Lest anyone think left-handed guitarists are at a disadvantage compared to their right-handed contemporaries, consider this list of some of the best known lefties: Paul McCartney, Dick Dale, Jimi Hendrix, and Albert King are just a few of the world’s most esteemed left-handed guitar players.
In the 1950s and ’60s, though, left-handed guitars were often difficult to come by, especially for guitarists on a budget. This makes left-handed guitars from that era particularly collectible. In the last several decades, guitars companies such as Fender, Epiphone, and Gibson have been producing more guitars for left-handed musicians, which has made these instruments more available and affordable.
During those lefty dark ages, many guitarists—Hendrix most famously—turned their right-handed guitars upside-down and then strung their guitars in reverse. Others learned to play right-handed guitars upside-down but without restringing, which called for an entirely different set of chord fingerings. Finally, some lefties, like Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins, became switch hitters, if you will, by learning to play right-handed.