Jimi Hendrix did not always have cut-and-dry solos in his songs. Many times, a chorus or verse may be mistakenly interpreted as a solo because of his style of play. Although, I have dug through his library to find out, what are the 3 best Jimi Hendrix guitar solos.
The three best Jimi Hendrix guitar solos are Come On (Let The Good Times Roll), Voodoo Child (Slight Return) – Live in Maui, 1970, and The Wind Cries Mary. Come On (Let The Good Times Roll) is a great solo that captures Jimi’s inventive use of effect pedals, fast-paced BPM, and various techniques like double stops and triads.
Continue reading to find out:
- The 3 best Jimi Hendrix guitar solos and why.
- What is Jimi Hendrix’s most famous song?
What is Jimi Hendrix’s Most Famous Song?
Jimi Hendrix’s most famous song is All Along The Watchtower. A cover of Bob Dylan, Hendrix’s version of this song is his only physical single to surpass one million sales. Before iTunes was shut down, it was the top seller of Jimi Hendrix songs. On YouTube, the song currently has 210 million views, the most on the channel. On Spotify, it is his most played song with 550 million streams.
Chart Masters researched that All Along The Watchtower had the greatest singular impact on its album sales than any other song in the Jimi Hendrix library.
3 Best Jimi Hendrix Guitar Solos
The three best Jimi Hendrix guitar solos are:
- Come On (Let The Good Times Roll)
- Voodoo Child (Slight Return) – Live in Maui, 1970
- The Wind Cries Mary
Continue reading to find out how each of these songs got their rankings.
1. Come On (Let The Good Times Roll)
The best Jimi Hendrix guitar solo is from the song Come On (Let The Good Times Roll). The solo features a fast-paced mix of wah pedal neck rundowns, innovative triads, and double stops.
This song was originally made by Earl King and Roomful of Blues in 1960 and has been covered by many legendary guitarists, most famously Jimi Hendrix. The solo appears on Jimi Hendrix’s album, Electric Ladyland.
The song itself is pure blues rock. Its faster pace lasts throughout the entire song with the solo being the highlight. The solo starts at the 1-minute and 14-second mark of the studio version and lasts roughly 50 seconds.
First, let’s discuss the effects. In typical Hendrix fashion, the fuzz pedal is in full force. Secondly, the wah pedal makes an appearance during this solo. The wah pedal used was likely a VOX but the fuzz pedal can be many things. During this album, Electric Ladyland, Jimi experimented with many different fuzz pedals.
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The solo starts with a classic blues lick on the high 3 strings, bending the G, and hitting the B and high string in repetition, all with heavy wah. This is all followed by the root note and then the meat of the solo. At the 1:34 mark of the studio version, Hendrix’s guitar mastery is displayed with a combination of perfectly timed hammer-ons and pull-offs.
The solo starts to wind down after Jimi plays fast-paced triads, starting to go into the five-chord.
2. Voodoo Child (Slight Return) – Live in Maui, 1970
The second best Jimi Hendrix guitar solo is from Voodoo Child, the Live in Maui version that took place in 1970.
The Maui performance was a live performance album put on by Chuck Wein. This Maui concert series was something Hendrix did not want to partake in but did anyway.
Voodoo Child (Slight Return) appeared on Electric Ladyland as the last track, although I believe the solo in this live version to be better.
The song itself is basically one long solo, mixed with the chorus and verses. For that reason, it is difficult to pinpoint where the solo starts and ends.
Treating the song as one long version, this version is guitar and sound mastery. The performance shows Jimi’s complete control of the sound and the dials involved in creating the massive distortion he is known for.
It is this control and distortion mastery that I believe exemplifies Jimi Hendrix as a whole, thus how it made this list. This solo was the peak of Jimi’s abilities, and he would die two months after sadly.
In this solo, Jimi makes his guitar sound like a laser and seamlessly does not miss a beat, allowing for the music to completely flow from his brain to his fingers.
3. The Wind Cries Mary
The third best Jimi Hendrix guitar solo is from The Wind Cries Mary.
The song appeared on the album Are You Experienced, and was an instant hit. It took 20 minutes to record, most of the guitar parts being new additions during 20 minutes.
The public, especially guitar players, loved how raw and melodic every aspect of the solo was. From the chord progression, embellishments, and finally the soft touch. It is a solo that continues to be praised as one of the best solos of all time. But not for its speed or difficulty, more for its ingenuity and harmonic perfection.
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The solo is almost entirely double stops and triads, with more than one note consistently ringing out. Up until this song, the majority of solos that existed in the blues world were single note compositions. This solo is different where less than 10% of the solo are just single notes, the rest is double stops. This solo is a perfect example of the impact Hendrix had on the guitar community going forward.
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