List of Musicians Who Play Left-handed
Browse the List of Musicians Who Play Left-handed below, , or join the discussion on this topic. Add List of Musicians Who Play Left-handed to your topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
List of Musicians Who Play Left-handed

This is a list of notable left-handed musicians who play their instruments naturally. (This does not include left-handed people who play right-handed, such as Noel Gallagher,[1]Duane Allman, Gregg Allman, Janick Gers, Steve Morse, Billy Corgan, Jesper Stromblad, Dave Hill, Kiko Loureiro, Mark Knopfler, Gary Moore, Tomo Mili?evi?, James Root, Duff McKagan, Nick Lowe, Joan Jett and Paul Simon.)

Guitarists and bassists

Paul McCartney playing a true left-handed guitar (a Gibson Les Paul).

Left-handed people play guitar or electric bass in one of the following four ways: (1) play a right-handed guitar or right-handed bass in a right-handed manner, (2) play a true left-handed guitar or bass, (3) play a right-handed guitar or bass that has been altered to play left-handed, or (4) turn a right-handed guitar or bass upside down, pick with the left hand, but leave the strings as they were - which makes them reversed from the normal order. (The fingering is the same for methods 2 and 3.) Any style of picking with the left hand (flatpicking or fingerstyle guitar) is considered playing left-handed.


Left-handed with normal stringing

Guitarists in this category pick with their left hand and have the strings in the conventional order for a left-handed player (i.e. the low string on the top side of the neck). They either have true left-handed guitars or have right-handed guitars altered so the strings are correct for a left-handed player. Some guitarists in this category (e.g. Paul McCartney) play both genuine left-handed instruments and right-handed instruments altered for left-handed playing.

Changing the strings on a right-handed guitar involves several things. The nut of the guitar has to be changed to accommodate the string widths. The bridge needs to be changed to make the lower strings longer than the top strings for correct intonation. On almost all acoustic guitars the bracing is non-symmetrical. On electric guitars altered this way, the controls will be backwards.

Notable players
Hendrix on stage in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1967
Tony Iommi playing a true left-handed guitar (a Jaydee Custom S.G.)
Jonathan Butler at the Newport Beach Jazz Festival, 2011.

Left-handed with strings backwards

These are left-handed players who play naturally too, but with the strings organized to emulate an unaltered right-handed guitar, thus the strings are backwards for a left-handed player. The right-handed guitar is held left handed with the high string on the top side of the neck(e.g. Bob Geldof). Some players in this category (e.g. Dick Dale and Albert King) had custom instruments that were essentially left-handed guitars with the strings as on a right-handed guitar, since they had learned to play that way.

Notable players
Dick Dale playing a customized left-handed guitar with the strings backwards.
Bob Geldof playing a right-handed guitar upside down (a Gibson).
Dan Swanö live at Nosturi

Unclassified left-handed players


Paul McCartney playing a left-handed Rickenbacker 4001 bass


A drum kit for a left-handed person is set up so that percussion instruments drummers would normally play with their right hand (ride cymbal, floor tom, etc.) are played with the left hand. The bass drum and hi-hat configurations are also set up so that the drummer plays the bass drum with their left foot, and operate the hi-hat with their right foot. Some drummers however have been known to play right-handed kit, but play leading with their left hand (e.g. playing open-handed on the hi-hat). This list does not include drummers who are naturally left-handed but play drums purely right-handed such as Ringo Starr,[10]Stewart Copeland, Dave Lombardo, Travis Barker and Chris Adler.



The violin can be learned in either hand, and most left-handed players hold the violin under their left chins, the same as right-handed players. This allows all violinists to sit together in an orchestra.







  • Hariprasad Chaurasia, right-handed, started his career playing the bansuri, a side-blown flute, right-handed, and switched to left-handed playing


  1. ^ Noel Gallagher (Oasis) Late Late Show - 1996 circa 5 mins.
  2. ^ a b c d e f (Stetin 2001:5)
  3. ^ "TICE". Retrieved .
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ "Chase Bryant Talks Brantley Gilbert and ZZ Top, Performs 'Take It on Back' [Watch]". 2014-09-03. Retrieved .
  6. ^ (Ferguson 1979:121)
  7. ^ Guitarplayer interview
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Ringo Starr Reveals The Secret Of His Distinctive Rhythm - CONAN on TBS". YouTube. 2012-02-02. Retrieved .
  11. ^ "Steve Hewitt - Free listening, videos, concerts, stats and pictures at". Retrieved .


External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Music Scenes