One Million Guitars – A chance for all children to discover music


Music is the only true universal language. The transformative power of music is unparalleled. It unites continents and humans like no other medium. Yet access to music education for our most vulnerable communities continues to diminish.

One Million Guitars is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Foundation on a mission to impact the lives of millions of children around the globe through the power of a musical instrument. Having early access to music education can transform the future of a great learner and affect the trajectory of their entire life. Apart from the subjective notion that music lifts the soul, it has been empirically shown that learners with the benefit of a musical training excel in other academic and creative domains. Yet so many of our brightest minds, those that can inspire future generations to improve our world, do not have access to a music education.

One Million Guitars, 1MG, is going to fix this dilemma, one guitar at a time. Under the leadership and vision of master musician David Broza, a lifelong peace ambassador and children’s advocate, over the next five years, 1MG will distribute more than one million guitars worldwide to children and leverage social media to create an online music academy and community of engaged, young learners.

These millions of kids will each be empowered by and granted a 1MG scholarship that includes a beautiful professional instrument built to last, online training by world renowned recording artists and professional musicians and access to local events and peer to peer training.

This all starts and ends with a kid with a guitar. Given the opportunity to surface the best version of themselves., millions of like minded children around the world will unite in a global chorus of personal growth, potential, diversity and peace.

Join us on this quest to bring the empowerment of music education into the lives of millions of kids.

How does it work?

1MG offers a 1MG Scholarship to young students that includes the 1MG signature guitar, extra strings as well as the 1MG starter instruction book. Students then need everything they need to start on their transformation journey. Additionally they will have access to online video tutorials created by some of the world’s leading artists as well as community contributors.

How can I help?

You can join the community of passionate individuals making a difference in million of kids lives in a variety of ways. Contact us to join the 1MG team and help in creating instructional content, doing community outreach and starting a 1MG group in a community in need as well as help our fundraising efforts. Contact Us

How do I contribute?

Head over to our GoFundMe.com page to contribute to our tax-exempt 501(c)(3) Foundation. Your contribution will go directly towards facilitating the 1MG program and manufacturing and distributing 1MG Guitars. Every $100 contributed facilitates another life altering event for a child that would otherwise never experience the transformative potential of a musical instrument.




What is Stratos? A Product Review


Stratos Brass Embouchure Training System

The Stratos Brass Embouchure Training System is an adjustable attachment for all brass instruments designed to improve your embouchure. The Stratos Embouchure System helps to reduce mouthpiece pressure by counteracting the natural urge to pull the instrument closer to your face. This will directly improve your range, power, tone, stamina and overall playing. The Stratos System is handcrafted in the UK from high-quality aviation grade polished aluminium and simply attaches to the leadpipe of any brass instrument.

Stratos
Get your Stratos here

Power Without Pressure

The Stratos Brass Embouchure Training System is a high-quality practice aid which reduces mouthpiece pressure and ensures a good jaw position. Excessive mouthpiece pressure restricts the flow of blood to the lips which results in reduced stamina. This is because the muscles at the sides of the lips are hardly being used and these muscles determine lip tension. The Stratos System encourages a balanced “floating” jaw position by reducing mouthpiece pressure and ensures the correct muscles are used. By using the Stratos System to encourage the correct position, musicians will develop an even tone throughout the entire range of their instrument.

Stratos
Get your Stratos Here

Fully Adjustable

The Stratos Embouchure System is incredibly versatile and can fit onto the leadpipe of any brass instrument. The system is easily adjustable to ensure the sprung cushioned cup sits comfortably against the musician. The Stratos System is handcrafted in the UK from professional aviation grade aluminium which is then polished to match the aesthetic of your brass instrument.

Reviews

“I want one and I want it now” Jens Lindemann CM – International Trumpet Soloist

“STRATOS is particularly useful in my warm-up, to focus my mind on the basics of a good embouchure set-up. Really useful … a great bit of kit” David Pyatt – Principal Horn, London Philharmonic Orchestra

“As an educator and a trombone player, I was so amazed with the STRATOS as a beneficial aid for the chops (lips) that every brass player should have. I believe this to be an invaluable tool for busy educators like myself. I would recommend it to all brass students.” Lord Chris Jeans – International Trombone Soloist

Stratos
Get your Stratos here




Intuitive Guitar – Major Scale Modes. A fantastic new App for guitarists



Why is it that many video courses, guitar lessons, guitarists, apps and tutorials explain the concept of modes for guitar over and over again? Because they are very useful of course, but somewhat fail as one usually ends up with fretboard diagrams filled with dots and patterns and it all seems like a big intellectual challenge to memorize all positions at once, all keys, all strings… so many different combinations, and how to make them sound musical and flow through them without sounding like a robot is going up and down a scale?

