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Jimi Hendrix Style

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michhill8
(@michhill8)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 420
Topic starter  

I'm reposting this on this forum because, well more people read this one, it's also posted in the theory forum.

Hendrix, for many of his songs, used some interesting, and to the casual eye "crazy" notes and fingering for his songs. They don't seem to fall into any certain category, but I know they have to, and thats where you guys come in!!

I have been looking like crazy online to find progressions for certain songs, ie Castles made of sand and little wing. I have found out they are based on the circle of fifths/fourths and I understand how they work, but what I don't understand is how he chooses to play the notes he does over these chords. The intro to little wing is a good example, and the whole Castles Made of Sand song is another good one.

Hopefully you guys know what I mean, I'm talking about improvosational fills and whatnot, If anyone can shed light on this I would love it! Thanks,

oh and PS- can anyone give me an exact progression of Castles Made of Sand??

Thanks again.

Thanks Dudes!
Keep on Rockin'

Pat


   
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dogbite
(@dogbite)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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that's a tough one.
perhaps the difficulty is the improvisation.
sure I bet there are lessons, but what I mean, improvisation ala Hendrix is sooo subjective.
Hendrix found those notes because of what he heard in his head.
you and I dont hear it because we aint him; how could we possibly know the right phrasing.
I believe those things occured to him when he was creating the tune.

I would bet that if you crreated a song you would see and hear things that someone else would not.

have fun at Claptons show.
Ill be away from the jam next week friday,.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
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DoctorWu
(@doctorwu)
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Joined: 17 years ago
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Hard for me to comment on Hendrix because he learned to play by taking a right-handed guitar and flipping it upside down so he could play it left handed. Because of that, I'm sure he had to wire his brain quite differently as he gradually taught himself to play. I've learned to mimic just a few Hendrix songs in the past (I'm also self-taught). So what I can tell you may or may not already be obvious to you. But just in case it helps, here goes ...

What I've gathered from teaching myself certian Hendrix songs (Little Wing being one of them) and by watching certain Hendrix videos is this: He barred with his index finger quite a bit across the bottom 4 (sometimes 5) strings and then used his middle, ring, and pinky fingers to do hammer ons and pull offs just UNDER the strings that he had barred with his index finger. And sometimes, he would slur notes by sliding just half a step with his pinky while using the barred positions. Then the rest was basically his highly skilled use of the pentatonic scale. I am by no means implying that all this is just simple. It definetly takes some getting used to. Jimi also had big hands and long fingers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimi_Hendrix This gave him very distinct advantages over the fretboard that I would almost kill to have.

Hope this helps! 8)

Yes! As a matter of fact, I am with you. ;-)


   
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pauljohnson
(@pauljohnson)
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Hey Man love the question about analyzing some Jimi Hendrix songs!!
About your question I'm somewhat familiar with the chord progression of the songs you talked about.
I'm a Berklee College Music Grad. and I'd have to analyze all kinds of music from rock to classical to whatever.
here's what I can tell about little wing, The basic chord pergression . Em,Gmaj,Am,Em,Bm,BbM,Am,Gmaj,Fmaj,Cmaj,Dmaj. You'll have to tell me if I got all the chords right there..
it's been awhile sense I've looked at that song. But anyway, if you take a look at that progression it's pretty much all just in the key of G maj or E Minor depending on how you want to look at it (same thing) I would call this E minor.
let's start with what chord are diatonic to the key of E min.
E min, F#min7(b5) Gmaj, A min, B min, C maj, D7, so out of that chord progression from the song
that I listed that only leaves us with two chords that don't fit into the key, Bbmin, and Fmaj,
the Bbmin is simple a cromatic passing chord from the Bmaj to the A min chord and the Fmaj is what
you'd call a Modal Mixture Chord a flat 7 chord very common in blues and that's what Jimmy does.
What I'm tring to say is for the most part over this song you can just play the E min scale or E min pent
I'm sure if you check out the guitar solo he probably pretty much plays that. Also other notes that he uses i can't tell you because I don't know the solo I'm sure there either just other notes from the E natural min scale, E, F#, G, A, B, C, D
or a few cromatic passing notes. That's just one in the scale leading to another note in the scale by half step, say B to Bb to A like the chord progression.
.
Check out the solo again and see how close it is, and try soloing using those scales or just the E blues scale!
let me know how it goes, Or feel free to ask any more questions or give me exact notes!

hope I helped!

