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.
Check out this video, which was posted to YouTube a few years ago, of Zakk Wylde and Slash performing "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)," a Jimi Hendrix song that was covered by Stevie Ray Vaughan in 1984.
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 '60s. 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.
By mid-1968, the hippie movement was in full flower across America. Young people were growing their hair out, dressing and thinking in new ways, tuning in, turning on and dropping out to the beat of a wild new style of psychedelicized heavy guitar music as performed by colorful groups like Cream, the Who, Blue Cheer and, of course, the Jimi Hendrix Experience.
It’s hard to imagine there’s much in the Hendrix family archives that’s worth hearing or seeing at this point, but Jimi Hendrix — Hear My Train A Comin’, which aired last month on PBS’ American Masters series, certainly fits the bill.