Gibson-no more left handed guitars?

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Freakmagnet451
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No more Lefty Gibsons

Post by Freakmagnet451 » Wed May 23, 2007 7:18 pm

This is a classic bean-counter move. If they get enough orders for left-handed guitars they will make them again. I am a total south-paw but play right handed - for whatever reason. Others like me include Steve Morse and Robert Fripp (not that I am saying I play like them!). I used to do guitar repair so I have converted a few right to left. Ovation used to offer left handed models for an additional 15%, anybody know if they still do?
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Post by JohnDavisNYC » Wed May 23, 2007 7:28 pm

am am ambidextrous, but do most things left handed, but I play bass right handed. In fact, I would argue that if you play guitar lefty you are probably right handed... which hand requires the most dexterity playing a 'right handed' guitar? the left.

so there. all good right-handed guitarrists (unless they are badass fingerpickers who can't do anything but barre across the neck) are more dextrous and precise with their left hand.

anyway, it is a two handed instrument, so I agree that it is odd that there is even such a thing as 'left-handed'... especially when the 'lefty' version requires more dexterity in your right hand....

but I play drums open handed as well, because I don't think drummers should ever set up a drum kit backwards. it is dumb. give up that natural advantage of not having to cross over to play the hihat? no thanks.

give up the natural advantage of having my more agile (left) hand be the one that has to fret notes and chords? no thanks.

i dunno. that is just my view as a predominantly left handed person who plays instruments 'right handed'.

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Post by space_ryerson » Wed May 23, 2007 7:39 pm

I see your point. Just an aside, Jimi Hendrix wrote right handed, but obviously played lefty; so you may be onto something.

I was always under the impression that the dominant hand is stronger, and the other is the more dexterous. I've always compared holding a pick to writing or drawing in my mind, so playing lefty came very natural to me.

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Post by channelcat » Wed May 23, 2007 9:30 pm

heylow wrote:
channelcatrecording wrote:
heylow wrote:
channelcatrecording wrote:
heylow wrote:I'm going to play devil's advocate here....

When I fist started playing guitar, I never knew from left handed/right handed/what have you...I just took the one that was offered to me and learned to play it. I mean, I'm right handed....but I don't think trying to play a left handed guitar would have been any easier or harder for me at that point, seeing as it was all f*cking impossible. :wink:

I guess what I'm saying is....maybe some of these companies are thinking along the lines of.....left handed guitars are a niche and maybe not even really a necessary one.

I mean....who bitches about no one making left handed pianos, right?


Just a thought....just sayin' is all.



heylow
There's a lot more to it than you think. As well, there's a lot more of us than you think.

My first electric was right-handed, strung upside down, and it was a PITA! In those early days of learning, I sat instead of stood while playing/practicing. Let me tell you, having a cable poking you in your armpit for several hours at a time was very uncomfortable. Later on, I had to redrill for the strap-knob and deal with the goofy weight distribution; yeah, Jimi made it look easy, but it's not. Trem, pick-up selector, and knobs were always a hassle. Filing the nut was a hassle. Needless to say, I couldn't wait to get my first lefty from Fender (which I had to special order and pay an extra $100). As for acoustics, the internal bracing is completely reversed on lefties for a reason.

Maybe it is a niche, but there definitely is a market for them.

Viva la Leftorium!

Stu

Yeah, but....

The point I was making wasn't that you could turn it upside and play it....the point I was making was, it's an instrument...like a piano. No one makes left handed pianos or even thinks about it....they just learn to play them as an instrument regardless. People don't lay up on top of the piano and play it backwards because they are left handed.

When a person starts out on an instrument, it's all so alien and foreign that it doesn't matter. With guitars, there's this choice of left or right handed models and people just go, "Oh, I'm left-handed, so I guess my headstock should point thataway".

There's no reason for left handed guitars...not really if you think about, other than somehow the deal got twisted and now people play that way. What other instruments have left and right models? Not a lot, really. Tubas? No.

Hopes this makes more sense. It doesn't really even matter....I was just making a point I found insteresting. As you were....nothing to see here. :wink:


heylow
I understand your point with regards to approaching a new instrument, but the fact is people will inherently hold a guitar however it is most comfortable. My 3-yr-old nephew was handed a guitar, and immediately started strumming it lefty; I don't know that he's going to be lefty, but that's how he wanted to play. In grade school, there were like 3 sets of lefty scissors. When those disappeared, I was forced to use righties and hated it because it was unnatural and uncomfortable. With regards to the other instruments, they are nothing like the guitar and can not be compared; piano requires both hands playing keys and many horns can be played with either hand.

So do you think all guitarists should be forced to play righty? That's the impression I get.

As to your last point, yes it does matter ... to me and all of the other lefties.

Stu
Well, actually...it doesn't really matter to me who does what as I was really only playing devil's advocate and now am stuck in a position of defending a position.

I AM saying that I don't think guitars are any different than other instrument or CARS for that matter. For many people, working the gas and brake would be "easier and more comfortable" but they get in and learn to drive and it doesn't matter.

I don't think you actually get my point....not trying to be disrespectful but you aren't seeing past your own situation and last time I checked, people played guitar with 2 hands as well.

