Jimi Hendrix Guitar Rig

There never has been a guitarist like Jimi Hendrix. He played the guitar like it was a lover. He twisted and turned with it, played it with his teeth, behind his back and burned it alive on the stage of the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. He could play left- or right-handed and used feedback like another range of notes. No one compares to Hendrix.

  1. History

    • In most films of his performances, Hendrix is playing a right-handed Fender Stratocaster left-handed. He did this because he like the volume and tone control knobs on top, rather than on the bottom. As a Strat is designed, the knobs generally would be on the bottom near the cord jack and tremolo bar. The Strat gave Hendrix the feedback he desired because it had three single-coil pickups. Other guitars, such as the Gibson Les Paul, use humbucker pickups. These are double-coiled pickups with the wires counter-wound to lower the buzz and hum associated with electric guitars. Since Hendrix liked this feedback, he used the single-coils.


    • Hendrix also played a few other guitars including the Gibson Flying V, Epiphone acoustic, Gretsches and even a Les Paul now and then, but he preferred the whine and hum of the Strat.


    • According to Geocities Sunset Strip, Hendrix used light-gauge Fender strings, sometimes switching heavier strings for lighter in different positions on the neck. He also tuned the guitar lower to make it easier to sing with.


    • Like many musicians coming from American music, Hendrix often used Fender amplifiers. The Twin Reverb and, later, the Dual Showman were his standards. Later, when power and distortion became widespread in rock, he switched to the legendary Marshall amps used by many throughout the 1970s who followed him. Marshalls have a distinct sound favored by "heavy" guitar players such as Jimmy Page, Pete Townsend and Eddy Van Halen.


    • Hendrix used the wah-wah pedal frequently, as well as distortion or "fuzz" boxes on stage and in the studio. The wah-wah, as he once explained, shifted the sound from bass to treble creating the wah-wah effect. This probably is the most distinctive "stomp box" he used and became associated with him. Distortion boxes heightened the "fuzz" of his playing. He also probably used compressors which stretch out the notes without distortion. He liked the swirling sound of Leslie speaker cabinets, too, so he used them on several recordings.

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  • Photo Credit Shawn M. Tomlinson

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