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Licks and Riffs: Jimi Hendrix - Purple Haze  
 

Licks & Riffs : Jimi Hendrix - Purple Haze

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Jimi Hendrix Blues-based licks

by David M. McLean

Here are some burning blues runs similar to what Jimi utilized in songs like "Purple Haze" and "Foxey Lady". They are all based on the pentatonic minor and these sorts of blues-rock licks set the pace for guitar players to follow. Example one uses a rapid-fire bend & pull simile followed by some quick descnding pull-offs. Notice the "blue note" (flatted 5 in bars 3 & 4) and the quick shift from the 12th position to the 5th position at the end of bar 3. Finally, be sure to play the opening licks freely, rather than perfectly as written.

Jimi Hendrix





 

Example two: The beginning of this example is notated to imply the speed changes Hendrix was noted for. That is, he'd play in free-time over the band, then jet back in and play in perfect time. Don't play bar one as notated, then, but with a free feel. Just be sure to hit bar #2 right in the pocket. Bar 4 can be played either as written or freely, depending on how close you want the call & response effect. Note in the final bar that you can almost hear how Jimi would start calling up the feedback and bashing on the whammy bar!

Jimi Hendrix




Have fun with these licks and then apply some of the free-time concepts to your own playing within - or outside of - the blues framework and see what you come up with. See ya next time!

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(January 2004) Index

      David M. McLean is the proprietor of Skinny Devil Music Labs, former guitarist of the avant-garde fusion-metal band Aurora-Sen, guitar instructor, and columnist for TinFoil Music Magazine (where he conducts interviews in the on-going series “Guitar Gods”). His new solo album, “HUNGER”, will be released later this year.

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Purple Haze By Jimi Hendrix. For guitar. Pop; Rock. Guitar TAB. 9 pages. Published by Hal Leonard - Digital Sheet Music

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Axis: Bold As Love "By Jimi Hendrix. For guitar and voice. Hal Leonard Guitar Recorded Versions. Psychedelic Rock, Hard Rock and Classic Rock. Difficulty: medium. Guitar tablature songbook. Guitar tablature, standard notation, vocal melody, lyrics, chord names, guitar notat

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Little Wing "By Jimi Hendrix. For piano, voice, and guitar (chords only). Pop; Rock. 3 pages. Published by Hal Leonard - Digital Sheet Music"

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Purple Haze "By Winger, Jimi Hendrix, and Paul Gilbert. For guitar. Blues; Metal; Rock. Guitar TAB. 7 pages. Published by Hal Leonard - Digital Sheet Music"

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