This Jimi Hendrix guitar lesson is an excerpt from Jeff McErlain’s full course, Essentials: Blues Rock Grooves Vol. 1. Be sure to check it out for many more guitar lessons just like this one.
Jimi Hendrix Guitar Lesson Tab
About This Jimi Hendrix Guitar Lesson
Well, what can I say about Jimi Hendrix that hasn’t been said before? I mean really? What can I say? When we think of the great blues rock guitar players he is always at the top of the list. Even the other guys atop those lists say he was top of the list.
My personal Hendrix epiphany came in high school in the form of a cassette tape of Band of Gypsys with a “The Nice Price” sticker on it. If you young’uns don’t know what that is, Google it. My “experience” with Jimi prior to that moment was from the radio with tunes like “Purple Haze,” “Fire,” and “Wind Cries Mary.” I thought it was cool but honestly, for some reason, it never caught my ear. Basically I was an idiot.
Anyway, I pick the cassette up at the checkout counter in the supermarket knowing absolutely nothing about Band of Gypsys and put it in my car stereo and without exaggeration my musical life was changed forever. I vividly remember “Machine Gun” literally giving me goose bumps. It still does to this day.
There are many versions of Jimi Hendrix’s “Hear My Train a Comin’,” and I highly suggest you check out as many of them as you can. One of my favorites is the solo 12-string acoustic version he plays in the Jimi Hendrix movie and on the Jimi Hendrix Blues record. This tune was a staple of his live gig and fortunately for us, he recorded a lot of those! The interesting thing is that many of the versions are at different tempos and slightly different feels, although the theme remains the same.
In this Jimi Hendrix guitar lessons, I’m playing based upon one of the studio versions. Although not essential, I decided to use one of me and Jimi’s favorite pedals, the uni-vibe. The uni-vibe is a chorus effect that gives the guitar the watery sound that we hear on my performance and everything that is quintessentially Hendrix. If you want to go full on Hendrix with your pedalboard, I highly recommend a fuzz pedal, uni-vibe, octavia, and wah. I must admit that’s basically my pedalboard in a nutshell as well!
This Jimi Hendrix guitar lesson has a lot going on, so we’ll break it up into sections to make it easier to learn. The intro is actually fairly difficult to get it to groove properly, so I recommend slowing it down and using a metronome to keep consistent time going so you never lose the tempo. We’re playing the intro unaccompanied, or maybe just with the hi-hat playing time, so it’s essential that we’re playing in time right off the top. The main riff is very familiar, drawing upon Lightnin’ Hopkins style guitar playing and can be repurposed in many blues tunes so please take note!
The tempo I play at when showing it to you is a lot slower, but I think it sounds just as cool. The tricky spot (well, the whole thing is actually tricky) comes where I believe Jimi bends behind the nut to once again, “tweak the third.” I can’t be sure that this was what he was doing, but on some recordings it sure sounds like it. If it’s not, well it sure does look and sound cool, doesn’t it?
Hope you enjoyed this Jimi Hendrix guitar lesson. Please check out my full course, Essentials: Blues Rock Grooves Vol. 1, for many more guitar lessons just like it!