Last Updated on January 5, 2021 by Chris
Left Handed Brian May Guitars
Bohemian Rhapsody, Don’t Stop Me Now, We Are The Champions; all classic songs by rock band Queen. This legendary band’s lead guitarist Brian May was recently voted the greatest rock guitarist of all time by readers of Total Guitar magazine. So let’s take a look at what left handed Brian May guitars are available.
Who Are Brian May Guitars?
Image credit: ©Raph_PH, QueenO2121217-28, Creative Commons 2.0, use of original in adaptation
Brian May Guitars are the official manufacturers of guitars built to the design of Brian May’s original Red Special guitar, which a sixteen-year-old Brian and his electronics engineer dad, Harold, famously built out of an old a fireplace mantelpiece, part of an old table, a motorcycle’s valve springs, an old bicycle saddle bag carrier, and even his mom’s knitting needles!
Built out of necessity, as May couldn’t afford an expensive guitar such as a Gibson or a Fender, he and his father built and designed the guitar together. The guitar was designed to feed back; a sound May has incorporated into his distinctive playing style.
May went on to refer to his guitar as the “Old Lady” or the “Fireplace“, referring to those aging materials he used to construct his signature axe, and he later used the Red Special on every Queen album he recorded.
Image credit: ©Carl Lender, Queen performing in New Haven, CT, GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, use of original in adaptation
He has since had numerous replicas made of his original Red Special, and now owns the company, Brian May Guitars, which produces guitars modeled after his original.
What Do I Think of Brian May Guitars?
There’s no denying that Brian May’s Red Special is an iconic guitar. It’s quite unique, as you’d expect from a guitar designed and built by Brian May himself; there are no other guitars quite like it from other manufacturers.
When I was young and had not been playing guitar for very long, I didn’t really like Brian May’s guitar. I was judging it purely on looks and I didn’t even take into consideration the tone!
Amazing really, as Queen was one of my favorite rock bands growing up in the eighties. One of the first albums I had as a child was Queen’s soundtrack to the movie Flash Gordon!
How could I not take May’s guitar tone into account when deciding if I liked his guitar or not?! It goes without saying that I had no clue about guitars back then.
Now, however, my main appreciation for Brian May’s guitar comes from its tone. Yes, I’m still not overly keen on the shape of the Red Special, but I have somewhat learned to like the way it looks.
I think Brian May’s guitar tone is fantastic; that coupled with his distinctive playing style and use of vibrato really helps me appreciate this guitar in a way I never knew how twenty years ago!
It’s pretty cool that it’s instantly recognizable, both in the way it looks and in the way it sounds.
Different Types of Brian May Guitars
There are a number of guitars produced by Brian May Guitars:
- The BMG Special – Inspired by the original Red Special, the BMG Special is an affordable version of Mays iconic guitar, featuring fantastic build quality and playability, all for quite an affordable price-tag.
- The BMG Special LE Series – Limited Editions of the classic BMG Special with the same specifications, but featuring a variety of different finishes and hardware to bring a fresh look to the series.
- The BMG Super – A meticulously constructed, hand-crafted recreation of May’s Red Special, built to the highest possible standard. Hand-crafted in the Czech Republic by the New Bohemia Electric Corp. who are known for their exceptional build quality.
- The BMG Art Series – These are extremely limited edition versions of BMG instruments, available on special order only. They feature premium quality, custom-painted artwork faithfully recreating Queen album covers.
- The BMG Mini May – A diminutive 22.7″ scale, the BMG Mini May is a lightweight, ultra-compact, 18 fret travel guitar.
- The BMG Rhapsody – A small-bodied electro-acoustic guitar designed in collaboration with May himself. It shares the Red Special’s distinctive design and features Fishman Flex on-board electronics.
- The BMG Bass – Basically a bass version of the classic BMG Special. It shares the iconic look of the original 6-string, providing bassists with a unique retro-styled instrument with a powerful and aggressive tone.
- The BMG Tenor Uke – Brian May Guitars also produces a Ukulele! Designed with input from Brian May, it is a fantastic travel instrument and features an under-saddle pickup with Fishman Kula on-board electronics.
Left Handed Brian May Electric Guitars
So then… Which left handed Brian May electric guitars are available to us lefties?
The BMG Special
Made in South Korea by World Musical Instruments Co. Ltd.
- NECK: 1-Piece Set-Neck Mahogany
- BODY: Acoustic Chambered Mahogany with Bookmatched Mahogany Top
- FINGERBOARD: Ebony
- FRETS: 24 Medium Jumbo 18% Nickel Frets + Zero Fret
- BRIDGE: Point-Pivot, Knife Edge Tremolo
- NECK PICKUP: BM Brand Custom Tri-Sonic Style Series Wired Single Coil
- MIDDLE PICKUP: BM Brand Custom Tri-Sonic Style Series Wired Single Coil
- BRIDGE PICKUP: BM Brand Custom Tri-Sonic Style Series Wired Single Coil
- FINISH: Antique Cherry
Left Handed Brian May Acoustic Guitars
Brian May Guitars produces one electro-acoustic guitar; The BMG Rhapsody. Unfortunately for lefty guitarists, it’s only available as a right handed guitar.
Also available is a ukulele; the BMG Tenor Uke, although this is also right handed only.
Left Handed Brian May Basses
Brian May Guitars produces one bass guitar; the BMG Bass. Unfortunately for lefty guitarists, it’s only available in a right handed configuration.
It’s great that there is at least one Red Special inspired guitar available to us lefties. Dr. Brian May’s original iconic design is so recognizable and has a marvelous tone, that it would be a real shame if we didn’t get something that can recreate May’s legendary tone.
It’s a shame though that there isn’t any more than just the one standard model available to us. It’d be great if we could get any one of the other guitars in the BMG range.
For more information, see the official website.
What do you think of Brian May Guitars? Do you wish for any other left handed Brian May guitars? Do you already own one? If so, do let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!
Unless otherwise credited, Image credits: brianmayguitars.co.uk