Hendrix and the Stratocaster

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by musguit, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. musguit

    musguit Member

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    Hi, I am new here. Are there stories that tell why Hendrix chose the Strat as his main guitar? Before he made it big, Gibson LPs were the guitar of choice to play rock mainly because of Cream, Bloomfield, the Who .... Hendrix's choice of strat probably was unusual considering the Gibson trend. I would appreciate to read stories why Hendrix chose the Strat. Maybe, without Hendrix, I would be playing a Les Paul today. Thanks.
     
  2. raja

    raja Member

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    Thank God that Hendrix chose the strat ...
    he taught us all how to generate sounds from that guitar and did things with it that nobody before him did that I know of.
    you cannot approximate those sounds on any other guitar...I know!
     
  3. Rock Johnson

    Rock Johnson Member

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    I think most of his choice had to do with the trem.
     
  4. stratplexi

    stratplexi Member

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    He would have sounded phenomenal no matter what he played. His creativity and phrasing I still find amazing 40+ years later. I am glad he played Strats. When you think about the fingerboard radius, fret size, pickups, etc. it really makes one stop and ponder why we get so worked up over this stuff. Damn...makes me want to go pick up a Strat...
     
  5. Nacho Strato

    Nacho Strato Member

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    They're sorta the same turned upside-down?
     
  6. GuitslingerTim

    GuitslingerTim Member

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    Hendrix chose strats for a number of reasons: they were plentiful and relatively inexpensive; they have a double cutaway body, which allowed him to turn them upside down and still access the upper frets; the longer scale length was more suitable to his huge hands, and more suitable for tuning down to E-flat with less setup problems.

    The availability of the trem was probably just happenstance.
     
  7. gmann

    gmann Member

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    I think his choice had alot to do with Curtis Mayfield and his influence on a young Hendrix. Maybe a little Pop Staples too. Alot of Jimi's playin' is spot on Curtis's style, need a Strat for that, although Steve Cropper does a nice job with a Tele.
     
  8. Rock Johnson

    Rock Johnson Member

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    Allow me to preface this by saying that I didn't know Jimi, he died before I was born. What follows is all conjecture.

    As integral as the trem was to his style, I find it hard to believe it was happenstance. The SG and V both addressed the access issue better than the Strat. I don't think it's coincidence that the SG and the Flying V he used both had trems as well, fairly unusual for those models.
     
  9. LarryN

    LarryN Member

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    This is what I'm thinking, also. He spent time touring with groups like that in his earlier years.
     
  10. EL 34 X2

    EL 34 X2 Member

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    Trems were available on many guitars at the time. Some were better than others. But none were without tuning issues. Perhaps the tonal possibilities of the three single coils was a major factor.

    The durability of a Strat for a cash strapped touring musician, the availability of used and/or pawned replacements, combined with the wide tonal palette made it a good choice. After he could afford any guitar he wanted it probably just came down to what he felt comfortable with. He used a lot of different guitar models over his recording career.
     
  11. mikebu

    mikebu Member

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    Why didn't Fender make him a left handed version?
     
  12. vortexxxx

    vortexxxx Member

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    Did he use the trems on the gibsons?
     
  13. GibsonLives

    GibsonLives Supporting Member

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    I've also seen pics of Jimi with an LP (though not many), and he ofcourse used a V on several occasions, but the Strat gave him that beautiful syrupy tone which I love so much in his playing, and while someone as amazing as Hendrix might've coaxed that sound from other guitars, I'm guessing it came down to tone.

    What I find most curious is not that he used strats, but that he used contemporary models while Beck, Clapton, etc., went for '50s stuff. I know a signature model was never produced in his lifetime, which makes some sense in that nobody had signature models (unless you count Les Paul, of course), but I hope they at least gave him some sort of endorsement deal or something, because he did as much for Fender as they did for him. As mentioned, Gibsons were huge then, and most Strat players liked pre-CBS models; Jimi was by far the biggest name using Strats of his day...though that's not saying much, since he was arguably the biggest guitarist of his day.

    Steve
     
  14. shane88

    shane88 Member

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    jimi liked to run the racks and there were just more righties available - not sure there were many endorsements goin then & if jimi would want an endoresment anyway
     
  15. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    If you've ever played a Strat > Wah > Fuzzface > Marshall 4-holer, you'll know exactly why he picked every one of them, at least for live playing.

    That combo is a living, breathing feedback (in a good way) machine.
     
  16. Kelly

    Kelly Member

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    Gibson wasnt making Les Pauls at the time...
     
  17. MatZen

    MatZen Supporting Member

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    That Strat was his soulmate. He knew he could truly transfer the sounds in his head into sounds people could hear on that guitar. Although he played many type of guitars, the Strat was his mistress.
     
  18. musguit

    musguit Member

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    ????Jimi made it big in 1967, of course there were already Gibson Les Pauls. You are kidding right?
     
  19. nrandall85

    nrandall85 Member

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    I'm pretty sure they weren't making Les Paul's from 60-67, so it would be much harder to walk into a music store and pick one up new. It would be pretty interesting to know how the History of Guitar Gear might have changed had he used one throughout his career.
     

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