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Thread: EV-Rant: Jimi

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  1. #1
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    EV-Rant: Jimi

    Hey guys,
    hereīs another rant of mine. Lets see whether this one gets no replies like many of the others did

    Last night, I for some reason felt like lisening to some Hendrix stuff. So I put in the "Band Of Gypsys" album and listened to it. I switched on the repeat-mode when "Machine Gun" came up... which is one of my favorite guitar-songs ever. And Iīm not the only one... players like SRV, Satch, Vai, Jake E. Lee all consider this track ( and Jimiīs other tunes ) a huge influence.

    I occasionally see him being discussed on other message boards. A lot of younger players are interested in getting into his music. And a lot of them seem to be disappointed.
    I read a lot of posts that go like "Dude, whatīs up with that stuff `Whatīs so awesome about him ? Heīs out of tune, he canīt sing, he doesnt play shred !"

    Now, I guess Iīm not saying anything new here, but let me rant about this for a while.
    See, I can kinda understand those guys. Hendrix has been gone for more than 30 years now. And the world has changed... so has music, and the guitar-playing... a lot of trends came and went away again.
    And there were some quite revolutionary players such as Eddie Van Halen and Yngwie Malmsteen... both of them influenced many players, and created all new stuff... were copied by thousands of players.
    The standards in playing-technique and equipment have been raised, and recording quality has been improved beyond belief.

    So... for someone who has been listening to modern rock and well-produced stuff, it must be quite a change to listen to those Hendrix-albums. Sure, there still are some hints of that vibe in todays music... ever since grunge became popular 12 years ago, the guitar sounds often arent as polished anymore as they were in the 80s.

    But the fact is: compared to more recent stuff, it might be a bit tough at first to figure out what was so great about Jimi. The guitars WERE out of tune, the recording quality isnīt all that great etc.

    But.. what a lot of those people seem to miss ( and I donīt blame them, cuz itīs difficult to consider all this is ):

    - Hendrix was one of the very first guys who did all that wild guitar-stuff... he maybe was not the first ( Eddie wasnt the first guy to tap either ), but he sure made it popular and he did it amazingly... Im not saying that the guitar scene would be all that different if he wouldnīt have gotten popular, because Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy and some others used feedback, wild playing and crazy stage antics too.
    But he sure delivered the "whole package". He really had an impact and was a great showman as much as a visionary player ( IMO !!! )

    - He influenced so many people... both Malmsteen and Satch claim that they started playing the day he did. Satch considers him one of his biggest ( if not THE biggest ) influences... check out the extra footage on "Live in SF"
    And you can sure hear the Jimi-influence in many peoples playing... whether itīs Vai, Satch, Yngwie, or the giuys from Pearl Jam, Kurt Cobain or people like that. In that way, he actually is some kind of a bridge between some very different players and styles.

    - He was a great songwriter ! Sure, a lot of his stuff was based on plain blues, and some of his lyrics might sound a bit weird these days ( late 60s ! ), but... listen to "Angel", "Wind Cries Mary", "Little Wing", "Axis: Bold As Love", "Castles Made Of Sand"... those are beautiful tunes, and that is proven by many cover versions of those tunes... theyīre great songs, even if the guitar-playing is taken out the equation !

    - Remember, it was the late 60s. A lot of the gear back then was kinda.,.. I dunno, it was lo-tech compared to todays stuff. Sure, many Strats these days still are like they were back then, but... gee, it wasnt easy to get a great, saturated higain-sound back then, there were no extra slinky strings, the pickups were often very microphonic, the string-action in most cases ridiculous.
    You might say "Jimi didnt sound great BECAUSE of his gear, he sounded great ALTHOUGH he had such crappy gear" ( crappy... well, not really, a lot of the stuff from those days sounds pretty good ). And I dont wanna sound as if I was there back then... I sure wasnt, but I have tried a bunch of vintage gear, and I talked to a bunch of people who used that stuff back then.

