to be penalized.
- I believe lefty players should have exactly the instrument they want, in the colour they want, with the hardware they want, and in the style they want. And they should be high quality, professional guitars that should be equal if not better than the best guitars in the world. And they should not cost an outrageous amount of money.
- I disagree with the money-driven, sterile and generic guitar corporations that ignore or neglect us lefties.
- I believe you too should not tolerate this – not for even an instant.
I make left handed guitars only. As lefties we might only be 10% of the market overall but Gaskell is 100% of that 10%. I make the best left handed instruments in the world. And that is why you should be buy a Gaskell. Support those who support you, not the big corporations that disrespect you for being a lefty player. The day is never going to come when Gibson makes a left handed Explorer or a left handed Flying V. Stop waiting. Stop being a slave to these money-hungry, corporation-mentality clowns. Buy Gaskell guitars and basses.
Every Gaskell player is part of the Gaskell family. They are all happy family members who have had their dreams realized, often for the first time in their lives. That can be you too. We look after lefty players. No one else does to this degree. We are it. You have found us. You have found your family.
Latest revision January 26, 2016.