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Guitar Resources > Left Handed Resources > Famous Left-handed Guitarists



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.  


Jimi Hendrix


Jimi 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 expertise. 


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 Profile

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Paul McCartney

McCartney 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.  Profile

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Glenn Frey

Glenn 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.

Growing 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 Site

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Tony Iommi

Born 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" Osbourne.

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.   Iommi Site

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