    You have to keep in mind the technical possibilites, the fact that there were no schools like the MI, no stores full of instructional videos, no TAB, no internet... a lot of techniques hadnt been discovered / developed back then...
    And Jimi hit the scene and brought something that was all new.
    Thats what a lot of people seem to miss... and as I said, I donīt blame them, cuz itīs been 30+ years, and the technology these days is way more advanced.
    Why am I writing this ? I dunno... just another pointless rant, oir a reaction on a lot of posts I have read in other places.

    BTW... I got my first Hendrix-album after playing for a year or so. I didnt like "Purple Haze" too much, but I LOVED ( and still do ) "Little Wing", "Voodoo Chile ( Slight Return )"; "Angel", and... the solos in his version of "...Watchtower" still are some of my favorite leads...
    Sorry for rambling
    Eric

  2. #2
    Yeah I have to agree.

    For those of you who don't know the day that Jimi Died was the day that Yngwie started seriously to play guitar. They aired a documentary on him and when Yngwie saw it he was just inspired. A thing that Yngwie said about Hendrix that stuck with me was "It wasn't necessarily WHAT he played, but HOW he played". Sure Hendrix no doubt broke new groung but the sheer showmanship and attitude that he had is what I find inspiring.

    That reminds me, I've got a tape of him playing the Isle of Wight 1970 (one of his last shows, like three days before he died) around the house. I have a sudden urge to get it out and watch it.

  3. #3
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    For those of you who don't know the day that Jimi Died was the day that Yngwie started seriously to play guitar
    And Satch said pretty much the same thing in "The Satch Tapes"... said he liked to play football until the day Hendrix died, and that day, he decided to become more serious about it, and quit the team...

    Yngwie sure has some Hendrix-influence ( besides the classical and Blackmore-influence ). Check out tunes like Dragonfly, or his covers of Hendrix Tunes ( "Manic Depression", "Spanish Castle Magic", "Voodoo Chile"... I think there are even more )
    And yeah, he sure picked up some ideas for his stage show there... so did Vai, Iīd say...
    Yngwie even used to wear that uniform-type kinda jacket that Hendrix obviously liked to wear.

    I know the ""Isle Of Wight" album, it was one of the first live recordings I heard of him. The "Band Of Gypsies" one is even better IMO.

    There is an incredible live version of "Little Wing"... I dunno where it was recorded, I think it was somewhere in Europe... that was the first song I heard by him... it was on some cheap guitar compilation...
    You can hardly hear the drums on the song... but the solo is absolutely wonderful... I heard it and was like "OMG, this is awesome"... I had been playing for a little while back then.
    That version ends with a short, unaccompanied Wah-solo... I love that version
    Eric

  4. #4
    IbreatheMusic Author Bizarro's Avatar
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    Some people don't realize that it is VERY difficult to play anything as well as Jimi did too. Sure, it's not stuff at 200 bpm, but that doesn't mean it is easy.

    Try pulling off a convincing version of All Along the Watchtower (Jimi's version...) or Voodoo Child at a gig. It isn't easy.
    -Bizarro
    Google is your friend

  5. #5
    Groovemastah DanF's Avatar
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    I guess just to play devil's advocate or something, I am not much of a Hendrix fan. I can appreciate at an intellectual level what you are saying but there were guys that played WAY better than he did before. Forget EVH and Yngwie in the 80's, look at guys like Django, Joe Pass, and Tal Farlow. Those guys were dusty Jimi before he was even old enough to know about it.

    There were better singers, better guitar players, and better writers around before Hendrix, he just happened to catch the first crowds that were as stoned as the band was. Remember though that I still don't consider feedback music

    -Dan

  6. #6
    Acoustic Gunslinger Wyll_Watts's Avatar
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    I've met alot of young players too who find Jimi unimpressive as far as technique and sound quality etc etc.. and I get really frustrated when people talk about how this guys techique is better than this guys or this is faster or harder or he used this digital recording and the PRS guitar and all that.. I look at it this way, when you listen to a piece of music the only thing that should really matter is if you enjoy listening to it or not... if you dig it you dig it, if you don't find somethng else.. if you dig a piece of music, then you can take it to the next level and find out what sort of techniques are being used, how you can play it, the equipment etc... other players are always telling me stuff like, hey did you hear Mr. Shredgod's new album where he plays those two hand tapping parts with pinkie slides and all that.. it's like the hardest stuff ever... maybe I'm strange but that doesn't really mean anything to me... my first question is always "Did you enjoy listening to it?" ..and then I try to figure out what mental and emotional connections the music made with the person.. enjoy listening to Jimi because I can connect with alot of the music.. I don't like everything he ever recorded, I don't think he's a god.. but he did make some really great music that I enjoy.. I mean Spanish Castle Magic just mesmerizes me.. the same goes with alot of other artists.. If I like it I like it, it doesn't matter if the guy is playing quarter notes a pawn shop uke as long as I connect with it... well, I guess I'm ranting too... good topic Eric... I wish there were more discussions around here that border on aesthetics instead of just straight theory and technique... sometimes it seems we all get so into mechanics and musical terminology that the actual MUSIC gets left behind..
    anyways.. later guys,
    Wyll

  7. #7
    Groovemastah DanF's Avatar
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    Oh yeah. I should have pointed out that I'm not a big fan of Tal Farlow's either I didn't mean to imply that fast is good. You want to know what probably my favorite music to listen to is? Jim Croce!

    Easy fingerpicked folk/rock but I really connect with his stuff. More than I do to any Vai, SRV, or Joe Pass stuff. Aesthetics are a whole different world (although from an aesthetics point of view I still can't tolerate jimi's whole "nothing in my recording will be in tune with anything else" vibe. Might be edgy to some but it's just sloppy to me...).

    So there you have it, confessions of a jazzer. I could actually play most of my fav songs with just an Am chord and some fingerpicking....the shame :P

    -Dan

  8. #8
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    Originally posted by DanF
    I guess just to play devil's advocate or something, I am not much of a Hendrix fan.
    Cool, nothing wrong with that =) After all, I said that I didnt like some of his most popular tunes all that much... never got into "Purple Haze", for example...

    Originally posted by DanF
    I can appreciate at an intellectual level what you are saying but there were guys that played WAY better than he did before. Forget EVH and Yngwie in the 80's, look at guys like Django, Joe Pass, and Tal Farlow. Those guys were dusty Jimi before he was even old enough to know about it.
    ( snip ) Remember though that I still don't consider feedback music
    [/B]
    Oh, definitely. No doubt about that. And I didnīt mean to say that we was the best player ever or something ( wouldnt compare him to Pass, Farlow and Django anyway, since he did a different style of music and playing )
    But IMO he was a great player. Yes, sometimes he was sloppy live, and I guess the drug-thing didnt help...
    But... I think there was more to Hendrixīs music than just feedback and wild stage antics. I mentioned before that I think he was a great songwriter... I mean, those songs I mentioned, like i.e. those ballads, they are so very different from mere blues-based tunes... well-written, nice melodies and changes etc.
    I love his style of rhythm-guitar playing, I think itīs something a lot of people tend to oversee... that clean, Curtis Mayfield-style stuff he did on "Little Wing"...
    As I said, there were great players before and after him, but he combined a lot of stuff, and I think he was a HUGE influence on a lot of players who came later...
    Its tough to put into words what I mean... I mean, take Eddie... lots of guys are like, "Gee, there are so many guys who player better than him, more accurate etc"
    But first of all, he influenced a lot of those guys, and also, I think that Eddie, just like Jimi, combined many things and simply stood out... you know, igniting some fire, even if that sounds a bit sappy. Both made a lot of people wanna play, made it cool to play and practice etc.
    Sorry for that =)

    By the way, did ya know that Jimi actually was planning to get into more Jazz-style music when he passed away ? He wanted to work with an orchestra, wanted to write some jazzy stuff... he was fed up with playing "Purple Haze" all night, having to fulfill the expectations of people who came to shows just to see him smash a guitar...
    Eric

    PS: Of course, weīre both just voicing our opinions, having a discussion... so I am not saying youīre wrong or anything ! Ive go my opinion, youve got yours, and I totally respect it when ya say youīre not that crazy about JH...

