Sunday, November 28, 2010

Greatness never goes out of date.

Yesterday would have been Jimi Hendrix's 68th birthday. We lost a great musician much too early but it is a testament to his musical genius and soulful playing that his music is as relevant and inspiring at is was over 40 years ago. Great art whether is is poetry,art , sculpture or music lives much beyond the life of the artist because it expresses in many ways timeless concepts that touch people deeply. Today's guitar lick looks at a style of playing that Jimi learned on the Chitlin circuit. It is a style of playing Curtis Mayfield popularized which involves playing rhythm and lead simultaneously. Typically a phrase is developed around a chord shape and lead fills are incorporated to make a musical phrase. There are many examples of how Jimi  developed this style into his own in such compositions as "Little Wing" and "Castles Made of Sand". The guitar lick is based around the C major scale and uses chord shapes from G, C and F. You can experiment with the rhythmic values a bit but as I play it the chord roots C ( 8th fret 6th string) and F (8th fret 5th string) are meant to come in on the prior bars upbeat and then held longer into the next measure. Here is the guitar lick: