ProGuitarShop

Hendrix’s Simple Setup

November 8, 2012

by Daniel Brooks

Music is by far the most abstract of all the arts, an unfolding architecture of vibrations with its own meaning and emotional impact that cannot be adequately defined in any other form. It is an ephemeral expression of an even more intangible inspiration, communicated almost entirely by the relationships of frequency, time and rhythm. It is a universal language of sound with an inherent and immediate accessibility for any human being who will listen, and it is available as a means of expression to anyone who is more or less familiar with a traditional musical vocabulary.

Despite the ephemeral nature of music itself, the centuries-old tradition of creating music is preserved in well-annotated manuscripts and, for the past hundred years or so, in actual sound recordings. We can know, exactly, the frequency and duration of each note in an inspired composition created years, decades or centuries ago and recreate it, right here and now. An overwhelming majority of respectable musicians find great inspiration, community and gainful employment by traveling the paths created by those geniuses who have come before them. Each of these paths, and the momentum of the community that follows it, creates a musical tradition like Classical, Jazz, Blues, Rock and Roll, Reggae and so on, each with its own set of conventions and expectations. As is the case in any tradition, these norms can seem stifling to the playful, free-range creativity of the would-be artist, but they can also liberate the individual from the effort of having to invent everything from scratch, allowing a master of the form to contribute new, inspired works to the tradition.

Occasionally, however, a musician will take the effort, re-examine the basic fundamentals of the art and emerge with completely new insight to redefine the possibilities. Jimi Hendrix was one of the first and, arguably, the greatest guitarist to do this. Over the four decades that have passed since his premature death at the age of 27 on September 18, 1970, Hendrix has consistently been recognized by musicians of virtually every genre as the most important and influential guitarist in the history of popular music. His virtuosity, creative drive and pioneering experiments with effects and studio techniques expanded the musical vocabulary of the electric guitar in a variety of ways and to an extent that no musician had ever done before, with any instrument.
Born in Seattle, Washington on November 27, 1942, Jimi was raised by his single father, Al Hendrix, who gave him his first guitar at the age of 15. The guitar provided the perfect escape from poverty and the recent death of his mother, Lucille. Hendrix spent hours practicing, studying blues records by Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Howlin' Wolf and Robert Johnson and learning from other more experienced guitarists. He quickly became good enough to play in local bands.

When he was 18, Hendrix was caught riding in a stolen car and given the choice of serving two years in prison or joining the army. His enlistment, short and less than exemplary, got him out of Seattle and introduced him to bassist Billy Cox. After his discharge from the army in 1962, Hendrix and Cox formed a band and eventually moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where Jimi began playing with artists on the Chitlin’ Circuit, a series of African-American friendly venues throughout the South and up the East Coast to New York. It was while playing with artists like The Isley Brothers, Little Richard, King Curtis and others that Jimi put in the long hours that shape every musician. By the time he finally got his big break, he was ready.

In 1966, Chas Chandler was ending his tenure as the bassist for The Animals and was looking for an act to manage. He had seen Hendrix at the Cheetah Club in New York and was quite impressed with his version of Hey Joe. He brought Hendrix to London, signed on as his manager, along with Michael Jeffery, and helped him put together the Jimi Hendrix Experience with Drummer Mitch Mitchell and guitarist-turned-bassist Noel Redding. Chandler introduced Hendrix to Eric Burden, Pete Townshend and Eric Clapton, arranged for Jimi to sit in with Clapton and his newly formed trio, Cream, and booked appearances on British TV shows Top of the Pops and Ready Steady Go! As his reputation spread rapidly throughout the London scene, Hendrix’s extraordinary virtuosity and stage presence earned the admiration of some of the big names in London’s rock scene, like Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Brian Jones, The Beatles, the Who and others.

Many of Hendrix’s classic effects have been dutifully re-crafted through http://proguitarshop.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=jimi">Dunlop’s Hendrix Tribute pedals.

Despite the fact that he had never written a song before, and had rarely even sung, Jimi Hendrix went into the studio in late 1966 and began creating songs for Are You Experienced? Jimi’s fundamentally new approach to the guitar’s creative potential earned the attention of musicians around the world.  Using a Stratocaster for almost everything (except for a Telecaster, borrowed from Noel Redding, on “Purple Haze” and a Les Paul on “Red House”), a 100 watt Marshall amp and the few effects pedals that existed at the time, namely a Dallas-Arbiter Fuzz Face that delivered an abundance of fuzzy texture, and Roger Mayer’s Octavia pedal, which doubled any fingered note an octave higher and added it to the mix, Jimi created one of the masterpieces of the era. Songs like “Purple Haze,” “Love or Confusion,” “Third Stone from the Sun” and “Are You Experienced” pushed the sonic, compositional and experiential boundaries of rock music beyond anything previously imagined.

