10 Famous Left-Handed Guitarists

There’s a shortage of left-handed people on the planet when compared to right-handed ones and that means that guitarists who are lefties face some barriers to entry that their right-handed counterparts don’t.

However, despite the challenges, some of the greatest guitarists of all time are left-handed guitarists and we’ve rounded up some of the best for your enjoyment.


Left Handed Guitar Vs Right Handed Guitar

Left-Handed Guitarists

The biggest issue facing a left-handed guitarist is the price of their guitar, thanks to most people being able to play right-handed a right-handed guitar is often much cheaper than a left-handed one.

Nonetheless, these heroes of the six-string all managed to overcome this obstacle and made their left-hand their trademark.


Some Of The Best Left-Handed Guitar Players


Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix

Perhaps, the most famous left-handed guitarist of them all is Jimi Hendrix.

His old man urged him to learn to play right-handed guitars to save some cash but he kept flipping that right-handed guitar upside down to suit his left hand and that helped him develop a unique tone and style that made him one of the most distinguished players in the world.

Listen to their music here.


Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney is also reliant on his left hand and his naturally left-handed style has made him one of the most influential guitarists of all time.

All of his own songs were written so he could play left-handed and that means every single major Beatles hit was a blessing to a left-handed guitar shop.

Listen to a song of theirs here.


Albert “BB” King

Albert BB King

The king of the blues guitar is also left-handed and there’s no doubt that BB King’s work is considered to be some of the greatest in its field ever written and performed.

He actually used a flipped-right-handed Flying V for most of his career which gave Albert King a set of unusual dropped open-tunings to produce those incredible licks with that distinctive “boom” to them.

Listen to a song of theirs here.


Omar Rodriguez-Lopez

Omar Rodriguez-Lopez

At The Drive-In’s and The Mars Volta’s Omar Rodriguez-Lopez has been a huge hit in the guitar world and his left-handed style is part of what makes him stand out from his peers.

Listen to a song of theirs here.


Otis Rush

Otis Rush

Another top-quality player from the Blues side of things. Otis Rush always had the strings on his guitar upside down which meant he create a sound completely of his own.

Peter Green and Eric Clapton, two of the guitar world’s biggest names both say that they were inspired by Rush’s style of playing.

Listen to a song of theirs here.


Mdou Moctar

Mdou Moctar

You don’t get many guitarists from the Sahara. But Mdou Moctar was born in Niger and he had to make his own first guitar from umm… a bicycle!

Despite this relatively obscure start in life, his music was discovered by tape traders who quickly propelled him to fame. His mastery of a left-handed Tuareg guitar make him one of a kind even in this multi-cultural modern age.

Listen to a song of theirs here.


Tony Iommi

Tony Iommi

Without Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi there would be no heavy metal. He plays a Gibson SG and has to detune it because he hurt his left hand in an accident many years ago when he was a carpenter.

He is a certainty for the Rock And Roll Hall of fame even with two fingers missing their fingertips!

Listen to a song of theirs here.


Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain

Cobain’s influence on music history is absolutely undisputed had he not joined the 27-club it is entirely possible that he would have become the greatest player of the left-handed guitar ever.

He tended to play reissues and offsets that had been pawned rather expensive new models of guitar.

Listen to a song of theirs here.


Courtney Barnett

Courtney Barnett

Courtney is one of Australia’s best players and she’s been working with Fender guitars for her recording and performing sessions.

However, she swaps out for Maton when she does acoustic sets. Interestingly, she’s not a fan of the flipped upside-down right-handed models and prefers to stick to left-handed specialist guitars.

Listen to a song of theirs here.


Barbara Lynn

Barbara Lynn

One of the best soul players of the 1960s, Barbara’s name might not trip off your tongue but she’s worked with BB King, Gladys Knight, Marvin Gaye, and many other legends, she’s more than earned her place on our list.

And her song, You’ll Lose A Good Thing was a number one in its own right.

Listen to a song of theirs here.


Final Thoughts On Left-Handed Guitars And Those Who Play Them

So, there you have it. If you’re a leftie then there’s no need to let this put you off learning to play the guitar – you’ll be in the company of some of the greatest players of all time if you do.

If you want to learn the guitar then check out these online guitar lessons.

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