He is considered by many to be the definitive guitarist, the best we have ever listened to. Jimi Hendrix rose as one of the most virtuous musicians with his instrument and his talent, mixed with determination and learning, made him one of the greatest. However, do not think that Hendrix was born with a divine gift, but that he had to work hard to achieve that degree of mastery.
His greatest success was undoubtedly his commitment to the cause, a skill that was his greatest attribute and led him to transform music forever while becoming the greatest guitarist ever. The story of how Hendrix learned to play the guitar is a story of how determination is the most important quality when starting any activity in our life.
The main reasons, surely, why Hendrix was so committed to learning and reaching perfection were the difficult circumstances that he began to play with as a child. His musical awakening came when he discovered a single-string ukulele. while helping his father clean an older woman’s garage. She, who quickly realized that young Hendrix was in love with that instrument, asked him if he wanted to keep it. Little did she know what she was starting with that ukulele.
Hendrix spent several days getting acquainted with his new instrument, a period in which he completely adored and, as noted in his brother Leon’s book Jimi Hendrix: A Brother’s Story, the child prodigy finally discovered that turning the peg on the top of the instrument made the note louder and louder.
Leon also describes how his brother, whom he affectionately calls Buster, learned to play the ukulele by ear, a sign of his immense willingness to learn. “If Buster squeezed it a little bit more, it would go even higher and vibrate less,” Leon said. “He started turning the tuning peg while strumming to make the pitch go up and down. Even though he was playing individual notes, I kept listening to a couple of Elvis Presley songs on the radio. Buster did it all by ear and matched the notes, “he added.
Playing live with his first group at age 17 also raised doubts of his own for Hendrix, and even though he was already mastering the guitar, it surprisingly didn’t feel natural on stage. “It was very difficult for me at first. I knew about three songs. When it came time to play on stage, I was shaking.”Hendrix recalled once. “So I had to play behind the curtains. I just couldn’t get close to the front. You hear different bands playing around you, and the guitarist always seems so much better than you.”
Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970) performed on his Stratocaster guitar at London’s Royal Albert Hall in 1969. / David Redfern/Redferns
He also adds a comment that could well be applied by any apprentice: “Most people give up right now, but it’s best not to. Just go on, just go on. Sometimes you will get so frustrated that you will hate the guitar, but this is all just part of learning. If you stand firm, you will be rewarded. If you are very stubborn, you can do it “, concluded the guitar hero in these statements collected by Far Out Magazine.
Hendrix could have easily given up after the difficulties he faced early in his career, after learning in the toughest conditions. However, that didn’t stop him from becoming the best of all time.