Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Hendrix's Bass Playing

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by eViL cAkE, Feb 28, 2002.


  1. eViL cAkE

    eViL cAkE Guest

    Sep 6, 2001
    Just East of Dallas
    I have always dug the bass playing on The Jimi Hendrix Experience's studio recording of "All Along the Watch Tower." All along, I just assumed it was Noel Redding playing bass on that song. However, I recently learned that it was actually Jimi himself that recorded the bassline to "All Along the Watch Tower," (something about Noel getting upset and running out to a local pub to cool off). Anyway, Jimi's bass playing on that recording is as cool as anything James Jamerson ever played. :cool:

    Does anyone out there know of any other recordings of Hendrix playing bass? I'd like to hear more. :)

    Oh yeah, I also read (on the inside of the Hendrix Plays the Blues CD booklet, I believe) that Jimi actually played bass more than he played guitar with his first few bands. Too bad he didn't stay with it. :(

    Ta ta for now chums,
     
  2. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight

    Dec 25, 2000
    I hate covering AALTWT because the whole time we are playing it, I'm just thinking about how much the orginal bass line kicks the crap out of whatever I'm playing. It's not that the line is techincally hard, but it's way different than a usual bass line, which is why I never really learned it that good. I guess now that I know that Jimi was the one who played it, my ego isn't hurt as bad anymore. :D ;) :)
     
  3. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Another bass line that he apparently played was on "Manic Depression". A great line.
     
  4. Supposedly most of the bass on Electric Ladyland was done by Jimi.
     
  5. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Just saying...I really, really admire a guitarist that also can produce a killer bassline. That Jimi Hendrix could is a testament to his genius.
     
  6. Zirc

    Zirc

    May 13, 2001
    Los Angeles
    I think he might have played Fire too, not sure.
     
  7. eViL cAkE

    eViL cAkE Guest

    Sep 6, 2001
    Just East of Dallas
    Lefty,

    Well, I know for sure that Noel played Fire, because he mentioned (in a Bass Player article) the fact that when recording Fire, he went back to the intro figure towards the end by mistake for a bar or two but went back to the chorus figure when he found out he made the mistake. They ended up keeping that mistake on the final mix because it actually sounds pretty cool.

    Bye bye ya'll
     
  8. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight

    Dec 25, 2000
    You know, I always thought that it sounded like he was playing that, but Jimi wasn't. Now I guess you have answered why that is. :) I love playing Fire.

    While we are on Jimi Hendrix bass trivia, did you know that the bass parts on Red House are actually Noel playing on a 6 string guitar and not a bass?
     
  9. eViL cAkE

    eViL cAkE Guest

    Sep 6, 2001
    Just East of Dallas
    Hey Liquid,

    (in a fake Johnny Carson voice) , "No...I did not know that...that is some wild, wild, wacky stuff..I did not know that.

    :) ;) :cool:
     
  10. Brad Barker

    Brad Barker Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2001
    berkeley, ca
    at the emp, they have an 8-string bass used by jimi
     
  11. Dave Mason has also received credit for the "Watchtower" bass line. Having heard a lot of Mason's bass playing with Traffic, though, I'd say "Watchtower" was probably Hendrix.

    Jack Casady played on "Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)."
     
  12. pedro

    pedro

    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    [Anyway, Jimi's bass playing on that recording is as cool as anything James Jamerson ever played.

    Jimi was a fine bass player ~ certainly a lot better than Noel Redding but he's nowhere near as good as Jamerson. I'm quite certain if he were alive, he'd be the first one to say so. I'm sure his days on the chitlin circuit with The Isley's clued him in on some solid r&b bass playing.

    [Does anyone out there know of any other recordings of Hendrix playing bass?

    I think quite a bit of the studio tracks was Jimi. There is an article floating around the web that has a great account of Jimi's bass playing. Do a search ~ it shouldn't be too tough to find.

    [I hate covering AALTWT because the whole time we are playing it, I'm just thinking about how much the orginal bass line kicks the crap out of whatever I'm playing.

