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What Electric Guitar Did Jimi Hendrix Play

Jimi Hendrix famously played a Fender Stratocaster. He often used a right-handed model flipped to suit his left-handed playing style.

Jimi Hendrix, the legendary rock guitarist, is widely regarded as one of the most influential artists in the history of electric guitar. Through his innovative techniques and explosive performances, Hendrix left an indelible mark on the music world that continues to resonate today.

His primary choice of instrument, the Fender Stratocaster, became iconic due to his association with it. With its smooth contours and versatile sound, the Stratocaster was perfectly suited to Hendrix’s pioneering style of play, including his use of feedback and overdriven amplifiers. His unique way of restringing a right-handed guitar for left-hand play contributed to his distinctive sound and visual presence on stage. Hendrix’s legacy remains tightly linked to the Stratocaster, a symbol of musical revolution.

What Electric Guitar Did Jimi Hendrix Play


Introduction To Jimi Hendrix And His Legendary Guitar Play

Introduction to Jimi Hendrix and His Legendary Guitar Play

When thinking of electric guitar legends, the name Jimi Hendrix invariably strikes a chord with fans around the world. Hendrix transformed the landscape of rock music with his virtuosic techniques, expressive performances, and innovative use of guitar effects. His musical legacy is tightly linked to his preference for certain electric guitars, which became as iconic as the musician himself.

Jimi Hendrix: Revolutionary Guitarist

Jimi Hendrix, often hailed as the greatest guitarist of all time, redefined the potential of the electric guitar. His approach to the instrument was innovative and his playing style was revolutionary. With his fingers coaxing magic from the strings, Hendrix unleashed sounds that were unheard of, creating musical masterpieces loaded with emotion, energy, and experimentation.

His performances at Woodstock and the Monterey Pop Festival are etched in history, setting new standards for electric guitar play. Hendrix’s influence is evident in the generations of guitarists that came after him, who draw inspiration from his explosive, soulful, and boundary-pushing approach.

The Significance Of Hendrix’s Guitar Choice

The electric guitars associated with Jimi Hendrix are nearly as legendary as his music. Primarily, Hendrix was known for his love of the Fender Stratocaster. This guitar choice was significant for several reasons:

  • Sound: The Stratocaster’s crisp, bright tone perfectly complemented Hendrix’s style, allowing his innovative techniques and effects to shine through.
  • Design: Its lightweight, contoured body made it comfortable for Hendrix’s flamboyant stage movements.
  • Customization: Hendrix famously played a right-handed Stratocaster flipped upside down and restrung for his left-handed playing, which contributed to his unique sound.

This guitar was not just a tool; it was an extension of Hendrix’s very being. Whenever the spotlight hit the stage, and Hendrix’s fiery fingertips went to work, his Stratocaster was always part of the magic, creating a symbiotic relationship between artist and instrument that continues to fascinate and inspire.

What Electric Guitar Did Jimi Hendrix Play


The Iconic Guitars Of Jimi Hendrix

When the name Jimi Hendrix surfaces, a whirlwind of psychedelic riffs, groundbreaking performances, and the revolution of rock music comes to mind. But a conversation on Hendrix would not be complete without discussing the remarkable electric guitars that fueled his legendary status. A symbol of his unique artistry stands in the form of exquisite six-string instruments that have become as iconic as the musician himself.

The Fender Stratocaster: Hendrix’s Signature Sound

Jimi Hendrix’s relationship with the Fender Stratocaster was much more than that of a musician to his instrument; it was an extension of his very self. Famed for its contoured body and bright, cutting tone, the Stratocaster became Hendrix’s go-to guitar, serving as the cornerstone of his signature sound. His ability to coax otherworldly sounds from his Strat set the music world ablaze. Highlights in his Stratocaster legacy include:

  • Woodstock Performance: Perhaps the most iconic moment was his rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” on a white Stratocaster at Woodstock, which remains one of the most defining moments in rock history.
  • Monterey Pop Festival: Hendrix’s fiery performance where he set his Stratocaster ablaze, a testament to his showmanship and the cultural zeitgeist of the time.

The Fender Stratocaster was integral to the Hendrix sound, with its bespoke setup accommodating his left-handed playstyle and allowing him to manipulate feedback and overdriven amps to create his signature explosive effects.

Other Guitars In Jimi’s Arsenal

Though the Stratocaster was his faithful companion, Hendrix’s guitar collection was diverse, filled with other models that also played pivotal roles in recordings and performances. Notable mentions include:

  • Gibson Flying V: Fondly referred to as “Flying Angel,” Hendrix used this guitar mainly during his performances in 1967.
  • Fender Telecaster: Used mainly in the studio, Hendrix employed this classic model too, for recording some of his groundbreaking tracks.
  • Gibson SG Custom: With its distinctive twin-horned cutaway, Hendrix played this guitar during sessions for the Axis: Bold as Love album.

The Story Behind The Left-handed Legend

As a naturally left-handed player, Hendrix faced challenges that became part of his legend. In the beginning, right-handed guitars were the only ones he could afford, so he adapted by flipping them and restringing them for left-handed play. This not only became a hallmark of his appearance but also influenced his technique and sound. The slant of the Strat’s bridge pickup, when reversed, gave him a distinctive tonal quality, unusual chord voicings, and accessibility to the tremolo bar in a way that right-handed players could not replicate.