 

For his second album, Axis: Bold as Love, released only a few months later, Jimi developed both his songwriting and his sonic palette even further. His backward guitar solo on “Castles Made of Sand” the manual flanging heard on “Bold As Love” and his use of the Leslie Rotating speaker with which he got that ethereal warble on “Little Wing” have since inspired the creation of some of today’s staple effects. Of course, he had an entirely new kind of effect that would open up a whole new world of expression. Eric Clapton had introduced Jimi to his wah pedal, which somewhat radically varied his guitar’s tone with the sweep of a pivoting foot pedal. Jimi’s new Wah pedal would inspire “Up from the Skies” and "Little Miss Lover" and would, of course, really come into its own on his third and final studio album.

By the time Jimi was halfway through the painstaking, year-long process of recording Electric Ladyland, Chas Chandler had lost his patience with Jimi’s obsessive recording techniques and bought his way out of his management contract. The result is Hendrix’s only self-produced album, a full-blown musical experience of 1960’s psychedelia with classics like the remake of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” as well as his own "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)," “Crosstown Traffic” and "1983... (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)." His innovative drive found new expression in a whole range of new techniques such as stereo panning, backward tape recording, flanging, and chorusing.

A contractual obligation Hendrix had entered into years before led to Jimi only live album. Recorded on New Year’s Eve, 1969 and New Year’s Day, 1970, Band of Gypsys featured Jimi’s army buddy, Billy Cox, on bass and Buddy Miles on the drums. As the story goes, Bill Graham, the owner of the Fillmore, where the Band of Gypsys were playing, was standing offstage watching Jimi do his show. At the end of the set, Jimi came over and asked what he thought. Graham told him he was wasting his talent with all of the showmanship tricks for which Jimi was known, playing with his teeth, behind his back and all that. When the next set started, Jimi stood in one place and delivered a transcendent performance. With the ethereal warble of his UniVox Univibe, Jimi gave us “Power to Love,” and “Machine Gun.”

Sadly, these are the only albums Jimi Hendrix would complete in his lifetime. His death on September 18, 1970 cut short a life of music that now can only exist as speculation. With the equipment he had at the time, he reinvented rock guitar in only a few short years. You have to wonder what he would have done with the brilliant effects available to us today.

Comments

  1. Bill Adlard says:

    Hi Daniel,

    I don’t know how old you are, but I suspect you’re a lot younger than me. I remember Jimi’s arrival on the scene in late 1966 well, and his music has been a huge influence on me all my life. I’ve spent quite a lot of time playing it myself. In 1967 I used to play Are You Experienced every single day. So the sounds are quite well burned into my brain, so to speak. I’ve played Red House umpteen times tried it on different guitars over the years. There’s no way Jimi played it on Les Paul! I have - its totally different. It was a Strat. Only a Strat can give you that vibrato because the springs in the tremelo unit combine with the movement of the strings to produce it. As for a Tele on Purple Haze - maybe.

    posted on November 9, 2012 at 2:56 am
  2. EDDIE TOYE says:

    time to sponser us, THANKS!
    http://therockaways.bandzoogle.com/fr_home.cfm

    posted on November 9, 2012 at 3:00 am
  3. Jeremy says:

    Also, it’s clearly a Twin Reverb on The Wind Cries Mary. That tone could never be confused with a Marshall (Eric Johnson agrees with me too.) I also think that song is one of the rumored songs with a tele as well. I also have a hard time believing Red House was a LP. It doesn’t have that thick, mid-bite of one IMO.

    posted on November 9, 2012 at 3:05 am
  4. George says:

    Can you imagine the music that the genius of Jimi would sound like in todays world? In the short span of a few years he blasted the world of music light years ahead of its time with imagination and inspiration…..would have been awesome… I like to think Joe Satriani is one of many images of Jimi had he lived longer..

    posted on November 9, 2012 at 3:25 am
  5. James says:

    Red House was recorded using the neck pickup of his “Les Paul” SG. Read up on it.

    posted on November 9, 2012 at 3:34 am
  6. Mike says:

    In one of the interviews for the making of Electric Ladyland (perhaps the one that comes with iTunes download), Eddie Kramer (Jimi’s engineer) said Jimi used a 1968 Dual Showman Reverb head with a cab that had eight 10” speakers. It’s definitely a Gibson on Redhouse—he played an SG and Flying-V (with trem arm) in addition to the strats. Check out:

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://blogs.houstonpress.com/rocks/jimi_hendrix flyingv jan6.jpg&imgrefurl=http://blogs.houstonpress.com/rocks/2011/01/flying_v_hall_of_fame_saluting.php&h=550&w=577&sz=69&tbnid=fV1cdLXUkh0H4M:&tbnh=90&tbnw=94&zoom=1&usg=__bFRiDfMo-8KqiwJd04EDavGY_9w=&docid=w1MKa4RrfDgwaM&sa=X&ei=RPCbUNf0CMn8iwLrgoHoCA&ved=0CDYQ9QEwAQ&dur=358

    posted on November 9, 2012 at 3:35 am
  7. Kevin says:

    Windy.

    posted on November 9, 2012 at 3:42 am
  8. Marc says:

    After having the greatest experience of seeing Jimi perform live twice, he definitely has had a
    profound effect on todays music! Would have loved to see Jimi & Stevie Ray on the same stage!

    posted on November 9, 2012 at 4:23 am
  9. johnince says:

    In 1966, I was walking through Golden Gate Park.  As I was 18 at the time, impressionable, but versed in Classical and Jazz ( didn’t think rock n roll had a future ) I came upon this cat standing in the middle of a field, plugged into a small amp, no other people there, standing on a contrived stage, doing stuff on his instrument, I never heard before. He was trying out some speech phrases and other sounds. My mind froze unable to comprehend how he was doing it. I circled the stage. It came from his guitar. A single cord from his guitar plugged into an amp. I have never forgotten that Jimi was so special, that I predicted the world would change because of him.  Well rock n roll changed, and history was made. I put him with Segovia and Django, but they lived full lives. What would he have done if he lived?

    posted on November 9, 2012 at 4:29 am
  10. Ian says:

    It’s also a pretty common belief these days that Frank Zappa introduced Jimi to the wah pedal after he got one at Manny’s, just in time to record “Burning of the Midnight Lamp” before coming back to England from the JHE’s first U.S. trip. “Lamp” is released in August, while Eric’s recorded unveiling of the effect on “Tales of Brave Ulysses” wouldn’t appear for a few more months.

    posted on November 9, 2012 at 4:32 am
  11. TD says:

    The longer I play, the older I get, the more guitars and effects I own, the more about music I learn ... the less I think anyone on this planet has any idea what Hendrix was really doing or how he did it. It just boggles the senses.

    That said, f I take anything away from him rise to fame, it’s this - DO NOT sit around merely worshipping the past “masters”. Go to the small shows, the tiny clubs. See the unsigned bands. You will, with no doubt, sit through the chaff - but when that next rising star shines and you were there for it, you will never forget it. Those at Jimi’s early shows sure won’t. Support your rock venues and the people trying to take music to the next level! Reverence for the past, and an eye on the future.

    posted on November 9, 2012 at 4:54 am
  12. The Telenator says:

    Well, we have here a wonderful few intro paragraphs that then fizzle off into inaccuracies, omissions, and another shallow and obvious effort to sell us a pile of overpriced, shiny little boxes. Somewhat disappointed that I took the time to finish it, but I so love it when young folks write about things they haven’t taken the time to research professionally or completely. It’s often quite comical, but rather sad in this case. Jimi played several amps during his career. Everyone always assumes Marshall, Marshall, but as was stated by others, Jimi used primarily that Fender amp on the first album. Yes, a clean amp, and a clean amp with the fuzz in front. It is known that Jimi jammed at least once on a flipped-over right-handed Les Paul Custom, but that was the “Les Paul (SG)” model on ‘Red House’ that was renamed simply “SG” after Les Paul ended his contract with Gibson. Listen, I’m not trying to be hard on you guitar music so-called “journalists,” but you really are supposed to know just about all of this sort of thing. You get PAID to be correct. Further, I understand you people also have to sell stuff, but if I see you nearly wreck an entire story about a true great of music again by such as name-dropping pedals merely for the sake of promoting your offered junk, I will have to stop reading your publication or accepting your emails.

    posted on November 9, 2012 at 4:56 am
  13. GTT says:

    Hendrix often used a Flying V for Red House live in 1970. Just take a look at the isle of wight concert.

    posted on November 9, 2012 at 5:48 am
  14. Jon says:

    I do think that The Telenator is perhaps being a little bit harsh here - there is no hard sell as far as I can see - indeed the point being made is Jimi himself did not spend a fortune on gear as the gear was only evolving.  I saw him live after the release of ‘Are You Experienced’, and before the release of ‘Axis’.  In the live show he did everything with a strat and Marshall - including much of ‘Experienced’ and some of ‘Axis’, & ‘Red House’ playing the intro with the mic stand on the strings - and darned good it all sounded too.  So, let us not get too upset about inaccuracies - let’s just admire the man and the longevity of the music.  Any guitar or amp he played tended to sound pretty good.  And I would thank Proguitarshop for their series of articles, and the contributors who do certainly offer some corrections or observations.  But, it is just great to have such a facility which was unavailable in the ‘60’s when I started out as a guitarist.

