Jimi Hendrix Thumb Chords

Hey, how’s it going this is Jon McLennan with Guitar Control, I want to
show you some “Jimi Hendrix” tips. Jimi Hendrix is one of my favorite guitar players and he was so good.

What I’m going to show you is the idea if you’re playing a bar chord, your basic bar chord shape like a C major, the way that Hendrix would play
this using his thumb, rather than playing the root with the first finger.

You’re going to bring your thumb over and you’re going to play the 8th fret there, which is a C chord that we’re making here. And then you’re going to put your fingers like this, 3rd finger, 2nd finger, 1st finger and then your first finger lay flat and bar the top two strings, so you can get this sound and put your thumb in there.

There’s something about using that fatty part of your thumb that gives you such cool sound, but for other people this is uncomfortable for them, and it
depends on the type of the guitar they’re using.

I’m on a Stratocaster, if you’re on a classical guitar the neck is going to be a lot fatter, so it’s going to be harder to do. In fact, I wouldn’t recommending doing it on a classical. However there are some videos of Eric Clapton doing it on a classical.

Any ways, what we’re going to do is take that basic major chord and we’re going to convert it to a thumb chord, just like this. And then we’re going to
do the same thing with a minor barre chord. So here’s your minor barre chord. Then what you’re going to do is to bring your thumb over, and then
use your third finger. Your first finger is going to lay flat, to give you this
minor triad. Then you’ve got the C minor.

Start working with the thumb and you’ll be surprised. I remember when my guitar teacher showed me chords and his thumb would come way over and my thumb would be so far back and I’d go, man, how in the world am I ever going to get that. Just keep trying and you can do it.

One of the things you might want to do as an exercise is take a chord progression in barre chords and convert all the chords, where you going to thumb chords. For instance, let’s say I’m playing C, B flat, F, then I’m going to go. I’m just going to play those same chords, trying to use my thumb and start getting into it.

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