Play blues like Jimi Hendrix

Delve into Hendrix’s offbeat blues style

Here we look at Jimi's more up-tempo style, rather than the more familiar slow blues he loved to play live.

Hendrix was a blues natural, but his blues playing was often very spacey; he would push and pull the timing far across the beats, adding long, flowing notes and repeating fl urries and trills that sometimes bore little relation to a specific count.

This example provides enough space to include plenty of Hendrix-isms. Hendrix was great at the dynamics of a solo. He knew how to build in tension and release: in most Hendrix solos you'll find him at the top of the neck, down the bottom, changing from neck to bridge pickup and altering the density of his notes from slow and lingering to pretty rapid for his day.

The gear

Jimi didn't always use a Fender Stratocaster on stage. In fact for blues he often favoured his Gibson Flying V or SG. For this track we played an Eric Johnson Signature Strat (switching from bridge to neck pickup), through the 'Jimi' setting with added distortion pedal on a Vox Tonelab. Don't go too mad with treble or overdrive, and add some spacey echo to taste.

Click here for full-sized tab.

Audio - Full track

Audio - Just the licks

Audio - Playalong

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