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Jimi Hendrix and Little Wing

Updated on November 19, 2020

Little Wing

One of my favourite songs written by Jimi Hendrix, it has also been covered by Eric Clapton, SRV, Sting,The Corrs(!)

Hendrix version:

A lot of the sound of this track is down to the Fender Stratocaster guitar, where the clean sound means everything is very clear and distinct - you can hear all the nuances of the chords, which are terrific. Played in the key of Em, if it sounds any different it's because Hendrix often detuned to Eb. That is, down one fret or one half-step.The drum fill is great, love the whammy bar dive at the end of the the first solo, the wah-wah outro, the final chord.

The chords are: Em G Am9 Em Bm7 Bbm7 Am7 C G add9 F add9 C D Dsus4 D

You can use the Em pentatonic scale to solo over these chords:

String 1, 2: Fret 3, 0

Strings 3, 4, 5: Fret 2, 0

String 6: Fret 3, 0

You could also use chord tones, any of the notes in each chord as they change, or mix up the two different approaches.

It's a great song, but it's more than that - the covers of this song are paying tribute to Hendrix, and keeping the flame alive in a way.

Little Wing on harmonica

Other Hendrix songs

You might want to check out some of these other tracks:

  • All Along The Watchtower
  • The Wind Cries Mary
  • Purple Haze
  • Castles Made of Sand

All of them can teach you a lot of great guitar techniques, and a good chord vocabulary too.

Whammy bar

Many of these chords sound especially good when given some sustain by a whammy bar, as used on the Stratocaster. When this is set up right (which is rare!) it's a lovely effect on chords, with a fairly clean tone and the out of phase setting on the pickup selector switch. Give it a try.


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