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Thread: Hendrix/Cropper style rhythm guitar-how to compose in this style...

  1. #1
    fan of the G string curiousgeorge's Avatar
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    Hendrix/Cropper style rhythm guitar-how to compose in this style...

    I know how to play The Wind Cries Mary, Castles Made of Sand, Little Wing etc, note-for-note, and I love that Hendrix/Steve Cropper style of rhythm playing...I was hoping someone could give me some tips about how to actually put fragments together to play in this style...Can't seem to put the pieces together to compose said rhythm parts. Ultimately, I would love to be able to fuse my rhythm and lead playing, much like Hendrix did...not to have it encompass my whole style, but I would like to master this style to have as a tool in composition and improvisation...
    Last edited by curiousgeorge; 07-12-2008 at 07:08 PM.
    Karma Chameleon...You come and go...You come and go, oh..........MAKE UP YOUR MIND!!!!!!!!!!

  2. #2
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    Can't really say anything or give any tips regarding this style, as I'm not too familiar with it. But just continue to learn songs man. Try to find the key elements in that style of rythm playing. What in those riffs and rythm figures differs them from everything else?

    Good luck!
    Why do today what you can leave for tomorrow? Hidden Content

  3. #3
    Registered User bluesking's Avatar
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    One seriously important point:
    If you just learn by ear/from transcript you are missing a lot of what it takes to play in a certain style. It is important to WATCH people play. Youtube is your best friend here.

    For this particular style I think you will quickly see that because of his huge hands hendrix effortlessly used his thumb to fret bass notes. Now, I have tiny hands but can play "in this style" it is just harder work and of course I am not as good at it as the mighty Mr. H.

    The key to it, as you point out, is integrating rhythm and lead parts smoothly. The hand posture achieved by wrapping your thumb around the top of the neck means your first and third fingers are usually closer to the 3 highest strings. Your hand is already positioned for some heavy and comfortable bending, occasional double stops and blues riffs.

    I also reccomend watching Stevie Ray Vaughan play. He is very much in the style of Hendrix and Cropper. Although there are similarities between the three you will notice that they do not sound the same. Likewise, you will never sound the same as any one of them, but there is plenty to learn from each of them.

  4. #4
    fan of the G string curiousgeorge's Avatar
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    I have no problem playing those parts physically...I know the mechanics behind it all, and I do wrap my thumb around the neck for some of the stuff. This is not the issue...My issue is visualizing the fragments on the neck for composing in the Hendrix/Cropper rhythm style...I need to put the pieces together so I can freely improvise without straying "out" too much if you know what I mean....No offense!
    Karma Chameleon...You come and go...You come and go, oh..........MAKE UP YOUR MIND!!!!!!!!!!

  5. #5
    Registered User bluesking's Avatar
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    None taken.
    Don't know how to help further, sorry. Its all blues to me at the end of the day.

  6. #6
    Registered User Obivion's Avatar
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    Hendrix was in a power trio (as you know obviously) so the idea of his style is to play the melody, chords and bass to fill out the sound. Of course, he doesn't do it all once like Martin Taylor or Stanley Jordan.

    The trick is to remember that Hendrix saw things as chords, not scales. So play part of the chord ie. a double stop, then a bit of the melody within the chord, then slide the double stop down into the next chord to transition. Also try leaving the bass note ringing while playing the melody to fill out the sound, Hendrix used his thumb for this. Sometimes a legato lick on the bass strings followed by a chord fragment ie 2-3 strings of a chord might be used by him. I hope you get the picture.
    No one sings the blues quite like Yngwie!

  7. #7
    He's dark. He's a man. Darkman's Avatar
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    Yes, I was going to mention the double stops too, and sliding them around. Hendrix just mixed them all up. A bass note ringing here, a double stop there, and a lick in between. Hard to count out if you want to be precise I imagine, but not so difficult to play simply by "feel".

    As ever, trial error and practice are the keys.

  8. #8
    Registered User SkinnyDevil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obivion
    The trick is to remember that Hendrix saw things as chords, not scales.
    Spot on. But to extend this, Hendrix also knew each chord in all positions (there is a story of James Brown asking for an E9, Jimi played the standard form, and James flew off in a rage - prompting Jimi to learn E9, and all other chords, in every position) and all his favorite fills & embellishments for each chord shape.

    Playing something like "Little Wing" with this in mind places it in a new, errr..."grid", so to speak, and allows you to treat other progressions with a similar stylistic lean.
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  9. #9
    Registered User Obivion's Avatar
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    Yeah, Mr Skinny Devil has some lessons on his nice website concerning this. Check them out.
    No one sings the blues quite like Yngwie!

  10. #10
    fan of the G string curiousgeorge's Avatar
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    I shall...Appreciate the tips guys!
    Karma Chameleon...You come and go...You come and go, oh..........MAKE UP YOUR MIND!!!!!!!!!!

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