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Jimi Hendrix Essay

James Marshal Hendrix was born in Seattle, Washington on November the 27th, 1942. Jimi had a style of guitar playing all of his own. He was renown for his rough style of playing. In this essay there will be comparisons made between Jimi and these other famous guitar players that were all around his era: Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, John Lennon, Jimmy Page, Jose Feliciano and Carlos Santana. Jimi Hendrix was so different to other players. All these artists have/had varied styles of playing.

Eric Patrick Clapton was born on March 30, 1945. He is an excellent musician. Eric plays blues/rock music. When he writes his music it is usually about things that has occurred in his life. One of his famous songs is “Tears in Heaven”. This was a tribute to his son that died from falling out of the fifty-third story of a block of apartments at the age of four. Eric’s playing was very clean and tight, compared to Jimi’s style, which is rougher. Each song Jimi wrote would have a main riff but each time he played it he would add different little riffs. Jimi played more rock and roll. Eric played more softer and smoother music.

Jimi Hendrix and Mark Knopfler are defiantly two of the best guitarists of all time. Mark was born on the 12th of August 1949 in Scotland. He has been with many bands but since the 70’s his main band has always been Dire Straits. Mark mostly plays rock and roll with his band but he is also well known as a solo artist. He is writes a lot of his bands songs, most of the songs are a sorts of clean rock and roll, a very different style to Jimi’s songs. Mark did not have a drug addiction unlike Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton.

Born on October the 9th, 1940 was legend, John Lennon. He is most famous for being one of the guitarists out of the band The Beatles. Sadly, John died on the 8th of December 1980. He was shot in the back, on his front doorstep of his apartment by a fan. The Beatles played a very wide range of music, but when the Beatles broke up John went solo. Ballads seemed to be what he enjoyed playing most. Jimi Hendrix tended to play more rock and roll then John. Jimi’s music was more orientated around guitar playing then Johns, because John Lennon seemed to concentrate more on the lyrics then anything else. John wasn’t as well known for the skills of his guitar playing but more for his singing and overall music.

Englishman Jimmy Page was born on the 9th of January 1944. He played in several rock bands but the band he has been mostly connected with is Led Zeppelin. While Jimmy has been in this band he has been performing mostly rock and roll, but before he joined Led Zeppelin he found out he was also great at playing acoustic guitar. Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix were both fairly similar, but there were differences with their view on life. Page seemed to have a rough sketch of where his music was taking him and maybe you could say he was a bit more organised then Hendrix. Hendrix way of living life was more relaxed and calm. The two as people were comparatively different but the two as guitar players were somewhat similar; Hendrix, seems to play more music that is at sometimes full on, whereas Page’s style as a soloist was mostly smooth and clean, but at times he liked to play rock and roll.

Jose Feliciano was a Spanish man, born at Lares, Puerto Rico. He was born on the 10th of September 1945. He has been blind since birth, but he does not let this disability hold him back. Although he started off playing pop and rock material, he changed his tune and turned to more mainstream Latin music. Jose moved to New York, (like Hendrix did) and by 1962 had gained a lot of fame and respect. Feliciano has played with a few bands but has never really been committed to any one particular group. Hendrix and Jose are like chalk and cheese; they are completely different from each other, totally different style of playing and very different personalities.

Mexican, Carlos Santa was born on the 24th of July 1947. Carlos at first was solely dedicated to playing jazz and funk, but as his fame grew he spread his talent further. He has played with many other well-known artists such as: Matchbox 20 singer Rob Thomas and Macy Gray. In 1967 he formed a band called Santana. The original line up consisted of a keyboard player, vocalist, drums, percussionists, rhythm guitar and lead guitar. As you can see it is a fairly large band. The band’s Jimi Hendrix played with usually just had the basic drum kit, bass guitar, vocalist and guitar but Carlos likes bigger bands with lots of percussion and a solid beat. Carlos is relatively similar to Hendrix in that they both love to have lots of guitar solos in their songs but Carlos just seemed to have the edge on Hendrix, not because of what they played but because of how they executed their music. Their personalities where to some extent comparable but Carlos was much more controlled and organised then Hendrix ever was.

In conclusion, Jimi Hendrix was a very different musician to any other in his time and since. He was very laid back and unaware of the outside world. His music was so different compared to Mark Knopfler, John Lennon, Jimmy Page, Jose Feliciano and Carlos Santana because they wrote lyrics about things that happened in their life and world affairs, whereas Jimi wrote about the seedier side of life. Perhaps if Hendrix had of lived to the age of the other guitarists I have stated here, he might have changed his style of writing lyrics as his life changed and he matured.

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