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TIP OF THE WEEK The Orchestral Guitar The tremendous influence of Jimi Hendrix on rock guitar cannot be denied. As other guitarists of his time processed conservative influences, Hendrix was giving a new definition to rock guitar playing. He unleashed, with his Stratocaster and his Marshall amp, sounds that, up to that point, had been inconceivable. It was truly a "second electrification" of the guitar. He was no longer playing a guitar over an amplifier, he was playing electric guitar, breaking the ground for today's rock music. His orchestral rhythm licks pointed the way for all guitarists that came after him.
He was born on Dec. 27 th, 1942, in Seattle, Washington. In the mid-50's he began to play the guitar. It was an auspicious time: Rock'n'Roll was popular and R + B was no further away than one's hand was to the nearest radio. Jimi played in local high-school bands. After his compulsory term in the army (which he couldn't avoid without serving a term in prison) he played in many Rock'n'Roll, R + B and Soul bands such as: Little Richard's Band, the Isley Brothers, Solomon Burke and Curtis Knight, to name a few.
Chas Chandler, at that time the bassist for a group coiled the Animals, heard Hendrix, recognized his potential and talked the guitarist into going back to England with him. At that point, the blues was very popular in England, and guitar heroes were in vogue. There he formed the Jimi Hendrix Experience. In 1967, the group recorded its first single "Hey Joe", which became a hit in the Top Ten. Then followed the first LP "Are you Experienced?". Shortly after that he returned to the U.S. to appear at the Monterey Pop Festival. By 1970 he had brought out numerous LPs, played at the legandary Woodstock Festival and built his own recording studio. He had other big plans (recordings with Miles Davis and Gil Evans) but they were never to be.