Tag Archives: lyricism

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.