  9. #9
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Wyll_Watts
    I look at it this way, when you listen to a piece of music the only thing that should really matter is if you enjoy listening to it or not... if you dig it you dig it, if you don't find somethng else..
    Exactly. And see, I think it might be tough for a lot of young guys to appreciate what Hendrix did back then, cuz if you listen to people like Satch, Vai, Malmsteen etc. 24/7 for a while, and then you listen to Hendrix for the first time, itīs not unusual to go "Gee, this guy has no chops compared to the others" ... so whatīs missing is the perspective and the time-factor...



    that doesn't really mean anything to me... my first question is always "Did you enjoy listening to it?" ..and then I try to figure out what mental and emotional connections the music made with the person.. enjoy listening to Jimi because I can connect with alot of the music..
    Great point. I dunno what it is, but... very time I listen to his version of "All Along The Watchtower", I get goosebumps... I love that whole solo-part in the middle so much. Thereīs some certain vibe there...


    I don't like everything he ever recorded
    Me neither...

    Thanks
    Warm regards
    Eric

  10. #10
    Registered User Shaman_Santana's Avatar
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    I guess i fit into the 'younger players' category, well i definatly do - seems im 18. A mate of mine thinks Jimi is totally over-rated, and he just cant see why people talk him up so much. His favorite players are ppl like Malmsteen, and paticularly Van Halen.

    Personally though, Hendrix is one of my absolute Favorite players. I mean, i do like the older stuff anyways - as im sure u guys have noticed im really into Santana, i love Clapton etc etc. When i saw the live woodstock performance on DVD for the first time, it just blew me away. Jimi played with great attiude and feel, its as if the guitar is simply an extension of his body and through it you hear what he is feeling. Lol, i mean i think thats reflected in how he performed 'Voodoo Child' at that show. He'd just done smoking some big joint which had god knows what in it, and then went into Voodoo child. Man, he does some CrAzY version of it! I think he forgets he's ment to be playing the song about 1/2 through cos he just looses himself in all the crazyness .

    From EricV
    You can hardly hear the drums on the song... but the solo is absolutely wonderful... I heard it and was like "OMG, this is awesome"... I had been playing for a little while back then.
    That was the first Hendrix tune i heard - that version. Its beutiful. I only recently heard the studio version, and i remember i was kinda dissapionted with it in comparision to this live version. Its so mellow, great solo - love it

    BTW im also into Mlmsteen, Vai Satch etc - most of you that have been here a while will know that. They all play with amazing feel as well, but thats what gets me into music - when i hear something that makes me feel something. Its impressive to see Angelo do all his guitar circus type stuff, but only in small doses. I could listen to Jimmy all day
    "The most valuable possession you can own is an open heart.
    The most powerful weapon you can be is an instrument of peace."

  11. #11
    Posting Rights Suspended Anubis's Avatar
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    DanF wrote:
    There were better singers, better guitar players, and better writers around before Hendrix, he just happened to catch the first crowds that were as stoned as the band was. Remember though that I still don't consider feedback music
    Some of the jazz guys like Joe Pass did more heavy drugs in his lifetime then Hendrix crowd did together.
    A lot of the most famous jazz musicians had some serious drug problems with really have drugs like heroin.
    Still rock music always have to take the shot when there's talk about drugs.
    Anyone who listen to jazz music understands why they took drugs.
    No one can stand listening to 5 people in a band all playing different songs at the same time in different keys without being stoned.

  12. #12
    Chicks dig me Danster's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Anubis
    No one can stand listening to 5 people in a band all playing different songs at the same time in different keys without being stoned.
    Nice to see you around here again.
    Peace

  13. #13
    Groovemastah DanF's Avatar
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    Hahahahaha!

