An Independence Day parade of solo-guitar versions of "The Star-Spangled Banner" by Slash, Steve Vai, Dave Mustaine, Zakk Wylde, Eric Johnson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Ted Nugent and—of course—Jimi Hendrix.
Many guitar players—at some point—can't help but fall under the spell of the sounds found on classic rock albums of the mid- to late Sixties. Players like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Pete Townshend and Robby Krieger were synonymous with wah, fuzz, univibe and/or tremolo. Throw George Harrison and Brian Jones into the mix and you get sitars and other sound- (and mind-) altering effects. They were always experimenting, changing things up, trying to top each other.
It used to be something you could do in private, like, well, some other things you're better off doing in private. But that all changed when an upstart Tom Cruise made air guitar a public nuisance in Risky Business all those decades ago.
The "27 Club" is a term that refers to a host of popular musicians who died—tragically—at age 27. This tragic group includes Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse and many more. It's enough to make you wonder if there actually is something to it.
As guitarists, many of us are fans of the late, great Jimi Hendrix, who has influenced players in all genres of music, including jazz. While Hendrix left a legacy as one of the greatest rock improvisers of all time, he also left his stamp on the harmonic side of the instrument, including a chord that bears his name.
Musicians can still be a little fuzzy when it comes to describing the sound of a fuzz box. Some guitarists will tell you it sounds like a 2,000-pound bee trapped in a sturdy metal box — perhaps with a potentiometer installed somewhere behind the wings. And while many early fuzz guitar tunes and tones did indeed make the most of the original fuzz buzz, fuzz actually has many facets, many sides, many fuzz faces, if you will.
Of the myriad contributions Jimi Hendrix has made to the lexicon of modern guitar, one of the most enduring is the legendary “Hendrix chord." The chord, an E7#9, was definitely nothing new when Hendrix famously used it in “Purple Haze” (Jazz and R&B guitarists used it extensively, and the Beatles featured it years earlier on “Taxman”), but its use by Jimi inspired its use by generations of guitarists in a wide range of styles.
Anyway, the outtakes of those vocal sessions—heard at proper speed—were released on the 2000 Jimi Hendrix Experience box set. As we stated above, it's some pretty funny stuff, full of laughter, clowning around, heavy-breathing and windy sound effects.
In 2015, where everything, and we mean everything, is turned into a video with minimal effort—whether it deserves to be or not—we tend to forget that it wasn't always like that. While YouTube abounds with clips of your favorite bands in action from the Seventies onward, "filming things," including live shows by Cream, the Beatles, the Who and the Jimi Hendrix Experience was still something of a novelty in the Sixties.