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.
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.
HENDRIx Is As ICONIC
TODAY As wHEN HE fIRsT BROuGHT HIs upsIDE-DOwN sTRAT AND mARsHALL sTACK TO pROmINENCE