It’s a question that has puzzled music historians for decades: why did Jimi Hendrix play his guitar upside down? Some say it was because he was left-handed; others claim it was for showmanship.
Jimi Hendrix played the guitar upside down because it felt more comfortable. After all, he was left-handed. Many people believe that Hendrix played the guitar upside down because he was trying to be different. By doing so, he created a new sound that had never been heard before.
This article will focus on the basic understanding of playing the guitar upside down, why Jimi Hendrix played his guitar upside down, and some famous left-handed guitar players.
What is ‘Playing The Guitar Upside Down’?
Many people think that playing the guitar upside down is simply turning the instrument around and plucking the strings with the opposite hand. However, there is a bit more to it than that.
A guitar can be played upside down by reversing the string order so that the thickest string is at the bottom and the thinnest string is at the top. This makes it easier to fret the lower notes and can help play in a lower register.
Some guitarists also find that playing upside-down helps them to better visualize the fingering for certain chords.
Why Did Jimi Hendrix Play Guitar Upside Down?
Jimi Hendrix is one of the most celebrated guitarists of all time, and his unique style has inspired countless musicians. One of the things that made Hendrix so distinctive was the way he played his guitar – upside down.
Hendrix was left-handed, but most guitars are designed for right-handed players. When he started to play the guitar, left-handed ones may have been hard to find or expensive, so he strung his guitar upside down. Hendrix had to flip his guitar over and restring it to play it properly.
Then, even though he became rich enough to have access to any left-handed guitar he wanted, he kept playing on his reverted guitar.
This gave his playing a very different sound, and it also allowed him to use his fretting hand in more innovative ways. While this may have been confusing for some audiences, it’s one of the things that made Hendrix such a groundbreaking artist.
There’s no definitive answer to why Hendrix played his guitar upside down. Still, he likely found it more comfortable and expressive than playing it the conventional way.
Whatever the reason, Hendrix’s unique approach to the instrument helped define an entire generation of music.
Did Hendrix Ever Play a Right-Handed Guitar?
Though Hendrix is commonly associated with playing the guitar left-handed, he was, in fact, capable of using both hands equally well. Hendrix’s father, Allen Hendrix, didn’t approve of his son doing things left-handed. So, Hendrix was made to play right-handed.
When his father was around, he played the guitar right-handed. However, when he had the chance to play left-handed, Hendrix took it.
In an interview with Guitar Player magazine in 1968, Hendrix stated: “I’m ambidextrous and I could play the guitar upside down just as easily. It’s all a matter of feel.”
Some Famous Left-Handed Guitar Players
Although there are many others but following are some of the most famous left-handed guitar players:
- Jimi Hendrix
- Kurt Cobain
- Billy Ray Cyrus
- Tony Iommi
- Joe Perry
Left-handed guitar players are amazing! We have learned why Jimi Hendrix played his guitar upside down. Not only did this make him unique, but it also allowed him to use his fretting hand in more innovative ways!
If you’re a lefty, don’t be afraid to experiment with your playing style – you never know what you might come up with!
We hope this article helped you understand a bit more about Jimi Hendrix and why he played his guitar upside down. If you’re a left-handed guitar player, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
Frequently Asked Questions
Start by reversing the string order on your guitar so that the thickest string is at the bottom and the thinnest string is at the top.
Find a comfortable position for your fretting hand and place your fingers on the strings in the same order as if you were playing the guitar right-side up.
Use your picking hand to strum the strings in the same pattern as when playing the guitar right-side up.
Practice this until it feels comfortable and you can play without thinking about it too much.