Sunday, February 1, 2009

Jimi Hendrix and his Famous Guitars

Jimi Hendrix StatueImage by bleachers via Flickr

Jimi Hendrix's Guitar by Ricky Sharples

The influence of Jimi Hendrix as a guitar player is undeniable. He lived in an age populated by guitar legends and became a legend among them. Did Jimi Hendrix's guitar have any special part in the making of the legend or would Jimi have made his mark with the aid of any old guitar?

For those who are interested in reproducing Jimi Hendrix's unique guitar sound, here are some facts about the instruments and equipment behind the guitar sound that shook the world like a wet kitten. The fact is there was nothing particularly special about the Jimi Hendrix guitar set-up.

Jimi Hendrix was left-handed. What this means to most guitar players is you reverse the strings on a right-handed guitar so that the strings are in the same order as they would be for a right-handed player, that is the sixth string on top and the first string on the lower side of the neck. If you don't want to do this you pay a lot of extra money for a left-handed guitar. Jimi chose neither of these options. He played a Fender Stratocaster strung for a right-handed player because he preferred his tone and volume control knobs on the top of the guitar.

Feedback added another dimension to Jimi's guitar playing and he got it from the three single coil pick-ups on the Stratocaster. During the evolution of the electric guitar a lot of work was put into eliminating feedback. It was considered a nuisance. The solution to the problem was the development of Humbucker pick-ups. The Strat did not use the Humbuckers so Jimi used the Strat.

Like Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and Eddy Van Halen, Jimi used the amp of choice for heavy metal guitar players - the Marshall. The Marshall sound was well-liked in the seventies and is still duplicated today by effects software, but prior to the Marshall becoming the most popular amp Jimi used Fender Dual Showman and Twin Reverb amps.

Did Jimi Hendrix play other guitars besides the Fender Strat? Yes he flirted with the Gibson Flying V for a while and was known to play a Epiphone acoustic but he will always be remembered as a Strat player.

The effect that is most associated with Hendrix is the wah-wah. In 1967 he heard and watched Frank Zappa using it and immediately fell in love with it. He also loved the Leslie speaker sound.

Do you want to learn to play the guitar? Learn How To Play A Guitar For Free is a constantly updated blog which contains all the resources you need for: learning to play solo guitar, how to learn guitar chords, how to learn to read and play easy acoustic guitar tabs, finding a free online guitar tuner, looking for free guitar lessons online, and how to learn guitar scales.

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