Hendrix setup sucks!

bluesoul

Member
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4,646
OK...I have built what I would call some damn fine guitars or as we say "partscasters". I have been quite pleased with the end results....BUT.....
I thought I would build a Hendrix Strat and see what a lefty converted righty would be like....yeepee! Well not so much so.
Sucks man! The build went well and the thing looks awesome but there are things that just don't jive for this cat.
My curiosity was more about the change in staggered pickups, angle of pickups and tension change that may be associated with a reverse headstock. For the most part, I wanted to see what some of the differences might be.
Well the first thing that I disliked...was how limiting the range up the fretboard was. 17th fret and up was nearly useless based on the horn being in the way. Tuners were making me crazy....but I could have gotten used to it.
The tension on the wound strings, which I hoped would a bit more ...was marginal at best. The shorter distance that high E, B and G had to travel to meet the tuner did not help the strings bend any easier...I though they might a little. Very marginal difference overall.
So...bottom line, this ain't workin!
Why Jimi did not just use a left handed guitar is making me scratch my head....but hel* he is Jimi f-ing Hendrix and it worked out pretty damn well for him!
 

cap10kirk

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9,868
Why Jimi did not just use a left handed guitar is making me scratch my head....but hel* he is Jimi f-ing Hendrix and it worked out pretty damn well for him!

You have to realize, left handed guitars were few and far between back then. It was easier for him to flip over a right handed guitar than to find a lefty. Even today, left handed players still have far fewer options than right handed players.
 

bluesoul

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4,646
You have to realize, left handed guitars were few and far between back then. It was easier for him to flip over a right handed guitar than to find a lefty. Even today, left handed players still have far fewer options than right handed players.

Well yeah I understand that...but I can't imagine Fender would not have made something work for THAT GUY! But who knows, times were different then.
Left handed guitars were available, but certainly much much less common. I would venture to guess that he began with a righty that was converted and for a few reasons simply liked it. Maybe someone can chime in on that part of the history!
 

jasons7

Silver Supporting Member
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1,374
Yeah, I had a lefty body flipped righty with a right hand reverse neck. Effectively a mirror image of his guitar. It was the worst thing to play. Everyone should try it because it gives you even more respect for what he could do. The volume knobs are in your forearm. The cable is pointing at your elbow. I eventually parted it out.
 

althekiller

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,343
Being a lefty is always a compromise. Even today on left handed guitars there are things that are wrong. For example, on my 56 American Vintage strat the pickups are stock right handed staggered rather than being lefty. Also, and this one bugs the hell out of me, is that fender puts normal "righty" taper pots in all their lefty guitars but wires them backwards so that it basically makes them useless. Makes them go from full volume to no volume and tone full on to all the way off.

I realize it would be a pain to put reverse taper pots in them but at least wire them the right way. I've rewire them all and have just learned that to turn my volume and tone up I actually move my pinky downwards. Finding reverse taper pots is hard so I just compromise with the normal "right handed ones." Makes volume swells a little more difficult but it at least they work correctly this way.

Point is, there are still things that you just have to learn to deal with if you're stupid enough like I am to play a guitar left handed and not force yourself to learn right handed at the beginning.
 

ColorBlindJames

Silver Supporting Member
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740
Playing a lefty guitar flipped over was a nightmare largely because you didn't learn that way starting out. I'm a lefty and my first guitar was a right-handed one that the store where I was taking lessons restrung for me. I played that for several years without ever really realizing what a pain in the a** it was - it wasn't until I finally got an actual left-handed guitar that I fully understood the drawbacks of playing a right-handed guitar flipped over.

But if I had never stumbled upon the lefty guitar that I eventually bought, I would have kept playing converted righties without ever really knowing the difference and it would have been fine because I wouldn't know any better.
 
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bluesoul

Member
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4,646
Being a lefty is always a compromise. Even today on left handed guitars there are things that are wrong. For example, on my 56 American Vintage strat the pickups are stock right handed staggered rather than being lefty. Also, and this one bugs the hell out of me, is that fender puts normal "righty" taper pots in all their lefty guitars but wires them backwards so that it basically makes them useless. Makes them go from full volume to no volume and tone full on to all the way off.

I realize it would be a pain to put reverse taper pots in them but at least wire them the right way. I've rewire them all and have just learned that to turn my volume and tone up I actually move my pinky downwards. Finding reverse taper pots is hard so I just compromise with the normal "right handed ones." Makes volume swells a little more difficult but it at least they work correctly this way.

Point is, there are still things that you just have to learn to deal with if you're stupid enough like I am to play a guitar left handed and not force yourself to learn right handed at the beginning.

