You can’t deny how much of an influence Jimi Hendrix has had on the world of guitar players, even if you’re not a fan of this type of music in general. He lived at a time when guitar legends were all around him, and he still managed to make a name for himself among all of that. Many people tend to wonder if his guitar had anything special about it that contributed to his playing, or did he just use a regular guitar. If you’re interested in playing like Jimi Hendrix, there are some things you should know about the instruments he used to play when he was making that name for himself. There wasn’t anything extraordinary about the setup used by Jimi Hendrix, but all of the features were definitely picked carefully.
We should first note that Jimi Hendrix was left-handed. Playing a guitar like that means that you have to reverse the strings on a right-handed guitar, in order to arrange them in the same order (e.g. the 6th string on top and the 1st on the bottom of the neck). The alternative is to buy a special left-handed guitar, which tends to cost a lot more due to its lower popularity. Jimi did neither of those things, instead playing on a Fender Stratocaster made for a regular right-handed player, because he liked having his tone and volume control knobs at the top of the guitar.
Feedback was something else that added to his playing, and he got that from the three single-coil pick-ups on the Stratocaster. During the time when the electric guitar was evolving, a lot of work went into removing the feedback, as it was considered a nuisance. The solution was in the development of the Humbucker pick-ups, but the Strat did not use those – so Jimi used the Strat.
Much like Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and Eddy Van Halen, Jimi used the amp chosen by heavy metal guitar players – the Marshall. Its sound was well-known in the seventies, and even today it’s replicated by various types of effects software, but before it became the most popular amp Jimi used the Fender Dual Showman, and Twin Reverb amps.
Before the Fender Strat, Jimi played a bit with the Gibson Flying V and was known to play a Epiphone acoustic, but the way most people will remember him is with his Strat. The effect that’s commonly associated with Hendrix is the wah-wah, which he learned in 1967 from Frank Zappa.