Hendrix Style

Hendrix is probably the most influenced guitarist in rock history, i will take the time to discuss his technique, sound and style.

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Hendrix was an amazing guitarist, there is many ways hendrix experemented from the rising days of experence to the time where you risen with band of gypses. I don't wanna mess about right now so I'll get to this lesson. Gear/guitar/etc: Guitar: fender usa stratocaster Amp: Marshalls Effects: fuzz, distortion and wah-wah You would use stuff like that for the actual hendrix-wannabe way. Hendrix most used pickup would most likely be the bridge pickup, however sometimes you could switch to middle for hey joe and bridge pickup for wind cries mary which gives a sweet soft sound. Tone knobs, from what I saw in woodstock, they were at full but don't take that for granted because don't be afraid to experement though alot of treble to give that quick, twangy, blues sound is important for the real hendrix sound. Hendrixs real amp settings haven't been released but all I do is put them all up to full (bass, treble and middle) because my lonestar has tonal, bass, mid and treble control so I'm fixed. If you play without a whammy bar, or a tremolo bar, it would be advisable to put it on as for a few hendrixs... Well... Experemental licks use the tremelo bar but I will discuss this later on. Style: Hendrix was a pretty sloppy guitarist, he prefaird passion over perfection which alot of bands today don't have, I'm not speaking ALL of todays though so please don't take me as over exagherating. Hendrix was self taught like most early musicians such as Jimmy page or Clapton. Hendrix had a very unique way of playing his chords, solos, improvisation which make him the "best" guitarist of all time, his weirdness was ahead of alot of people yet his theory was terribly behind. i will quickly run over the hendrix style of chords which I have already posted a previous lesson about but I shall show once again. Now, as we are all probably used to (well I'm not anyways) is using all of our fingers for a barre chord, its easy, quick and the standard way but hendrix does not "barre" his first finger. Heres an example.
e|--5----(first finger)--------------------------
B|--5----(first finger)--------------------------
G|--6----(second finger)-------------------------
D|--7----(third finger)--------------------------
A|-(7)---(NOTE: you dont need to use your fourth)
E|--5----(thumb, hendrix used alot)--------------
Now notice how if you didn't use your pinky (fourth finger) it shall be free and it isnt another chord because it will be muted by the edge of your thumb? This is freedom for your pinky and you can do whatever you want with it! You can play the chords from wind cries mary, little wing and castles made of sand easily now.
  (Fig.1)  (Fig.2)    (Fig.3)
e|---3--------2-2-2------7--x-7-x-x--
B|---1--------2-2-2------7--x-7-x-7--
G|---2--------3h4-4------10-x-9-x-7--
D|---3--------4-4-4------9--x-9-x-7--
A|---x--------x-x-x------------------
E|---1--------2-2-2------------------
Fig1: notice how there is a "3" on the high e? well you put your pinky there and you have the slidable chord for castles made of sand! Fig2: your pinky can freely hammer onto "4" and continue the chord a few times, this was used in like a rolling stone live at monterey. fig3: probably wrong but whatever, this is like the riff for message to love at the woodstock gig. I won't go into to much detail this time but the "A" shaped barre is alot more expandable because you only use one finger, your first
   (D chord)
e|-----------
B|---7--------
G|---7---all done with
D|---7------just your
A|----------first
E|-----------finger
Thats... pretty much just his rythm playing, his lead soloing work or riffs for songs was all done by pentatonic, or if you really want to go into his rythm and look closely, you can see the Dorian mode appearing (by mixing both minor and major pentatonics) but really almost all of Jimis solo work was used in the minor pentatonic which is a real funny thing, Jimi could be playing a song in major and still play the minor pentatonic. Lets look into Jimis soloing now and his scale work. If you don't know the Pentatonic scale I sugest you go look at the blues scale in the lesson column because its a handy things to know about. Hendrix played alot of random and weird stuff on stage but listening to the albums or stuff his things will all be in the minor pentatonic, for e.g Hey Joe:
e|------12------------------------------12----------------------------
B|--15B----15brp12------------------15B----15brp12--------------------
G|-----------------14brp12----12ZYABLA~HUYABLA-----------------14b-12-14-12-------
D|-------------------------14-----------------------------------14/---
A|--------------------------------------------------------------------
E|--------------------------------------------------------------------
Reading tab is all pretty so so but you have to listen to the dynamics to really get a grasp onto hendrixs soloing. He often had unique bending styles and licks, heres his bending styles: This is where things get tricky to explain you see, you bend one note and then release the bend on the string below, pretty hard to explain but I'll try. PBR:pre-bend-release
e|----------------------
B|--15B-----------------
G|------14PBR-12ZYABLA~HUYABLA------
D|-----------------14/--
A|----------------------
E|----------------------
Now for this kind of bending technique you will have to already have your middle finger on the 14 to make sure the strings don't get stuck under your fingers. fretboard: f=first m=middle r=ring
 12  13  14  15  16
|---|---|---|---|---|
|---|-F-|---|-R-|---|
|---|---|-m-|---|---|
|---|---|---|---|---|
|---|---|---|---|---|
|---|---|---|---|---|
You must be in that state before you can use that technique or it may become sloppy, its a very hard technique to get used to but it's really powerful to make your guitar "cry" The other one is bending one string half a step and the other a full, heres an example:
e|--15b17--
B|--15b16--
G|---------
D|---------
A|---------
E|---------
You are probably looking at it thinking it doesn't look right, try it for yourself, its great! One very last thing which is a personal favourite lol is the tremelo bar used for hammer ons and pull offs, heres one of the songs you may reconise from monterey.
e|-----------------------------------------------------
B|--Tremelo nice, down and back!-----------------------
G|--12p9h12p9h12p9h12p9h12p9h12B~p9--------------------
D|---------------------------------12p9----------------
A|-------------------------------------12p10-----------
E|------------------------------------------12p10h12ZYABLA~HUYABLA-
Ok well I'm really not sure what else to say here at this moment, I hope I didn't miss anything. And questions just email me. I'm 14 years of age btw. Have fun, Danny Boy Neo.

