What Instrument Did Jimi Hendrix Play? Iconic Guitarist’s Legacy Explained

Jimi Hendrix, an iconic American rock guitarist, singer, and composer, is often regarded as one of the most influential musicians in history. Throughout his career, Hendrix showcased his exceptional talent and skill, dazzling audiences with his unique fusion of blues, jazz, rock, and soul. The electric guitar, particularly the Fender Stratocaster, was a pivotal instrument in his musical journey.

Throughout his career, Hendrix became synonymous with guitar virtuosity and innovation, pushing the boundaries of what the electric guitar could achieve. His instruments and distinctive playing style continue to serve as inspiration for generations of musicians, solidifying his legacy as one of the most influential guitarists of all time.

Jimi Hendrix and His Guitars

Jimi Hendrix, an iconic musician from Seattle, was well known for his prowess on the electric guitar. Throughout his career, he played various guitar brands and models, creating a distinct sound that continues influencing rock music.


Hendrix’s primary electric guitar was the Fender Stratocaster. He used this guitar to channel his soul, connect with his audience, and create the signature rock sound associated with his music. The Fender Stratocaster was the most popular electric guitar in the 1960s and 1970s, making it an essential instrument in the rock music scene during that time.

Gibson Guitars

Aside from the Stratocaster, Hendrix also played several Gibson guitar models. Some of the most notable Gibson guitars he used include the Les Paul, Flying V, and Les Paul Custom. The Gibson Flying V Electric Guitar, in particular, became an iconic instrument for Hendrix, embodying his unique style and innovative approach to music.


Hendrix occasionally played the Epiphone Wilshire guitar, demonstrating his versatility as a musician. The Epiphone brand, associated with quality and affordability, allowed Hendrix to showcase his talent on a diverse range of guitars.

Other Brands

Despite his fondness for the Stratocaster and Gibson guitars, Hendrix played several other guitar brands throughout his career. Some examples include using a Danelectro Bronze Standard as his second electric guitar and a Tony Zemaitis 12-string acoustic guitar.

In addition to his success with the electric guitar, Hendrix also dabbled in playing the bass guitar and the ukulele, showcasing his diverse musical abilities.

Through his mastery of various guitar brands and models, Jimi Hendrix created an unmistakable sound that inspires musicians today.

Jimi Hendrix’s Iconic Performances and Guitar Techniques


One of Jimi Hendrix’s most iconic performances was at the Woodstock Music & Art Fair in 1969. During this performance, he played his famous rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” on a white Fender Stratocaster, also known as the “Woodstock Strat.” This particular version of the national anthem showcased Hendrix’s unique guitar playing style, incorporating feedback, distortion, and inventive techniques that captivated the audience.

Monterey Pop Festival

Another notable performance was at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, where Jimi Hendrix set his guitar on fire. He played a Monterey Stratocaster, a model that would later become synonymous with his name. At this festival, Hendrix demonstrated his mastery of electric guitars and solidified his reputation as an innovative performer.

Playing Style

Jimi Hendrix was a left-handed guitarist who played a right-handed guitar upside down, which allowed him to create a distinct style and sound. He often used a wah-wah pedal and a fuzz face pedal to create psychedelic effects. Jimi Hendrix’s guitar-playing style was deeply rooted in the blues, jazz, and soul genres. He was heavily influenced by iconic musicians like B.B. King, Albert King, and Eric Clapton.

Hendrix was known for his ability to bend notes and incorporate vibrato, slides, and other techniques to create a unique sound. Some of his most famous guitar solos, such as “Purple Haze” and “Red House,” showcase his exceptional skill and creativity. His innovative techniques have inspired countless musicians like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Prince, and John Frusciante.

Furthermore, Hendrix played various musical instruments, including the 12-string acoustic guitar, the Supro Ozark, and other electric guitars with varying pickups. As a vocalist, he contributed to the rich legacy of the counterculture movement of the 1960s and beyond.

To this day, Jimi Hendrix is considered one of the most influential guitarists and is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His talent and revolutionary approach to guitar playing has solidified his place as one of history’s most unforgettable artists.

Impact and Legacy

Influences on Guitarists

Jimi Hendrix had a profound impact on the world of guitar playing. His innovative use of effects, feedback, and unconventional techniques inspired generations of musicians. Some of these techniques include playing the guitar left-handed, using a wah pedal, and employing techniques such as the thumb-over fretting method. The result was a new, unique sound that would forever change guitar playing and the rock and roll genre as a whole.

Revolutionizing Rock and Roll

Hendrix’s impact went beyond guitar playing; he revolutionized rock and roll music itself. With his fusion of blues and psychedelic rock, Hendrix created a unique sound that came to define the genre. The intense energy of his stage performances and commanding vocal style contributed to his lasting influence. Notable songs like “Purple Haze” and “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” showcase his innovative use of effects and feedback to create distinctive sounds.

Hendrix’s Place in Music History

Jimi Hendrix’s influence on guitar playing and rock and roll music solidified his place as one of the most important musicians in the 20th century. Widely regarded as the greatest electric guitarist of all time, Hendrix’s revolutionary approach continues to inspire musicians today.

His lasting impact on the music world is undeniable, and he remains an iconic figure that significantly contributed to reshaping how we understand and play music.

John Godfrey

John Godfrey is a music fanatic, as well as the owner of Songpier.com which provides music guides. In high school, he learned how to play the drums which inspired him to learn about rock music. He began to write articles for various music magazines and during this period he realized he had a passion for writing music descriptions. He has a Master's degree in music education from the University of Redlands.