Edited by Roland T. Rust and Ming-Hui Huang
Chapter 13: Are you (appropriately) experienced? Service-sales ambidexterity
In a classic recording, guitar hero Jimi Hendrix tells the story of Joe, going down to shoot his cheating old lady. But he never specifies in which hand Joe is holding his famous gun. Perhaps Joe's left hand would be quicker, but his right hand is stronger, and holding the gun with both hands could offer him a steadier shot. Hendrix himself was left handed but generally just restrung right-handed guitars and played them upside down; he also reportedly ate, drank, and held the telephone with his right hand. This "mixed-handedness" may even have been the foundation for his genius (Michaels 2010). That is, Hendrix tended to play intricate series of bends and slides with his right hand, while hitting strings and switching back and forth between pickups. Rather than using his hands independently, Hendrix's playing technique was based on close coordination between them, which reinforced the rich texture of his music. Moreover, "language and rhythm processing are lateralised to the left side of brain, while the processing of melody and harmony is lateralised to the right side" (Michaels 2010), so the ability to combine the use of both hands may have been part of what made Hendrix one of the most inventive guitar players of all time.
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