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