Customization: Hendrix was known to use right-handed guitars restrung for left-hand play, which required significant customization, including adjusting the nut and saddle, and sometimes moving the strap button for better balance. The result was a unique instrument tailored to his personal style and sound.

Jimi Hendrix’s Guitars In Music History

The mark Jimi Hendrix left on the music industry reverberates through the echoes of his iconic electric guitar riffs. A pioneer of rock and experimental genres, Hendrix’s choice in guitars both reflected and amplified his revolutionary sound. Exploring the instruments that were an extension of his artistry sheds light on the legend’s profound impact on music history.

Jimi Hendrix’s performances were as memorable as his music. His electric guitar was the compass that guided the psychedelic odyssey of sound. His collection of guitars was the canvas on which he painted an era of musical innovation.

  • Monterey Pop Festival 1967: Hendrix set his Fender Stratocaster ablaze, both literally and figuratively. The strat, already a popular model, became synonymous with Hendrix’s flair for dramatic showmanship.
  • Woodstock 1969: Here, the sight and sound of Jimi with his white Fender Stratocaster became immortalized. His performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” was both a political statement and a showcase of his unparalleled guitar prowess.
  • The Isle of Wight Festival 1970: During one of his last major performances, Hendrix brought out a favorite, the black Fender Stratocaster, endearing himself even more to a generation of music lovers.

Hendrix’s innovative playing style spurred a transformation in guitar design and manufacturing. His preference for the Fender Stratocaster, especially when flipped upside down to accommodate his left-handed playing, influenced Fender and other manufacturers to design guitars tailored for left-handed musicians.

Manufacturers began to consider the playability and accesibility for all guitarists. Innovations such as adjustable bridges, neck profiles, and pickup configurations can partly be attributed to the way Hendrix pushed the boundaries of what a guitar could do.

Jimi Hendrix’s legacy lives on in the hands of countless guitarists who cite him as their primary influence. His mastery of feedback, distortion, and the whammy bar paved the way for future genres and techniques.

The image of Hendrix bending the strings of his upside-down Strat is etched into the minds of guitar players, inspiring them to explore their instruments with no boundaries. From Eddie Van Halen to John Mayer, the spirit of Hendrix’s creativity echoes in modern guitar solos and riffs.

The Legacy Of Hendrix’s Guitars

Jimi Hendrix, virtuoso guitarist and iconic musician, left an indelible mark on the world of music with his electrifying performances and innovative techniques. Among the keys to his boundary-pushing sound were the electric guitars he wielded like no other. Hendrix’s musical weapons of choice were as diverse as his playing style, influencing countless guitarists and enthusiasts long after his untimely demise. This section delves into the fascinating journey of Hendrix’s guitars, their current whereabouts, and their everlasting influence.

Where Are Jimi Hendrix’s Guitars Now?

The fates of Jimi Hendrix’s guitars are as varied as his legendary performances. Some reside in prestigious collections and museums, such as the Experience Music Project in Seattle. Others are held by private collectors, cherished as relics of music history. A number of Hendrix’s guitars were gifted to friends and family and have rarely, if ever, been displayed publicly.

Replicas And Tributes: The Continuing Influence

The unique sound and aesthetic of Hendrix’s guitars continue to resonate throughout the music industry. Guitar manufacturers regularly issue replicas and tribute models, capturing the essence of his most famous instruments. Fans and guitarists alike seek these models to emulate Hendrix’s iconic tone and style, further cementing his legacy in contemporary music culture.

Collectability And Auctions Of Hendrix’s Instruments

Hendrix’s original guitars are highly sought after at auctions, fetching staggering sums. They are considered holy grails in the world of music memorabilia. Notable sales have seen his guitars command millions, proving their monumental value. The allure of owning a piece of Hendrix history continues to drive the market, with collectors and museums alike vying for these coveted instruments.

What Electric Guitar Did Jimi Hendrix Play


Frequently Asked Questions For What Electric Guitar Did Jimi Hendrix Play

What Type Of Electric Guitar Did Jimi Hendrix Play?

Jimi Hendrix mainly played a Fender Stratocaster. This iconic guitar became closely associated with his groundbreaking music and performance style.

What Was Hendrix’s Favorite Guitar?

Jimi Hendrix’s favorite guitar was the Fender Stratocaster. He often used this iconic model during his legendary performances.

What Guitar Did Jimi Hendrix Play On Red House?

Jimi Hendrix played a Fender Stratocaster guitar on the song “Red House. ” This iconic instrument contributed to his distinct blues sound on the track.

What Was Jimi Hendrix’s First Guitar?

Jimi Hendrix’s first guitar was a secondhand acoustic, reportedly a Supro Ozark 1560S, which he received as a gift from his father.


Jimi Hendrix, an icon of electric guitar mastery, predominantly played his trusty Fender Stratocaster. This legendary instrument became a cornerstone of his revolutionary sound and style. For aspiring guitarists and music enthusiasts, Hendrix’s choice underscores the Strat’s timeless appeal. Embrace the spirit of innovation and passion in your own musical journey, just as Hendrix did with his beloved guitar.

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