Observations on a Hendrix video

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Thoughtfree, Sep 19, 2020.

  1. Thoughtfree

    Thoughtfree Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Age:
    67
    Posts:
    235
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2020
    Location:
    Minneapolis MN


    This video was new to me. Music starts at 1:15; sound cuts out between 3:52 and 4:07. The original Experience plays Stone Free, Hey Joe and Purple Haze to a polite crowd of pre-hippie German youths.
    • His left arm and picking hand rest below the Strat controls a lot of the time. His forearm approaches the guitar more parallel to the strings than many players' do. This point had baffled me from my few experiments with lefty guitars - my forearm, shorter than Jimi's, would always foul the controls. Wear the guitar higher and this problem is solved.
    • Having the controls up top is something is used to - handy for the quick pickup changes he does. This seems to answer the question, "Why didn't he play a lefty Strat?"
    • He is using a coil cord with a right-angle plug into the guitar jack. This never seemed to be a real problem for him - ?
    • He largely maintains a steady eighth-note pulse with his picking hand, quickly diverging for solos and fills. This is the best way to play three-piece g/b/d music in my view. Gotta keep the rhythm going at all times.
    • Exceptionally busy drummer, Mitch Mitchell. But he makes it work.
    • Bassist Redding's frilly shirt cuffs must have fouled the strings at some point.
    In the late 1960s - when I started playing electric - the Fender 150 string set was universally available, widely used. Gauges were 10 - 13 - 15 - 26 - 32 - 38. I believe JH used these. I gotta think the lighter bass strings were key to his sound. This set isn't available from Fender now, but GHS sells it.

    If any TDPRIers have spent serious time playing a reversed Strat, your comments would be interesting. OK, have a nice day, folks!
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2020
    Tonetele, Mike M, Flip G and 5 others like this.
  2. kennl

    kennl Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,471
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Location:
    Moon Township, PA
    Out of curiosity, (I wonder what Jimi liked about the flipped Strat?) I tried a LH Strat at a guitar show (I'm right-handed). I noticed that the horn strap button on a flipped Strat body is at the same location as a Tele. Perfect. I'm also not a fan of the Strat belly cut, since it seems to tilt the top of the guitar inward, resulting in a cupping of the left wrist (bad for tendonitis). So I figured a flipped Strat would hang like a Tele, and have a trem and 3 pickups. I found a lefty import Strat copy and a MIM Fender Strat neck, added a Strap button, reversed the pot wiring and added a right-hand trem bar. It's great.
     
    Flip G, fretWalkr and SecretSquirrel like this.
  3. esseff

    esseff Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    1,484
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2014
    Location:
    East Midlands, UK
    Interesting - I've never seen that before.
    Coincidentally, I was watching Jimi Hendrix's Woodstock performance earlier when I was on my exercise bike. I noticed that he often anchored the little and ring fingers of his picking hand to the scratchplate when he was playing lead. I'll try that out later.
    I wondered why on earth the second guitarist and two extra percussionists were there as they didn't seem to be part of the sound. Then I found on Google that they'd been pretty much taken out of the recorded mix. Some of his playing rambled on in spidery directions but I guess you had to be there to really enjoy it.
    I've got a lefty Westfield Strat that I fool about with (thin strings uppermost). Single string and double-stop playing from scales puts an interesting slant on things but chords are a step too far. :eek:
     
    Lockback likes this.
  4. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    2,961
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2015
    Location:
    PNW USA
    I haven't played a reversed guitar, just wanted to note that at 9:24 Jimi deliberately sings the lyric as,

    "'Scuse me—while I kiss this guy" (and grins and points to Noel). :lol:
     
  5. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,966
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Location:
    On Location

    I don't think it was a deliberate decision, it was more the result of having grown up poor and not having access to electric guitars specifically built for lefties. By the time he could afford whatever gear he wanted, he'd spent his whole life playing reversed right handed guitars and developed a style around it, so he didn't bother changing.

    Hendrix was experimenting with a new band at the time Woodstock happened, and they weren't really ready to be playing out yet. At the time, it was just another gig and no one knew it was going to be a cultural milestone people would be discussing 50 years later so he just brought them and let the chips fall where they may. I always chuckle when people rhapsodize about Hendrix's performance at Woodstock since as you saw, it was far from his best. IMHO, only CCR and the Who managed decent performances at Woodstock.
     
  6. tubegeek

    tubegeek Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    3,691
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2020
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    indeed. :eek:
     
    Greggorios likes this.
  7. Blazer

    Blazer Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    44
    Posts:
    16,220
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    I saw the restored Woodstock footage and I noticed a couple of couple of things about Hendrix' way of playing.
    [​IMG]
    - Apparently, he always played his amps at full blast and used the volume control of his strat more as a control knob for the dynamics of his overall tone. He's seen adjusting the volume pot of his strat constantly but he certainly knew where the sweet spots were.
    - He apparently used to stretch his string out over and over again which made it so he could do those dive bombs and have his guitar relatively in tune.

    The Isle of Wight footage sees Hendrix using one of only two true Lefty guitars he owned: THIS one.
    [​IMG]
    And you'll see him reach for the top half of the guitar a couple of times and going "Oh yeah, they're down there on this one!"
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2020
    Lockback, Greggorios and BorderRadio like this.
  8. rz350

    rz350 Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Age:
    56
    Posts:
    3,008
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location:
    Waubeka Wisconsin
    I've been playing right handed Strats lefty for 40 years, it seems correct to me... FB_IMG_1554940027708.jpg
     
  9. Thoughtfree

    Thoughtfree Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Age:
    67
    Posts:
    235
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2020
    Location:
    Minneapolis MN
    rz350, three gorgeous Strats you got there - when Jimi comes back from the beyond, obviously he can borrow your guitar!
     
    Greggorios and rz350 like this.
  10. rz350

    rz350 Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Age:
    56
    Posts:
    3,008
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location:
    Waubeka Wisconsin
    Thanks, the partscaster is something I threw together, blend pot, master volume and tone, the blond '79 I bought in 1980 in high school, and the '68 RI is because it's the closest thing to the Woodstock Strat that I could find, I love it! All 7.25" radius vintage frets, my favorite neck configuration...

    The '79 has a super narrow neck, 1.5" at the nut, the best neck I've ever played, but I have small hands...

    Fender quality control was all over the place in the 70's/early 80's... ;)
     
    Greggorios likes this.
  11. rz350

    rz350 Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Age:
    56
    Posts:
    3,008
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location:
    Waubeka Wisconsin
    The lefty body seems odd to me, knobs on the bottom seems weird...
     
  12. koen

    koen Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,303
    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Location:
    on my lawn - get off!
    Jimi was a genius, no matter what guitar he played.
     
    OldPup and Lockback like this.
  13. Ed Driscoll

    Ed Driscoll Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    594
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    South of Dallas
    I think most people only know the Hendrix performance for the “Star-Spangled Banner,” which was a huge countercultural milestone, in large part because the immensely popular Warner Brothers documentary, and maybe, for the real aficionados, the soulful “Villanova Junction” instrumental, which fit the mood of the shots of the exhausted hippies leaving the muddied field perfectly.
     
  14. Ed Driscoll

    Ed Driscoll Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    594
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    South of Dallas
    On some of his live albums, you can hear him tuning up before every song. He obviously knew how much torturing the whammy bar knocked his guitar out of tune.
     
  15. Blazer

    Blazer Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    44
    Posts:
    16,220
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    1 reverso.jpg
    This is the "Reverso" which is my Hendrix tribute guitar.

    I really don't play it that much though, that big lower bout feels uncomfortable and I have been thinking about making a body and transferrig the parts onto that.
     
  16. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,930
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2017
    Location:
    Honolulu, HI
    0730150609_acc_frt_001_nr.jpg
     
    Lockback, Greggorios and Thoughtfree like this.
  17. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,930
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2017
    Location:
    Honolulu, HI
    The pickguard on my Strats are discolored right next to the middle pickup from anchoring my little finger there when soloing.
    DSCN0685-2.jpg
     
    Greggorios likes this.
  18. Thoughtfree

    Thoughtfree Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Age:
    67
    Posts:
    235
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2020
    Location:
    Minneapolis MN
    When I saw Jimi's show in June 1970, he asked the audience to stand, then played the Star Spangled Banner, giving various comical military salutes in the process (he was an Army veteran, after all). This was a huge surprise, because the Woodstock movie and album had not yet been released - no one expected this.

    In 1970 popular culture, no one ever performed the national anthem in public without great ceremony and operatic vocal style. So Jimi's rendition, replete with crashing bombs, screams, machine gun and jet fighter sounds, blew the minds of everyone in the auditorium, bigtime. And then the segue into the Purple Haze lick... ya had to be there!
     
    Mike M, pelle31, Brendan and 3 others like this.
  19. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    22,120
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    I played a lefty Strat right handed for about a year and the bass was lower and the treble was higher.

    And my ears don’t work worth a damn.

    And I never notice stuff like that because my ears are bad. So it must be true!

    I have heard many many times that Jimi just thought that right handed guitars because they were 99.9% of the production output at Fender, were going to be more consistent. And that’s why he preferred them.
     
    Greggorios likes this.
  20. Bryan A

    Bryan A TDPRI Member

    Age:
    43
    Posts:
    57
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2020
    Location:
    USA
    In the biography “Room Full of Mirrors”, it said that Jimi’s Father was absolutely adamant that Jimi not play left handed, even to the point of thinking there was something wrong or cursed about being left handed. So when he finally agreed to buy Jimi an electric, it was right handed. Jimi would practice lefthanded and when his father would come home, he’d flip it around righthanded. It never said anything about him actually PREFERRING a flipped righthanded guitar, only that’s the way he learned it because of his father.

    Al lot of older people actually thought that way for some reason. I am left handed (but play guitar righthanded) and actually had a teacher when I was in 1st or 2nd grade who made me try sitting on my left hand until I could learn to write right handed, which I couldn’t.
     
    Flip G, DougM and telemnemonics like this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.