Lefty Plays Righty Question

bp-plickner

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After many years I am getting into les pauls. I have stayed away because I play backwards and I have always thought that putting a right handed nut on a lefty les paul would have intonation problems because there is not enough travel on the bridge saddles and I don't want to redrill the bridge studs. Unlike Stratocasters where the bridge is perpendicular to the strings and there is plenty of travel in the bridge. But a strat does not sound like a les paul. Also it would be nice to have the tone & volume controls on the bottom when I play

i don't want to spend many k bucks and find out it does't work
Playing a right handed les paul upside down is ok but I don't want to mess it up by screwing a strap button on the cut a way side and it is tough to reach up to the top frets

Any one have any experience with converting a left handed les paul to play righty?

Thanks In Advance
 

atheos

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I've had a few Right handed Les Paul's that were strung and intonated as lefty. Two of them intonated perfectly, and the third was close enough. I say go for it.
 

Dino Velvet

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There are 100's of lefty LP for sale every day. Besides do you want your forearm digging into the knobs all the time ? and 3, it looks stupid as shit.
Even when Hendrix did it.
 

LeftyF2003

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What he means is, he plays holding the guitar left handed, but with the strings strung right handed. The concern is that on a Les Paul the bridge is angled to compensate for the intonation with the strings left handed, so even if you reverse the nut and bridge saddles the angle will not allow for the intonation the other way. One way around this might be to use a replacement bridge with longer saddle travel than an ABR1 provides. I also seem to recall seeing some Les Pauls in the late 70s / early 80s which had non angled bridges with long travel, similar to the large tune-o-matics on the 73 / 74 SGs - See:



I knew someone that had a gold top set up just as you describe, but I don't recall what he was doing about the bridge and intonation.
 

bp-plickner

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I don't mind looking stupid as shit if I could cover 1% of where Hendrix is at.

I like the go for it frame of mind. but I hate it when that low E saddle is home on the rear of the bridge. Higher action helps to compensate some what for that but my right hand is getting tired for that.

Those bigger bridges are worth looking into.

Peace
 

atheos

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There are 100's of lefty LP for sale every day. Besides do you want your forearm digging into the knobs all the time ? and 3, it looks stupid as shit.
Even when Hendrix did it.
I've got a few Right handed guitars that are strung lefty, I don't mind looking stupid as shit. :thumb:
 

Arthur

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The Les Paul Traditional comes in lefty and I think the standard comes in lefty not sure though.
Check those out.
 

JimmyT

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I have always thought that putting a right handed nut on a lefty les paul would have intonation problems because there is not enough travel on the bridge saddles...
Any one have any experience with converting a left handed les paul to play righty?
So, let me get this straight, you want to buy a LEFT-HANDED Les Paul, flip it over and play it RIGHT-HANDED? So this is purely cosmetic then?

You want to pay like 20% more for a lefty flip the nut, and play righty? WHY??????
 

atheos

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So, let me get this straight, you want to buy a LEFT-HANDED Les Paul, flip it over and play it RIGHT-HANDED? So this is purely cosmetic then?

You want to pay like 20% more for a lefty flip the nut, and play righty? WHY??????
The guy is left handed, but he plays with the string positions reversed. (Think Albert King, Dick Dale) :jam:
 

LEFTY LES

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The guy is left handed, but he plays with the string positions reversed. (Think Albert King, Dick Dale) :jam:
I consider myself a pretty smart person and I'm having a very hard time picturing what the OP is trying to accomplish. I'm very confused:shock:
 

Frails

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Buy a cheapie such as a Vintage V100 or Epi and see. Worst case you redrill and use or then go for broke on a MIJ or Gibby if you find out you do need to redrill to have proper intonation. My experience flipping right handed acoustics is that you DO need to have the proper bridge angle. There's a guy in England that makes conversion bridges for acoustics and I used one on a Martin with good results. A LP type would be more involved given the material and it would have to be part of a Bigsby to hide it effectively.
 

