How To Properly String A Right-Handed Guitar For Left-Handed Playing

For those who want to do it right, this is not a simple job. First, you’ll have to cut a new nut, one that’s intended for left-handed playing. The reason is that a low E string is not meant to rest in the nut slot for a high string. In most cases, it won’t even fit, since the slot is simply too small. Conversely, the slot for the low E string is far too wide for the high E string, which will move around in the groove, thereby creating unstable tuning. The same scenario applies to the other four strings, so -bottom line-cut a new, left-handed nut.

Secondly, not all right-handed guitars can be string for left-handed playing. Some Gibson-style guitars have one-piece “wrap-around” intonation bridges or two-piece Tune-O-Matic bridges that are installed on a slant or angle. When the guitar is flipped upside down for left-handed playing, the intonation points on the bridge won’t be the same as those for right-handed playing, and the saddle adjustments for each string won’t compensate an equal amount for all six strings because of the slanted positioning of the bridge.

Fender guitars string lefty very well, because Strats, Teles, Jags, and other used music guitars, have bridges that sit straight across the guitar’s body. When one of these guitars is flipped upside down, the inherent intonation points don’t change at all, and the intonation can be fine-tuned by using six equally compensating adjustable intonation saddles. If the guitar is properly intonated for right-handed playing, the intonation saddles will look like a mirror image of them when set up for left-handed playing. The high E string saddle will now act as your low E string saddle and need to be adjusted back, away from the neck joint. Respectively, the low E string saddle will now act as the high E string saddle and to be adjusted forward, toward the neck joint. Ultimately all the intonation saddles will need to be repositioned for proper left-hand intonation, but the two E string saddles will require the most adjustment.

These same procedures apply if the guitar in question is a traditional acoustic. guitar tremolo  But since most acoustic don’t have individual intonation saddles, a new intonation bridge will need to be installed to achieve the same compensation for the intonation points as described for electrics.

Active vs. Passive guitar pickups: is it worth the money to get Active?

Simply stated, active electronics employ tone circuit (which consists of capacitors and resistors) with a power source, such as a 9-volt battery, to help shape an instrument’s sound and tonal capabilities. Passive electronics use a tone circuit without the aid of voltage.

Are active electronics worth the extra money? It depends on what you want to use them for. You have to know what active and passive circuits sound like and which on you prefer. For instance, active electronics can do a lot to shape the tone of a bass guitar. By the same token, active electronics on a guitar tend to sound sterile and cold (to some ears), whereas passive electronics convey a more organic tone.

Amps, too, can have active or passive tone circuits. I own a couple amps with active tone circuits, and the range of attenuation available from the tone controls is wide and impressive. Am I telling you that amps with active tone circuits are better than those with passive tone circuits? No-it’s totally a matter of personal preference and what’s right for you. If you feel active electronics help you express yourself better and make more of a personal statement, whether they’re in a bass, a guitar or an amp, then they’re worth the extra dough. On the other hand, if you’ve heard them and tried them, and you’re not impressed, save your money.



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