I have a whole new perspective on left handed guitar players! In fact I can guess there just is a whole bunch of things you guys have to deal with that right handers simply get a free pass on!
OK...here is the fuc*ed up part! As luck would have it, this body neck combo just "has it"! Lively thing that wants to vibrate right out of your hands...and the damn thing sounds killer. Great set of pickups too. It is a great strat....so I have to work around it's limits.
Jasons7....yep, you are right, I do have even more respect for what he could do!
One last thing...while I did feel that the playability of the guitar was a new thing to work with....the configuration did have a different sound that comes much closer to Jimi than my right handed guitars...this was more than marginal. No doubt... a different vibe going on.
The setup sucks for me...the guitar sounds killer. This my friends is a place I have never been in before...and I am no spring chicken!
 

ksandvik

Member
Messages
6,328
I had to indeed learn guitar on right-handed guitars as lefties were rare and expensive in the seventies. I don't know if the end result would have been different. I do know that I like to keep timing with my left hand when drumming so that might be a weakness when strumming and I had to learn the hard way to rewire my brain to compensate for this. Then again the left hand does much more work (on the fretboard) on a rightie guitar, hehehe.

As for Jimi's Fender, he did it at an early age and started from there, if someone thinks they do miracles using a rightie-leftie guitar at later age, it's mostly pain, suffering and inconsistencies where it's better to stick to what they started with in the first place.
 

Ugly Bunny

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2,453
Point is, there are still things that you just have to learn to deal with if you're stupid enough like I am to play a guitar left handed and not force yourself to learn right handed at the beginning.
You just made my day. The way I see it, when you don't know how to play, what difference does it make if you play lefty or righty? You develop each hand independently somewhat anyway and they each learn specific tasks. The guitar is the guitar - it's not "right-handed." If you choose to play a lefty guitar, that's on you and you'll forever be limited in choices or forced to pay a premium.

The lesson here, kids, is learn to play the guitar. Your being left-handed should have no bearing on your guitar playing progress if you aren't told "Oh, you're left-handed? Let me get you a left-handed strat to get you started..."

:hide
 

slider

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Messages
1,614
This thread has shown how much Jimi overcame to make the great music that he made. Never really thought about it, but everything most of us take for granted was wrong in the ergonomics of his guitars. It's been written how the string tension, knob placement etc. worked to his advantage, but I think it turns out that there's more wrong than right with that setup. What a ridiculous, over-the-top talent.
 

woof*

Member
Messages
8,803
You have to realize, left handed guitars were few and far between back then. It was easier for him to flip over a right handed guitar than to find a lefty. Even today, left handed players still have far fewer options than right handed players.
Jimi had an endorsement with Fender and received a lot of strats from them. He could have had left if he wanted but preferred right flipped over.
 

ukslinger

Member
Messages
1,391
I've played the new Hendrix tribute and it's a cool guitar. Other than tuning it's wasn't awkward at all. With a good setup I think it would feel pretty close to a regular strat with slightly different tension. Sounded a tad different with that and the pup orientation and such.

But I couldn't imagine playing a true flipped over guitar. The controls and trem and limited access to upper frets would be awful. But the righty body with lefty neck wasn't bad at all.
 

o0Ampy0o

Member
Messages
2,479
...Well the first thing that I disliked...was how limiting the range up the fretboard was. 17th fret and up was nearly useless based on the horn being in the way. Tuners were making me crazy....but I could have gotten used to it.
The tension on the wound strings, which I hoped would a bit more ...was marginal at best. The shorter distance that high E, B and G had to travel to meet the tuner did not help the strings bend any easier...I though they might a little. Very marginal difference overall....
I hope this didn't cost you a lot of money. Seems like you could have learned this without spending any money or time creating a guitar. The horn issue is obvious. The string tension could be comprehended by trying different scaled guitars. The tuner issue is predictable. Roger Mayer has been quoted enough to gather some insight into the string gauges Hendrix used. That information might benefit anyone hoping to balance the sound of a Strat when applied to either orientation of guitar. But he has said it is a very minimal difference.
 
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o0Ampy0o

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2,479
Jimi had an endorsement with Fender and received a lot of strats from them. He could have had left if he wanted but preferred right flipped over.
Source?

“All the guitars that we used were bought out of necessity; there weren’t that many Stratocasters around [in London] in those days, and they were very expensive." ~Roger Mayer
 

Jim85IROC

Member
Messages
4,206
I have a lefty buddy that plays a standard guitar upside down, but he doesn't flip the strings. It boggles my mind that he can play at all, and he is actually very good.

I'm a lefty but I just decided to learn right handed, though I'm so bad it probably doesn't matter. o_O
 

rollyfoster

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
18,448
I have a lefty buddy that plays a standard guitar upside down, but he doesn't flip the strings. It boggles my mind that he can play at all, and he is actually very good.

I'm a lefty but I just decided to learn right handed, though I'm so bad it probably doesn't matter. o_O


That's how Doyle Bramhall II rocks his. Really weird to watch.
 

Ilduce

And now for something completely different!
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4,593
One of my early guitar hero's Lefty Dizz played a righty Strat left handed and he cut out part of the lower horn to get better access to the higher frets.
 




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