“Sometimes you want to give up the guitar, you’ll hate the guitar. But if you stick with it, you’re gonna be rewarded.” – Jimi Hendrix
James Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix in his short but hugely successful career enlarged all the fiery possibilities of the electric guitar. He was an expert at mixing different type of music to produce unique sound out of the electric guitar. Jimi’s innovative method, often experimenting with amplification created astral-quality feedback and a roaring distortion. Considering that Jimi could not read or write music, it was amazing that his rise in the music industry took only four years. His musical passion had influenced and is still shaping some of the greats from David Bowie, Robert Smith and Freddie Mercury to moderns like Matt Bellamy, Dave Grohl, and Josh Homme.
Guitarist, songwriter, and singer Jimi is by far the world’s greatest guitarist ever. Jimi ruled the heart and soul of audiences in the 1960s with his unique and creative electric guitar playing style. Hendrix popularity did not rise overnight in the US, and Jimi started gaining recognition mostly after his 1966 UK trip with The Animals’, this was also the time when Jimi formed ‘The Jimi Hendrix Experience’ with Mitch Mitchell the drummer and Noel Redding, the bassist. It was only after the band’s performance at the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967 that ‘The Jimi Hendrix Experience’ became one of the most popular bands in the US.
While young, Jimi was inspired by blues music, and he taught himself to play guitar. After watching an Elvis Presley show, Jimi got himself an electric guitar. While in 1961, Jimi Hendrix enlisted in the US Army, and even in the army, he found time for his guitar. After leaving the military in 1962, Jimi went along with his passion for music and guitar working as a session guitarist under the name Jimmy James. Throughout 1965 and into the first part of 1966 Jimi played guitar around New York City’s Greenwich Village. In July 1966, during his performance in Greenwich Village, he stumbled upon Chas Chandler, the bassist with The Animals. Chas Chandler was so impressed with Jimi’s guitar art that he signed him to form a band in London. He convinced Jimi to form the band ‘The Jimi Hendrix Experience’ with musicians Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell, the group became a hit in London.
‘The Jimi Hendrix Experience’ released its first single, ‘Hey Joe’ in 1967. ‘Hey Joe’ was so popular that it spent ten weeks on the UK charts. Hey Joe’s popularity led The Experience to come up with a complete album ‘Are You Experienced’, a musical compilation featuring anthems of a generation. With tracks like ‘The Wind Cries Mary’, ‘Purple Haze’, ‘Foxey Lady ‘ ‘Fire’, ‘The Wind Cries Mary’, and ‘Are You Experienced?’, ‘Are You Experienced’ album is considered one of the most popular rock albums.
Back in the US, Jimi was still not as popular as in England. It was only in June 1967, when he performed at the Monterey International Pop Festival where he played ‘Wild Thing’ and set fire to his guitar with a lighter. Since then he became an overnight star in the US.
Hendrix soon became a rock star, he followed his first album ‘Are You Experienced’ with his second album Axis: Bold As Love. Then came the third album Electric Ladyland all released in 1968 and became a hit. ‘The Jimi Hendrix Experience’ band toured throughout the year 1969 until it was disbanded the same year.
In 1969 Jimi Hendrix created his magic again at a musical event at the Woodstock Festival and the highlight of his performance was “The Star Spangled Banner” which is considered to be one of his most memorable performances.
Jimi again started ‘The Jimi Hendrix Experience’ band with Mitch Mitchell and Billy Cox in 1970 but he could not finish the project due to his tragic death on September 18, 1970.
Jimi Hendrix only lived to the age of 27, but in this short span he created a remarkable collection of songs that continue to make Jimi Hendrix as one of the most popular star in the world of rock music.
Inspired by the Hendrix effect? Our master trainer Rex can train you one-on-one in the privacy of your own home. He has over 40 years of experience as a musician, music instructor, arranger and performing artist. He has been a guitarist in San Francisco Bay Area and New York City recording and performing with artists such as Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Sammy Davis Jr., Paul Simon, Michael Jackson, Wild Cherry, The Drifters, Tammy Wynette, Jackson Brown, The Pointer Sisters, Tower of Power and many others. His formal education was at Berklee College of Music, Boston MA where he majored in music arranging & composition. Rex has studied classical guitar at New England Conservatory, Boston MA. He has studied under musical greats, e.g., Ron Parker, Harry Lahee, George Barrey, Warren Nunes, Don Haas and Judy Davis.
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