From the ul­tra-suave Jimi Hen­drix to the rule-de­stroy­ing Tom Morello, the gui­tar has found a home with some of the world’s most in­ven­tive and in­ge­nious cre­atives. In this 16-page spe­cial, we take a deeper look at the in­stru­ment’s big­gest game-chang­ers.

Australian Guitar - - Contents -


Be­tween 1966 and 1970, Jimi Hen­drix re­de­fined what the gui­tar is. That he could do so much in such a short times­pan speaks vol­umes for his tal­ent, and his death in 1970 left the rock world with per­haps its great­est ‘what if?’ mo­ment: If Hen­drix could go from the rock of “Foxy Lady” (recorded in late ‘66) to the sci­ence fic­tion sound­scapes of “And The Gods Made Love” or “1983… (A Mer­man I Should Turn To Be)” – both recorded be­tween July ‘67 and Au­gust ‘68 – in such a short time span, where would he be now if he was still with us?

Un­for­tu­nately, it wasn’t to be, and Hen­drix left us all too soon with only three stu­dio LPs to his name: AreYou

Ex­pe­ri­enced (1967), Axis:BoldAsLove (1967) and Elec­tricLady­land (1968).


Be­fore Hen­drix came along, gui­tar ba­si­cally sounded like ‘dink dinkadink dink’. Af­ter Jimi, gui­tar sounded like ‘Booooooowwwwwr­rrrowr­rlll’.

He took it from a po­lite sound­ing in­stru­ment to the ul­ti­mate expression of the hu­man con­di­tion: love, just, anger, in­spi­ra­tion, peace, vi­o­lence…

Hen­drix treated the gui­tar as an ex­ten­sion of his per­son­al­ity, and he wasn’t afraid to get ab­stract in or­der to get his point across. When we think of Hen­drix, we tend to think of fuzz, wah wah, whammy bar dips, burn­ing Stra­to­cast­ers and weird sounds – but even play­ers who don’t do any of those things are in­flu­enced by Hen­drix whether they know it or not, sim­ply be­cause he made it okay to re­ally be your­self on the in­stru­ment.


Rel­a­tively straight­for­ward riffs make learn­ing this funky track a lot of fun to learn and play.

BOSS LEVEL Ma­chine Gun

A jam-based war protest where Hen­drix wrings 12 min­utes of in­tense so­los, per­cus­sive riffs and hellish bat­tle­ground sounds out of his in­stru­ment. If you can make this song your own, you’re a true gui­tarist.ž

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