Voodoo Chil d (Sli ght Re­turn)

Stand­ing next to a tone moun­tain

Total Guitar - - BLACK PEAKS -

Pl ayer Jimi Hen­drix Al bum El ec­tric Lady­land (1968)

If you’re ever in doubt about the time­less power of an elec­tric gui­tar, just play the five min­utes of this song to re­mind your­self of what it can be. His abil­ity was oth­er­worldly but Jimi was equally as mav­er­ick with his tone. The two facets blend here for gui­tar nir­vana.

There is no ex­act record of what Jimi used in the stu­dio but his go-to gui­tars were con­tem­po­rary stan­dard Strats from the time,

strung up­side down, and the uniden­ti­fied amp here is clearly be­ing pushed hard into won­der­ful places. The in­gre­di­ent for fat­ten­ing the sin­gle-coil tone is from his

Eb Fuz­zface - though Jimi’s tun­ing helps. There’s also one of the great­est show­cases of wah ever – on a Vox model – and it sounds like he’s play­ing that in­tro on the neck pickup be­fore switch­ing to the bridge when it kicks in. Be open to com­pro­mise on ef­fects choice.

Neville Marten, ed­i­tor of our sis­ter mag Guitartech­niques and pro tour­ing mu­si­cian, re­cently had the task of nail­ing this tone for sets pay­ing trib­ute to Hen­drix and Clap­ton as The Cream Ex­pe­ri­ence: “Wah and fuzz are not nat­u­ral bed­fel­lows but Jimi some­how makes it work,” he ex­plains. “I’ve re­sorted to us­ing a Vox wah with a [Paul Cochrane] Timmy pedal [a Full­tone OCD would work well too], through a Mar­shall Plexi model in my Line 6 Helix, crank­ing the amp vol­ume but keep­ing the drive low on the dis­tor­tion pedal. I feather the gui­tar’s vol­ume con­trol (as Jimi did) and also switch be­tween neck pickup (for in­tro and early sec­tions) to bridge (for later fills and so­los), switch­ing back and forth on the fly.”

Those with a keen ear will no­tice panned slap­back de­lay on the track too – some multi-fx pedals like the BOSS GT-1 can give you that.

child in time Voodoochild is a right­eous ex­am­ple of Hen­drix’s trail­blaz­ing gui­tar tone and play­ing

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