What Guitar Did Jimi Hendrix Use

What Guitar Did Jimi Hendrix Use?

Jimi Hendrix is probably the most well known guitarist in the world. Top class guitarists like Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page, have named Hendrix as one of the guitar’s greatest players. He had his own unique style, blending lead riffs with rhythmic chord changes, his style changed the music industry forever. 

He played in such an unorthodox fashion, unlike anyone before him. There were plenty of guitarists before him who were exploiting the pentatonic scale, and employing the use of string bending, but he took it to a whole new level. Look at any great guitarist since Hendrix and you’ll see his influence in the riffs and licks they put together. 

Guitars Jimi Hendrix Played

He played a variety of guitars, amps and pedals over his short career, buty ask anyone what guitar Jimi Hendrix played and 9 out of 10 will talk about his white stratocaster. He played it left handed but used right handed guitars just strung upside down. This added to his unique playing style gave him a sound unequalled to this day. Everything was back to front, pick ups, which affected the harmonics strings, and even the tremolo bar.

So if you’re trying to get that authentic Hendrix sound a strat is the first place to start. White with a maple neck, just like Jimi played at Woodstock. This was probably the turning point in the popularity of the stratocaster, everyone wanted to sound like this influential, unorthodox guitarist. The thing is, the guitar doesn’t make the guitarist, the guitarist makes the guitar.

Jimi Hendrix played the white strat, he also played Jaguars, a  Gretsch Corvette, Gibson SGs, Les Pauls, and Flying Vs, but there are some lesser known guitars that Jimi Hendrix played they include – A Danelectro Shorthorn 3012, Fender Duo-Sonic, Jazzmaster, and he also played acoustic guitars some times too.

What Acoustic Guitars Did Jimi Hendrix Play?

There are also a few clips of him playing acoustic guitar on youtube, there’s one clip of Jimi playing the blues song “Hear my train a comin’” on a 12-string Zemaitis. These Zemaitis guitars were popular amongst legendary guitarists back then. Donovan, Ronnie Wood, Kieth Richards and Eric Clapton were all seen playing them.

He also owned a Epiphone FT79 which he bought in 1967 for $25. That $25 dollar guitar is responsible for Jimi composing “All along the watchtower” and many other of his famous songs.He also owned a Martin D-45 dreadnought acoustic too.

What Was Jimi Hendrix First Guitar?

The first stringed instrument Jimi Hendrix is recorded to have played was a beaten up ukulele he found in a pile of rubbish outside an old lady’s house. She said he could have it. That ukulele only had one string and Jimi would follow along to Elvis songs like hound dog.

His first acoustic guitar came along when he was 15 years old. There’s no record of what make it was, but we do know it cost $5. He learned his craft by watching other guitarists and following what they played. His greatest influences seem to be bluesmen like Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, BB King, and Robert Johnson. Their raw, bluesy styles are evident in his later work.

The very first tune Jimi Hendrix learned how to play was the theme from the television program Peter Gunn. Not long after getting his acoustic guitar, he formed a band. He soon realised that his acoustic couldn’t be heard over the rest of the band.

So after much persuasion His father bought him his first electric guitar, a white, Supro Ozark. The Supro Ozark had a single pick up giving it a rough and ready bluesy feel.

What Band Was Jimi Hendrix In?

The very first band Jimi Hedrix was in was called the Velvetones. He then joined a band called the Rocking Kings, playing in local professional venues. Whilst doing military service he and another military man Billy Cox formed a band called The Casuals.

After leaving military service, he and Billy moved to Clarksville Tennessee and formed the band The King Kasuals. As well as playing in his own band, Jimi played backing guitar for many R&B, soul and blues musicians like Sam Cooke, Ike & Tina Turner, Wilson Pickett, Jackie Wilson and the Isley brothers.

In 1966 he formed a band called Jimmy James and the Blue Flames, he later moved to London and struck up a working relationship with Chas Chandler formerly of the Animals. Chas Chandler became Jimis co-manager. Around this time the Jimi Hendrix Experience was formed. When the Experience broke up, Jimi assembled a band that he called Gypsy Suns and Rainbows, they were the band that played at Woodstock.

What Strings Did Jimi Hendrix Use?

The guitar strings Jimi Hendrix used cannot be found in a set of strings. He must have set them up himself. They were Fender Rock ‘n’ Roll light gauge strings with the sizes .010, .013, .015, .026, .032, .038. The main difference in this string set up is the .015 for the third string, instead of the standard .017 usually favoured by guitarists.

