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How To Play Rhythm Guitar Jimi Hendrix Style • Little Wing Variations • Part Two


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Wilson Pickett and Jimi Hendrix

Wilson Pickett and Jimi Hendrix

The Isley Brothers with Jimi Hendrix

The Isley Brothers with Jimi Hendrix

Curtis Knight with Jimi Hendrix

Curtis Knight with Jimi Hendrix

Percy Sledge, King Curtis with Jimi Hendrix

Percy Sledge, King Curtis with Jimi Hendrix

Cafe Wha?

Cafe Wha?


Jimi Hendrix • Rise To Fame

In 1964, Hendrix was tired of playing the 'Chitlin' Circtuit' and his roll as a sideman. He decided to venture out on his own and moved to Harlem, where he met a girl with connections to the area's music scene. 'Faye' provided him with encouragement. He won first prize in the Apollo Theatre amateur contest and eventually caught the eye of Ronnie Isley, who offered him the guitarist's spot with The Isley Brothers.

In March of 1964, he released a single with The Isley Brothers entitled Testify. The song went nowhere and Hendrix quit the band in Nashville. In September, he joined Little Richard's band, and recorded his first and only single with Little Richard: 'I Don't Know What You Got'. In July of 1965 he made his first television appearance, backing up vocalists Buddy and Stacy for 'Shotgun'. The show was Nashville's Night Train and he performed with Little Richard's backup band. He didn't see eye to eye with Richard on a number of issues and was eventually fired from the band. He rejoined the Isley's and recorded a second single with them: 'Move Over And Let Me Dance', with the b-side 'Have You Ever Been Disappointed'.

In the same year, Hendrix joined up with famous R&B performer, Curtis Knight. The played together for roughly eight months, during which time they recorded 'How Would You Feel' backed with 'Welcome Home', and on October 15, he foolishly signed a three-year record deal with Ed Chalpin, which caused him considerable problems later in his career. During this time, Hendrix worked with King Curtis (renowned sax virtuoso) on several recordings.

In 1966, he recorded with Lonnie Youngblood, a sax player, who performed with Curtis Knight. In fact, during this time he became a 'session player', working on such recordings as: 'Soul Food', '(My Girl) She's A Fox', and 'That Little Old Groove Maker'. He also earned his first composing credits on two instrumentals: 'Hornet's Nest' and 'Knock Yourself Out'.

Finally, in 1966, he formed his own band, The Blue Flame, which included bassist, Randy Palmer, drummer, Danny Casey, and guitarist, Randy Wolfe. Their primary gig was the housebound at the Cafe Wha? in Greenwich Village. The played their last concerts at the Cafe au Go Go as John Hammond's backup band.

Little Wing With Fills • Part Two

A more elaborate version than Rock guitar • How To Play Little Wing By Jimi Hendrix • Part One, the only actual chord that is played is the Em in measure one. Even without the chord forms, the progression can still be heard. This is the beauty of this style of rhythm guitar. As in part one, you are physically changing scales with just about every chord change. Here is a measure to measure breakdown:

Measure one

The transcription starts with the low open E string followed by the Em chord mentioned above. The sixteenth note x's denote muted strums. You will have to execute this with fret-hand muting. Lay your fret-hand across all the strings, directly after strumming the open chord. Do not push on the strings! Simply, rest your hand on the fretboard. This should result in the desired 'chuck' sound. Quickly remove your hand to fret the single notes. These notes come from G Major-Em Pentatonic Box Pattern #1. Makes perfect sense, since the overall sound of the measure is Em. The fills in Skynrd's Sweet Home Alabama take place in this scale, and this Box Pattern.

Measure two

The progression moves to G Major. The fills remain in the G Major-Em Pentatonic scale, but move into Box Pattern #2. This pattern lends a happy sweeter sound, and is the home base scale for many country players. The only note outside of the scale is the C in beat three. This is the fourth degree of the full G Major scale. It is omitted from the Pentatonic Scale. Not all chordal fills have to be strictly Pentatonic.

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Measure three

This measure is completely based in C Major-Am Pentatonic Box Pattern #1. The open A string at the start of beat four could be played on the fifth fret on the sixth string. Playing the open note as opposed to the fretted note allows for easier movement.

Measure four

These notes are based in the Em Blues Scale. This takes the ear into a darker, grittier sound. This is a very common blues lick. You may find the hammer-ons and pull-offs difficult to execute. Do not slight any notes. That is, you should pick the string once and hear four distinct notes.

Measure five

This measure breaks from the Pentatonic Scale and moves into the full D Major-Bm scale. More precisely, this is B Aeolian, the sixth mode of D Major scale. The second half of beat four is a dyad taken from the A sharp minor chord, and makes an easy transition into the first beat of measure six, a dyad from the Am chord.

Measure six

There are two chords in this measure: Am and it's relative Major C. The fill is formed from C Major-Am Pentatonic Box Pattern #1, with the B natural in beat four, leading back into G Major.

Measures seven to ten are the same as Part One.

Try playing this piece two ways: at tempo (around 60 bpm), then in free-time. Add dynamics and tempo variations to create feel and interest. Good luck!



G Major Pentatonic


G Major Pentatonic


Am Pentatonic


Em Blues


B Aeolian


Am-Em Pentatonic


G Major-F Major Pentatonic


C Major Pentatonic


D Major Pentatonic


Little Wing With Fills • Part 2


Lorne Hemmerling (author) from Prescott on January 21, 2013:

Whoa, thanks so much!!!!! That's too much praise for my mind to take in at one time!!! Thanks again my friend! I try to keep everything as simple as possible. Please spread the word, if you want!

kris hendrickx on January 21, 2013:

i looked for hrs and hrs for simple(!!!!) Hendrix guitar lessons!

And these are by far the best lessons i saw online!!

Video AND tabs!

1 word : AWESOME!!!

TY a million times Lorne!

Lorne Hemmerling (author) from Prescott on May 24, 2012:

Many, many thanks to all in the hubpages community, that have supported my guitar lessons. Funny how this whole site feels like a little world all on it's own on the web. And we all know, it is not easy to find quality online. You guys rock!!!.......I mean that literally :•)

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