Voodoo Chil d (Sli ght Return)
Standing next to a tone mountain
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