We recount this as an interesting fact and not because we advise anyone who wants to play like Hendrix to copy his exact string gauge. 

As we said before, no guitar, set of strings, set up, amp etc will ever replicate the style and flair of Jimi Hendrix. You need equipment you are comfortable with, lots of practise and your own unique style. Influenced by others – sure, but not exact replicas.

What Kind Of Music Did Jimi Hendrix Play?

Jimi Hendrix

Many guitarists answer this question differently, with Jimi Hendrix the kind of music is not straight forward. To sum it up in 2 words we could only say, guitar music. But that of course doesn’t do it justice. A full description is going to sound “wordy” but here goes.

The kind of music played by Jimi Hendrix has been described as Psychedelic rock, hard rock, rock, Rhythm & Blues, and blues. Whatever label you give to the music of Jimi Hendrix won’t be accurate because it bridges many genres in ways that often shouldn’t work. And yet not only work, but sound like they should always be blended in this way.

What Effects Pedals Did Jimi Hendrix Use?

Jimi Hendrix created his unique sound using a variety of effect pedals.  They were:

  • Wah Pedal
    When it comes to effects pedals, it’s well known that Jimi used a wah pedal. Just listen to Voodoo Child the sound created by the wah pedal is so easily identifiable.  He mostly used VOX wah pedals but often used the cry baby too. 
  • Octavia Pedal

He also championed the Octavia pedal, or Octavio as Jimi used to call it. This effect pedal was custom made for Jimi by his sound technician, Roger Mayer.The Octavia mixes the original sound of the guitar, with the same notes an octave higher with some added fuzz distortion, To hear the Octavia in action, listen to Jimi’s solo on Purple haze.

Fuzz Box
The famous creator of sound distortion, the fuzz box is a classic part of the Hendrix sound. He often switched fuzz boxes of the same make and model, to suit different size auditoriums as some were slightly differently phased to others. As the fuzz box doesn’t always mix well with other effect pedals, Jimi used that resistance to create his own unique sound.

  • Uni-Vibe
    Uni-vibes puts the guitar sound through a series of staggered filters, which creates that swirling guitar sound. The Uni-vibe is a phaser and Jimi saw its potential early on, only to be followed by many famous guitarists later on. Dave Gilmour of Pink Floyd fame is a fan of the Uni-Vibe. Jimi made good use of the Uni-Vibe on machine gun

What Pickups Did Jimi Hendrix Use?

There are 2 schools of thought on this, and they are both believable. We’ll recount them both for your preferential choice.

  1. Jimi Hendrix was left-handed but played A Standard Guitar
    To make his standard strat playable for a left-handed player, Jimi reversed the order of the strings so the bass E string was positioned where the treble E string should be and so on through the strings. This changed the tone of the pickups because the pickup angles are set up according to the strings usually.

    So just by reversing the string order, the strat will have a different sound to that of a regularly strung guitar. Many say that’s why Jimi Hendrix achieved this unique sound.
  2. Rewound Pickups
    According to legend Seymour Duncan lent his guitar to a friend, and when it returned a pickup was broken. Seymour decided to re-wind the pickup. On replacing the pickup he was impressed by how much the sound had improved. He then learned all he could about pickups and ended up working for Fender Soundhouse in London.

    The legend goes that in 1968 Seymour gave a bag of pickups he’d re-wound to Jimi. Jimi’s guitar technician Roger Mayer installed the re-wound pickups and after playing the guitar for a short while Jimi was so impressed he allowed Seymour the honour of carrying the strat with the re-wound pickups onstage that night.

What Amps Did Jimi Hendrix Use?

During the course of his career Jimi used many different amps, ask most Hendrix fans, and they’ll say Marshalls, and they’d be right. He did use Marshall amps late on in his career. Back when he played as a musician for various artists, he would have used whatever was in the studio. We do know that at one point he had a contract with Sunn amps, he also used Bassman amps and Fender Twin Reverb amps. 

As we mentioned earlier it’s not any of the equipment that Hendrix used that makes the hendrix sound. It was Jimi Hendrix pure and simple. His unorthodox style of playing, his almost magical use of effects pedals, and his character created the Jimi Hendrix experience (in more ways than one).

