Just over 50 years ago, no one in England had heard of a guitarist called Jimi Hendrix. That all changed in the September of ’66 when the ever so talented man came over to London and formed The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Nine months later, with a string of hits and a debut album that reached number two in the charts, he left England as a legend.

 

Brought together by Chas Chandler (Hendrix’ new manager and former Animals bassist), The Jimi Hendrix Experience was a formation of musicians hand-picked to compliment and show off Hendrix’ talent. The backing band consisted of Noel Redding on bass, who was picked due to his attitude towards music and partly for his hairstyle, and Mitch Mitchell on drums who was chosen to bring a jazzy edge to the band. It was at that time that Chandler convinced Hendrix to change the spelling of his name from ‘Jimmy’ to the alternative and iconic ‘Jimi’.

 

Their first performance as a band was in France on the 13th of October and 6 days later, they played their first gig in the UK. The group were one of the first to popularise the “power trio” format, having a very stripped back guitar, bass and drums. Due to their small size, it meant they had more room to experiment with sound and performance styles.

 

This often meant playing at a much higher volume than most bands and also led to Hendrix working on his distorted, wah-wah driven sound. He famously played a Fender Stratocaster but due to being left-handed, he completely restrung it and played it upside-down. This had a big effect on the sound of is guitar; due to the slant of the bridge pickup, his highest string had a dark sound and his lowest string had a much lighter, brighter sound which completely conflicted how the stratocaster was meant to sound.

 

Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix is an inspiration for any and all aspiring rockstars and is one of the main reasons a lot of people want to learn how to play guitar in the first place. Without him, music wouldn’t be what it is today and he influenced so many great artists such as Prince and the Red Hot Chili Peppers to name but a few. Despite dying at the young and tender age of 27, his music lives on and the legacy he’s left is phenomenal. The 46th anniversary of his untimely death falls on the 18th of Sept.

 

If you’ve ever been interested in playing guitar and want to get started, we sell Fender starter packs to get you on the right tracks towards being a rock god like Jimi Hendrix. Check them out on our Electric Guitar page:

 

We also have a great range of Jimi Hendrix merchandise available