How to Make a Right-Handed Guitar Left-Handed

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Converting a right-handed guitar for a left-handed player varies in difficulty depending on the type of guitar and type of saddle mount. If you are converting your guitar for a new player who is left-handed, first check to see if he is able to play the guitar right-handed. Many lefties naturally play guitar right-handed. If your guitar is particularly valuable to you, have a professional perform the conversion.

Things You'll Need

  • New strings New nut Screwdriver Wood glue Pick guard
  • Examine your guitar. If the saddle mount is not straight across it will have to be changed by a professional.

  • Remove the old strings. Lightly tap around the edges of the nut until it comes loose. If it has been painted or varnished over, first take a razor to cut the paint around the edges of the nut so you don't damage the finish on the guitar neck.

  • Turn the nut upside down (180 degrees) and see if it fits. If it does not, you will have to purchase a blank and customize it to fit your guitar or have one made. Place the nut in the slot, upside down from the original, making sure it is the same height as the old one.

  • String the guitar opposite from a right-handed guitar, so the high E string takes the place of the low E string and the rest of the strings follow the reversal.

  • Tune the guitar. If the string is plucked open and there is no buzzing sound, the nut is at the correct height. If there is a buzzing sound, adjust the height of the nut until there is no buzz.

  • Loosen the strings so you can glue the nut in place. Use a very small amount of glue. Retune the guitar.

Tips & Warnings

  • Install a new pick guard on the opposite side to protect your guitar. Fender guitars are fairly easy to convert, while Gibson guitars tend to be more difficult.
  • Do not attempt this conversion if your guitar is very valuable (either monetarily or sentimentally). Find a professional to do it for you.

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