Guitar Greats and Their Gear - Jimi Hendrix
by Chris Basener
Jimi Hendrix is without a shadow of a doubt the most innovative Rock-guitarist of our time. You only have to hear and see(!) him to understand why he shook up the guitar community like nobody before and after him. His three studio records are musical treasure chests and the DVDs Band of Gypsies – Live At the Fillmore East , Blue Wild Angel, Live At the Isle of Wight and Live At Woodstock – The Definite Collection document some of the most legendary concerts of all time that showcase his mesmerizing charisma.
Although he played other guitars, he is mostly associated with a white Fender Stratocaster.
In the beginning he would use many different Strats, usually early 60s models with rosewood fingerboard. Later he showed a preference for guitars with a maple fingerboard, especially for live work.
In the studio he’d also use a Fender Telecaster that he’d borrow from Noel Redding, a Gibson Flying V (decorated with trendy ‘Flower’ images by Jimi himself) or a Gibson SG Custom with three Humbuckers. Other guitars include Gibson Les Paul Custom und ES-330.
But his main tool for self-expression was the three single-coil equipped masterpiece by Leo Fender.
His Live-Backline remained the same throughout though: Marshall 100-Watt Super-Lead Full stacks. Occasionally he’d experiment with Fender and Sunn-Amps (Coliseum-Heads with 100-F-Cabinets, equipped with JBL- or Eminence-Speakers because of a short endorsement deal) but would quickly return to his trusted Marshalls.
During his time as a session guitarist for R&B greats like Ike & Tina Turner or Curtis Knight he’d use a Fender Twin Reverb ‘workhorse’ amp, often borrowed due to money problems.
He’d come back to the Twin Reverb, amongst others, in his search for new tones while working on his solo material with engineer Eddie Kramer.
Jimi’s use of effects to create unique tones and sound scapes is legendary. Never satisfied with the established he’d push the boundaries with long studio sessions and the help of effect guru Roger Mayer.
Mayer would modify existing gear like Jimi’s Cry Baby and Vox Wah’s, Univox Univibe or Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face or develop his own effects, like the infamous Octavia-Pedal.
Used With Permission from Author