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Jimi Hendrix - as a guitarist

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Topic: Jimi Hendrix - as a guitarist
Posted By: dreadpirateroberts
Subject: Jimi Hendrix - as a guitarist
Date Posted: 20 Mar 2012 at 8:14am
Hi everyone, thought I'd get some opinions on the great fellow - from a stylistic/technique viewpoint.  

I've had a large amount of his material for years and have always meant to ask a guitar-player what it is about Jimi that's so very distinctive. I know as a listener, what I think, what impresses me, but as a guitarist (or a proper musician of any other instrument) what's the key to his playing?

I've heard someone say that something like Little Wing shows the way he blends lead and rhythm playing, how's that as a starting point?  Interested in other thoughts. I'll post it here anyway, though doubtless we're all familiar with the song:




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Replies:
Posted By: js
Date Posted: 20 Mar 2012 at 10:00am
Although most go for his guitar playing, i like his introspective song writing such as "Drifting" and "Midnight Oil".

From a musicians standpoint, I guess what is remarkable about his guitar playing is the way it flows,. His playing sounds like a steam of thought, a lot of musicians can't do that. A guitar player who I thought took what Jimi was doing to the next level is Pete Cosey on Miles albums like "Agharta" and others.


Posted By: Kazuhiro
Date Posted: 20 Mar 2012 at 8:40pm
The guitar player such as Jimi Hendrix was surely originality. And probably musicians affected by Jimi Hendrix will be enormous. It was said that Miles Davis looked for a guitar player such as Jimi Hendrix in the 80s.

However, I thought that it was really rock guitar that Mike Stern went. It is not a performance such as much Jimi Hendrix.

In any case Michael Landau where I was always a favorite.
 


Posted By: dreadpirateroberts
Date Posted: 27 Mar 2012 at 12:18am
^ cool, Kazu - got the Hendrix vibe there all right!  Yeah, I'd heard the same about Miles, I understand, I'd have been looking for something like him too, for sure.


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Posted By: dreadpirateroberts
Date Posted: 27 Mar 2012 at 12:18am
Originally posted by js js wrote:

Although most go for his guitar playing, i like his introspective song writing such as "Drifting" and "Midnight Oil".

From a musicians standpoint, I guess what is remarkable about his guitar playing is the way it flows,. His playing sounds like a steam of thought, a lot of musicians can't do that. A guitar player who I thought took what Jimi was doing to the next level is Pete Cosey on Miles albums like "Agharta" and others.


Ah yes, the flow is so seamless, good point.  I will have to check out Pete - and I still don't own 'Agharta' so I should stat there perhaps!


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We are men of action. Lies do not become us.
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Posted By: Atavachron
Date Posted: 28 Mar 2012 at 4:08am
Hmm, it's a very good question; to me the most significant thing Jimi did was uncovering what the electric guitar was really capable of as an instrument wholly unlike its acoustic version, or any other instrument for that matter.   He saw that the amp could be as important and expressive as the guitar, and pushed that pairing past what anyone could have imagined in their wildest dreams.   This came out particularly live, e.g. Band of Gypsys or Live at Berkeley, but also on albums as Axis and Ladyland.   Had Hendrix just been the bitchin' guitarist and exciting hard blues songwriter he was he still would've been successful but not a legend.   It's when Jimi let go and just played that he was at his best.



Posted By: dreadpirateroberts
Date Posted: 31 Mar 2012 at 6:18am
Expressive use of the amp, that's another great example - mixing it with his playing so well.
What did you think of the Blue Angel live stuff?


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We are men of action. Lies do not become us.
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Posted By: Sean Trane
Date Posted: 31 Mar 2012 at 12:44pm
I just borrowed from the library the album Gil Evans plays the music of Jimi Hendrix
 
Let you know how that is during the next week


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Posted By: dreadpirateroberts
Date Posted: 31 Mar 2012 at 7:31pm
^ that sounds interesting indeed

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Posted By: Chicapah
Date Posted: 13 Apr 2012 at 2:28pm
What attracts me most about Jimi's playing is that he was so open to anything that could give him a new angle or a new sound.  I agree that he made the amp a vital part of his technique but he also used electronic effects fearlessly.  For example, "All Along the Watchtower" is a virtual tour de force of gadgets yet he never let them overpower his performance or become his trademark.

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Posted By: dreadpirateroberts
Date Posted: 16 Apr 2012 at 6:24am
Ah, great example - I've just re-listened to 'All Along the Watchtower', trying to pay very close attention to the guitar sound and I see what you're saying, great stuff - I'd forgotten about the effective sound he gets with the reverb or delay before the solo and then the wah and so on. There sounds like heaps more stuff I can't name too.

But as you say, they're subtle enough that they don't jump and shout for attention.

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