You may not know this, but left handed guitar players are actually quite rare. The best of the best are only 5% of all guitarists. This is why it’s time to take a look at the 10 best left handed guitar players in history!
Our List of Great Left Handed Guitarists
1. Robert Johnson (1911-1938)
Not only was Robert Johnson best known for his work in Delta blues, he is also considered one of the best left handed guitar players to ever live. Not much is known about him today, but it’s generally accepted that he sold his soul at a crossroads in exchange for becoming an amazing guitarist.
A lot of his music has been covered by other artists such as the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton. Unfortunately, he died at a very young age due to poisoning from a jealous husband/lover in 1938!
2. Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970)
It’s no surprise that Jimi Hendrix is on this list – he is considered one of the best left handed guitar players of all time. He started playing when he was just 12 years old and later went on to start playing gigs in the U.S and Europe at age 17!
He used a right handed Fender Stratocaster that he restrung for lefty, played upside down (lefty strung righty), and even reverse wound his strings so they wouldn’t buzz against the neck of the guitar while being played!
3. Chuck Berry (1926-2017)
You probably best know Chuck for “Johnny B Goode” which was one of the first rock and roll songs. He is considered one of the pioneers of this genre, as well as rhythm and blues.
Chuck Berry played left handed guitar upside down (lefty strung righty), but it didn’t seem to affect his playing ability at all! He even inspired Jimi Hendrix who said “If I was going to be a guitar player, I wanted to play like Chuck Berry.”
4. Prince (1958-2016)
Prince was best known as being a multi-talented musician who could play any instrument he picked up. He started playing the guitar at just seven years old and continued to do so throughout his career!
He was even recognized by The Guinness Book of World Records for having the most number one hits on the Billboard Hot 100.
Check out Prince’s iconic solo at the 2004 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction:
Original song by The Beatles “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”
5. Eric Clapton (1945-)
Best known as being one of the best English blues guitarists, Eric Clapton has been playing since he was a teenager! He first gained recognition as being part of The Yardbirds before joining Cream.
He has also been involved with other best lefty bands such as Blind Faith, Derek and the Dominos, and even supergroup Crossroads!
6. Paul McCartney (1942-)
Yes, that Paul McCartney. The one from the Beatles! He started playing left handed guitar when he was just 14 years old and continued to play with the Beatles until their break-up in 1970.
After the Beatles disbanded, Paul McCartney went on to have a successful solo career and later worked with Michael Jackson.
7. Jimmy Page (1944-)
Another member of the British Invasion, Jimmy Page was best known as being the guitarist for Led Zeppelin from 1968 until 1980! He has also been involved in several other bands such as The Firm and Coverdale/Page.
Jimmy Page has been recognized as being a major influence on other best left handed guitar players such as Kurt Cobain and Slash.
8. Kurt Cobain (1967-1994)
You probably best know Kurt for his work in Nirvana. He was best known as being the guitarist, but also took up vocal duties during live performances. His guitar skills are considered to be some of the best left handed guitar players who ever lived!
9. Slash (1965-)
Also best known for his work with best left handed guitarists Guns N’ Roses, Slash is a well-known best lefty guitar player who has been playing the instrument since he was just eleven years old!
He started out as more of a classic rock type guy before moving towards hard rock and eventually heavy metal. Later on in life, he moved on to doing collaborations with best left handed guitarists such as Michael Jackson, Fergie, and even Myles Kennedy!
10. BB King (1925-2015)
Best known as being one of the best blues guitarists of all time, BB King began playing the guitar at just seven years old. He even served in the military during World War II and played with various bands after he was discharged!
BB King is considered one of the best left handed guitarists because of his unique style which incorporates both blues and jazz.
11. George Harrison (1943-2001)
Most best left handed guitar players know George best for being the lead guitarist of The Beatles. He was also a member of best left handed guitarists Traveling Wilburys, and played on film soundtracks such as “Pirates Of The Caribbean” and “The Lord Of The Rings.”
12. Jeff Beck (1944-)
It’s best to think of Jeff Beck as the British version of Jimi Hendrix. They were both big inspirations for each other and even jammed together once, but unfortunately it didn’t work out very well!
Beck actually began his career playing in Rod Stewart’s band after leaving The Yardbirds. He’s still performing today, and even has his own signature guitar!
13. Keith Richards (1943-)
Often best known as being the best left handed guitar player in The Rolling Stones, Keith Richards has been playing since he was just two years old! He even began writing songs at a young age and later co-wrote many best selling singles for his band such as “Satisfaction” and “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.”
Richards is also known for his unique guitar style which incorporates both blues and country music.
14. Syd Barrett (1946-2006)
This English best lefthanded guitar player was best known as being the founder and original frontman of psychedelic rock band Pink Floyd. He started out playing guitar for the band but eventually left due to mental health issues.
Barrett is considered to be one of the best left handed guitarists because of his unique style which incorporates both classical and jazz music.
Until Next Time
This is where the list of left handed guitar players ends…for now! There are so many best lefty guitarists who have inspired us. Who inspires you? Comment below and let me know!