Tag Archives: hendrix

Hendrix hooks & Root 5 chord

The reason this chord is called a root five is because it contains only the ROOT note and a note a FIFTH interval above it. To build a MAJOR CHORD we take the FIRST, the THIRD and the FIFTH notes of the D Major SCALE – in this context we would use a D an F# and a A to build a Dmajor chord.
In today’s example we are breaking down a D major chord (D F# A) and removing the third – the F# to play a DIAD, a two note chord. The chord will be made up of only D and A, the 1st and 5th therefore making it neither major nor minor but modal.

Roman Numerals are conventionally used to identify each chord within any given key; so starting with a D we also play the fifth, an A. If this is beginning to sound a little like rocket science rather than music DONT PANIC; all will become clear in due time. For the moment, study the diagram and try to understand how the interrelationships between the scale, the chords and the fretted notes work. If it seems a little complex and confusing DONT PANIC; it’s just a small step forward on the route to greater understanding and don’t put yourself under any pressure!

On Hendrix’ second sophomore album Axis:Bold as Love Jimi takes the compositional skills first illuminated on Wind Cries Mary into a new dimension with an increasing emphasis upon lyricism over the acid soaked rock of his first release. Songs such as Castles made of Sand, the exceptional title cut, Bold as Love and the inspirational love song Little Wing bear testament to this progression away from rock simplicity towards lyrical complexity.

Eric Johnson

Eric Johnson;

there’s something in the water in Texas and it must be talent, melody or some kind of mystical otherworldly pan-galactic musical goodness and Eric Johnson is definitely drinking it.

By the time Johnson released his Capitol Records debut Ah Via Musicom in 1990, he was regularly winning awards for his musicianship in the guitar press. During this period, Eric Johnson was also drawing recognition for the rich, violin-like tone he coaxed from his vintage Fender Stratocaster.

Eric fuses a more classical sense of melody with the a highly accomplished and adult sonic palette blending vibrato, bends, scales and tones in a way that avoids the hair-metal neo-classical plagiarism of guitar for guitar’s sake and the time honoured cliches of the been there, done that blues-rock guitar cannon. Here he is playing “Manhattan” – so, listen up and listen good because it’s said that Eric can tell the difference between the brands of batteries in his effects pedals.

Southpaw Lefty guitarists

Left handed guitarists the world over have always had few options regarding availability of left handed guitars. This has always been the case, but in recent times several major guitar manufacturers have completely turned their backs on left handed guitarists and have stopped making left handed guitars altogether. When you do find a left handed guitar in a shop somewhere it is normally priced 10-20 percent extra! What is that really? A “penalty fee” for being a left handed guitarist? Not acceptable!


Obviously, in the world of guitar legend one man stands alone, head and shoulders above his peers; distorting time and space whilst achieving transcendental oneness with his guitar in a zen like reverie of Amerindian shamanism, Free love, sex, politics, feedback, fire and death.

If there was ever a sacrifice made to the guitar gods it was Hendrix himself…exploding into flame at Monterey Hendrix burnt away in a three year vapour trail of drugs, touring, alcohol, invention, and innovation – notwithstanding the management, money and mafia troubles that followed in his wake.

For those of you who are baffled by the countless re-iterations and compilations floating endlessly around, the remixes and terrible bastardisations such as “Midnight Lightning”, or “Loose Ends” (which showcase an industries shallow greed in selling the out-takes from the cutting room floor and even using hired modern musicians to remake tracks), the blatent misbranding of Hendrix’ work with Curtis Knight – to help you in avoiding these shark infested pools of the Hendrix legacy here are 6 albums that I can wholeheartedly recommend.

Robin Trower

Here`s English guitarist Robin Trower, formerly of Procul Harem, playing the title track from his 1974 classic rock album Bridge of Sighs. Robin plays his own signature stratocaster which is an EXACT version of the on eyou can buy through Fender although when playing live Robin tunes his guitar a full step down, to a DGCFAD tuning. Robin`s tone is achieved through playing into several Marshall heads at high, high volume. Hendrix comparisons have plagued Trowers work but anyone who knows their onions will notice that Hendrix` rhythmic legacy from his days playing with Curtis Knight and Little Richard for example is not present in the fluid legato and unhurried melodic content of Robin Trower`s playing.
1990`s “In the Line of Fire” is a great album

The Art of Guitar

IMHO, there are ways to shred and burn on the guitar that far surpass the egocentric simplicity and slavery to technique of that whole guitar school, speed focussed, sweep picking, notes for notes sake playing that occurs in a vacuum devoid of taste, subtlety and emotion.

Real guitar shredding is emotive, not mechanical, slick or polished unless it needs to be as part of the expression – e.g. a Freddie King Lick an Albert King bend, a Clapton phrase, the Leslie West tone, Hendrix` sustain etcetera…..

Future Guitar

The future of the guitar – what is it? We`re still using designs that are around 60 years old: Gibson Les Paul, Fender Stratocaster, Flying V, Explorers, Jaguar, Firebird etcetera. Commonalities include double or single cutaways, magnetic pickups, tone selectors, strings, tremelo arms, bridges, frets, tuning pegs.