437

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I believe I'm following what the OP has asked. If I understand what you are wanting to do correctly, stringing a lefty up as a righty (reversing your strings, i.e. low E next to guard, etc.) may allow you to "get by," but I would imagine you would have the intonation problems that you are worried about. I suppose it would be different from guitar to guitar. As for my LP, I don't believe there is enough range on my bridge to properly intonate the wound low E string where the current high e string sits, and so forth of course. I may be wrong, but since I play lefty on a lefty guitar, I won't have to worry about it myself.
 

knucklebucket

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I hear you I also play backasswards. just bought a paul yesterday(left handed) and it never dawned on me this dilema until I went to a shop this morning to have a nut changed. Wow blew my mind never thought of the saddles being slanted. End result is I have just dropped it off at a Luthier close to home. He is gonna redrill and set the saddle so it will play right and sound right but I may look into the alternative bridge someone posted in this thread before he does. If he goes through with it, gonna cover up holes with a pick guard material so it won't be noticable. gonna charge me 100.00 to get it done.
 

Tone deaf

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I would do a couple of things. First, make up your mind if you want a lefty or righty body. I'd go nuts with my forearm hitting the nobs, but that's me.

First, I would bet that most lefty LPs can get pretty damn close to perfect intonation (all other things being in order) by installation of the proper nut, adjustments to the string height and compensation (position of saddle).

You might want to hit several shops with lefty LPs in stock (new or used). Tell the guys that you are in the market for a lefty, but need the axe restrung bassackwards so that you can get a feel for it. No righty is going to buy a guitar that they are only allowed to play while strung lefty. Why should you? Have a set of your favorite strings in your pocket and offer to do it for them. If you get the 'vibe' or 'highly possible vibe' from any of the ones you play, tell them that you are interested in potentially purchasing the guitar, but won't pull the trigger until your comfortable that the intonation will be very close, without need for modification. Depending upon what shop you're in, there should be a tuner handy. See how it stacks up 'as is' to get a general idea. If its pretty close (with the saddles near the middle of their respective travelers), you should be able to make it right with adjustments to saddle and/or the string height. If you bring your feeler gauge or an accurate steel ruler, you might be able to get an idea as to how much additional 'play' you can get out of string height adjustments. You might be able to go as low as 3/64th of an inch at the 12th fret (assuming you have the corresponding nut in place) for both low and high E strings. Keep in mind that if the nut is backwards, the low E string will be riding high and the high E will be riding low (do to the notches in the nut). The lower the action, the less compensation is likely to be needed. Therefore, if the action looks high, you'll have more room with which to play. If there is not enough 'play' to make it work stock, a replacement bridge with longer travel (as suggested by leftyf2003) would probably do the trick. They may balk at the idea of you busting out a screw driver but perhaps one of them will do it for you. Since you'd just be moving the saddles a little, they should have no problem at all returning the guitar to its previous set up, unless they are inept.

Similarly, you could buy a lefty that you know that you are going to like going into it with the understanding that you may have to modify the guitar to make it perfect. I'd suggest looking for a used lefty with a solid colored body (easier to match and hide the two very small holes from repositioning the bridge, if necessary). If the work is done by someone who knows what they are doing, you will not severely devalue the guitar. Additionally, you may have a rare guitar that is perfect for some other BA Lefty, if and when it becomes time to sell.

Alternatively, you can have a guitar built for you that will be exactly what you want.

Again, I suspect that you could get it pretty tight with just a new nut but that is just my opinion and is worth every cent you paid for it.

good luck.
 

csplayer089

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Get a lefty.

There are very few things I don't do that arent left handed. One such thing is golf (I swing righty) and pool.

Other than that, I'm 100% lefty (err...well that would probably be like 98.6% but w/e :naughty:)
 

misterjim

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I've been playing lefty guitars "strung backwards" for over 40 years now. In the past few years I've been getting into les pauls also. I have the nut switched to a righty and haven't had a problen setting the intonation. My third one now, a gorgeous Les Paul Traditional Plus is having the nut switched now. Do yourself a favor and go for a lefty!
 

Talmidge

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Just finished up intonating a left handed Colling 290 strung right. Because of the slanted bridge, same as a Les Paul or 335, I had to move the bridge back on the bass side to play the thing in tune up the neck on the low E. Could have filled the existing post hole (small post, not the larger inserts) and drilled a new hole, but I hate drilling new holes in guitars. Drilled a hole in the thumb wheel between center hole and the edge, tapped it for post threads, and fixed a new post in that hole with JB Weld. The offset post goes in the post hole and a new post goes in the center for the bridge. The thumb wheel gets screwed down as close to the body as possible with the center hole toward the stop tail. If you want to sell the guitar at some point, conversion back to strung left is a simple matter; no new holes to explain. See Dan Erlwine's video on Youtube for relocating a tuneomatic bridge. Only difference is Dan's thumb wheels aren't threaded and just drop in the post hole.
 

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