    posted on November 9, 2012 at 5:52 am
  15. keon crosswell says:

    I read all of these arguments over the gear Jimi used and I will call it perverted inspiration. Passion and drive are so prominent in Jimi’s approach that it resounds in simple chit chat about tools. I don’t think Hendrix would have any trouble using the gear “in question” because that is what made him so groovy. Flow just flow. Now let us take it up from there with good ol’ JC.

    posted on November 9, 2012 at 5:57 am
  16. GB says:

    saw Jimi live 3 times between the release of Experienced and Axis - Wash D.C. Hilton, DAR Constitution Hall, Merriweather Post Pavillion.  he never played anything but a Strat in any of those shows.  not arguing that he didn’t play Gibby’s too, he did.  I was 13 yrs old when I saw the 1st show, just got in my 1st band,  I learned every lick I could of the 1st album by recording it onto a Wollensack reel-to-reel and slowing the tape down.  He changed my effing life.  Music will do that.

    posted on November 9, 2012 at 6:10 am
  17. Fletch says:

    As an author/musician myself, I write on music and musicians, accuracy IS important for me - or anyone who is covering a given topic - to be considered a credible expert and authority on the subjects I cover. The last thing we need is a Wikipedia approach to facts and history, where simply anyone can throw in their two cents’ worth just because they can. This is not how our history should be handled. There are too many fanciful stories floating about that are pure fiction - but which are viewed by the ignorant and people who weren’t there as reasonably true, even factual - which pollute the truth. We do not need revisionism in the telling of the stories of our past. They need to be factually accurate, with verified sources and eye witness “testimony” to the reality of the topic in question. As someone who came of age in the 1960s and witnessed all of it, either by personal experience or through talking with them who did, I am saddened that people are treated to more imagined realities than gaining the benefit of the actual reality, good, bad, ugly, beautiful or somewhere in between.

    posted on November 9, 2012 at 6:54 am
  18. Mojo Monk says:

    Thanks for giving me good info about Jimmy, as per all the wnky comments: who cares which guitar or pedal….. he could have been playing a dead cat with strings and his amazing talent would have been there to.

    posted on November 9, 2012 at 7:21 am
  19. GB says:

    @Mojo, there’s no doubt that Jimi (please note the spelling) could have prolly made a Silvertone with flatwound strings running thru a transistor radio sound pretty good but as Fletch said it’s important to get things right.  nit-picking is silly but I and virtually every musician I’ve ever known still get pretty revved up when talking about the gear of the greats.  Hell that’s half the fun!

    posted on November 9, 2012 at 7:54 am
  20. Ella says:

    I think the whole point of the article is that it’s the nature of musicians, writers, artists, thinkers and all manner of creative people to take chances. They will always draw criticism from those who always play it safe. Those critics are always forgotten.

    posted on November 9, 2012 at 8:03 am
  21. Keef says:

    I was totally in awe of him when I first heard “Hey Joe” - I would have been about 11.  He instantly became an idol to me and I aligned to him because, like me, he was left-handed.  I read somewhere once that he wanted to form a kind of ‘orchestra’ but using guitars.  Clever idea and one that could still be developed, particularly with today’s technology.  Strangely enough though, my fave Hendrix song is “Hear My Train a’Comin’” on the 12-string.  It has such pathos, somplicity and In my opinion shows Hendrix in a very transparent and open frame.  Absolutely wonderful and so sad he died way too young.

    posted on November 9, 2012 at 8:05 am
  22. GB says:

    I’ll never forget the look on my bandmates faces after playing Are You Experienced for them on my awesome (not so much) record player.  again, the oldest guy in the group was 15, the youngest 12.  of course every track had some amazing recording technique and sounds that we had NEVER heard before, not even from Townsend, and we had all gone to see the Who on their first US tour opening for Herman’s Hermits.  by the time the song Are You Experienced their mouths were literally hanging open, as was mine after the 1st listen.  Then finally the band leader says “that’s too much”.  In response I said something like “I know right?”  Then he says “no, I mean it’s too much as in too much at once, too much noise, weird sounds, whatever”.  He was a dyed in the wool 4 part harmony guy, Beatles, Beach Boys, Mamas & Papas, stuff like that.  I didn’t stay in that band very long!  HAHA!

    posted on November 9, 2012 at 8:31 am
  23. elvis costanza says:

