Jimi Hendrix - Flashing Flamboyance at the Speed of Light
Though he enjoyed only a four-year reign as a superstar, Jimi Hendrix redefined electric guitar rock more than any of his predecessors or successors. With his exhilarating & thrilling guitar playing, Jimi, became widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of music. Described by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as "arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music", Jimi delighted fans in the 1960s with his outrageous electric guitar skills and his experimental sound.
Jimi began playing guitar at an early age and his first instrument was an acoustic guitar. He later made the switch to an electric guitar and didn’t look back since then. In the early years, Hendrix played mostly cheaper guitar like the Epiphone Wilshire and Supro Ozark. It wasn’t until 1966 that Jimi met former Animals bassist, Chas Chandler, who became his manager and helped him form The Jimi Hendrix Experience. The group, which was active until June 1969, comprised of Jimi as the singer, songwriter, and guitarist. He was accompanied by bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell. It was around this time during the summer of 1966 he bought his first Stratocaster, which became his signature guitar. Early on his career, he played with many different musicians. During the early and mid-1960’s, Jimi worked with such R&B and soul legends such as Little Richard, the Isley Brothers, and King Curtis as a backup guitarist.
The band was immensely influential in the popularization of hard rock and psychedelic rock, ultimately gaining much fame & adulation among fans for the skill, style, and charisma of their frontman, Jimi Hendrix. They became stars with astounding pace in the UK after releasing tracks like ‘Hey Joe’, ‘Purple Haze’, and ‘The Wind Cries Mary’, which made the Top 10 in the first half of 1967. These tracks went on to feature on their debut album, ‘Are You Experienced’. The album was a psychedelic masterwork, becoming a huge hit in the U.S With the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Jimi became an international superstar in 1967.
Jimi’s music was immensely influenced by American rock and roll and electric blues. He made widespread use of overdriven amplifiers with high volume and gain. His utilization of the previously undesirable sounds from guitar amplifier feedback was instrumental in popularizing the use of amplifiers. His repeated whirlwind blasts of noise along with stunning showmanship allowed him to garner much adoration & acclamation as a guitarist among music fans.
With his virtuosic guitar skills and the arsenal of inventive & innovative devices that he employed when he played, Jimi took electric guitar to new heights. Most notably his use of wah-wah pedals, buzzing & energetic feedback solos and crunching, distorted riffs as well as the lightning liquid runs up and down the scales made him a legend in a very short span of time.