14 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    Naptime
    I think his age is important. Not everyone reads all his articles. This was the first I read of his. I'm assuming Libertines4ever wanted to make sure you didn't sound too cocky. Good article though! I respect the fact that you're trying to reach out and help others at such a young age. Keep it up bud!
    Stubaa
    I don't get that Prebend release thing. Could someone make like a video of it or something?
    teddyg10594
    good article but you couldn't spell preferred haha dude you said prefaird haha ....good article though.
    gingerbear bass
    dude awesome lesson u made it realy simple for me cheers and honestly i feel like i should know more coz im 15 but ure just awesome man
    guilty
    I must say, great article. I think you understand Mr. Hendrix more than I do..
    colormestupid79
    Stubaa wrote: I don't get that Prebend release thing. Could someone make like a video of it or something?
    Actually jimi does it a little different as mentioned here. He wouldn't bend the 14 on G, what he'd actually do is bend the 15 on B with his ring finger, and catch the 15 on G, bending it a little in the process before plucking it and releasing it. Watch and listen to the red house intro lick at woodstock right before the band kicks in, I couldn't think of a more perfect example. You'll know exactly what I'm talking about.
    neo14085
    agreed. i'm kind of dislecic... or however its spelled. i'm sorry for any inconviencence lol.
    Blas3
    just nice you did get down PBR quite well, this is the first article I've read, where it is written like this thx
    johnnyP43
    you need to have someone proof read your lessons lots of spelling and grammer errors
    libertines4ever
    you've improved well on your last lesson but you don't have to mention your age in every lesson you write :p
    Ozfan
    i actually think this was a good lesson, and ive studied some jimi and its pretty accurate