I'm not about to get all rowdy about this, man. It SO doesn't matter what I think.


heylow
My situation is that of all lefties (that play lefty).

Have you ever played a lefty? Will you ever buy a lefty? Have you ever turned your guitar upside down and tried to fret with your picking hand? Why would anyone want to add that hurdle to the learning process?

Yes, we play guitar with 2 hands, but 1 inherently wants to strum. Dig? And that's just human nature. I play my stepson's righty strat for giggles, but I play it lefty because that's what works musically for me. I'm not trying to be difficult or different, it's just what works for me.

I've been playing for 17 years. I've felt some discrimination with regards to manufacturers charging extra for lefty versions (and waiting 6+ months for the "special order") and to retailers having lefties in stock to play before buying. That's what really blew me away about London. Denmark Street was Lefty Heaven IMO!

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Post by Cuse » Thu May 31, 2007 1:47 pm

I think any right-handed Gibson lover should be damn concerned about this. What does it say about Gibson, as a company? I posted this in another forum, but think about it. It's 2007 and they're getting rid of lefties? That's even worse than having never made lefties at all. They have a lefty markup, so what's the deal? If they aren't making enough money, turn the markup cost up.

Another problem is that supposedly Gibson Custom isn't making singles any more. You have to order 25 guitars to make a special order (another not good sign about Gibson, coincidence?). And that's assuming they'll even still make lefty customs.

Lastly, could we get some friggin' warning? I've been on the fence on buying a Les Paul. I just found out this no-more-lefty news. Now all the good new lefty LPs are gone. So I'm pretty much screwed. And before you say "get a used one," let me tell you, it's flippin' hard to find a used lefty LP.
Last edited by Cuse on Thu May 31, 2007 2:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by space_ryerson » Thu May 31, 2007 2:14 pm

Cuse wrote:And before you say "get a used one," let me tell you, it's flippin' hard to find a used lefty LP.
I hear you! It took me years of looking to get a good one. I found this one recently on ebay. Although I'm not into buying guitars on ebay, when I go to intruments.ebay.com, I put '(lefty,handed,lefy,lefthand,lefthanded,southpaw,lh)' into the search field to see what's out there, since there are many terms for being a lefty.

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Post by Regular Guy » Thu May 31, 2007 3:03 pm

This is such terrible news. I hope it's not true. Does anyone have any documentation of this? A press release? Anything at all? I'm just going to say FUCK IT'S NOT TRUE until I see something like this... I'd like to be in denial about it for as long as possible.

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Post by Cuse » Thu May 31, 2007 3:08 pm

Yeah, Regular Guy, that's what I'd like to know. No press release or anything? Seems weird.

I spoke with Gibson customer service, and that's how I found out about this. Was totally out of the blue. I think it's legit. :/

Wish they would have had some going out of lefty business promotion or something. Not cheaper, but just to let everyone buy the lefty they always wanted before they're gone for good.

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Post by emrr » Thu May 31, 2007 8:13 pm

Cuse wrote:. They have a lefty markup, so what's the deal? If they aren't making enough money, turn the markup cost up.
That, my friends, is both discrimination AND an endorsement for discrimination. Can you think of any other situation where this sort of action against a class of people would be legal?
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Post by Regular Guy » Fri Jun 01, 2007 12:46 am

emrr wrote:
Cuse wrote:. They have a lefty markup, so what's the deal? If they aren't making enough money, turn the markup cost up.
That, my friends, is both discrimination AND an endorsement for discrimination. Can you think of any other situation where this sort of action against a class of people would be legal?
I can't...and it's the worst!

I shouldn't have followed intuition when learning to play guitar... I should have learned in a way that was challenging and unappealing to me. Guitar shouldn't be fun, it should be an uphill struggle to ignore intuition and adhere to someone else's standards. Same with music. And life.

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Post by wardshorsehead » Fri Jun 01, 2007 1:14 am

Cuse wrote:I think any right-handed Gibson lover should be damn concerned about this. What does it say about Gibson, as a company? I posted this in another forum, but think about it. It's 2007 and they're getting rid of lefties? That's even worse than having never made lefties at all. They have a lefty markup, so what's the deal? If they aren't making enough money, turn the markup cost up.

Another problem is that supposedly Gibson Custom isn't making singles any more. You have to order 25 guitars to make a special order (another not good sign about Gibson, coincidence?). And that's assuming they'll even still make lefty customs.

Lastly, could we get some friggin' warning? I've been on the fence on buying a Les Paul. I just found out this no-more-lefty news. Now all the good new lefty LPs are gone. So I'm pretty much screwed. And before you say "get a used one," let me tell you, it's flippin' hard to find a used lefty LP.
Gibson is a shitty company. Surprise!

They have rested on the laurels of their legacy too long. IMHO, they have been struggling with a slow and painful death for years.

They are shit-asses to their dealers - a few years ago they lost a ton of loyal dealers - people who have been selling their stuff for 20-30 years - because they had to place ridiculous order amounts, and have a fixed (and high) percentage of their retail space dedicated to Gibson. That left them with the big-box shops like Guitar Center and mailorder.

