“So You Wanna Play The Blues . .” : Cool Blues Guitar Instructional Videos Part II – The Hendrix Edition

With September 18th marking the 46th anniversary of his accidental and tragic death, it seems like a a good time to mention Jimi Hendrix.  In addition Legacy Recordings has announced the release of the complete first set ever played by Hendrix’  Band of Gypsies as Machine Gun: The Fillmore East First Show 12/31/69.

On New Year’s Eve 1969, Jimi Hendrix and his Band Of Gypsys made their debut at The Fillmore East in New York City, performing an early and late show. The subsequent January 1, 1970 shows at the Fillmore East make up the classic Band Of Gypsys LP.

The Band of Gypsys performance is often considered one of the finest electric guitar performances in the history of recorded music. The material is mostly based on very loose structures that serve as launching pads for Hendrix’s improvisations with the undisputed high point being Machine Gun. Here Hendrix draws on his blues roots but also brings in tonal effect that push the blues into places it’s never been before. It was Hendrix playing delta blues but the delta is on Mars.

This brings us to the instructional videos below. My last post talked about the free blues guitar instructional videos put out by Texas Blues Alley (http://texasbluesalley.com/). Here is a four part series talking about playing over a open E string drone (or vamp as they refer to it) ala Hendrix’ Machine Gun. These videos are clear HD quality that really give you a good view of what he’s doing. He also brings up the importance of timing. So many guitar players focus on starting their lines but not on when to end them. There is also attention paid to a essential but often under served aspect of blues guitar playing: the way we articulate our lines such as right hand rakes, vibrato, different bend, etc. And you can also get to learn a bunch of cool blues licks.

Watch, learn, enjoy.

Hendrix Machine Gun Vamping – 1

Hendrix Machine Gun Vamping – 2

Hendrix Machine Gun Vamping – 3

Hendrix Machine Gun Vamping – 4

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Posted in Blues, Classic Rock, Improvisation, Jam Band

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