How to Play Rhythm and Blues Guitar Jimi Hendrix Style

Hey, what’s up? It’s Claude Johnson and welcome to another lesson from Guitar Control. Let’s do some more Hendrix stuff today. I really hope you enjoyed my last lesson. We talked a lot about kind of the more rock and electric, funky kind of Hendrix style. Today I want to get into more of the clean, melodic R&B kind of style and you’ll definitely recognize the sound. Now Hendrix plays a Strat and I would show you on my Strat, but I haven’t played my Strat in a while and the strings are a little bit rusty probably. So I’m going to show you on my Tele-style Spear. A lot of people ask me what this guitar is. It is a Spear RTST and we’ll try to dial-in kind of a Hendrix-y tone and I hope you enjoy the lesson. So let’s check it out. Let’s start with a chord progression, which is A, B minor, C sharp, C minor, B minor, A. Now, if you’re not familiar with these basic chords, don’t worry. But I would try to get up to speed on that. A great place to start is my ultimate beginner guitar course to learn those basics. And actually, a little plug for that course, even if you’re intermediate or advanced, it’s a great course to really build-up your repertoire with 75 killer songs. So check that out. We have A — this is basically just going diatonically in the key of A. A, B minor, C sharp minor; now chromatically. Without the Hendrix stuff it would sound like. Real simple; sounds nothing like Hendrix, right? So, what do we do? First thing, our A chord, let’s fret it like this; with our ring finger on the 7th fret of the D string, middle finger on the 6th fret of the G string and first finger on the 5th fret of the B string. Now, we could hook our thumb around to get the low note on the low E string, but we don’t need to because we’re just going to use the open A. But you could if you were moving it around like as a shape. So now we have this. How do we do that? Well, we’re just going to keep our fingers in the same place, but our pinkie is going to do these little hammer-ons and pull-offs. We’re up here on the 7th fret with our pinkie either on the B string or the G string. This first one is a little triplet on the B string. Hammer-on, pull-off and then just pick the G string. We’re now going to hammer-on to the G string, but notice how we’re picking two notes at once, which is called a double stop and we’ll talk about that in a second. This is basically a suss sound. Kind of a little wing tonality there. Again, remember, we’re not moving the other three fingers. Now the next riff we’re going to go up to our E minor chord. This one we’re going to be using those double stops that I mentioned. Let me just say a word first on the scale. Now, it’s really important to understand the difference between major pentatonic and minor pentatonic. In our first Hendrix lesson we talked about throwing pentatonics, but that was like a minor kind of sound. That’s like the minor pentatonic. Now in this case, that’s the major, very different sound. I go real deep into this inside my course “Killer Guitar Control Secrets”. So check that one out, too. Basically you can play it here: 7th fret and 9th fret on the lowest three strings. Seven, 9, 7, 9, 7,9; nice little box there. That’s a nice little exercise. Try improvising. Hit your A chord, B minor — you could also play B minor 7. But just try and… Try playing some melodies in that little box. You could also actually hit… You can go one up from there. That’s actually not in the A major pentatonic; it’s from B minor. But here’s the Hendrix move. What you’re going to do is you take any two notes that are together, like on the same fret like here. Let’s say the A string and the D string, 7th fret, and you’re going to play them and then hammer-on to the next note of the lower string that you’re playing — the next note in the pentatonic scale. The higher string note it still going to ring open. For example, instead of this… Just try this lick: 9, 7 on the A; 9, 7 on the A; and then 9. Try this. That first note I’m just basically playing on the 7th fret on both the A and the D. You can — it’s really easy to just get your feel down with this. You can kind of do whatever you want with that. When I go up to the C sharp minor, I’m kind of switching to this other pentatonic scale, C sharp minor, and then C. Again, I’m switching scales. That was another nice little Hendrix trick that you can use. It’s just kind of — you’re switching scales every chord with a different pentatonic scale. This one is C sharp minor and then when I go to the C it’s kind of going back to the major. We’re kind of going from major to minor, bouncing around. You can just experiment. Try different chords. You can try major pentatonic, minor pentatonic. If it sounds good, it’s right. We finally get back here to some more of those double stops. Back to the A. So to break it down even further with this major pentatonic stuff, if you’re having trouble, let’s just take one chord, like an A and you can just stay in this — basically it’s like an F sharp pentatonic on the 2nd fret, which is all the same notes as the A major. It’s kind of some theory; don’t worry about it for now, but just try this. Second fret to the 4th on the A, D and G strings. It’s almost the same thing as here; just up here. Just try these double stops. Strum your A. Try that rhythm. Real slow. Thanks for watching and if you’re not on my email list already, please make sure that you sign-up because we’ve got a lot of awesome stuff coming at you. So check it out at and I’ll catch you soon.

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