I was watching a documentary about Jimi last night and was amazed to see him signing autographs with his right hand. I have studied his autograph for years and actually own a set of Experience autographs (that I hope is real) so I should have known better but I always assumed he signed left-handed.

I found this old but interesting aticle about Jimi's ambidexterity this morning:


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Hendrix wrote with his right hand.

True ambidexterity — being able to perform all tasks equally well with either hand — is extremely rare.  Hendrix was mixed-handed, sometimes known as cross-dominance, which is relatively common, depending on the degree.

I have the same thing, but it manifests itself in a slightly different way to Hendrix.  I write with my right hand, and play guitar (badly) right-handed.  But my dominant hand for sports — throwing, catching, holding a bat or racquet — is my left.  I can kick a football relatively well with both feet, but my preference is for my left.  Being English, I didn’t grow up playing baseball, but I believe mixed-handedness is considered an advantage in that sport.

Noah Hunt from the Kenny Wayne Shepherd band plays guitar right-handed but when I got his sig back stage he signed it left-handed.

This is quite common.  The most famous example being David Bowie.

Even today, left-handed guitars are not a common sight in music stores.  I imagine they were probably difficult to source when a lot of natural lefties, like Bowie, were beginning to play music back in the early 1960s, so it’s possible he learned to adapt to playing right-handed because that’s all that was available to him.  Or, if he had other cross-dominant traits that we are unaware of, playing guitar right-handed may have come completely naturally to him.  I wish I’d asked him about it when I had the opportunity.  It’s an interesting question that I don’t believe he was ever asked in an interview.

Signed right-handed at least in this pic from 1968.



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