Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Tired of looking

I am tired of looking for another left-handed guitar. My first guitar, purchased a couple of years ago, was an AEF18 from Ibanez, acoustic electric. I thought it was a pretty good entry level guitar. I liked the sound, but have only hooked up the amp a couple of times. I decided I wanted to upgrade… only the guitar stores don’t stock any intermediate level or higher guitars.
Yes, they’ll be glad to sell me one, have it shipped in, and if I don’t like it… I can bring it back. Not what I want. I want to hold and play the instrument before I buy it.
Well, if you’d been smart, they say, you would have learned to play right handed… well, that’s not going to happen.
Since I can’t upgrade without settling for a guitar I’ve never held before, My only other option is to buy another entry level, such as the Yamaha FG720l. (In which case I’ll just keep the Ibanez.)
The Yamaha sounds petty good, but can’t decide if I’d be throwing more money away on a guitar that just isn’t right for bluegrass. (every one else at the area jam plays a Martin)

Martin makes all of the models in the lefty style I can say this you will not go wrong with a martin I bought one sight unseen via mail and I love the guitar me it gets along real well . but it is your call .some of the less expensive guitars they make sound pretty decent I have played a few . look up Martin and they have every guitar they make listed and pictures and specs./

You are right, I should be able to buy a Martin – sight unseen, and get the instrument I need.

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Since I can’t upgrade without settling for a guitar I’ve never held before

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Change that “can’t” to “won’t”.
I guess my main issue is that with one in six people being left handed, even with the majority of those left handed guitarists playing right handed, a music store should stock one or two intermediate and above left hand guitars. (Obviously, the stores are thinking, we’ll put our money into what will sell fastest, and I’ll have to hold off giving them more of my money until they have what I want.)
At this point, I’ll probably get the Yamaha to play unplugged, and keep the Ibanez for instances in which a lot of volume is needed. Then, one of these days I will stumble onto my dream guitar.

Good luck with finding the right guitar. It can be frustrating, but it makes it all the more enjoyable when you find the right one. There are a few dealers (Billy at Gruhn’s and Jon at My Favorite Guitar come to mind) who I respect their opinion enough to buy a guitar without playing it. In every case I have done that, the guitar was a keeper. With that said, I understand your reason for restraint and frustration.

Look in the AGF Classified Guitars, there are tons of smoking deals and most of the collectors that buy and sell on there are very reliable, and they post high resolution photos. Worth a try, a Martin D18 the new model, I can vouch for, killer guitar. :smiley:

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Martin D18 the new model, I can vouch for, killer guitar. :smiley:

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+1 on the newer D18. And if you like a v-neck and adirondack, a D18GE is a great dread as well

Hey Rev,

Before buying the Yamahopper, go to and type in left handed guitars in the search bar. I just saw an E10D Eastman with Adirondack spruce top and mahogany back and sides (all solid woods). It also has scalloped bracing and vintage style tuners and is a dreadnought, This would fit in well in a bluegrass circle even though it’s not a Martin. And it’s priced at $1116.00. Ben plays an Eastman mandolin as well as his Gibson here on the site. I don’t know much about them, but I’ve heard nothing but good, especially with their mandolins. I couldn’t get the whole ad to come up, but here’s the description:


Eastman E10D Left Handed

Eastman E10D Traditional Series Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar. Solid Adirondack Spruce Top, Solid Mahogany Back & Sides. Ebony Fingerboard, Hand-Scalloped X-style bracing. Hardshell Case included. LEFT HANDED!*
FREE shipping to lower 48 US States, NO Sales Tax if shipped outside of TX

That’s a lot of guitar for that price, you may want to check it out. I don’t know what your budget is, but if it’s much higher than this, Mike, Jerry and Ken (Welder) are dead on with the Martins.

Good Luck,


Here’s an even better deal at Mass Street Music (a reputable dealer) for another one of the same Eastman guitars.

Good Luck,



Just wanted to share that both of my favorite, go to, stage guitars were bought sight unseen. I have had quite a few people cringe a little when I tell them I bought them online and they were shipped to me. With that said, I wouldn’t trade or sell either one and they have been great guitars from the beginning. I know that everyone loves their guitar and somehow in some way consider it to be special and better than anyone else’s but trust me I ended up with a couple of really nice acoustics and have no complaints.

I wish you the best no matter what you decide… Let us know what is going on!!!

I just love this new guitar stuff!!!


at a gig last week we had a request but we kept playing :laughing:

For those who wanted to know how everything worked out… here is the rest of the story:
I ended up buying the Yamaha FG720sl. After driving a couple of hundred miles to try the two in the area (one was 30 miles in one direction from the house, and the other was 70 miles away in the opposite direction. I played both twice before making a decision.) I thought the one that was 30 miles away had the better tone, so it came home with me.

It sounded great at the jam. Held up surprisingly well alongside the Martins. Nice comments from everyone. Based upon its appearance and tone, one player thought it was much more expensive than it actually was. Another player was surprised by how much my playing had improved. I think the Yamaha is just louder, and he was able to hear me.

As for the future, I’ll find my “dream guitar” one of these days, but until then, I’ll still keep playing these two. Although, I think the Ibanez will be coming up on the short end.

Thanks, everyone.

Congrats! I’m glad you like it.

Rev, next time you might check out Jerry’s Lefty Guitars in Sarasota, FL. He carries a large inventory of left-handed guitars!