Jimi and the B chord

From time to time you hear a story that is jaw-droppingly cool.

Last night I was chatting to a friend at the relaunched Waffle Club and the conversation turned to our first attempts at learning the guitar. He said that when he was 14 or 15 he was in a London music shop with a schoolfriend. Trying out the various exotic instruments and forcing his young hand into seemingly impossible contortions, another man in the shop came over and showed an interest.

My friend said that he could play E and A, but really struggled with B. Any guitarist will tell you that accomplishing a decent sounding barre chord was a major hurdle for the embryonic musician.

“Try this,” said the man, who demonstrated a couple of easier shapes for B that didn’t involve the unnatural stretch of the index finger. He went on to say that he was playing in a club that evening and invited the two boys along – aged 14 or 15 remember.

So who was this kindly guitar guru? None other than Jimi Hendrix.


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