What Guitar Did Jimi Hendrix Play At Woodstock?

Jimi Hendrix played a 1968 Olympic white Fender Stratocaster with the serial number 240981. He bought it in 1968 from a music shop in New York. It had a maple neck/fretboard and a body made of alder. Jimi used this guitar regularly, including at the Newport Pop festival and his last ever concert at the isle of Fehman in 1970

Did Jimi Hendrix Know Chords?

Jimi Hendrix never had any guitar lessons at all. He learned by watching and experimenting, and although a music theorist could explain every chord structure and modulation Jimi used, he couldn’t. But he could play it, I’d rather be able to play the guitar like Jimi did than write about it in an academic manner.

If you are taught anything in a formal, conventional way, you become a formal conventional player. Most of what Jimi Hendrix did was unconventional, groundbreaking, never before seen or heard. And that’s part of the appeal, That’s why we always say don’t copy another guitarist, identify what you like about their style, and adapt it into your own original style.

What Chords Did Jimi Hendrix Use?

Without knowing the names or the wheres and why fors, Jimi Hendrix relied heavily on the E7#9 chord. It has a sound that’s neither a major chord or a minor chord, but sits somewhere in between. When played through his effect pedals with added distortion, it sounds great. 

Jimi Hendrix used many chords just not necessarily in conventional shapes. Plus he added licks and riffs over, and even through his chords giving a full, satisfying sound.

What Is The Jimi Hendrix Chord?

The chord commonly known as the Jimi Hendrix chord was used by many artists including the beatles. The song Taxman by the beatles, employs the E7#9 throughout the entire track.  It’s based on the B7 shape with an extra 9th, but slid up the fretboard to the 6th fret.

How To Play The E7#9 Chord

 To play the Jimi Hendrix chord, place your middle finger on the 6th fret of the 4th string, your index finger on the 7th fret of the 5th string, your ring finger on the 7th fret of the 3rd string and your little finger on the 8th fret of the 2nd string. Mute or don’t play the 6th or 1st strings.

Jimi Hendrix Chord

What Age Did Jimi Hendrix Learn Guitar?

Jimi Hendrix was 15 years old when he first picked up a guitar, he had no formal guitar playing lessons and no formal music education. But it never took too many years for Jimi Hendrix to become one of, if not the greatest guitarists in the world. His influences are noticeable in all music genres, so the pupil very soon became the master.

What Pick Did Jimi Hendrix Use?

If you carefully watch old video footage of Jimi Hendrix playing any of his guitars, you can often just spot his pick. In most you can see a red/black pick, given the age of the image, it is probably the Fender medium celluloid tortoiseshell, 351 shape, pick.  During that era most competent guitarists were using similar picks.

Some Interesting Items Concerning Woodstock

Almost everyone knows Jimi Hendrix played his Iconic white Fender Stratocaster at Woodstock but there are a few things you probably never knew about that concert.

  • The Band Hendrix Played With at woodstock were Not His Regular Band
  • It Was The Only Band He’d Ever Formed With 2 Guitarists
  • Although He Closed The Show, He Wasn’t Supposed To
  • The Show Was Supposed To finish Sunday Night But Carried Over To Monday Morning
  • It Was The Only Major Show Ever Performed In The Morning By Hendrix
  • It Was One Of The Only Times Hendrix Performed An Encore
  • He Never Played In Front Of Half A Million At Woodstock
  • Because It Carried Over To The Monday, Many People Had Left. He Actually Played To Around 200,000 Not The Estimated 500,000

Frequently Asked Questions

Who owns Jimi Hendrix Woodstock guitar?

Jimi Hendrix classic 1968 Olympic white Fender Stratocaster was sold to Paul Allen in the 1990s and is now in the Experience Music Project Museum in Seattle Washington.

How much is a Jimi Hendrix guitar worth?

A bonafide Jimi Hendrix guitar in today’s market would be worth upwards of $216,000.

Why did Jimi Hendrix use a right handed guitar?

He has been reported as saying that playing left-handed was a sign of the devil. All Jimi’s guitars were right-handed guitars but restrung for left-handed playing.

Who bought Jimi Hendrix his first guitar?

His first ever guitar was bought for him by his dad.

Did Jimi Hendrix play a left handed guitar?

Jimi Hendrix never played a left-handed guitar, his dad tried to persuade him but although he played the guitar left-handed, he ate and wrote using his right-hand.

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