Martin Cooper pays homage to AC/DC’s king of rhythm and riffs, the great Mal­colm Young.

This month Martin Cooper checks out the play­ing of a rock gui­tar icon who put Seat­tle on the map long be­fore Kurt and Nir­vana ever did.

Guitar Techniques - - CONTENTS -

Jimi Hendrix in­flu­enced ev­ery­one from Joe Sa­tri­ani and Ste­vie Ray Vaughan, to Prince and The Beastie Boys. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame called him ‘the most in­flu­en­tial in­stru­men­tal­ist of all time’, while Gui­tar World mag­a­zine named his rendition of the Star Span­gled Ban­ner at Wood­stock, ‘the great­est per­for­mance ever’.

Ini­tially in­spired by rock and roll and blues Jimi took th­ese forms to a whole new level, re­defin­ing gui­tar tone and even the way the in­stru­ment was played. Along with his band­mates and en­gi­neer Ed­die Kramer, Hendrix recorded some of the most ground­break­ing mu­sic in rock his­tory; he pi­o­neered the use of feed­back and was piv­otal in the sound that be­came the back­drop to the next four decades in mu­sic and pop­u­lar cul­ture.

Af­ter tour­ing with the Is­ley Broth­ers, Lit­tle Richard and Cur­tis May­field (from whom he learned his now recog­nis­able rhythm style), Jimi felt the need for a more cre­ative out­let; this led to a move to Lon­don and the for­ma­tion of The Ex­pe­ri­ence, with Noel Red­ding and Mitch Mitchell. When Eric Clapton and his con­tem­po­raries heard Jimi they were floored, but his legacy lives on in ev­ery kid that picks up a gui­tar and dreams of be­ing a rock leg­end. Be­gin­ning with 1967’s Are You Ex­pe­ri­enced, one clas­sic al­bum and per­for­mance fol­lowed an­other but the mu­sic world lost one of its most fa­mous sons when Jimi died in 1970, aged just 27.

Our track fea­tures Hendrix-style riffs and soul-in­flu­enced Pen­ta­tonic rhythm parts, with a bluesy solo that of­fers lots of rhyth­mic vari­a­tion. We’re in the key of E mi­nor (E-F#-G-A-B-C-D) but there are a var­i­ous ‘out­side’ notes, such as the ma­jor 3rd (G#),

b5 (Bb). and There are also some typ­i­cal Hendrix-style chords that have the root note,

An iconic photo of the most iconic gui­tar player of all 5th and 9th slid­ing around to add melody and har­mony to the un­der­ly­ing parts. The chart is sim­ple in terms of gen­eral har­mony, but there is a lot go­ing on in the rhythm, such as the A Mi­nor Pen­ta­tonic riff in the B sec­tion, and the afore­men­tioned chords that slide around un­der an A mi­nor bass riff af­ter the Pen­ta­tonic scale notes of the rhythm track.

Hendrix is as iconic to­day as when he first brought his up­side-down, right-handed Strat and Mar­shall stack to prominence in the 1960s, and it’s in­cred­i­ble that we can still learn from him all th­ese years on.



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