Today was Jimi Hendrix’s birthday, and in his honor, I thought I would write a little bit about him.
I always tell my students that the most impressive thing about his playing is not his guitar solos. The true genius of his playing is his rhythm guitar playing. Go ahead and try to learn what he does with chords while he is singing. You should notice that he never really plays the same thing twice. There are a bunch of ideas that he goes back to, but they aren’t ever the same thing. My friend Neil likes to point out that while he was one of the most iconic guitarists of the 20th century, he is a blues player through and through. Next time you’re listening to him, pay close attention to that rhythm guitar in the background. If you can learn how to imitate that, you will be well on your way to paying tribute to one of the most important musicians to pick up a guitar.
Some of my favorite Hendrix Tunes (in no particular order and just what I’m thinking of as I write this)
My Friend (First Rays of the New Rising Sun)
Belly Button Window (First Rays of the New Rising Sun)
Little Wing (Axis)
Who Knows (Band of Gypsys)
Power to Love (Band of Gypsys)
Burning of the Midnight Lamp (Electric Ladyland)
Start there, and see where it takes you!