Hey Joe Solo

In this lesson, Charlie presents the solo of the classic song by Jimi Hendrix called Hey Joe.

The diagram below shows the position of the fingers on the strings to play the notes of the E minor scale.

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So, we're going to take a look at the guitar solo for Hey Joe by Jimi Hendrix. This solo is pretty much based around the E minor pentatonic scale. I will take you through that, and I'll do that right now.

The E minor pentatonic scale starts with our first finger on the 12th fret. We're going to go from one to 15 using our first to our fourth finger ... One, three on the A string, that's 12 to 14, 12 to 14, 12 to 14, 12 to 15, and 12 to 15. It might be a good idea to practice that scale ascending and descending using alternate picking ...

The way we approach this solo is we break it down into a series of licks, so let's take a look at the first one.

Starting off with our fourth finger, bending up the fifteenth fret, we want a full tone bend, so you might need to use your third finger to give you a little bit of a hand to push those notes up, or that note up, I should say. Fifteenth fret on the B string ... going to our first finger on our first string on the 12th fret ... come back to our 15th fret on our B string, and finishing on the 12th fret of the B string ...

Now we take our third finger, bend up and back down on the 14th fret of the G string ... pull off to the first finger also on the G string, third finger 14th fret of the D string and then return back to the first finger of the G string ... hanging a little bit of a vibrato on that last note.

The second lick starts exactly the same way the first one did ... now we want ... a bend up on our 14th fret ... coming back to our B string with our first finger, so as soon as you get to the top of the bend, cut that short and grab your B string 12th fret ... and then return back to your 14th fret with your third finger on the G string ...

So, so far ... first finger, now on the 12th fret of the G string, 14th fret of the G string, back to the 12th fret ... finishing with my third finger on the 14th fret of the D string ...

We now go to the 12th fret of the G string ... so we go: G string, back to D string, 14th fret, back to G string ... now we go into a little slide here ... you gotta slide on the 5th string up to 14th from 12th, down to 12th on the D string with my first finger ...

So, so far ... now you're to third finger on the D string, and first finger on the G string ... back to my third finger on the 14th fret of the D string ...

So, lick number one ... lick number two ...

Third lick, we're starting off with two bends, 15th fret with my fourth finger ... A little pause between the first and the second bend ... bend up a full tone ... and then again ... After those two bends ... first finger on the 12th fret of the E string, followed by my fourth finger on the 15th fret ... back to my first finger on the 12th fret of the B string ... B string, B string ... so it's 12, 15, 12 ...

Next part of the lick, we're going to bend 14 up on the G string with our third finger ... down to 12 with our first finger on the B string ... and up to 15 with our fourth finger on the B string ... one more time ...

Next part of the lick, we go to the D string with our first finger, and hammer onto, 12th fret hammering onto 14th ... underneath that, we kind of roll our finger across and play 14th fret of the G string ... and resolving that little lick on the 12th fret with my first finger ...

Lick one ... l ick two ... lick three ... which brings us to lick number four ...

First part of the lick, I bend my 14th fret of my G string up a full tone ... and I roll across 12th fret B string and E string with my first finger ... then I'm going to bend 15 with my fourth finger ... rather a quick bend on that last note ...

After playing the 15th fret with my fourth finger, I'm back to 12th ... with my first finger ... then I'm going to bend the G string on the 14th fret with my third finger ... first finger on B string 12 to 15 ... and then back to 12 ... and then also a bend back on the G 14th fret ... and then first finger on the 12th fret of the G string again ... third finger on the G string 14 ...

Now, we're going to slide up to the 16th fret with our third finger on the A string, going to the 14th fret with our first finger on the D string ... and then the 16th fret with our third finger on the D string again ...

After we've played our slide and the next couple of notes ... we now go back in to what we call the 12th position, with our first finger on the G string, and a bit of a vibrato. So, our final lick ...

Taking you through it slowly, lick number 1 ... lick number 2 ... lick number 3 ... lick number 4 ...

Let's add a little bit of overdrive and play through the whole solo, slowly first and then at tempo ...

Practice makes perfect. Make sure you work on the E minor pentatonic scale. Make sure you are nice and fluent without using alternate picking first off. Take each individual lick separately, join them all together and have a lot of fun playing the solo of Hey Joe by Jimi Hendrix.

Copyright © C. Pennell & J. Marco (cpguitar.com)