Still Blazing the Trail

Jimi Hendrix

Last week as I was listening to a radio station with a friend I heard the Jimi Hendrix song “Foxy Lady“. As I listened I was struck by the historic value of Jimi Hendrix music. You see, September 18th marked 41 years since Hendrix death.  Although this friend I was listening with is not a musician, he still can appreciate that Hendrix was one of the greatest guitar players of all time. As I listened, I thought about how much Jimi Hendrix had influenced not only guitar players, but also modern rock and metal music. I would ask everyone to try a little experiment with me. Why don’t you play one of Hendrix’ albums, any of them. Then listen to any hard rock or metal band of your choice. After you have heard maybe four songs including the guitar solos, tell me how many guitar players are still playing like Jimi. If your answer is all of them you are correct. Jimi’s style of play has even crossed genre lines into R & B and Funk music. Of course there have been musicians whose music has continued to be relevant hundreds of years after their death. However, in Jimi Hendrix were talking about a musician who used the electric guitar and gear in a way that had not been heard before, and all guitarist after him followed his innovation for over 40 years after his death.  Not to say that we have not had some very good guitarist in the past 40 years, but Hendrix stands out like a beacon. Will we hear changes in the way guitars are played in the future? Maybe!  But for now, Hendrix is not with us anymore but his music is still blazing the trail.

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