My guitar student thinks Jimi Hendrix is terrible!

Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by Steve Holt, Mar 4, 2017.

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  1. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I wonder how baffled and maybe even sad Hendrix might be to find the vast musical territory he significantly spearheaded the movement toward: Technical fast rock and blues-rock guitar; that has blossomed into huge album sales of repetitive scale playing through distorted amps.

    AFAIK his sometimes very fast accurate single note playing was a huge draw for new guitar players to try to learn, but the other parts of his style were interestingly enough, harder to master than shredding scales.

    There was fast single note playing in flamenco and Jazz, but kids weren't hearing that, and Hendrix set many of us on fire for guitar.
    More IMO than any other player, at least in his very short prime.

    The complaint that there are so many bad performances on record is fair, but his peak career was so short and demand for his music so high, that every scrap of tape was put out for public consumption.
    I doubt many artists have no bad public performances in their past, we just don't find those in releases.
    The Hendrix estate has been a legal battleground, and much garbage got sold out of it. He supposedly set a cassette dictation recorder on the stage as often as possible, to have a record of what he did. Probably didn't intend for any of it to become album material.
    He was pretty meticulous in the studio.
    I guess some of his performances were also hurt by drug use, or at least altered to be more exciting than technically great.

    I think it's safe to say that young audiences of today expect more technical polish and don't even dream of experiencing the soul intensity of the greatest artists who pioneered the music that exploded out of the '60s.
     
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  2. muscmp

    muscmp Tele-Afflicted

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    while i agree wholeheartedly, i believe that comes under the term, "experience." pun, not intended. ha!

    play music!
     
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  3. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    the Star spangled banner that was played at woodstock was Jimi triing to imbed the sounds of war into the song (heavey dive bombs etc, dont forget Vietnam was very real then) a now a days 14 year old will never understand the air at home while young kids not much older than he is now putting their lives on the line and what that meant at the time , to them it sounds like a bunch of noise unsolicited, but I have to say the blues jam hendrix did at woodstock was brilliant adlib I could listen to it over and over ( I probably have).
    Jimi used brilliant chord voicings and melody , but I was never sold on his lead playing entirely , but the way he tied his chords together ,WOW. plus he had monster sized hands, just like Johnny Winter long fingers .
     
  4. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

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    When a kid comes to me for guitar advice, I'll try to give pointers about technique or tone, to achieve the desired results. I never disrespect his or her choice of music. This cuts both ways; there isn't a 14 year old alive who understands the musical and cultural significance of Hendrix and if one comes into my house and starts spouting garbage, I can't let that pass. :)
     
  5. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    he's a kid, what do you expect. Many of them think rap is quality music. On the subject of JH tho, i can see how some kids might think that. They hear the name and look him up on you tube, and anyone who knows JH knows he was a very inconsistent player and there's a lot of really bad footage of his off nights to be seen. Not to mention the equipment back then was crude and live recordings often sounded hideous. Then theres this....IMO he was exceptional in many ways, and a guitar technician was certainly not one of them. Especially compared to today. He was crude. But heres the thing.....i never thought he was a great guitar player, i always thought of him as a great musician ! What he did on guitar that was so great IMO was one the side of musicianship....phrasing, what to place where, tasty riffs and rhythms.....musicianship with guitar as the tool. And the fact he could improvise such tasty riffage live WHILE singing was impressive. Then theres songwriting. Need i say more?

    In short, that kid was judging JH based on one of about 10 things that encompass what Jimi did as a musician and ignoring all else. And he's looking at his playing strictly from a technical POV, because isn't that what guitar playing has come to in recent decades? It's pathetic and leads to less quality music but it's true. It's what kids today see as the mark of excellence.
     
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  6. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

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    Hendrix willingly served his country in the military, of course. He earned the right to comment about patriotism, war and social disorder, in his music.....and anything else that crossed his mind. :)
     
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  7. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Friend of Leo's

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    I think it a little silly to subscribe political significance to one string of notes over another.
    Musical notes have no patriotic meaning.
    To claim that a string of notes means you love your country, but this string of notes means you don't is absurd.
    I don't remember anyone having a problem with Jimi's version back then, it was after all, just a song.
     
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  8. Edsel Presley

    Edsel Presley Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I'm not a big Hendrix fan, but I'll give him his credit due. What he did, when he did it was fantastic. I will admit that I do enjoy him when he wasn't tripping all over the place.

    For the record, I'm not a EVH fan either.
     
  9. MisterZ

    MisterZ Tele-Holic

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    Not too hard, actually. I deny it. (You are entitled to your opinion, though, no matter how wrong it may seem to me.)
     
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  10. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    A good friend of mine is one of Jimi's cousins... She was in the music business at one time but not on the Hendrix music side. When she found out I was a huge fan of Jimi's she kind of reacted like the 14 year old student and asked me why on earth I liked him or his music so much.