    Really? I never thought Dylan's bass playing was all that tough to cover. (Smile). Actually, I'm one of those rare creatures that believes that nobody does Dylan better than Dylan ~ even Hendrix.
     
  13. eViL cAkE

    eViL cAkE Guest

    Sep 6, 2001
    Just East of Dallas
    Pedro,

    When I said that Hendrix's bass playing on his studio recording of All Along the Watch Tower was "as cool as anything James Jamerson ever played," I certainly didn't mean that I consider Jimi to have been as good an all around player as Jamerson. I was merely comparing the character of the line to Jamerson, due to it's equality to the guitar and the vocal parts. The fact that his playing showed that he actually considered the bass a real instrument, and not just a "tool" for support allowed him to sound like a for real bass player and not just a guitarist hammering out some uninspired, rooted line to simply leave room for his guitar playing.

    Adios amigo, ;)
     
  14. Funk Warts

    Funk Warts

    Jun 13, 2001
    London, UK
    Hendrix played Purple Haze - for the reason that they were waiting for Noel Redding to turn up at the studio to record the track, but he was too late so Hendrix did it. Unfortunately the bass is down low in the mix which is a shame because the line is played wrongly by about 99.9% of the people who attempt it. I don't know what Hendrix's actual line sounds like, but I do know that he didn't play the simple 'root' line that most people play, his line is incredibly hard...if only I could remember it. I attempted it once having got a tab off my teacher, but it was too hard so I gave up, I'll have to look for it!!!
     
  15. pedro

    pedro

    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    [I was merely comparing the character of the line to Jamerson, due to it's equality to the guitar and the vocal parts.

    Oh.

    [not just a guitarist hammering out some uninspired, rooted line to simply leave room for his guitar playing.

    You mean like say….Noel Redding? :oops: LOL! Clearly Hendrix had a great respect for the bass and he was a superb, natural musicians. As I said above, I sincerely believe that his time with The Isleys on chitlin circuit probably contributed to his bass playing abilities.
     
  16. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight

    Dec 25, 2000
    Who played the bassline to "Gypsy Eyes"? That has an awesome bass part to it.
     
  17. I know what you mean. I usually end up playing a hybrid of Hendrix's version and Bob Dylans original, which is more of a traditional bassline.
    I have read (and seen a few short clips) that Hendrix played bass when he was working as a backing musician. I would love to hear those recordings!
    Jim
     
  18. Funk Warts

    Funk Warts

    Jun 13, 2001
    London, UK
    Not sure if I'm making the same point as pedro here or not but, as far as I know, Noel Redding was a guitarist and Hendrix just threw a bass at him and told him to play.

    In regard to Hendrix's attitude to the bass, I get the impression that he did appreciate the bass and cared what his bass lines sounded like, but I'm sure he was more concerned with the guitar!
     
  19. pedro

    pedro

    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    [Not sure if I'm making the same point as pedro here or not but, as far as I know, Noel Redding was a guitarist and Hendrix just threw a bass at him and told him to play.

    That's precisely what I meant. He wasn't even a very good guitarist and was hired primarily because he had the psychedelic look that Chas Chandler and Hendrix were looking for. Frankly, Hendrix would have been much better off bass-wise letting Chandler handle the bass.

    [but I'm sure he was more concerned with the guitar!

    Indeed. But make no mistake I saw Hendrix in '68 and was one of the most 'natural' musicians I've ever seen. It came to him remarkably easy.
     
  20. I agree with you there! As great as some of the Dylan covers are (I also like Claptons 'Knocking..' and Neil Youngs 'AATWT', and there is a chick that recently did a great cover of 'Dont Think Twice...') none of them have that same feeling (or THAT voice!) that Dylan has.

    Anyway, back on topic, 'The Wind Cries Mary' and 'Hey Joe' both have nice ( but simple) basslines, Im guessing were Noel's?
    Jim