Hey, what’s up, guys! Today we’re going to break down the classic Jimi Hendrix song “Hey Joe.” There’s some really fun stuff to learn, so let’s dive right in!
We’ll start with the intro riff. Put your middle finger on the 3rd fret of the B string, pick and slide up to the 5th fret while letting the high E ring out. Go back to the 3rd fret of the B, then put your middle finger on the 4th fret of the G string, pick and slide down to the 2nd fret. Pull off and go for the full E major chord, focusing on the D and G strings.
For the next part, hold the A major chord and hit the open E, then strum the D and G strings followed by the top 2 or 3 strings. After that, you’ll have a little slide from the 4th to the 5th fret on the A and D strings, alternating with the open E.
The main chord progression follows a circle of fifths pattern: C major, G major, D major, and E major. Strum down-down-down-down-up for each chord. You can also add a lick between the chords, similar to the one in Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love.”
For a more Hendrix-style sound, try the Hendrix major embellishments. On the C major chord, use the inversion. For the G chord, slide up a whole step from the root, and play the 5th fret of the D string, muting the A string. Do the same for the D and E major chords.
The final part is the bass line, which Hendrix doubles on guitar. It’s based on arpeggios for each chord: C major, G major, D major, and A major. Start on the C root (3rd fret of the A string), then play the open E, followed by the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd frets of the low E string. For the G chord, start on the 3rd fret of the low E, then play the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th frets of the A string. For the D chord, start on the 2nd fret of the low E and play up to the 5th fret. Lastly, for the A chord, play the 4th, 5th, and 6th frets of the A string, then finish with an E chord.
Now go rock out!