Last Updated on February 17, 2021 by Chris
Left Handed Washburn Guitars
Back in 1990, I discovered the Boston rock band Extreme after the release of their song Decadence Dance. I was immediately struck by Nuno Bettencourt‘s funky metal guitar playing with lots of fast notes and pinch harmonics. Check out Nuno’s big hoop earrings in the video below!
His playing sounded fantastic to my ears, and I had to hear more. So a little later on, I bought their album Extreme II: Pornograffiti, which was the album Decadence Dance came from.
I had just started learning the guitar at this time, and I found out that Bettencourt played Washburn guitars and had his own signature model. So of course I wanted to know if I could get any left handed Washburn guitars, more specifically his N4 signature guitar.
Who Are Washburn Guitars?
Washburn was first established in Chicago, Illinois back in 1883 by business partners George Washburn Lyon and Patrick J. Healy. In 1912, the company introduced the Lakeside Jumbo guitar, which some people consider to be the first ever dreadnought guitar.
Since then, Washburn has built guitars, resonators, mandolins, banjos, ukuleles, amplifiers, and more. They have been providing instruments for many players from rock, metal, country, bluegrass, and jazz.
The first Washburn electric guitar was built in 1976, and they have endorsed a number of high profile artists over the years including Dimebag Darrell, Michael Sweet, and Paul Stanley.
Incidentally, Nuno Bettencourt has now been a Washburn artist for 30 years!
What Do I Think of Washburn Guitars?
Until recently, I had no idea that Washburn made instruments such as resonators, mandolins, banjos, and ukuleles. I did know they made acoustic guitars, but I always thought of them primarily as an electric guitar manufacturer.
I later found that they are probably better known as an acoustic guitar manufacturer. Nuno Bettencourt’s awesome playing is most likely why I think of them more for their electric guitars.
This is probably also the reason why I like Washburn guitars, and why I think of them primarily as rock and metal guitars with Bettencourt’s N4 guitar and its Floyd Rose bridge.
Of course, they do make other types of guitars, and as you can see below, they have a much larger range of acoustic guitars than they do electric.
Different Types of Washburn Guitars
- Parallaxe L-Series – Designed for rock/metal these guitars are ideal for fast runs and shredding. They come with unique features such as a full contact bridge, Buzz Feiten Tuning System for high performance and playability.
- Parallaxe M-Series – This line is aimed at modern rock/metal players. They are packed with lots of features and tailored with the shred guitarist in mind.
- Parallaxe S-Series – This series aims to be the ideal rock and metal guitar for modern professional players; loaded with features eliminating the need for aftermarket modification. Featuring fast necks and easy high fret access.
- Parallaxe V-Series – Washburn’s offset V-shaped guitar with reverse katana inspired headstock, these guitars are designed for heavy guitar playing.
- Sonamaster range – The Sonamaster is Washburn’s S-type electric guitar designed as a budget-friendly beginners’ electric guitar with versatility and classic single-coil tone.
- Idol range – The Idol is Washburn’s modern take on the single-cutaway guitar. Both appear to be inspired by other classic guitars, but featuring push-pull coil-splitting, Seymour Duncan pickups and a Buzz Feiten Tuning System, these guitars are brimming with contemporary features.
- Nuno Bettencourt Signature Series – Designed in collaboration with Nuno Bettencourt himself, this guitar has been his go-to guitar for the last 30 years. If you love his tone, then these guitars are the ones to check out.
- Nuno Bettencourt Signature Nele range – This is the latest collaboration between Nuno Bettencourt and Washburn. Inspired by great vintage instruments, but designed with great tone, and easy playability in mind. With a fast neck and an extended cutaway, this guitar is made to rock. It has an innovative 6-way “Freeway Ultra” switch, giving players access to the three common settings and then three additional hot-rod options.
- Rover – The Rover line is Washburn’s travel guitar line and suitable for players of all levels. They feature a full 23.75″ scale-length but small enough for easy, safe, and convenient transport.
- Apprentice – As the name suggests, the Apprentice Series guitars are designed for beginner players who want a quality guitar that will serve them well as they progress.
- Bella Tono – Built with elegant design and taste, and combining premium sound and comfortable playability. It was designed to retain the best attributes of a full-sized body while delivering the best attributes of a smaller body.
