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Get The Jimi Hendrix Tone In 2013

Published: Mon February 04, 2013  News Feed

Get The Jimi Hendrix Tone In 2013

Despite having a career that only spanned 3 years Hendrix had a huge influence on music, guitars and the popularity of natty floral pattern shirts. A big part of what made Jimi so unique was his use of feedback, cranked Marshall amps, effects and studio technology. Even the greats like Clapton handed it to Jimi and said he was simply miles ahead.

Never resting on his laurels Hendrix was always working in the studio, writing new material and looking for new sounds. We can be thankful for this now as despite his untimely demise we have so much era defining, genre busting music to enjoy. Most recently a selection of tapes have been unearthed that document the changes Jimi was instigating through 1968/69. Due to be released March 5th 2013 People, Hell And Angels is a wonderful selection of recordings made in, at the time very new, studios such as the Record Plant, Hit Factory and Sound Center in New York. Always looking to be on the cutting edge and have the perfect space to play in Jimi built his own Electric Lady Studio but only recorded one song there before his death.

So it is that Hendrix left a legacy not just of superb music, blistering performances and a whole new style of playing but also a phenomenal studio built by a musician for musicians. Led Zeppelin produced parts of their albums III, Houses Of The Holy and Physical Grafitti at Electric Lady and Stevie Wonder produced arguably his best albums there from 1971-74.

People, Hell And Angels

This collection of studio sessions from the late Sixties has been produced by Eddie Kramer (Hendrix's partner on all his studio albums), John McDermott and Janie Hendrix. Many of the tracks feature instruments that you wouldn't necessarily associate with Hendrix, as he aimed to push his sound beyond what he had achieved with the Experience. Of course at the core of it all is his distinctive guitar tone and voice, all embellished with the iconic production style he had developed working with Eddie Kramer over the years. So while a few elements are crucial to achieve the Hendrix tone (Strat, Marshall, fuzz) it's ultimately all about experimenting with great sounding gear.

Here's the track 'Somewhere' released as a taster for the album release...

Hendrix Essentials

Which Jimi Are You?

Mini Hendrix - All vintage and valve tone rig for under £1000

Jimi Hendrix - The full stack for under £2500

Digi Hendrix

Most important... Your Hands

Hendrix Hands

Not as sexy as a strat but there's no getting around the fact that so much of the great man's tone was in his fingers. You can't go wrong with a nice set of picks though and maybe feel a little inspired, just don't set fire to your guitar.

Another accessory that can give you a little touch of sixties flare is a funky strap. Some nice floral patterning or paisley would do nicely.
Computing Device

Digi Hendrix

Whether it's PC, Mac, iPad or iPhone you can get superb guitar modelling software that can emulate a huge range of amps and effects.
Axe To Grind Mini Hendrix Guitar
Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster 50s

For the guitar it pretty much has to be Strat. While Jimi is known to have wielded a Firebird for a while, the words Hendrix and Strat are synonymous. Squier have been turning out vintage reissue guitars for a while now and they really are staggering value.
Hendrix Standard Strat

Fender American Standard Stratocaster

All American classic, so famous it's the inspiration for design of the EMP museum in Jimi's hometown of Seattle. Nothing sounds quite like a Strat and you can always go lefty.
Roland GC-1 GK-Ready Fender Stratocaster

It's a strat, but not quite like you know it. We're pretty sure that if he was still around Jimi would be looking for newest sounds. Fitted with GK pickups the GC-1 opens up a whole world of guitar synthesis to the adventurous axeman.
Fuzz Box Hendrix Mini Fuzz

Jim Dunlop Fuzz Face Mini Hendrix Effects Pedal

Fantastic vintage style Fuzz Face in a tiny package. Fits in your pocket but can still blow hair back on stage.
Hendrix Octave Fuzz
Jim Dunlop Jimi Hendrix Octavio Pedal

So famous it's held in the EMP museum, the original cheese wedge effect used by Jimi for wild octave sounds. Made for him by Roger Mayer (who also worked with Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page).
iRig Stomp
IK Multimedia iRig Stomp

Plug into your iPhone/iPad and the included copy of Amplitube Free for a whole world of amplifiers and effects. Plus you can expand Amplitiube to include a range of amps and effects modeled on Jimi's own.
The Stack Marshall Combo
Marshall JTM1-C 50th Anniversary 1 Watt Combo

There's only one badge you want on your amp for the smoky, crunching tone. While he used a Fender Twin early in his career it's the sound of distorting EL34 valves which defines the Hendrix tone.
Marshall Head
Marshall 2061X Handwired 20W Amp & 4x12 Cabinet

Nothing says 'rock' like a black and gold stack. Handwired and made just like they used to be, the 2061X delivers heaps of British tone.
IK Multimedia iLoud Personal Studio Monitor

For a full 40 Watts and studio grade sound the iLoud system is perfect. Also compatible with Amplitube Jimi Hendrix edition.
Strat Hendrix Gave To Zappa
It's a bit harder if you're really after the true Hendrix guitar, be prepared to shell out money in the tens of thousands. Pictured above is the guitar Jimi gave to Frank Zappa and has since been restored.

Getting Drowned In Sound

Hendrix asked Roger Mayer to make him an octave fuzz like he did for pals Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. There are a number of options available these days if you want a crazy octave fuzz. Here's Roger with the Experience back in the day, no prizes for guessing which one he is.

Roger Mayer With The Jimi Hendrix Experience

From 'Axis: Bold As Love' onwards Jimi really started to get experimental with sounds and working with Eddie Kramer used many of the popular studio effects and techniques that were being developed in the late 60's. Tape was a big part of this whether tape echo, tape flanging or nice warm tape compression from the 16 track tape machine. Now it's a bit impractical to use such effects these days as the cost of tape and maintenance alone is astronomical, notwithstanding the fact that you can't exactly integrate it into your DAW or iPhone. So you want warm and rich analogue sounds with modern features.

Eventide H9 Multi Effects

Eventide H9With decades of experience making top of the range effects for studio Eventide has to come near the top regarding quality effects. The H9 comes with tape echo, flanger and many other top sounds besides, all taken from their high end range of pedals and effects.

TC Electronic Vortex, FlashbackTC Electronic Vortex & Shaker

TC Electronic use Toneprint technology to accurately replicate all manner of analogue and digital effects in a neat pedal format. Almost indistinguishable from the real thing now you can get true, beautiful flanging without investing in a giant tape deck. Also get that Leslie sound with the Shaker pedal, nothing says 60's like some sweet, swooshing leslie speaker.

To finish off here's little classic Hendrix in front of those formidable stacks...

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