    I’d always heard that Red House was a Hofner semi-hollow with the pickup taped down because it kept falling out!
    Jimi would be recognizable if he played a plastic ukulele, there will never be another like him. I remember when he died. I was a freshman in high school and had gone home for lunch and saw it in the paper. I went back to school and told my friends and no one believed me.
    I still listen to him constantly and the tracks on the web now with the vocals wiped really let us hear the originality of the guitar parts and the way they lock together to create a sound he never actually printed on tape. He seemed to have an intuitive grasp of psycho-acoustics.

    posted on November 9, 2012 at 9:04 am
  24. The Telenator says:

    Yes, mainly Strats and Marshalls LIVE (Marshall sponsored him for a time, then Sunn Amps—remember?), but much of this story was about the sounds he made and things he used while RECORDING, especially the first album or two. If you saw him play LIVE with a Strat, it proves nothing. Look, this guy was—still is—of extreme importance artistically and very much HISTORICALLY as well. Details when we talk about someone as important as Abe Lincoln DO matter. If you can’t understand that, go be a plumber or something. Not a big deal if some armchair rock lover gets it wrong or believes fudgy non-facts, but if you are trying to be a pro writer in music you really should know what you are writing about. DUH. And, yes, the V was his favourite guitar next to the black Strat, but he did not have it to record, for example, 1st album. Do you understand at all that Facts Do Matter, even though I know that many of today’s young people don’t even know what facts are. Last, some people have been trying to clear up the lies, rumours and nonsense that have surrounded him for 40 years.

    posted on November 9, 2012 at 9:12 am
  25. The Telenator says:

    And I never said it was a “hard sell” going on here, but lately, more and more, this site has been pandering and beginning to act as if we’re not smart enough to see the push. Just run the ad and cleap your business clean.

    And again, the equipment a musician this important used is not nit-picking at all. A million guitars work at getting his sound every day. Use your brains, people.

    posted on November 9, 2012 at 9:20 am
  26. Jake says:

    If Jimi `(on Red House) used an LP with 50’s wiring it would have cut out some of the mid bite associated with LP’s. Todays LPs are intentionally wired to be lowe/mid heavy. The Tele is believable for Purple Haze. Page used a Tele in early LZ so I can see it. It’s with the deepest respect for Eric Johnson and several of those posting here that I say “maybe” a Marshall 100 watt Super Bass, set as clean as possible could have been used for The Wind Cries Mary. I would imagine Eddie Kramer knows the actual facts. I wish some one would consult him and put the “amp used” question to rest. I’d like to know. Anyone else interested?

    posted on November 9, 2012 at 9:24 am
  27. D.J. says:

    You are entitled to believe any of the many contradictory stories about what Hendrix used on each recording, but when you are vague and abusive to those who don’t “know” what you do, I see no reason to accept your authority.

    posted on November 9, 2012 at 9:41 am
  28. GB says:

    wow, i sure didn’t mean to turn this into a full-fledged debate with my “nit-picking” comment.  I was only pointing out that, in the larger context of great musician stories, it’s not necessary to nit-pick every small detail and suck the life, fun and mystery out of it.  Hell, even if you were THERE or you are the musician in question,  I seriously doubt that you’d remember every detail of every take of every track of every recording you did.  Do I have to remind you that this was the 60’s, 70’s 80’s we’re talking about?!  jeesh.

    posted on November 9, 2012 at 10:53 am
  29. Kevin Castaway says:

    To Bill Adlard…

    Sorry, Bill, but it wasn’t a Strat on Red House either. It was a Hofner.

    posted on November 9, 2012 at 11:05 am
  30. The Telenator says:

    @D.J.: So what? (Try not to lose any sleep over it.)

    @GB: Some million guitarists work every day at getting his sound. Ask them if it’s important to know. Ask them if these small bits add life, fun and challenge, but most of all this article was SPECIFICALLY about his setup and how he got his sound, not about the colour of his socks. And, yes, many people do chronicle this stuff, starting with recording engineers on to real biographers and such.

    posted on November 9, 2012 at 11:13 am
  31. GB says:

    “some million guitarists….”  really?  you know this to be a fact?  look man, this little article was not meant to be a freaking bio on Jimi.  it’s like maybe 1600 words.  so get over it!  tell us where we can read your 100% factually accurate books you dumbass.  one more thing, if millions of guitar players are working every day to get Hendrix’s sound, I’d say they’re wasting their time.  kinda like you are.  LOL

    posted on November 9, 2012 at 11:41 am
  32. blaine says:

    how does one explain Jimi - its impossible.  His music was life changing - it fell from the heavens to our ears and nothing would ever be the same.  Its said Jimi always had a guitar within arms distance - it was this love for the instrument that changed the world (it had nothing to do with what brand or what amp). All this bickering - Jimi was a gentle soul - I don’t think he’d approve - in SF there’s the Church of John Coltrane - and there will forever be the Church of Jimi Hendrix deep in my heart and in my soul.