- Classical – Washburn’s original classical guitars built in the 1980s drew inspiration from the designs of Maestros Ignacio Fleta and Hermann Hauser. Washburn Classical aims to strike a balance with tone, value, and stability.
- Heritage – Washburn’s Heritage Series guitars feature AA Grade solid Sitka Spruce or Cedar tops and are available in Dreadnought, Grand Auditorium, Jumbo, and Folk body shapes.
- Harvest – The Harvest Series offers many features and is suitable for players of all levels. Solid Spruce and Solid Western Red Cedar tops are carefully paired with Select Mahogany back and sides; these instruments are designed as a great all-round guitar that feels great, sounds great, and looks great.
- Festival – Designed to meet the needs of the performing musician; it was the standard acoustic/electric guitar on MTV’s “Unplugged” series and the same guitar as used by Nuno Bettencourt in Extreme’s massive hit ballad More Than Words. It has since become one of the best-selling guitars on the market.
- Comfort – Ergonomics are the important factor here; designed for a more comfortable playing experience. Including armrest bevels, these guitars hug the body rather than dig into it whether you’re sitting or standing.
- Woodline – Designed to appeal to the aspiring singer-songwriter and finger-style players, this guitar features understated details such as wood binding, a parquet rosette, and no pickguard. All electric-acoustic models feature Fishman electronics and an onboard tuner.
- Parlor – These are small body acoustic guitars inspired by similarly small-bodied late 1800s to early 1900s guitars. They are faithful recreations of authentic Washburn guitars of that early era.
- Revival – Revival Series guitars are inspired by the early 1900s to the “Dirty-30’s” era Washburns. Great guitars with vintage appeal.
- Acoustic – Played many times on the classic MTV Unplugged show, this bass was a popular instrument for some well-known artists.
- Sonamaster – With the reverse headstock, 80’s inspired body shape, and offset fret markers, the Sonamasters are aimed at beginner and budget-conscious bass players. These are versatile guitars inspired by a classic design.
- Taurus – Designed as a professional level bass guitar, these basses feature a neck-through construction, fine woods, open-pore finish, and high-quality components.
That’s a pretty good lineup of guitars. Let’s see then what left handed Washburn guitars we lefties can get our hands on!
Left Handed Washburn Electric Guitars
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Although Washburn has made lefty electric guitars in the past, including many of their Parallaxe range, Ola Englund‘s Solar models, and Nuno Bettencourt’s N4, it’s a shame to see that, in their current range of guitars, they don’t make any for us right now.
If you search online, you may be able to find some Washburn guitars from previous years.
Left Handed Washburn Acoustic Guitars
Being a company that makes a wide range of acoustic guitars, it’s not surprising that Washburn does offer a left handed model. However, it is just the one acoustic model available for left handed guitar players.
Heritage D10S Left-Handed
The D10S Left-Handed dreadnought acoustic guitar is aimed at the beginner guitarist and features a solid Sitka spruce top with Cathedral Peaked Scalloped-X bracing for superior tone that improves with age.
It’s designed for strumming, blues picking, or bluegrass flat-picking. It has a loud, clear sound and is a great acoustic option to have without having to spend too much cash.
It has a mahogany back, sides, and neck, an Ovangkol fingerboard and bridge, a Washburn tortoise pickguard, and Washburn’s “Heritage” design rosette.
- NECK: Satin Mahogany with 2 way Truss Rod
- TOP: Solid Sitka Spruce
- BACK AND SIDES: Mahogany
- SCALE LENGTH: 25 5/16
- FINGERBOARD: Ovangkol
- FRETS: 20
- BRIDGE: Ovangkol
- FINISH: Natural Gloss
- SHAPE: Dreadnought
Left Handed Washburn Basses
Unfortunately, as with electric guitars, Washburn does not cater to lefty bassists at the moment.
Washburn has a good varied range of electric, bass, and acoustic guitars. However, with only one model available to lefty players, it’s a little disappointing not to be able to own a left handed guitar from the current range.
What do you think of Washburn guitars? Let us know in the comments below!
Image credits: washburn.com & the official Washburn Facebook page