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dogbite
(@dogbite)
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Hey Man love the question about analyzing some Jimi Hendrix songs!!
About your question I'm somewhat familiar with the chord progression of the songs you talked about.
I'm a Berklee College Music Grad. and I'd have to analyze all kinds of music from rock to classical to whatever.
here's what I can tell about little wing, The basic chord pergression . Em,Gmaj,Am,Em,Bm,BbM,Am,Gmaj,Fmaj,Cmaj,Dmaj. You'll have to tell me if I got all the chords right there..
it's been awhile sense I've looked at that song. But anyway, if you take a look at that progression it's pretty much all just in the key of G maj or E Minor depending on how you want to look at it (same thing) I would call this E minor.
let's start with what chord are diatonic to the key of E min.
E min, F#min7(b5) Gmaj, A min, B min, C maj, D7, so out of that chord progression from the song
that I listed that only leaves us with two chords that don't fit into the key, Bbmin, and Fmaj,
the Bbmin is simple a cromatic passing chord from the Bmaj to the A min chord and the Fmaj is what
you'd call a Modal Mixture Chord a flat 7 chord very common in blues and that's what Jimmy does.
What I'm tring to say is for the most part over this song you can just play the E min scale or E min pent
I'm sure if you check out the guitar solo he probably pretty much plays that. Also other notes that he uses i can't tell you because I don't know the solo I'm sure there either just other notes from the E natural min scale, E, F#, G, A, B, C, D
or a few cromatic passing notes. That's just one in the scale leading to another note in the scale by half step, say B to Bb to A like the chord progression.
.
Check out the solo again and see how close it is, and try soloing using those scales or just the E blues scale!
let me know how it goes, Or feel free to ask any more questions or give me exact notes!

hope I helped!

dude, you need to post more often.
I really like how you sussed this out.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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michhill8
(@michhill8)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 420
Topic starter  

Hey Man love the question about analyzing some Jimi Hendrix songs!!
About your question I'm somewhat familiar with the chord progression of the songs you talked about.
I'm a Berklee College Music Grad. and I'd have to analyze all kinds of music from rock to classical to whatever.
here's what I can tell about little wing, The basic chord pergression . Em,Gmaj,Am,Em,Bm,BbM,Am,Gmaj,Fmaj,Cmaj,Dmaj. You'll have to tell me if I got all the chords right there..
it's been awhile sense I've looked at that song. But anyway, if you take a look at that progression it's pretty much all just in the key of G maj or E Minor depending on how you want to look at it (same thing) I would call this E minor.
let's start with what chord are diatonic to the key of E min.
E min, F#min7(b5) Gmaj, A min, B min, C maj, D7, so out of that chord progression from the song
that I listed that only leaves us with two chords that don't fit into the key, Bbmin, and Fmaj,
the Bbmin is simple a cromatic passing chord from the Bmaj to the A min chord and the Fmaj is what
you'd call a Modal Mixture Chord a flat 7 chord very common in blues and that's what Jimmy does.
What I'm tring to say is for the most part over this song you can just play the E min scale or E min pent
I'm sure if you check out the guitar solo he probably pretty much plays that. Also other notes that he uses i can't tell you because I don't know the solo I'm sure there either just other notes from the E natural min scale, E, F#, G, A, B, C, D
or a few cromatic passing notes. That's just one in the scale leading to another note in the scale by half step, say B to Bb to A like the chord progression.
.
Check out the solo again and see how close it is, and try soloing using those scales or just the E blues scale!
let me know how it goes, Or feel free to ask any more questions or give me exact notes!

hope I helped!

dude, you need to post more often.
I really like how you sussed this out.

Agreed, and thanks for all your guys help.

PS- Clapton was amazing

Thanks Dudes!
Keep on Rockin'

Pat


   
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Doug_C
(@doug_c)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 397
 

Both "Castles Made Of Sand" and "The Wind Cries Mary" are on the "In The Style Of Jimi Hendrix" DVD that I got from MVP. You'd have to get the tab for it from their site, and the tabs just show the particular passage that Curt Mitchell is demonstrating on the video. (And there's nothing to indicate which PDF page is for which song unless you have the DVD to match up a lesson number with a tab number.) http://www.mvphomevideo.com/index.htm
I think it was a good investment, I just need to find the time to sit down and work on it.


