Friday, August 21, 2009

My Top 10 List of Left-Handed Guitarists

TIME magazine recently published their 'Top 10 Lefties' list to commemorate International Left-Handers Day on August 13th:

Barack Obama
Bill Gates
Oprah Winfrey
Babe Ruth
Napoleon Bonaparte
Leonardo Da Vinci
Marie Curie
Ned Flanders (Editor's Note: ?!)
Jimi Hendrix

Of Jimi, TIME wrote:

"Jimi Hendrix played guitar upside down and backwards, and to his devout fans' parents, it probably sounded like it."

"The six-string revolutionary favored a right-handed Fender Stratocaster, slung upside-down across his shoulders, that didn't even need to be restrung: Hendrix taught himself how to hit the strings in reverse order, producing a unique sound and allowing him to alternate between left- and right-handed playing if he so desired. (He could play right-handed but generally preferred not to)"

Sorry guys, but I've never seen Hendrix play guitar 'upside down and backwards' with the 'strings in reverse order'. He would even restring a 12-string so that the high E was nearest his toes, as in the clip below:

Perhaps they were thinking of another lefty -- Albert King?

Anyhow, here are 10 lefty guitarists that make my Top 10 list. Note that both Steve Morse and Vinnie Moore are lefties who play right-handed:

  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Paul McCartney
  • Albert King
  • Steve Morse
  • Jackie King
  • Otis Rush
  • Al McKay
  • Elliot Easton
  • Vinnie Moore
  • Tony Iommi

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    He plays a guitar that not been re-strung - check it out!

  2. I've seen this series of clips. Don't know if you could call it 'playing' as such.

    My point was the inaccuracy of magazines as reputable as TIME not having their facts straight. I also have a bone to pick when publications call his death a 'drug overdose' -- as if he OD'd on heroin or something. Shame..

    Nice clip by the way. I don't believe any audio was found for this.

    In this other one Jimi's checking out an Ampeg/Dan Armstrong with a Lucite body:

  3. I'm a lefty who plays right handed. When people ask me why I don't play lefty, I just tell 'em I play guitar with both hands. Shuts 'em up...

    Recently ran across this vid of Doyle Bramhall who plays lefty- upside down like Albert King.

  4. Better off playing righty, all the more guitars to choose from! Do you feel its more advantageous to have your master hand on the fretboard?

    Doyle Bramhall! He and Derek Trucks were in Clapton's band when they came to Singapore.

    I also left out Carlos Rios, another great lefty fusion player.

  5. It's only been more advantageous because I've always dug legato players. It's easy to cop Trower, but Steve Morse is impossible. Evolving a hybrid right hand thing like Mike Landau helps me keep up with my left (fretting) hand. A lot is hammered & implied. I don't sweep. Eric Johnson has a great balance between left - right hand articulation.



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