Did Jimi Hendrix play 5th chords?

Phletch

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9,896
Yes, but he didn't rely on them as a defining stylistic device as much as others. Jimi was a pretty "busy" rhythm player - he liked putting 3rds on the bottom, incorporating pentatonic riffs to connect or imply chords, what would later be realized as a CAGED-based approach (lots of players before and after Jimi comped changes in similar style, but the term CAGED had not been coined in Jimi's day). I can't think of any tunes where Jimi built the entire progression strictly upon chugging power chords/5ths. When he used them it was only briefly, like an airline flight on a stop-over, coming from one place, on its way to another.
 

Bluesful

Silver Supporting Member
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what would later be realized as a CAGED-based approach (lots of players before and after Jimi comped changes in similar style, but the term CAGED had not been coined in Jimi's day).

I never knew that. I assumed CAGED had been around for a long, long time.
 

JonR

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15,955
I never knew that. I assumed CAGED had been around for a long, long time.
In a sense it has. It just wasn't named "CAGED", because no one had thought you might be able to sell it as a "system". :rolleyes:
Of course, it's just the way the neck is. It's bleeding obvious to anyone who's learned their open position chords and starts to explore the fretboard beyond there. I taught myself that way, and it never occurred to me there was anything special (let alone commercial) about it.
The moment I remember is discovering an F chord could be played in a "C" shape on 5th fret - that was way back when I was still struggling with the barre F on 1st fret, because I know I found the C shape easier. (I'm talking mid-1960s here.)
It's not rocket science ;).
 

Wibcs39

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1,464
In a sense it has. It just wasn't named "CAGED", because no one had thought you might be able to sell it as a "system". :rolleyes:
Of course, it's just the way the neck is. It's bleeding obvious to anyone who's learned their open position chords and starts to explore the fretboard beyond there. I taught myself that way, and it never occurred to me there was anything special (let alone commercial) about it.
The moment I remember is discovering an F chord could be played in a "C" shape on 5th fret - that was way back when I was still struggling with the barre F on 1st fret, because I know I found the C shape easier. (I'm talking mid-1960s here.)
It's not rocket science ;).

This is a good thing to note about CAGED. I have seen people talk about it as if it is some kind of special system for playing guitar. The reality is, any intermediate or above guitarist uses it all the time whether they know it or not. It is just how the guitar neck works.

Jimi definitely used some power chords but I can't think of a good example where he used them throughout a whole tune. In general, though, he used fuller chords most of the time.
 

Phletch

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9,896
I never knew that. I assumed CAGED had been around for a long, long time.
Like @JonR said, it's always "been there"; it just never had a name or label attached to it until much later than when Jimi had graced our planet with his all-too-brief presence.

Conventional or common wisdom (belief?) has it that the term "CAGED" was coined by Joe Pass in a Guitar Player(?) magazine article lesson in the early 80s; that's just what I've heard and read here, but I have no idea as to the truth of that claim. I was taking lessons in the early 80s, but I honestly never heard the term "CAGED" until I joined TGP 4 years ago. The way people were raging on about this CAGED thing, I thought I'd missed out on something truly magical. Then I looked into it and was like, "Really? This is what all the fuss is about?" The idea is sound, but it's been marketed like these old Atlas fitness ads that adorned the pages of old comic books...

comic-book-craze1921.jpg
 

Motterpaul

Tone is in the Ears
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13,672
According to a "Learn to play Like Jimi" DVD I have he used them on "Spanish Castle Magic" (on the verses)

The verse goes (power chords) | B | Bb A | Ab (which the instructors says is actually a Ab, Db Ab on the 6,5 & 4 strings).

For the opening try C#+9 chord with the open low E string playing the b3 on the bottom (try it - it sounds very cool).

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Just a cool song - give it a listen

[EDIT: you have to play the low E as a bass part with a separate rhythm - kind of like on the 1 and -*chord* - 3 and - *chord*]
 
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JonR

Member
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15,955
According to a "Learn to play Like Jimi" DVD I have he used them on "Spanish Castle Magic" (on the verses)

The verse goes (power chords) | B | Bb A | Ab (which the instructors says is actually a Ab, Db Ab on the 6,5 & 4 strings).

