Skip to content
Clear all

Hendrix Chords

Active Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 13
Topic starter  

Hi i've been learning some Hendrix songs lately from a dvd and have been having some trouble with the fingerings for some of the chords.
When playing the G and A from Purple Haze it's similar to a barre chord but fingered differently to free up the pinky, so you use your thumb to fret the low e.The only thing is i'm not sure what to do with the A string, would you mute it with your thumb or try and fret both the A and D string with your fourth finger?
Alot of tabs say to use a barre or power chord but then you can't really embelish the chord by hammering on or pulling off with your pinky.

Anyway thanks for reading.

Illustrious Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 8306

you can use a barre chord with your ring finger playing both d and a strings. this'll free up your pinky.

Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 151

Check you this site on the topic - click the quicktime icon for a video... They have other great vidoe topics too...

I'll only be down there (in the basement practicing) for a couple of minutes or so...
My SoundClick Page:

Active Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 13
Topic starter  

Cheers for the advice, it's kind of what I thought, guess I just need practice fretting 2 strings with one finger.

Reputable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 417

Great little site there with those video lessons. I'm enjoying them!

Unseen Evidence
UE Reverb Nation Page

Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5599


Jimi Hendrix had HUGE hands. He rarely played a barre with the index finger. He would barre the first four strings with his index finger, and wrap his thumb over the top. This was much easier for him than most of us. In Purple Haze, Hendrix muted the A string by letting his thumb lightly touch it.



Playing like this has another effect. It basically gives you an octave A on top. Octaves have a hollow type tone that you hear in jazz a lot. You could hear these sounds in a lot of Hendrix's playing.

So Jimi did not usually play completely normal chords. He often muted strings to get this "hollow" tone. Another example is All Along the Watchtower. This song uses C#m, B, and A chords. But Hendrix played them like this using "5" chords.

C#m5 B5 A5


With this form, Jimi used his pinky to mute the G string. He also let his index finger mute the high E string. This chord also has a hollow jazzy tone. Try this with just a little phase to capture Jimi's tone on this song.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis