Jimi Hendrix - Lead Guitar Concepts

I break down a few of the core ideas used by the late great Jimi Hendrix.

Ultimate Guitar
Andrew Wasson of Creative Guitar Studio answers questions from off of his Guitar Blog website.

Q). For the last few months I've been getting into Jimi Hendrix. My question has to do with three things he does in his lead playing. First, he seems to use a lot of quick hammer-on /pull-offs when he plays his solos. Second, he jumps across strings in very odd ways using broken rhythms. And third, he uses double-stop chords quite differently, (with hammer-ons & pull-offs). Could you go and demonstrate some of Jimi's lead playing techniques in a lesson?
Danny - Mays Landing, NJ. USA

A). Trying to make a single video lesson covering what made Jimi Hendrix's lead playing unique, probably isn't possible in the time that we have. When it comes to Hendrix's quick hammer-on and pull-off applications, its obvious he was a huge fan of the sixteenth-note triplet sound. This idea combined with broken scale tones, syncopated rhythms, double-stop chords and his wide vibrato, created the foundation of his lead sound. But, as we all know, there were many other concepts unique to the Hendrix approach.

Jimi was an innovative player plus a great songwriter. So, it goes without saying, that it's well worth your time to study his playing, because there's a lot to learn from how Jimi Hendrix played guitar!


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In the above video, I cover Jimi's unique use of sixteenth-note triplets via speedy hammer-ons and pull-offs. And, I demonstrate examples of how he applied broken scale-tone patterns along with his signature bending technique to produce much of that recognizable "Hendrix" sound heard on his classic albums. Includes on-screen TAB, plus notation. Enjoy!

About the Author:
Andrew Wasson is a 1992 Graduate of Hollywood California's Guitar Institute of Technology (G.I.T.). He has operated his Canadian Music School; Creative Guitar Studio, for the last 20+ years... teaching thousands of guitarists both in studio sessions, and through his popular YouTube Channels and websites. Hundreds of FREE lessons are available at www.andrewwasson.com.

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Love Jimi's playing because he didn't go "Well, to get from this A note to the G note a 7th higher, I have to play every note", which would be boring; it's like saying the alphabet versus saying descriptive words. I mean, how interesting is "A B C D E F Gggggg..." Not very interesting at all. "A hammer C pull A D slide Eeee...C E Fff bend Gggggg..." Definitely more interesting.
    ^It's not like he didn't know what he was doing, and don't forget that descriptive words could not and would not exist if the alphabet didn't. No one thinks the way you describe, and it would likely serve you well to learn what theory is actually all about before dismissing it.