This gold sales award was presented to Jimi Hendrix for the album "Rainbow Br... more
This gold sales award was presented to Jimi Hendrix for the album "Rainbow Bridge" commemorating over 500.000 sold copies.
This gold sales award was presented to Jimi Hendrix for the album "Axis: Bold... more
This gold sales award was presented to Jimi Hendrix for the album "Axis: Bold as Love" commemorating over 500.000 sold copies.
This gold sales award was presented to Jimi Hendrix for the album "Smash Hits... more
This gold sales award was presented to Jimi Hendrix for the album "Smash Hits" commemorating over 500.000 sold copies.
Jimi Hendrix’s guitar tone is instantly recognizable. Hendrix’s musical sound and lasting fame is inseparable from the iconic, warm, and crisp tone he coaxed from his guitars. Over his unbelievably prolific and sadly short-lived career he ran through guitars fast, but he found his heavenly match with the Fender Stratocaster. It was the guitar which he dubbed his favorite and it was this model he lit on fire during his infamous performance at the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967. Fittingly, according to his girlfriend Monika Dannemann, it was also the last guitar he played before his death.
Hendrix played many Stratocaster models, but he wasn’t above flirting with other guitars on occasion. He played a number of the Gibson Flying V, as well as a Gibson 1955 Les Paul Custom. His first electric guitar was the Supro Ozark 1560s, which he picked up back in 1959. In the mid-'60s, he messed around and did some recordings (including Spanish Castle Magic) with the twelve-string, double-necked Mosrite Joe Maphis guitar. For acoustic instruments, he went through two Martin D-45s and an Epiphone FT79. He composed a lot of his songs on the acoustic guitar before performing on the electric, including his famous cover of Bob Dylan’s All Along the Watchtower.
Of course, Hendrix’s greatness goes beyond just his guitars. His iconic sound was tightly linked to his brilliant matching of instrument, amplification, and pedal effects. Limiting ourselves just to his 1969 performance at Woodstock, we can marvel at his twin Marshall 100-Watt Superlead Heads for four-foot-by-12-foot stacks. Before hitting the amps themselves, Hendrix ran his Stratocaster through (in this order) a Vox Wah pedal, a Dallas-Arbiter Fuzzface, a Uni-Vibe pedal, which then sent a split signal out to the two Marshall amps.
An under-appreciated aspect of Hendrix’s sound, according to his friend and collaborator Roger Mayer, was the careful use of custom string gauges to help even out the pickup response across all six strings, while avoiding altering the Strat pickups themselves. According to Mayer, "Jimi was very aware that a simple chain of effects – along with few important options – would greatly free his mind to concentrate on performing and that a lot of control could be obtained from the guitar volume." Those are words to live by for any musician. Hendrix chose the right gear and used it effectively to create an optimal signal flow. Hendrix was an incredibly talented guitarist, and an equally brilliant sound engineer.