    Joe Pass: 1929-1994
    Jimi Hendrix: 1942-1970

    That's true, but Joe sobered up and Jimi died a drug related death. Statistically speaking that doesn't give much credence to that argument

    I'd say there is a difference between playing something "dissonant" or "outside" (or everyone taking a solo :P) that being so stoned you forget what song your playing or which end of the guitar you strum. All of that aside my point was that even if the musicians were stoned it wasn't until the 60s that you'd play a whole field full of other stoned people

    -Dan

  14. #14
    Posting Rights Suspended Anubis's Avatar
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    Danster wrote:
    Nice to see you around here again
    Yeah it's nice to be back.
    I was abducted by Aliens but when I told them I was Anubis from the Ibreathmusic forum they apologized and let me go.
    They said that they loved this forum and hangs out here a lot


    Back to the subject. Jazz and Hendrix.
    Funny thing is I like to listen to jazz a lot and I don't do any kind of drugs.
    That leaves it open for other explanations for my love of jazz music



    Regarding Hendrix . To me good music is timeless.
    When I was younger especially a teenager I felt that I had to fit in a certain box when I listened to music.
    I just wasn't as open to different styles of music as I am today.
    If I knew back then what I was going to listen to in 15 years I wouldn't believed it.
    Even though I did like a few Hendrix songs as a teenager it wasn't until I got older I started to understand the beauty of his music and playing.

    Another thing I would like to say about Hendrix is that it seems as many of the stories about him being stoned on stage is exaggerated.
    Of course he did drugs but I have read many interviews with people who stood close to him and a lot of times he was pretty much sober on stage. Hendrix kept the drug myth alive according to these people.



    Here's another cool thing any Hendrix fan should check out.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/r2music/.../hendrix.shtml

    A BBC radioshow you can listen to where a lot of people close to Hendrix tells you many interesting things.
    That show will make it easier to understand how he became so big.
    One funny thing in that radio show is when Clapton jammed with Hendrix for the first time.
    Clapton left the stage. Chas Chandler went backstage after him to see what was wrong and Clapton told him.

    "You didn't tell me he was that ****ing good did you?"

    I cut out that part so you don't have to listen through all of it to hear it.
    Quite fun to listen to.

    http://w1.605.telia.com/~u60511686/Hendrix.zip


    It should be mentioned that Clapton and Hendrix after that became really good friends.
    Last edited by Anubis; 12-19-2003 at 08:02 PM.

  15. #15
    Registered User LarryJ's Avatar
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    I agree, and am one of those new-minded players (i'm also 19).

    My only question though, is does his influence and innovation at the time, make him the best overall? Best is subjective, and impossible to gauge, but he's widely regarded as #1 in alot of the polls, playing circles etc, but should he be?

    Music has alot to do with the time period too, and simply personal taste. People listen to songs and think back to what they were doing at the time, for me, hendrix never factors into this. I respect him, and acknowledge what he did (as well as having some great chops) but so many guys surpassed him, in my mind, in originality, melody, and emotion, and everything else he's credited for. Take Steve Vai for example, he makes crazy sounds into music, and has some really touching stuff, not to mention the technique is superb, and he is quite an innovator. Sure he probably would not have been if not for hendrix, or someone else who came along in his place, but doesn't he deserve the top spot - or to at least surpass him in peoples opinions? It's like someone saying BB king is the best blues player ever, but, to me SRV did everything he did - and did it better.

    I personally dont believe in a 'best guitarist' because everyone brings something to the table, so to speak, and steve vai was just an example. It could have been EVH, or Page or Clapton or whoever , but comparing the feel of players and technique, melody, chops, originality etc....I just feel Hendrix has been surpassed in each of those cateogories, and unless your totally in love with him, I feel it should be pretty obvious. almost 40 years have passed since he last played, and so much has come out in the meantime, including incredible guitar music. It's wise to give a nod to him, but you shouldn't forget about looking ahead either.

    Just my 2. Interested in any opinions on it.

    -larry

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