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Interesting facts about Jimi Hendrix

 

Whether you’re a fan of rock music or not, you must be familiar with the name of Jimi Hendrix. Born in 1942, Hendrix was an American guitarist, songwriter, and singer. And, even though his mainstream career didn’t last for more than a few years, he is considered one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century and one of the most influential guitarists of all times.

Here you can read some interesting facts you may not know about Hendrix, his habits, and his career.

His musical influences

There were plenty of talented guitarists before Hendrix, but only a few managed to impress him. He cites as inspiration musicians such as B.B. King, Eddie Cochran or Elmore Jones. However, it was Muddy Waters that made Hendrix truly be aware of the instrument he was playing.

In an earlier interview, the musician admitted to listening to one of Waters’ old records when he was a child and claiming he was truly impressed by all the sounds a guitar can make. It was that precise moment that captivated Jimi’s attention and helped him turn into a rock legend after years of practice.

 

He couldn’t read the music sheets

Most people are not aware of Hendrix’s modest origins and his lack of interest in anything related to music theory. Although a brilliant guitarist, Hendrix was mainly a self-taught artist that didn’t even know how to read the notes. In all his songs he based solely on his talent and musical ear.

However, he was a true visionary and decided to communicate using words and colors instead of notes. He developed his own color code with each color describing a certain feeling. He used purple for anger, jealousy or rage, and green when he was thinking of envy.

Therefore, he would often use paper or tape to record all his musical ideas.

 

He took his inspiration from his dreams

Most musicians are inspired by their childhood memories, political events or their personal lives. However, Hendrix was always fascinated by his dreams and, in time, this became his number one source of inspiration.

In a 1967 interview, Hendrix admitted writing one of his most famous songs, “Purple Haze”, after a dream he had.

An interesting personal life

Apart from the genius on stage, Hendrix also lived an interesting personal life. He was allegedly the father of two children – a daughter and a son, but there were no paternity tests taken.

Hendrix also got into trouble with the police in various occasions throughout his life. He was arrested for destroying a hotel room, for driving without a driver license back in his teen years and for drug possession.

 

Meet my new favorite band: Greta Van Fleet

 

It’s hard to keep track of the new singers and bands with so much going on lately in the industry. In my opinion, I think that music has become less meaningful and that most artists are looking more to become famous rather than creating masterpieces that will remain after years.

And, while I don’t blame bands and musicians for trying to become more popular, most of them seem to either lack any trace of talent or make some really doubtful decisions regarding the way they promote themselves. Nevertheless, in an ocean full of small fish, it is always refreshing to hear new sounds that don’t seem to forget about the true pleasure of singing.

It is also the case of the band Greta Van Fleet, which has become my new obsession in the past few months since I have discovered it. So make sure to read below to meet my new favorites in the industry of music and learn everything about them and their fresh sound.

 

A short history

Although it was found quite recently, in 2012, this American band seems to adopt rather “old-school” music styles, such as blues rock and hard rock, genres that may not appear as modern as others.

The band consists of four different members, three Kiszka brothers and Daniel Wagner, and they were recently signed to an important music label, Lava Records. Although the band has been active since 2012, it was not until 2017 that they managed to become renowned.

The band recorded and released three different songs in 2013, when the drummer used to be Kyle Hauck and not Wagner. Greta Van Fleet managed to record its first EP in 2014 in a new band formula including Wagner.

They started receiving credit in 2017 after they released the studio EP entitled “Black Smoke Rising”. The debut single from the EP, “Highway Tune” managed to enter the US Billboard charts of Mainstream Rock and was appreciated by critics and fans alike.

 

Their personal charm

You might wonder why I decided to write about them as they may seem like a bunch of kids playing with instruments at first sight. To me, the most intriguing part is the obvious contrast between their looks and their profound and mature sound.

One of the critics referred to them as if they “were grown in the lab of some classic-rock-loving mad scientist” and I couldn’t agree with this statement more. After all, how could you refer to some music newbies who draw their inspiration from a legendary band such as Led Zeppelin?  

Their old souls definitely contrast their childish appearance, but I’m pretty sure once you hear them for the first time, you will give them more credit.