For the opening try C#+9 chord with the open low E string playing the b3 on the bottom (try it - it sounds very cool).

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That may be cool but it's not exactly what's in Spanish Castle Magic. The C#7#9 chord has a C# bass, not an E bass. The riff starts on E, but then drops to C# which is where the chord comes in.
(I'm talking tuned down, of course. The original sounds like Eb to C.)
Code:
|-------------------------------|---------
|------------------------9------|---------
|------------------------9------|---------
|------------------------9------|---------
|7-7-7-------------------8------|------------
|--------9-----7-9---9----------|----------
 1   .   2   .   3   .   4   .  |

I'd always thought he got the 7#9 from the Beatles (Taxman, You Can't Do That) - or maybe even Kenny Burrell's Chitlins Con Carne - and he may well have first heard the sound on one of those tracks but not known what it was - but here's the apparent inside story:

(Playing them a half-step apart like he does could come from the old jazz standard Black Coffee, or Miles's All Blues.)
 

Bluesful

Silver Supporting Member
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44,111
I'd always thought he got the 7#9 from the Beatles (Taxman, You Can't Do That) - or maybe even Kenny Burrell's Chitlins Con Carne - and he may well have first heard the sound on one of those tracks but not known what it was - but here's the apparent inside story:

(Playing them a half-step apart like he does could come from the old jazz standard Black Coffee, or Miles's All Blues.)

That was cool.

EK said augmented 9th? Is that another way of saying #9? He means the 9th is augmented, rather than the augmented 5th with a 9?
 

JonR

Member
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15,955
That was cool.

EK said augmented 9th? Is that another way of saying #9? He means the 9th is augmented, rather than the augmented 5th with a 9?
Yes. Strictly speaking a #9 is an "augmented" interval, because it's a semitone bigger than major. But yes, it means it's easily confused with an augmented 5th, which this chord doesn't have.
It wouldn't matter too much to a jazzer, because an altered dominant usually has an altered 5th as well as an altered 9th, and "7#9" often stands for "7alt", where a #5 is possible.
But this is a blues tonic, of course, not a V7 chord.

"C7+9" = C7#9 = normal (perfect) 5th, raised (augmented) 9th; or just maybe a shorthand for "C7alt" (#9 with b5 or #5)
"C9+" = C9#5 = raised (augmented) 5th, normal (major) 9th!
- easily confused, right? (Never mind confusing "+" with "add"...:rolleyes:)
 

snouter

Member
Messages
2,152
Not sure why the "caged" thing came up. IMO that concept is a layer of memorization that only helps if someone doesn't know the notes of the fretboard. For example, is there such a system for piano? As far the the dominant 7 sharp 9 chord, he, and most serious guitarists, did that long before Spanish Castle Magic. As far as Root + 5th power chords, that really did not become a powerful tool until Black Sabbath. Hendrix was always tastefully embellishing by hammering on and pulling off chord tones and frequently adding 9s. The chorus and bridge with Fire for example are add 9 chords. It doesn't sound right otherwise.
 

Clifford-D

Member
Messages
17,045
Not sure why the "caged" thing came up. IMO that concept is a layer of memorization that only helps if someone doesn't know the notes of the fretboard. For example, is there such a system for piano? As far the the dominant 7 sharp 9 chord, he, and most serious guitarists, did that long before Spanish Castle Magic. As far as Root + 5th power chords, that really did not become a powerful tool until Black Sabbath. Hendrix was always tastefully embellishing by hammering on and pulling off chord tones and frequently adding 9s. The chorus and bridge with Fire for example are add 9 chords. It doesn't sound right otherwise.
In Angel Jimi used a run of power chords in the chorus,

C A | D D# ||: E | E EEbDDb | C A | D D# :||
 

Clifford-D

Member
Messages
17,045
Jimi would also use a 5th below power chord along with a hammer to the 6th.

A7
---------
---------
---------
-7____
-7_9_7
---------

It's like a variant of the classic blues rhythm

--------------------
--------------------
--------------------
--------------------
-7-7-9-9-7-7-9-9
-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5

I think of it as variant of the R&B hit My Girl as well,

-----------------
------------------
------------------
------------------7
-------------7-9-
-5----7_9-------
 




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