Buzz Osborne discusses Jimi Hendrix’s “weird” guitar playing style: “His technique is wrong”

“There’s not a guitar teacher in the world that would ever teach anyone to play a guitar like that.”

Jimi Hendrix and Buzz Osborne

Image: Tim Mosenfelder / David Redfern / Getty Images

When you purchase through affiliate links on Guitar.com, you may contribute to our site through commissions. Learn more

Melvins frontman Buzz Osborne has commented on Jimi Hendrix’s “weird” playing style and how the guitarist’s technique “doesn’t make any sense”.

Speaking on the new issue of Total Guitar, Osborne notes how despite Hendrix’s influence and reputation as one of rock’s best, there’s one aspect of his playing that is rarely discussed.

“In lots of circles, Hendrix is considered the greatest guitar player ever,” he says. “But there’s not a guitar teacher in the world that would ever teach anyone to play a guitar like that.”

Osborne adds that while Hendrix was the “best” at what he did, it was baffling how the latter had managed to carve out such an impressive legacy with his “weird” approach.

“It doesn’t make any sense,” says the musician. “Hendrix played weird! His technique is wrong. Everything is out of tune, everything is wrong, but he’s the best. If he’s the best, then wouldn’t you want to teach people that sensibility?”

Indeed, Hendrix’s unique guitar skills and sound have served as a wellspring of inspiration for countless guitarists, with many citing the late legend as a key influence in their own guitar journey.

Scorpions maestro Uli Jon Roth, for one, recently spoke about the “mind-blowing” experience of seeing Hendrix live, saying it was akin to hearing something “from hyperspace”.

“I always felt there was so much more to his playing than just guitar playing. That’s the thing that attracted me the most,” he said. “And that’s what I didn’t hear with the other players.”

“Most of the other players were playing just cool music, but with Hendrix there was always like a cosmic element. And when I saw him play when I was a kid, I just turned 14 or whatever — I don’t quite remember — January ’69, I saw him play in concert in Hamburg, and it was mind-blowing, quite literally.”

“The sound was like from hyperspace,” Roth recalled of the magical moment. “The guitar sounded like some superhuman being from space. Those sounds were completely new back then. Nobody sounded like that. No other guitar player sounded like that. And I soaked that up, and I wanted that sound. I can still remember it.”


The world’s leading authority and resource for all things guitar.

© 2024 Guitar.com is part of NME Networks.