FDP Home Page / FDP Forum / FAQ's

The FDP is made possible by the following companies and individual members like you.
Please use the links below to show them we value their sponsorship.

Yellowjackets Tube Converters

Amplified Parts


Apex Tube Matching

WD Music

Antique Electronics Supply


Jensen Loudspeakers

* God bless America and our men and women in uniform *

* Illegitimi non carborundum! *

If you benefit and learn from the FDP and enjoy our site, please help support us and become a Contributing Member or make a Donation today! The FDP counts on YOU to help keep the site going with an annual contribution. It's quick and easy with PayPal. Please do it TODAY!

Chris Greene, Host & Founder



Find musicians
in your area!
  Search the Forums  

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  

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  


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  

^^^ 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  

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  

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  

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  

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

lost sailor

North Central PA

Nov 23rd, 2017 01:25 AM   Edit   Profile  

I play my Strats upside down too....it is what I am used to -- Many times back then you had to order one so you couldn't play it first....I wouldn't want to order one only to find out it was a lemon you couldn't bond with....yes it is easier to play with the controls up top, you don't knock the pickup switch and you can flip up the vibrato arm easier. Also it is the sound they have. I have a couple of them with humbucker sized P90s in them and they really sound great.


Buckeye Country, USA

Motorcycles, Guitars, and Golf
Nov 23rd, 2017 06:53 AM   Edit   Profile  

Leftee and Peegoo nailed it. I've also read Jimi preferred the individual string tensions of an upside-down headstock, but I don't know about that. I took that story as speculation. The writer even claimed to be able to hear the difference in Jimi's sound of the longer low E.
*rolls eyes*

My first guitar was a righty Ovation Preacher that I bought from a friend on the ship and flipped it. I still have a scar on my forearm from raking it across the upside-down controls. I swore I'd never do that again.


Buckeye Country, USA

Motorcycles, Guitars, and Golf
Nov 23rd, 2017 07:05 AM   Edit   Profile  

Another misconception about Jimi is that he played a true righty upside-down (ie, strung RH). I've heard that one a lot over the years.

Contributing Member

Roisin, I wanna

fight your father
Nov 23rd, 2017 11:51 PM   Edit   Profile  

Here's Greggery Kokkery talking about Jimi, his influence, and

his signature style.

El Kabong
Contributing Member

NJArmpit of Universe

A-Ahhl do the thinnin' around here!
Dec 4th, 2017 02:55 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have heard that Jimi also liked the tone with the longer strings on the low end, and the pickup closer to the bridge at the low end, and vice-versa for the high strings.

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

Reply to this Topic
Display my email address             Lost your password?
Your Message:
Link Address (URL):
Link Title:

Moderators: Chris Greene  Iron Man  reverendrob  

FDP, LLC Privacy Policy: Your real name, username, and email
are held in confidence and not disclosed to any third parties, sold, or
used for anything other than FDP Forum registration unless you specifically authorize disclosure.

Internet Application Development

Copyright © 1999-2019 Fender Discussion Page, LLC   All Rights Reserved