Stores that are high-end acoustic shops (like The Podium here in Minneapolis) can't carry their product because they HAVE to buy electric guitars too. (And this is a shop that sells $3000-10,000 guitars ALL DAY LONG.)

They spent a SHIT TON of money in R&D on a USB Les Paul...

They bought and destroyed the remnants of Oberheim...

They own and sell a ton a crappy, pacific rim imports (Kramer anyone?)

The lost the head of their custom shop, John Walker...
http://www.johnwalkerguitars.com
(great guitars BTW)

They soiled the legacy of the Dobro, Flatiron, and Epiphone brands...

The fucked up the one good move they made...no, not Kalamazoo (aka the beginning of the end)...they had a good thing going in Bozeman. Oh well, now we have Weber Mandolins instead.

Instead of focusing on a solid line of good guitars, (and I've played BRAND NEW Gibson acoustics that had the bridge so out of whack, that you couldn't intonate it without removing and replacing it...I've also played BRAND NEW Les Pauls, around $2k, with visible cracks in the fingerboard) they "diversified" to keep their fiscal corpse afloat.

Jukeboxes, vending machines, pianos, consumer electronics, band instruments...

I feel for you lefties...

But if you think that is the biggest problem Gibson is facing, you're mistaken.

I wish they'd just go away with dignity.

Frank

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Post by kdarr » Sat Jun 02, 2007 12:41 am

wardshorsehead wrote: Gibson is a shitty company. Surprise!

They have rested on the laurels of their legacy too long. IMHO, they have been struggling with a slow and painful death for years.

They are shit-asses to their dealers - a few years ago they lost a ton of loyal dealers - people who have been selling their stuff for 20-30 years - because they had to place ridiculous order amounts, and have a fixed (and high) percentage of their retail space dedicated to Gibson. That left them with the big-box shops like Guitar Center and mailorder.

Stores that are high-end acoustic shops (like The Podium here in Minneapolis) can't carry their product because they HAVE to buy electric guitars too. (And this is a shop that sells $3000-10,000 guitars ALL DAY LONG.)

They spent a SHIT TON of money in R&D on a USB Les Paul...

They bought and destroyed the remnants of Oberheim...
Let's not forget Opcode!
wardshorsehead wrote: They own and sell a ton a crappy, pacific rim imports (Kramer anyone?)

The lost the head of their custom shop, John Walker...
http://www.johnwalkerguitars.com
(great guitars BTW)

They soiled the legacy of the Dobro, Flatiron, and Epiphone brands...

The fucked up the one good move they made...no, not Kalamazoo (aka the beginning of the end)...they had a good thing going in Bozeman. Oh well, now we have Weber Mandolins instead.

Instead of focusing on a solid line of good guitars, (and I've played BRAND NEW Gibson acoustics that had the bridge so out of whack, that you couldn't intonate it without removing and replacing it...I've also played BRAND NEW Les Pauls, around $2k, with visible cracks in the fingerboard) they "diversified" to keep their fiscal corpse afloat.

Jukeboxes, vending machines, pianos, consumer electronics, band instruments...

I feel for you lefties...

But if you think that is the biggest problem Gibson is facing, you're mistaken.

I wish they'd just go away with dignity.

Frank
You are absolutely dead on. I worked music retail for 5 years and Gibson's policies toward their dealers are probably the most restrictive and exclusive in the entire guitar biz.

Not to mention the fact that these days you have to be a fucking lawyer to afford one, and frankly, 70% of their new guitars are completely substandard. I think that if you spend $3G on a SOLIDBODY electric guitar, the inlays had better fit in the damned fretboard.

All of their advertising is legacy-oriented, because they aren't doing anything NEW that's worth a shit, and it drives the prices of their vintage guitars through the fucking stratosphere - which doesn't actually HELP the company financially at all.

I guess what I'm saying is that if the Gibson corporation were a real person, he would be a total dick.

[<|>]

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No more lefty Gibsons

Post by Freakmagnet451 » Sat Jun 02, 2007 1:59 pm

Just for fun I googled a bit and found this:

http://www.adirondackguitar.com/lefty/lh_electrics.htm

Note that Heritage makes left-handed guitars. Heritage guitars are made in the old Gibson factory in Kalamazoo, not saying they are just like old Gibsons but a good Heritage is a fine guitar. They make a similar range of models to many Gibson favorites. I have seen some iffy QC so keep your eyes open but mostly nice stuff. Plus they are a small company owned and run by guitar builders instead of a branch of a huge mulit-corporate conglomerate run by bean-counters like Gibson. By the way, no affiliation with anybody at the link, just thought it might be useful.
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Post by Knights Who Say Neve » Sat Jun 02, 2007 3:15 pm

This is a completely ignorant question, but, why not just flip the bridge, get a new nut, and drill new strap holes? It would put the controls on the top, but on some guitars they wouldn't be in the way.
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Post by Scodiddly » Sat Jun 02, 2007 5:50 pm

Meh. Gibson has pretty much become Harley-Davidson. Guitars bought by hobbyists who make too much money in their actual career. Look great hanging on the wall, basically.

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