    I started with my thoughts about his amazing sense of timing and use of unique chord voicing's to make simple musical ideas compelling. Then I started listing out all of my favourite Hendrix tracks; Castles, Wait till tomorrow, Axis, rainy day, little wing, wind cries Mary, long hot summer night, and on and on. She was surprised I would know about the stuff that didn't get constant radio play; Purple Haze, Foxy Lady, Crosstown Traffic, Hey Joe. I reminded her that I was a guitarist and a fan of Hendrix so I'd obviously know something about his music, lol. We had a pretty good conversation about music that night.
     
  11. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

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    OK. I have a theory. You can be first, or best, never both. That's the theory. Chuck Berry invented the Chuck Berry riff, but there's plenty of players who did it better than him. BB King invented many blues licks and styles, Clapton and others stole them and turbo-charged them. Clapton, Duane, EVH, SRV, etc., created something so compelling it eventually was imitated to death. The Beatles invented so many styles, there's many groups that sound like one Beatles song, done different ways.

    Hendrix invented a whole category of guitar music, now every guitar player worth a fig has incorporated his inventions into their music, so plain Hendrix, by itself, sounds cliche and simplistic to someone who has heard a hundred permutations of it all their lives.
     
  12. Ira7

    Ira7 Doctor of Teleocity

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    I'm 60, and lived through the tail end of his career.

    He was what we would now call a shredder--incredible speed on working the strings. But we were all on dope then, so it was revolutionary.

    Today?

    It sucks and it's unlistenable. And it hasn't survived the test of time, when you consider how many people actually want to hear him these days, aside from All Along The Watchtower or maybe Purple Haze.

    And correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure his biggest selling album was Cry of Love, released posthumously after he died of an overdose.

    He was the first in that particular revolution of music, but damn, most of it was horrible.
     
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  13. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    A couple things I'd like to say since I lived through that era. Jimi brought something to the table that just wasn't, nor had ever been there. We were coming off a rock and roll period of bands all dressed the same, doing a little two step while they did their thing. It was mostly three chord stuff, with the occasional minor and fourth change thrown in.

    Everyone my age was pissed off about something, they found a lot to like about Jimi, and those of his era. (It was the best of times, it was the worst of times) I don't think anyone can argue that many studio musicians today Brent Mason for one, aren't far "better" guitar players, but they weren't there then. Jimi was THERE, and that's what made him a big deal. Once you had a wheel to put on things, sure you could figure out all kinds of things to put one on, but you had to have one to start with. Jimi was the WHEEL!
     
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  14. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    As I understand it, he died from wine and sleeping pills; not your typical rock star drug overdose.

    One of my favourite things about the documentary about Hendrix and Electric Ladyland is that those who were interviewed focussed on the music he made and his appetite for making music rather than the drug addled reputation he had. Guys like Jeff Beck saying that they didn't have the stamina to keep up with him; recording all day, gigging all night, back to recording and gigging again.
     
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  15. TmyBmore

    TmyBmore Tele-Meister

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    You have to wonder what he would be doing if he was still around. Many players haven't reached their best at 27. He sure inspired a lot of players. That to me is a sign of greatness.
     
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  16. Electric Mud

    Electric Mud Tele-Holic

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    So much Hendrix bashing? Wow. To call his music noise is beyond me. Love his live performances. The way he could stretch time, shift gears and keep everyone on their toes is amazing. I know for a fact that his material far surpasses anything the "Negative Nancy's" here have have ever dreamed of playing. So sit safely behind your screens and throw stones at one of the greatest. Hope it helps you sleep better tonight.
     
  17. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    In that kid's defense, Jimi Hendrix did not always sound good, and when he was bad, he was REALLY bad. The famous version of Star Spangled Banner, let's face it, was awful. If any of us had done that we'd be ridiculed. It sounded like he wasn't sure where the notes were on the neck, so....whammy dive bombs!!!! Always works.
     
  18. Sidney Vicious

    Sidney Vicious Friend of Leo's

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    I am 64 and remember well how Hendrix blew the world away on AM radio with Purple Haze - nothing like it. And for me his SSB was brilliant - anti-war and patriotic at the same time depending on your view point - and he of course was a black hippie blues player and ex-paratrooper.
     
  19. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    I wouldn't teach theory and use Hendrix as any example.
    Hendrix would not have been have he followed strict Mel bay guidelines.
    He played outside of the convention of western notation, anyhow, whether he knew it, or not.

    And getting into it with a teenager means you've lost that argument, either way.
     
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  20. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

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    Jimi took risks when playing and sometimes they failed badly . Very difficult to find anyone out there today that is willing to take those risks . I believe that this is a very sad aspect in music today .
     
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