Foxy Lady is one of Jimi Hendrix’s most memorable tunes on an album of memorable tunes – the monumental 1967 debut record, Are You Experienced? As a piece of music, it is beyond important, it is groundbreaking. As a piece of rock history, it is immortal – the biggest, most furious noise from one of the era’s leading musical spokesmen. If a classic is defined as that which improves with age, then Foxy Lady defines classic rock. A brilliant amalgam of proto-metal, r&b, and Jimi’s own inimitable brand of innovative avant-rock, it remains essential – forever imbedded in the core of contemporary guitar lore – and is a must-know selection in every self-respecting guitar player’s repertoire.
Along with the Beatles’ “I Feel Fine,” Foxy Lady is one of a handful of rock gems which can be identified immediately – before a single note of the actual song is played. Like “I Feel Fine,” it is another 60s masterpiece which begins with the deliberate and artistic use of feedback. Jimi achieves the distinctive sound by moving, more accurately, shaking the 3rd string with finger vibrato, and bumping into the adjacent 2nd and 1st strings purposefully. He lets the amp feedback develop as a gradual crescendo (rise in volume) roar while keeping the string(s) in motion and turning up his guitar volume control. As with most instances of controlled feedback, the string energy factor is a vital consideration. And, as with most instances of controlled feedback, physical position relative to the speakers and output gain are further important considerations. Here are some suggestions. Experiment with your position by walking around in front of your amp as it feeds back. Make a note of where the different feedback notes occur for future reference so you can capture them at any time. Boost the output of your guitar with either a fuzz, overdrive, or distortion box (Jimi used the classic Fuzz Face), or some other high-gain-producing device such as a preamp or equalizer.
Truly a main riff, Rhy. Fig. 1 dominates the song in the intro, verses, behind the solo, and in the outro. It is a four-measure figure based primarily on a second-position F#m7 chord shape [Fig. 1]. Simple components are added to make it groove. Notice the articulation. Hendrix sets up a definite pattern, alternating between root notes (F#) on the 6th and 4th strings with a high dyad on the top two strings. In the second measure, he adds a B barre chord and an economical bass-line lick on the 5th string. A funk-inspired, partially chromatic line (A-B-B#-C#) in measure 4 completes the basic riff.
The chorus is driven by a strong chord riff, Rhy. Fig. 2, that employs Jimi’s patented thumb fretting technique. This would provide a perfect introduction to the approach as it is one of his simpler applications. It revolves around a particular form – a second-position chord which combines an F# major triad on the 4th, 3rd, and 2nd strings with a thumb-fretted F# bass note on the 6th string [Fig. 2].
Jimi’s brief but unforgettable solo is one of his all-time best. Played entirely in the 14th position, it makes use of the F# minor pentatonic scale (F#-A-B-C#-E) and the “blues box” shape, but incorporates the 9th (G#) strategically in measures 3 and 5 for a strong melodic result. This addition creates a six-note pattern often referred to as a hexatonic scale [Fig. 3], a resource employed by countless players, notably Carlos Santana and Eric Johnson. Hendrix’s lines are essentially blues-based with characteristic string bends and vibrato. Check out the familiar unison bend blues lick in measures 6 – 8 for a telling example. In the final measure, on beats 2-4, Jimi plays a melodic device known as a sequence. You will recognize it musically by its winding, serpentine effect. Though lead lines like this were an anomaly in the mid 60s, by the early 70s they had become a mainstay of rock soloing – largely through the pioneering efforts of guitarists like Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page.
It’s a part of Jimi Hendrix Foxy Lady guitar lesson.
Below you can download PDF guitar tabs and sheet music of
Foxy Lady with backing track
You must be logged in to post a comment.