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Famous Left-Handed Guitarists
It is a well known fact that
left-handers are generally more capable of using their right hand
for tasks than right-handers are using their left hand. In
the music world, this can be demonstrated by the many guitarists
who are left-handed but for one reason or another, have learned
their craft on a conventional right-handed guitar.
Hendrix has been placed top of a wide-ranging list of "The 100
Greatest Guitarists Of All Time" in a recent issue of Rolling
Stone magazine. The magazine's staff compiled the survey, which
includes classic rockers such as Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Keith
Richards, and the late Duane Allman.
Pete Townshend of The Who, who came in at number
50, said Hendrix deserves the honour, adding that "he made the
electronic guitar beautiful" Without question, Jimi Hendrix was
one of the most innovative, creative, determined guitarists of our
time. While making a name for himself in music's history books, he
blazed the way for other young guitarists to form their own sound
while at the same time reaping the benefits from Hendrix's
Hendrix played a
right-handed Fender Stratocaster upside-down and left-handed and
pioneered the electric guitar as an electronic sound source
capable of feedback, distortion, and a host of other effects that
could be crafted into an articulate and fluid emotional vocabulary.
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rose to fame as a bassist, pianist, guitarist, singer and
songwriter for the Beatles, but initially he was invited to join
John Lennon's band The Quarrymen as a guitarist. Paul replaced the
original duties of member Stuart Sutcliffe on bass guitar and the
band played a formative stint at the Star Club in Hamburg,
Germany, in the 1960's.
The left-handed McCartney also became probably
the most creative and influential rock bassist of his time,
elevating the electric bass from back-row obscurity to prominence,
inspiring countless players to take up the instrument.
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Frey is an American musician, singer, songwriter and
actor, best known as one of the founding members of the
rock and roll bank, The Eagles. Although left-handed, he
plays a "normal" guitar.
up in Royal Oak, Michigan, Frey became part of the
mid-1960's Detroit rock scene. His first professional
recording experience was performing acoustic guitar and
background vocals on Bob Seger's Ramblin' Gamblin'
Man in 1968. Frey and Seger remained friends and
occasional song-writing partners in later years.
Frey then moved to Los Angeles where he
met Jackson Browne with whom he would also sometimes write
songs. After a stint in 1971 backing
Linda Ronstadt, Frey helped form The Eagles, playing
guitar and keyboards. Frey wrote or co-wrote (often with
Don Henley) many of the group's songs, and sang lead vocal
on a number of Eagles hits. Frey
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on February 19, 1948, in Birmingham, England, Iommi picked
up the guitar after being inspired by the likes of Hank
Marvin & the Shadows as a teenager. By 1967, the
left-handed Iommi had played with several blues-based rock
bands, and formed a group, Earth. with three old
acquaintances from his school days — bassist Terry
"Geezer" Butler, drummer Bill Ward, and singer John "Ozzy"
With another band already
playing around England by the name of Earth, Iommi & co.
were forced to change their name, taking "Black Sabbath"
from the American title of the classic Italian horror
movie “I Tre Volti Della Paura”.
But Iommi's musical career was nearly derailed prematurely
when he suffered a horrible accident at a sheet metal
factory, when a machine sliced off the tips of the fingers
on his right hand. Depressed and figuring that his guitar
playing days were behind him, a friend turned him onto
guitarist Django Reinhardt (who lost use of two fingers in
a gypsy caravan campfire accident), inspiring Iommi to
give the six-string another go, with soft plastic tips
attached to the ends of his fingers.
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