    posted on November 9, 2012 at 12:43 pm
  33. lascelles says:

    Jimi also played a flying V sometimes

    posted on November 9, 2012 at 1:07 pm
  34. The Telenator says:

    Probably more than a million guitarists are devoted Hendrix fans and actively study his tunes. GB, you put words in peoples mouths—either that or you don’t know how to read. It’s people like you who make the rest of us have no faith in the future of the human race. Now you’ve gone to name calling. That’s what children do; unable to deal with debate of an issue at hand. There are at least four really highly rated Hendrix biographies that cover many of the details involving his rig during all periods. Learn how to Google. Wasting their time learning Hendrix? Now you’ve also offended perhaps half of all guitarists. Unbelievably ignorant Americans, I pity all of you for the people you have become.

    posted on November 9, 2012 at 1:55 pm
  35. Jesse says:

    I love the stories I’ve read here…great points and views..don’t be so hard tho….I also thought another here we go again another sell ,”“buy this pedal kid You’ll sound like Jimi Hendrix”“
    Like anything else the formost authority who has devoted to the tried and true is a great brother named Andy Aledort,and his schtick is at Guitar World…his life is knowing and teaching…JIMI and other greats,as well. BTW I have been in Eddie Kramer’s vault at the Record Plant in New Jersey in the 80s, and he has tapes of him and Jimi going back and forth on this idea and and that idea, two beautiful human beings doing the history thing but on tape, I saw alot of Jimi’s tapes left behind as his tribute but Eddie is the man to be there cause he suggested to Jimi what he thought would be next in line and he also should get as much credit, like I said I’ve seen it with my two eyes!!

    posted on November 9, 2012 at 4:21 pm
  36. ShwanPugHah says:

    Hey, guys. So… From what I gather… Jimi used a ton of different amps and guitars. He gravitated towards certain ones live (mainly the strat) but in the studio, Jimi wasn’t inhibited by endorsements or brands.

    I do take to offense your comment, Telenator, about “ignorant americans.” I know for a fact that there are just as many ignorant people everywhere else in the world as there are in the USA. Who are you to call me ignorant? I’ve done nothing wrong to you.

    PGS, great setup guide to Jimi! Although it would seem some can’t handle this article, I found it enlightening as to the “bare bones” of what Jimi might use. Thanks.

    posted on November 9, 2012 at 4:27 pm
  37. Geoff Vane says:

    I like many of the ProGuitarShop newsletters. Lots of interesting subjects are discussed. Some errors or omissions are always corrected in the feedback here. Of course it’s part of the sales strategy, but I never felt pushed or irritated.  I think ProGuitarShop really tries to come up with as interesting emails as possible. When I compare this to the stuff other sites dare to call a newsletter, I must say the PGS stuff is much better. Even though some things might need correction or extra info. I’m having fun reading them. Thanks for that! (I’m not a native speaker, sorry)

    posted on November 9, 2012 at 4:28 pm
  38. Robin Piggott says:

    I have just read the article and all the comments which make for interesting reading for any Guitar player or musical historian. Accuracy is a noble pursuit in the world of Musical Journalism and the lack of it will always offend the purists. However every commenter here has the right to his or her own opinion and name calling doesn’t really help the discussion.The passion that is evident here is remarkable and long may it continue.The subject matter is perhaps at the centre of the whole direction of popular music covering the last half of the twentieth century . Jimi’s legacy is without doubt, central to the evolution of the Guitar and guitar virtuosity!.
    Sadly I never saw Jimi live and didn’t possess any of his albums until recently. As many other commenters have written, I think that Jimi could have made beautiful sounds with a stepladder plugged into a can of Baked Beans ( I suggest you don’t try this at home!) For me (as a confirmed Gibson and Marshall lover) I still prefer the wonderful Red House cranked out on the Flying Vee at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 which proved to be Jimi’s last concert performance. Thank you for a great discussion ...now lets all go crank up and remember the man who changed it all.

    posted on November 9, 2012 at 8:17 pm
  39. Tyler says:

    This article was inaccurate garbage.

    posted on November 9, 2012 at 11:36 pm
  40. Bill Adlard says:

    Here is a video of Jimi actually playing Red House on his SG in 1969. His tone is clean at the beginning for a short while. Sounds nothing like the oriignal cut.
    http://youtu.be/_ypkLenWkOI

    posted on November 10, 2012 at 2:56 am
  41. GreG says:

    Just to confuse the controversy further you can see Jimi playing Red House on a flying V at the Isle of Wright show but it’s my belief that since he was a perfectionist and was fond of overdubbing guitars he more then likely used more then 1 guitar to record the song.  :)

    posted on November 10, 2012 at 3:10 am
  42. Bill Adlard says:

    Yes, Jimi liked to overdub, but Red House is a single take, one guitar.

    posted on November 10, 2012 at 3:49 am
  43. Andre Paiva says:

    I thought I read somewhere that “Hey Joe” was recorded with a Tele… But “Purple Haze”? Could you please tell where you gotthis from? Thanks!

    posted on November 10, 2012 at 7:15 am
  44. Jesse says:

    Growing up in the 60s and picking up guitar in the early 70s as a teen I and my counterparts were staunch students especially to propriety and technique…I swear in the near 40 mags I collected on Jimi’s career that I also read that in the studio that some tracks were cut with a Tele for a bright fill in for the Octavia work in Eb on a 440 natural tuning effectively used after the 11th fret,and the body of the work tuned to Eb tuning on a Strat for leads,rhythm work in stereo,this should or would explain the super high pitch of the bridge pickup’s sound ...also has anyone ever heard Buddy Guy’s Red House…chicken or the egg here and he plays it on a STRAT and TWINS!!!
    I play Teles as of the last 3 years and you can’t get Strat or Tele bridge sounds to interchange without an ear noticing the difference especially with an Octavia!

    posted on November 10, 2012 at 8:38 am
  45. Jesse says:

    Hey Andre…bro Guitar World released an issue on Hendrix’s recording history and what studio year,month,day and hour…guitars,amps,pedals and who did what as for marketing and album release and concert touring…google for the issue! It’s one I treasure could care less if the accuracy is wrong because it does leave a notion that is credible if not embellished,it’s great reading!

    posted on November 10, 2012 at 8:45 am
  46. Kudzu says:

    Telenator and GB need to kiss and make up.  C’mon guys.  Relax.  Have a beer (or whatever turns your crank).  And as for the ‘ignorant American’s comment.. you.. ummm… realize… that… umm…. Jimi… was… uhhhhh… OH YEAH… he was AMERICAN.  Get a grip.

    The shameless gear plug was to be expected.  That’s how they pay someone to send out their newsletters, eh?  As to Jimi’s tone.. we all know that two pickups made on the same day at the same factory can sound different… tolerances of the electronic components in amps and effects also made identical make/model amps and FX sound different.  Then throw in the near infinite possible variations in pickup, tone, volume, FX, and amp settings, AND the human touch of flesh on strings… people can get close to his tone, but nobody will ever get it exactly right.

    posted on November 10, 2012 at 9:09 am
  47. anonymouse says:

    I thought I was going to get a short timeline / factual article about Hendrix’s gear… instead I’m hit head on with a personal opinion that “Music is by far the most abstract of all the arts”.... While I don’t completely disagree, I was expecting something a lot different here!

    posted on November 10, 2012 at 9:33 am
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  49. lixamps says:

    Jimi used many instruments and amps on his recordings and got great sounds out of all of them. Supro, Fender, Marshall and probably others that were in the studio. And I am sure that goes for guitars also. He was always experimenting and that is his legacy along with great sound and writing. I saw him in 1969 at the Sports arena in San Diego (14th row) a show I will never forget. I think “Machine Gun” is the greatest live rock guitar recording ever (some may dispute this) but he will be always linked in my mind to a Stratocaster and Marshall 45/100.

    posted on November 11, 2012 at 12:58 am
  50. Steve says:

    And we can’t forget the great job Eddie Kramer did and how instrumental he was as a recording engineer. I also agree with Jeremy that a Fender Twin was used on “Wind Cries Mary.” A favorite tune and I always suspected it was a Twin. It just has that sound!

    posted on November 11, 2012 at 1:11 am
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  53. saucyCT says:

    I believe a baritone guitar was used for the bass line of red house. I would lean towards what Bill says and say that Jimi played Strats more than any other guitars and most likely recorded all of Are You Experience on strats.

    I am not a fan of the Dunlop Hendrix fuzz. I bought it, tried it, and eh. It sounds good for a Dinosaur Jr.-type sound when paired with a good overdrive, but overall, the Fulltone Ultimate Octave has been the hands down winner for nailing Hendrix sound so far.

    ps. sounding like Hendrix has FAR MORE to do with how you play than what gear you use, guitar included. It’s all about the feel of the fingers.

    posted on November 13, 2012 at 4:01 am
  54. eddie says:

    I heard that whenever he went to Manny’s in NYC he would spend about $1500 on pedals he just wanted to see and hear what was new and what he can do with it.

    posted on November 13, 2012 at 6:12 am
  55. Jesse says:

