10 famous left handed musicians

13 August 2019, 18:03 | Updated: 13 August 2019, 18:06

Kurt Cobain recording in Hilversum Studios, playing acoustic guitar, 1991
Kurt Cobain recording in Hilversum Studios, playing acoustic guitar, 1991. Picture: Michel Linssen/Redferns/Getty Images

Some of the finest musicians in the world are southpaws… even though it may not be immediately obvious. Here are ten of the most notable.

  1. Paul McCartney

    The most famous musical left-hander in the world, Macca realised he couldn’t play guitar right handed when he saw a poster of country star Slim Whitman and decided to switch the order of the strings.

  2. Kurt Cobain

    The Nirvana frontman was a natural left-hander but was taught to write with his right hand. After years of having problems finding left-handed guitars, Fender made him special Mustangs once the band had become famous.

  3. Jimi Hendrix

    Contrary to popular belief, the legendary axe-man didn’t play his guitar upside down, but simply strung it the other way round.

  4. Jimi Goodwin

    The Doves bassist and singer is proudly left-handed.

    Jimi Goodwin of Doves performs at The Forum on March 19, 2009
    Jimi Goodwin of Doves performs at The Forum on March 19, 2009. Picture: Samir Husein/Getty Images
  5. Ringo Starr

    Macca wasn’t the only left-hander in The Beatles! Ringo is a left-handed drummer playing a right-handed drum kit.

    Beatles drummer Ringo Starr at the Melody Maker Pop Poll luncheon in the GPO Tower restaurant, September 1966
    Beatles drummer Ringo Starr at the Melody Maker Pop Poll luncheon in the GPO Tower restaurant, September 1966. Picture: Terry Disney/Express/Getty Images
  6. David Bowie

    The legend was left-handed but can be seen many times playing guitar right handed.

  7. Tony Iommi

    Not only does the Black Sabbath guitarist play left-handed, but he also lost the tips of his middle and ring fingers in a horrible industrial accident when he was 17. Inspired by the jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, who lost the use of two fingers in a fire, Iommi persisted and created plastic fingertips to help him invent heavy metal.

    Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath in the mid-1970s
    Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath in the mid-1970s. Picture: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
  8. Damon Albarn

    The Blur frontman once described himself as a “neurotic, middle-aged left handed man talking nonsense out there into the void”… but he also plays guitar right-handed.

  9. Noel Gallagher

    The former Oasis man plays right handed, but he’s a natural left-hander. He claims that guitar is the only thing he can do left-handed, and you can see he signs autographs with his left.

    Noel Gallagher signing autographs outside the Four Seasons Hotel in Buenos Aires
    Noel Gallagher signing autographs outside the Four Seasons Hotel in Buenos Aires. Picture: Philip Ramey/Corbis via Getty Images
  10. Billy Corgan

    The Smashing Pumpkins frontman is another musician who is naturally left-handed but taught himself to play guitar right-handed.

    Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins performing live in 1995
    Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins performing live in 1995. Picture: Mick Hutson/Redferns/Getty Images