3 Famous Left-Handed Acoustic Guitarists

It’s a rare oddity to be left-handed, but there sure are quite a few left handed acoustic guitar legends – and left-handed people seem to have a certain propensity for creativity. Whether there’s any correlation is unknown, but the simple fact remains that some of the best acoustic guitarists of our time were, in fact, lefties.


Who, you might ask? Well, let’s just go on ahead and take a look at exactly who we’re talking about.

  1. Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix is known for being the king of the electric guitar – but his skill with any guitar, including playing a left-handed acoustic guitar, was immense. Born as Johnny, Hendrix had a rough start to life with a father recently discharged from the army upon trying to see his son, and a mother who couldn’t handle raising a child alone. Alcohol abuse and violence followed, and Hendrix was a shy kid.


His passion for music began when he picked up a single-stringed ukulele from a garbage pile one day, and it flourished when he afforded himself a $5 acoustic guitar at the age of 15. He played so much and so well that he eventually joined a band – but it was then out of necessity that he abandoned playing his left-handed acoustic guitar, instead getting his first electric guitar (a white Supro Ozark) from his reluctant father.

Jimi’s left-handedness was criticized by his father, who pushed him to play on his right hand – but it only lead to Jimi learning to play the guitar both ways – left when he wanted to, and right when his father was around.

  1. Paul McCartney

A knight, a member of the Order of the British Empire, and a vegetarian activist all at once – Sir James Paul McCartney and his left hand have been a nigh-on permanent fixture in the world of guitarists from the start of his career in the late 50s onwards to today. Yet just like Hendrix, he’s shown the ability to play the guitar with both his left and right hand – although officially, he’s always claimed to be resolutely left-handed, so much so that during the beginning of his career with a £15 acoustic guitar, he discovered that he simply couldn’t play it properly.


When he discovered that the trouble lay in which hand he was comfortable with, he had the guitar changed to suit his particular needs. However, recordings of the Beatles often show McCartney playing with the right – an observation that had famously led some fans to believe that he died and been replaced by a phony.

  1. Kurt Cobain

Famous for fame itself, heroin, Nirvana, and his suicide, the left-handed media-appointed musical spokesman for Generation X had a propensity for playing a left-handed acoustic guitar. But his talents and luck gave him a life with too much pressure and unwarranted attention, so much so that he felt misunderstood by his audiences and misinterpreted by fans.


He led a struggle against drugs and a battle against addiction, yet illness and depression won over him in the end.

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