   
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lunchmeat
(@lunchmeat)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 153
 

Castles made of sand, as far as I can tell...hold on, I'm listening now, one of my favorite songs.

Starts off in G5.. (intro riff) Gmaj, C5, Gmaj for the intro section.

Verse: Fmaj, Am, Em, Fmaj, Cmaj, Gmaj.

Chorus: Gmaj, Dmaj, C5, Bb5, Gmaj.

I think that's a pretty basic rundown. As for the riffing, I haven't thought about that yet...I'll get around to it.

Seems hendrix is slightly out of tune in this song...he seems to be closer to F# than G, but he's not quite at F# either. So I just put it in G. If it doesn't sound right, drop the guitar by a half step.

-lunchmeat


   
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DoctorWu
(@doctorwu)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 14
 

Seems hendrix is slightly out of tune in this song...he seems to be closer to F# than G, but he's not quite at F# either. So I just put it in G. If it doesn't sound right, drop the guitar by a half step.

I recall reading somewhere that Hendrix consistently tuned down a half-step. That's why one of his most adoring fans, Stevie Ray Vaughn, also decided to adopt this practice. Of course I haven't actually checked the tuning all Hendix recordings, but it's definitely the case on the 3 or 4 Hendrix songs which I have actually checked out. SRV really loved Hendrix, but I personally feel that he was better than Hendrix.

It's hard to actually pass judgement on Hendrix, because his career was short lived (much shorter than SRV) and clouded with excessive drug & alcohol use. If Jimi were still alive today, I'm sure he'd be very awesome. It's so sad that both of these great strat-slingers are gone.

Yes! As a matter of fact, I am with you. ;-)


   
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vink
 vink
(@vink)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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According to something I read, Hendrix started tuning half step down after the "Experience Hendrix" Album.

--vink
"Life is either an adventure or nothing" -- Helen Keller


   
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lunchmeat
(@lunchmeat)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 153
 

Yeah, I love the Eb tuning - but in Castles made of Sand it's not quite Eb.

Basically...he downtuned, but didn't use a tuner, or something...I dunno.

-lunchmeat


   
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pauljohnson
(@pauljohnson)
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Posts: 6
 

just wanted to make a comment about the tuning talk. hendrix and SRV both tuned down 1/2 step alot basically for the reason of being able to use a nice heavy gauge string like a 13 and still bend it like crazy!! (less tension) with the heavy gauge string you get a much fatter sound! Not to mention that Hendrix and SRV both had really strong, large hands.

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vink
 vink
(@vink)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 722
 

Makes sense! I read a comment by SRV in some issue of GP which says that he used strings as heavy as 0.018! He said something like "they eat your tuning pegs, they eat your fingers and your hands, but they sound great".

--vink
"Life is either an adventure or nothing" -- Helen Keller


   
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Ricochet
(@ricochet)
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I use .017-.070" strings on my reso, which is usually in Open D, occasionally in Open G. I picked the biggest strings I thought I could get away with for each string at the higher of the pitches where they differed between those two tunings. Never intended it to get tuned up to standard tuning, but a bozo did that last year and it caused no ill effects.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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Wes Inman
(@wes-inman)
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Yes, Hendrix almost always tuned down 1/2 step, but Hendrix himself said he did this because he found it easier to sing in this tuning, and not to make bending easier. Hendrix could bend a note at the 1st fret a full step and a half no problem and put vibrato on it. Huge hands.

As far as Jimi's soloing, he almost always played the Minor Pentatonic scale. Of course he would add colorful notes here and there.

But you can't really analyze Hendrix's music like that. He played by ear. He really did not know anything about music. He said in an interview once that he didn't even know what a C chord is. Now that was probably an exaggeration, but I don't think Hendrix knew very much about music from head knowledge. Hendrix really was on his own little plane. He heard music in his head and was extremely creative. He spoke about music in terms of colors and moods. He would tell a fellow musician that a chord needed to be more "red". He really talked like this.

So Hendrix probably had no idea what progressions he was playing. He just played the sounds and progressions he heard in his head.

I remember Hendrix said once he wanted to create the sound of "cellophane typewriters". Now if you can figure out what that means, you will understand Hendrix.

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


   
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