I have a Messina classical guitar,no: 67279. It is a low cost guitar as I am a beginner and I bought it second hand. It came with nylon strings. The strings on it seem to be for a left handed person (When I hold the guitar head to my left, the thickest string is the lowest string). Will there be any damage if I remove these strings and put them in the usual right handed guitar order ?

  • 1
    Do you mean the thickest string is physically lowest? Before doing anything, check a couple of things. 1. the nut slots: their size will reflect the thickness of strings they should house, as in thin E will go into a thinner slot than thick E. 2. the saddle on some guitars has a slight slant making the lower strings slightly longer (a couple of mm ish) . This will tell whether the guitar was originally l.h or r.h.
    – Tim
    Dec 5, 2016 at 16:23
  • Just to make it perfectly clear: hold the guitar so that the head is to your left, and use your right thumb and index finger to pluck the highest and lowest strings simultaneously. Then your thumb should be plucking the thickest string (which is physically the highest, but acoustically the lowest).
    – TonyK
    Dec 7, 2016 at 19:34

2 Answers 2


I commend you for your decision to learn to play guitar. It is challenging in the beginning but if you stick with it, you will be rewarded with enjoyment and pleasure and relaxation for the rest of your life.

Guitars are generally either right handed or left handed. The slots in the nut are the main difference between a left hand and right hand classical guitar. Some classical guitars and most steel string guitars will have a saddle that is lower (closer to the soundboard) on the side where the thinner strings go because the thicker strings will oscillate in a wider arc and need more clearance from the frets to prevent contacting them causing fret buzz. Most steel string acoustic guitars also have a slanted bridge and saddle which makes the thinner strings slightly shorter in scale (distance between saddle and nut).

These are the reasons you can't just string any guitar the opposite way and turn it upside down and make it a left hand guitar if it's a right hand guitar or vice versa.

Most guitars made - are what we call right hand guitars - meaning the right hand is the picking strumming hand and the left hand is the fretting hand.

As a beginner, you could learn to play either left hand or right hand as each hand will need to learn to do things that are completely foreign anyway. So if you ended up with a left hand guitar, you can choose to learn to play left handed guitars.

However, the reason you might not want to do this is that when you want to buy a better guitar, your choices will be very limited if you must try to find the rare lefty guitar in your local guitar shop. Even the biggest guitar retailers stock very few left handed guitars. Finding a used one can even be more difficult.

If your guitar is so basic that the saddle (what the strings rest on where they are tied to the bridge) is not slanted and is the same thickness all the way across, you might be able to change the handedness of your guitar by having a qualified guitar tech remove the existing nut (what the strings pass over at the head stock near the tuners) and installing a nut for the opposite handedness. However I am not sure it would be worth spending the money to do that on an inexpensive guitar.

If you discover that you have acquired a left handed guitar and wish to learn to play right handed guitar, you might just need to buy another guitar. If that is the case, you might want to consider if a nylon string classical is what you want to learn on. Nylon string classical guitars are optimized for playing more advanced classical styles featuring a finger picking style of playing. The strings tend to be farther apart making it more difficult to play some chord formations (but easier to finger pick one string at a time).

You might find it easier to start with basic strumming before moving to finger-style. Then you might want to consider a steel string guitar. While it is certainly true that nylon strings are much easier on tender beginner fingers, I have a solution that will Minimize the pain for beginning guitarist with this custom string set (just click the link).

Good luck with your journey!


Strings are strings. There is no handedness to the strings. If you play the fretboard with your left hand and strum with your right hand, you are considered a right handed player. In that case you usually string the guitar from low to high EADGBE. EAD being the bass strings usually coated in silver wire. Those start from the far left (top) of the guitar when you are looking directly at the sound hole. GBE are the right side (bottom) of the guitar. All the strings will have a diminishing diameter.

You can also flip most guitars and play them lefty. Just string them the opposite direction. Bass strings will be closer to your face as you sit with the guitar (top side) of the fretboard.

Some people also play lefty by simply stringing the guitar for right handed players and flipping the guitar as is. However, doing this might be more difficult and is pretty rare. Most tablature doesn't reflect this use case.

  • 1
    Strings certainly are strings, but l.h and r.h. guitars will be different. See my comment.
    – Tim
    Dec 5, 2016 at 16:25
  • Ya, see your comment. The nut it important of course. If its glued in for lefty or righty, your a little SOL flipping the guitar. Of course you could just get your nail file out and widen it a bit. Not sure why the downvote?
    – 4m1r
    Dec 6, 2016 at 22:21
  • Not mine - I usually explain why, unlike 99% here...
    – Tim
    Dec 7, 2016 at 8:18

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