 

Things you might not know about Skunk Anansie

 

In case you didn’t know yet, Skunk Anansie is an English alternative rock and crossover band that was formed by the young British artist, Skin.

The early career of the band started in 1994 and lasted until 2001. The band’s members went on different musical paths and started their own side projects from 2002 until 2008. However, the band reunited in 2009 and has been active ever since.

Together, the band released six different studio albums, with a difference of 11 years between the third and the fourth albums. The most recent album signed Skunk Anansie is entitled “Anarchytecture” and was released in 2016.

However, there are plenty of things you might not know about Skunk Anansie, so I figured I would make a list of everything that might interest you regarding this UK band.

 

The lead singer

Skin, born Deborah Anne Dyer, is the lead vocalist of the band and, before getting into music, she was planning to become an interior designer. She became passionate about rock music in her teen years and she always wanted to be part of a rock band.

She started mixing as a DJ in college and was even invited to join a musical project. After one year, Skin accepted the proposal but the band was a failure and split up soon after.

After leaving the band for a while, Skin released two solo albums, in 2003 and in 2006. She also acted as a judge in the Italian version of The X Factor alongside Simona Ventura.

In 2013, Dyer began a civil partnership with billionaire heiress Christiana Wyly.

 

Name picking

Little after Skin met her future band colleagues, Cass, Ace, and Robbie France, they had to decide over the band’s name. The unusual name choice was inspired by Anansi, a spider god present in the African legends.

The addition of “skunk”, which is an English jargon for marijuana, had the purpose to make the name sound more “indecent”.

Side projects

Skunk Anansie gained its fame in the mid-1990s when it started touring alongside famous world bands such as U2, Aerosmith, Rammstein, Lenny Kravitz or Muse.

However, in 2001 they decided to go different ways in their musical careers. Skin was the first one to embark on a solo career and released her first album in September 2003. “Fisherwounds” was co-written alongside songwriter and partner Len Arran and was followed by “Fake Chemical State” that was released in 2006.

In 2002, Cass decided to join Gary Moore and Primal Scream drummer Darrin Mooney to form a band called Scars. They released a 2002 album also called Scars, featuring compositions inspired by great blues players such as Stevie Ray Vaughan.

 

 

Is playing the ukulele easier than learning to play the guitar?

 

To answer this never ending-question, I think we have to define the word ‘easy.’ From a beginner’s point a view, which will be the one we will use for this article, easy means natural. It means something you learn quick and without struggling too much. It is a complex debate that we will try to break down as simple and straightforward as possible.

Let’s just say you never came in contact with any of these two instruments before, and that you’ve just decided to pick up lessons for the first time. If you want to choose the one that is easier to learn how to play, because you love both their sounds, then you need to keep the following things in mind.

 

 

When we’re arguing about the physical side of learning to play an instrument, this is an area where the ukulele takes the crown. Its strings are much softer on the fingers, as these are made from materials that are kind to your skin, even if you play the ukulele for hours on end.

The thing with the guitar is not only that it’s heavier than the compact ukulele, which means your arms legs will get tired quicker, but most of the time the strings themselves are made of a sturdy metal alloy.  They will take some getting used to, and they can hurt the tips of your fingers until the skin in that area has hardened.

However, this argument can be nullified by the fact that you can find metal strings for ukuleles and soft string for guitars, especially if you own a classic acoustic guitar. Another thing that pro players seem to mention when it comes to strings is that they are interchangeable, meaning you can use the same set for both instruments if you make the proper adjustments.

Another argument that makes the ukulele win the battle is the fact that this instrument is much easier to learn overall. Its notes are simple to play, and it has a melody that gets stuck in our brains considerably quicker. A day or two after you’ve started to take lessons, you’ll find yourself playing the instrument much easier.

The guitar, on the other hand, takes years of practice to master. It requires a much more developed musical ear, and the structure of the notes is more complex. But the notes are more diverse too, meaning if you are someone very creative, playing this instrument will allow you to fulfill your artistic vision.

It seems that if you are a beginner when it comes to music, the ukulele might be the right decision if you need a starting point. If you want the best ukulele for beginners, you should read more on this. And since it takes no time to master, it can be the perfect segway into starting to learn how to play the much more elegant guitar.