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FDP Forum / The Lefty Forum / Jimi Hendrix playing right-handed guitars

Tony Salieri

Houston, Texas

I'm a tone deaf hack.
Oct 10th, 2015 01:36 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I was at a GC the other day and struck up a conversation with a guy (I had taken down a guitar for him that he couldn't reach). It turns out that he was lefty who learned to play RH.

He made the comment that Jimi couldn't find proper LH guitars. I said that story, IMO, is wrong but has grown to be accepted as truth over the years.

In one of the Frankie & Annette 'Beach' movies, that predated Hendrix popularity by several years, a member of the surf band is playing a proper LH strat.

Of course there are the concert clips of Jimi playing a lefty 3HB Gibson SG, and a Flying V.

Was the flipped RH guitar part of Jimi's cultivated image? Perhaps he preferred them because that was what he was used to?

I don't know. I was about 12 YO when Hendrix died, and have no idea about interviews with him, band mates, guitar tech (if he had one?), etc.

Contributing Member


too many guitars and not enough hands
Oct 10th, 2015 03:18 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic


There were lefty guitars available but not in huge numbers,

So I believe he bought right handed guitars due to sheer convenience, especially in his younger days playing the chitlin circuit with the Isley brothers, little Richard ect.

And considering all the accounts of him hocking guitars in and out of pawn. Right handed guitars were a dime a dozen (just ask Clapton)

reverend mikey
Contributing Member

west Omaha, east NE

Life gets in the way of my G.A.S.
Oct 10th, 2015 06:35 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

^^^ I think this pretty much nails it. Hendrix was being practical and playing what he could easily get his hands on.

Contributing Member

Chain Smokin'

Gas Station Attendant
Oct 10th, 2015 06:42 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I've read a few interviews where Hendrix stated he found it simpler to operate the controls of the flipped Strat. This includes the vibrato bar coming off the bass side of the bridge.

But I'm guessing that was not his original intent; as stated above, he probably became accustomed to the flipped Strat--and that's how/why he preferred a righty flipped over to play lefty.

Tony Salieri

Houston, Texas

I'm a tone deaf hack.
Oct 12th, 2015 09:25 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

All of the comments make sense.

I would've thought at some point he would want a proper LH Strat. As mentioned, maybe he just didn't like them.

Oh, the band previously mentioned is The Pyramids with lefty Willie Glover on rhythm guitar.



Sep 26th, 2016 11:10 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I read somewhere Jimi gave Steven Stills a lefty strat and encouraged him to learn to play it flipped as he thought strats easier to work upside down. I doubt it was convenient to cut a lefty nut and drill for the strap button on his righty strats any time he needed a new guitar. And by '68, Fender would have given him whatever he wanted. With those huge hands, it was no problem to reach the volume and pickup switch with his thumb while on the treble strings, not an easy task for average hands.

Tony Salieri

Houston, Texas

I'm a tone deaf hack.
Nov 4th, 2016 07:27 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm still thinking that image played a role--how much is unknown--especially later in his career when the money was good.

FDP Forum / The Lefty Forum / Jimi Hendrix playing right-handed guitars

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