3

Left-handed player here. I am wondering how feasible it would be to convert a right-handed semi-hollow guitar (ES-335 style) to left-handed. As I see it the key aspects are the nut and the bridge.

I don't worry too much about the nut, I can find plenty of left-handed marked nuts but my question is regarding the tune-o-matic bridge saddles, I assumed they are angled for some reason. Would it make it more difficult to intonate/tune or whatever to leave the saddles in the right-handed angle?

I am trying to avoid drilling new holes for a left-handed angled saddle set, leaving the holes for the right handed.

4
  • I would not worry too much about the bridge too much here. Bridges are hardware that usually can be adjusted. In the worst case filling up holes and drilling new holes is very much possible. What I would worry about is the geometry of the instrument. Many instruments are not build symmetrically, which would make simply switching sides awkward to play (this may also include the profile of the neck!). So first you should try if playing the guitar left handed and check if this feels comfortable.
    – Lazy
    Jun 9 at 8:08
  • Also note that you’ll want to replace the pickguard (not much of a problem) and the pots to the bottom side. Changing position of the pots is quite intricate with this things, as it requires you to route things through the f holes. If you do not want to have this effort really check if you can comfortably play the guitar with the control pots up.
    – Lazy
    Jun 9 at 8:12
  • 1
    @Lazy - that feels like a comment long enough that it should be an answer.
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 9 at 8:13
  • @Lazy - 335s are symmetrical in body shape, and the neck profiles are usually the same too.
    – Tim
    Jun 9 at 8:43

2 Answers 2

2

Though you might get some play in the system & it may change slightly with different strings, but to quickly check beforehand, put a t-square against the strings & test whether you could achieve the same intonation adjustment with the strings on 'backwards'.

enter image description here

You can always turn individual saddles round to gain a little extra distance, but if your high E is this far forwards, then you'll not be able to match it with the angled bridge when swapped to the other end.

enter image description here

This one might just get away with it

enter image description here

Once you get past that 'simple' hurdle, all you'll have to contend with is that the knobs will all be just where you want to put your arm & the jack socket will be at the top edge.

TL:DR - you've picked possibly the worst guitar type to try turn over;)

1

Leave it, and it'll be impossible to intonate, as the bridge is 'staggered'.

Left-handed bridges aren't needed. Although the fixing holes themselves may well be staggered, causing you to make two more. In which case, the existing bridge will do, but moved.

Another problem you'll have is your arm will be brushing the knobs each time you play. That would be more of a concern for me, as filling 4 holes won't make a pretty job, let alone fishing everything through the f-holes. Over all, not a brilliant idea against buying a ready made left hooker, or learning to play right-handed...

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.