Jimi Hendrix Thumb Chords

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Hey, how’s it going, everybody.
My name is John McClennan and I’m here
today with Guitar Control. I want to
show you some Jimi Hendrix tips.

Jimi Hendrix is one of my favorite guitar
players and, man, was that guy bad. He was
so good. But any ways, what I’m going to
show you is the idea that if you’re playing,
say, a bar chord, your basic bar chord shape,
like a C major, the way that Hendrix would play
this is he would use his thumb. So rather than
playing the root here 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 the first finger,
if you can get it, it can lay flat and bar the top
two strings, so you get this sound. And then you
also get the thumb in there.

There’s something about just using that fatty part
of your thumb that gives you such cool sound. For a
lot of people this is uncomfortable for them and it
also depends on the type of the guitar. 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, I’ve seen.

But any ways, so 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. And then what you’re going to
do is you’re going to bring your thumb over and then
you’re going to use your third finger and your first
finger is just going to lay flat now 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. And you just keep trying and then
something goes on in your hand and then all of a sudden
you can do it.

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

Be sure to click the link below for the tab and we’ll catch
you in the next lesson. Thanks for watching

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