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Remember 27th November - Jimi Hendrix's Birthday!

Published: Tue November 27, 2007  News Feed

If he was alive today, Jimi Hendrix, the Greatest Guitarist Of All Time, would be 65 years old. He's long gone, but his influence today is as strong as ever...

Born November 27, 1942, Jimi Hendrix is considered one of the greatest and most influential guitarists in rock music history. After initial success in England, he achieved worldwide fame following his 1967 performance at the Monterey Pop Festival. Later, Hendrix headlined the iconic 1969 Woodstock Festival. Jimi Hendrix was fundamental in the development of modern guitar amplification and guitar effects and marked the evolution of modern electric guitar sound.

It's hard to imagine now, but Hendrix life was a rock star lasted just over three years, from 1967 when he released his first single to September 18, 1970, when he died. However, his influence can still be felt today and he's still considered to be the greatest guitarist ever. He contributed to change the way music was made and electric guitar was played, leaving a permanent mark on the generations of guitarists and musicians that followed. He is constantly named by guitar and music magazines as the number one guitarist of all time.

He was the coolest cat around... and his groundbreaking mixture of blues, psychedelic rock and his pioneering use of guitar feedback made him look and sound miles ahead of anyone else. When he first appeared in the London scene, in 1966 (after he was discovered by The Animals' bassist Chas Chandler) all the other hot guitarists at the time (Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, Jeff Beck) recognized Hendrix as a talent far superior to themselves - and that's saying something!

Clapton and Hendrix  actually became good friends and would often play together at New York clubs.

"What I found refreshing about him was his intensely self-critical attitude toward his music," Clapton wrote in his recent autobiography. "He had this enormous gift and a fantastic technique, like that of someone who spent all day playing and practicing, yet he didn't seem that aware of it. I also got to see the playboy in him. He loved to spend all night hanging out, getting drunk or stoned, and when he did pick up the guitar, it was very throwaway to him, as if he didn't take himself too seriously."

WIth his albums "Are You Experienced?", "Axis: Bold as Love" and "Electric Ladyland" he made an indelible mark in Rock'N'Roll and it's no wonder that even today people still feel inspired by Jimi Hendrix and want to sound like him. In fact, his tone is one of the "holy grails" for many guitarists. Luckily for them, there are prenty of products available for those who want to capture his sound, which, alongside several other Hendrix paraphernalia, will make sure he may be gone, but not forgotten...

THE HENDRIX SOUND

FX PEDALS

The best news this year, for Jimi Hendrix enthusiasts, has been the Dunlop reissues of the FX pedals Jimi used, perfect in every single detail and with vintage spaces and looks - the Jimi Hendrix Signature series Fuzz Face, Octavio and Wah Wah. They are a must for Hendrix fans...or any guitarist who want superb, vintage specs pedals.

Dunlop JIMI HENDRIX™ FUZZ FACEDunlop JIMI HENDRIX™ OCTAVIO PEDALDunlop JIMI HENDRIX™ SIGNATURE WAH

Guitarists who want a similar setup to Hendrix  have many other options to choose from, starting with Dunlop's wide range or Wah pedals, including the Jimi Hendrix Fuzz Wah.

Having a dirty, gritty fuzz (instead of an overdrive or distortion pedal) is a must for the Hendrix tones. The Dunlop standard Fuzz Face has different specs than the Signature model (germanium instead of silicon transistor) making it a different pedal, but great all the same. The Electro-Harmonix Big Muff, the new Boss FZ-5 Fuzz and the Dunlop Jimi Hendrix Classic Fuzz (basically a Fuzz face in a MXR shape) are all great choices, too.

If the Octavio is a bit too expensive for you, try the Dunlop Jimi Hendrix Octave Fuzz, which's cheaper but still pretty good, and is used by other artists such as Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth. The Octave Fuzz effect is a great effect to play with - it adds an extra note to your sound, one octave up. This sound has been a Hendrix hallmark in songs such as "Purple Haze" and "Fire", and any Hendrix enthusiast should definitely have an Octave Up pedal up their sleeves. Z-Vex makes the Jonny Octave, and excellent pedal that also offers a two octaves up sound. Not to mention the Digitech Whammy, used by Jack White of The White Stripes, who's a big fan of "octave up" solos.

Finally, Hendrix was heavily into the rotary sounds of Leslie Speakers, using them on records (Little Wing) and sometimes live, though, more often than not, onstage he'd use the uni-vibe pedal, for practical reasons. The Dunlop Uni-Vibe is an excellent choice, as is the Rotovibe.

But there are two pedals that are rarely mentioned anywhere, that offer amazing Leslie Speaker sounds - the Electro-Harmonix Wiggler and Hughes & Kettner Rotosphere, both amazing, tube-powered pedals that reproduce the Leslie Cab like no other pedals do.

For an all-in-one approach, the Digitech Jimi Hendrix Experience Artist Series Pedal is an easy way to achive the sound of some of his most famous songs.

AMPS

 Hendrix is famous for his 100w Marshall head amps. There are many to choose from, including some pretty affordable. So go for it! Though not a lot of people remember that from ’65 through ’66, Hendrix’s mainstay was a Fender Twin Reverb, which is still a great amp to own.

GUITARS

Fender and Jimi Hendrix will be forever associated with each other, and a white Fender Stratocaster is the iconic Hendrix guitar. Hendrix bought right-handed Strats because he preferred to have the controls on top. He’d reverse the nut, and wind his low-E string the opposite direction around the farthest tuner in order to keep it from jumping out of the nut slot. He originally tuned to standard pitch, but he eventually tuned down a half-step to ease the strain on his voice.

But he also played other guitars, and Gibson paid homage to him recently with the Gibson Custom Jimi Hendrix Signature Flying V...which can easily be considered a beautiful artwork.

Curiosity: in his early days as a guitarist for Little Richard's backing band, Hendrix used to play a Fender Jazzmaster...which is said to have been bought by none other than guitar collector and enthusiast Steven Segal!!!

Jimi Hendrix fan and collector - Steven Seagal!

JIMI HENDRIX GOES DIGITAL

But not only of replicas and reissues does the Jimi Hendrix legacy thrive on, and guitarists who've joined the digital age can also enjoy their slice of the Jimi Hendrix tone, in the form of IK Multimedia's AmpliTube 2 Jimi Hendrix Edition, a cooperative effort between Authentic Hendrix and IK Multimedia.

IK Multimedia AmpliTube® 2 Jimi Hendrix™ Edition

Authentic Hendrix was founded in late 90s, by Al Hendrix and his daughter Janie to curate and promote Jimi’s extensive recorded legacy. 

Not only will the Jimi Hendrix Edition allow you to get that authentic Hendrix sound but it can also be integrated within AmpliTube 2 to expand the available stomps, amps and cabinets. The Jimi Hendrix Edition will add some of the most rare and collectible stomps and amps that guitarist crave the most.

Mix and match them with the entire selection of other AmpliTube 2 components for one of the most complete collections of vintage gear ever made available for playing and recording.

COOL HENDRIX ACCESSORIES

There are two Hendrix accessories that are really good for the fans who want something cheap and quirky. The Dunlop Collector's Series Tin of Jimi Hendrix-themed picks is great, and the Levy's Jimi Hendrix strap looks cool too.

Rest assured, it doesn't look like as if Jimi Hendrix will be forgotten anytime soon, and his iconic status remain...

WATCH HENDRIX!!!

And if all this talk of Jimi Hendrix made you feel like listening to the man himself, here's a great way to finish this article..with two amazing live videos. Enjoy!

Hey Joe

 

 

Machine Gun

 

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