    Before Jimi’s demise…I lived in NYC and had just took up playing from an interest coming from Imperial Beach,Cal…next to Tiajuana Mexico…alot of would be Santanas lived just 2 miles from me and alot of exposures (Fender Custom Shops created from true Relics)...mainly Hendrix and Santana…I definitely got the fever…my brother and I moved to NY eventually   we would visit Manny’s at 48th St.once a week for years…we’d compare notes and learn. Rumor had it in 1970 Jimi bought several guitars and even gave away some and they would wind up at a used guitar shop named We Buy, the owner Henry of Manny’s would and did verify to locals such as my brother and I , it was second hand knowledge…he would even ask if we had any intentions of ever buying a guitar from him!  Jimi also bought Electro-Harmonix pedals and had been since some part of the 60s…...Big Muff Pi’s, Electric Mistressses,  Thomas Organ CryBaby’s, and the flakey Univibe by Univox..anything made by Univox was considered questionable and at times shunned by the wiser minds of the times!...I played with a salesman from Sam Ash a store just shops over and there was alot heresay and demonstrations held there during that time…everybody was family and Jimi had the biggest rep then up to and even after his death!...as for the Baritone on Red House and bass work on Watchtower it was suggested he used a Hagstrom 8 string, also rumored he owned a Hofner McCartney bass…Jimi’s association with Mike Matthews in the 60s really pushed E.Harmonix to maintain the survival of the company and it’s offerings at times many felt they weren’t practical more often fashionable as gimmicks…if you listen to Machine Gun you can hear the distortion run away and feedback that is a sure shot it was a Big Muff Pi being it was in NYC you can bet it came from JImi’s lil shop of goodies he kept in NYC and his close friends of vendors that kept him supplied…(btw the outcome of pedals and FX is a mystery considering there were so many and not accounted for ...they just disappeared and probably resold to patrons not aware)...they’re great sounding Fuzz’s but they can get away from you if you don’t sit on them! I personally swear by EH’s and consider Mike Matthews an incredible innovator and stylist to music and he doesn’t get the proper notoriety he should…he’s as varied as Hendrix ideas because alot of Jimi came Mike Matthews’ innovations, for some that is second hand knowledge, if you mix an Electric Mistress with a tremolo’s optical brain you’ve got a an E.Mistress/ rotating speaker which if you go into the inner circuits there’s adjustments to create more effects than it’s presentation and an Univibe processor to boot…look at Pat Travers,Robin Trower, Frank Marino, not clones but studied students of the Hendrix style and the the tie that binds is of course Electro-Harmonix, Strats (mainly) and the venerable Twin Reverb and it’s cousins(Bassmans,Marshalls)!

    posted on November 13, 2012 at 9:06 am
  56. Jesse says:

    Jimi was also enthused by the use of Fender’s 5 string and 6 string basses that used Jaguar bodies and Baritone necks…Jack Bruce’s influenced no doubt in the recording studios at Olympia studios.

    posted on November 13, 2012 at 9:16 am
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  62. Paul cowart says:

    As for Red House there are two seperate cuts..one with no overdubs and another with overdubs,the one w o/d’s is on the USA release of the song on “best of” I think and the other was an UK release…plus he NEVER recieved a free Marshall,maybe the Sunns…and pretty sure used a small Fender on a few things like “Rainy Day”...and other groovier pieces….will have to check my references again…..Jim Marshall NEVER gave a freebie away…lol..!!

    posted on November 14, 2012 at 7:47 am
  63. Ken Bost says:

    All this talk about which guitars were responsible for which tones. I remember being shocked when I heard/saw many of my favorite “strat” tones coming from a Gibson ES335 in the hands of Eric Johnson! I am 53 years old and know that so much can come from the hands and use of the volume and tone knobs on your guitar. I cover everything with my main guitar which is an Ampeg AMG-1 with Seymour Duncan P-90’s much to everyone’s shock.

    posted on November 14, 2012 at 12:07 pm
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  66. Keith says:

    Guess Noir & Longchamp… bite it.    I hope your wonker falls off.  Ruining perfectly good forums.  For shame.

    Ken - Spot on.  I’ll never forget that day long ago when this guy picked up my crappy guitar in a dorm room at college and totally nailed several Led Zep songs like it was nothing.  That guitar was literally a no brand name guitar and probably sold for $25 new at Sears or somewhere.  I don’t even remember where I got it… but think it was a freebie.  That experience told me it’s not the bow or arrows… it’s the indian.  Another analogy is the story I read long ago about Ted Nugent asking Van Halen’s guitar tech if it would be OK if he played through Eddie’s rig at a sound check when VH wasn’t around… according to the guitar tech it sounded like Nugent playing through Eddie’s rig… all Nugent.. no Eddie.  It’s not the equipment, it’s the fingers/person that makes 99% of the difference IMHO.  Jimi was the best.  RIP Jimi.

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