We believe the solution is learning through intuition and repetition with carefully designed objective oriented practice routines. Time is important, so optimizing your practice time is essential to make progress and stop wasting time.

This approach to learning the modes of the major scale for guitar is simple and effective, just play along a practice routine for 10 minutes a day and the whole fretboard will start to open up for you. The routines cover all seven modes of the major scale parallel to each other in the key of C. We are approaching guitar fretboard visualization in 3-string shapes that cover only one octave, which makes them easy to manipulate, instead of large 6-string shapes, CAGED, 3 notes per string or other conventional shapes. This process will allow you to always keep in mind the intervallic relationship of the note you are playing against the root. Basic modal theory is included and we focus on the 7 modes of the major scale: Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian and Locrian.

Features:
– New effortless approach to learning music theory and skills
– Fly through the 7 Modes of the Major Scale
– 21 well designed guitar practice routines for daily practice
– 14 Backing tracks/modal loops with advanced audio pitch-shifting, tempo variations, and an equalizer
– Fully featured tab section with zoom, fast scrolling, loops, tempo and tonality change
– Modal Music Theory
– Built-in Metronome

We think that in today’s digital world privacy is of the utmost importance. You can read the complete policy here: http://www.amparosoft.com/privacy

NOTE: If you run into any issues, have questions or suggestions, please email us to amparosoft@gmail.com

All content is property of AmparoSoft
All music is composed and played by Otto Reina

Download The App Here




A Fantastic Musical Project In Uganda by Innocent Wodonya

FFM’s  Uganda Ambassador,  Innocent Wodonya is raising money to help young musicians in Uganda. They need to buy instruments to continue the fantastic work already being done by the David Kiwana Wind Orchestra. Please visit their GoFund Site and pledge a few pounds/dollars/yen to help them give music to young people in Uganda.
Innocent Wodonya
Innocent Wodonya 
“We are a starting a wind classics band and we intend to give chance to our players  to play music and we really need your support for us to do it please whatever you give will help give a chance to one African child  to play music .
Thank you all  friends around the world .
Help spread the word!”
 Innocent Wodonya

The international language of music spreads love and friendship around the world and FFM Records will ultimately record and distribute a digital album for our Ugandan friends to create a sustainable source of income for the future.
The music education outreach that music provides is a priceless lifeline for many Ugandans creating  opportunities for personal development much needed in the area.

Please help us help these wonderful musicians be the best they can.
Roger Moisan LTCL PGCE
(CEO Freedom For Musicians)

Please Visit our GoFund Page



Why do we learn to play the recorder at school?


400 years ago, the recorder was so popular that people were writing concertos for it. Now, we associate it with primary school music lessons. We’re here to explain why…

Long before it was used as a teaching instrument, Renaissance and Baroque composers like Monteverdi, Purcell and Bach loved to compose for this small, whistle-like instrument. Here’s Vivaldi’s lovely Recorder Concerto in C:


Back then, all recorders would have been made from wood and ivory – a far cry from today’s primary school plastic numbers.

So why did we start using them to play ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’?

Fast forward to the 1900s, when Carl Orff – that’s the German composer who wrote Carmina Burana (the cantata which includes the epic ‘O Fortuna’) – thought it would be a great idea to use the soprano recorder as a teaching tool.

Aside from writing excellent music that would later be poached by The X Factor, Orff became instrumental in shaping music education theory in the 20th century.

His Orff Schulwerk encouraged learning music through rhythm and creative thinking, methods he thought to be much more effective (and enjoyable) than learning by repetition.

The work also called for a wider range of simple, easy-to-play instruments, specifically those with a similar vocal range to a child. Orff figured that if a child could sing the notes they were playing, they’d be more likely to understand it.

To him, the soprano recorder’s lack of strings, reeds, bow – or need to develop a good embouchure in order to make a half-decent sound on it – made it the perfect instrument to inspire children to play music. You could say the same for other teaching instruments, like the glockenspiel or the tambourine.

So do people still play the recorder seriously?

Sure they do! Recorders can be as small and simple as the soprano recorder, and as big and practically impossible to play as the contrabass recorder (there’s also the sub-contrabass recorder, which is even scarier). It looks like this:

Contrabass recorder

Imagine trying to play ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’ on THAT.

Here’s the Palisander Quartet, making the recorder look advanced and awesome:

Palisander: The Nightmare Concerto
Palisander Recorder Ensemble playing Vivaldi’s ‘The Nightmare Concerto’, arranged by Miriam Nerval.



10 Traits That Prove You Were Born to Be a Musician



It’s not a secret that musician brains are a little different from “normal” brains. As with any skill or profession, most of it can be learned, but certain things that you need to be a good musician come from nature, not nurture.

Do you show the symptoms of musicianship? Here are 10 established correlations.

1. You’re naturally curious

That door in your apartment that’s nailed shut? You’ve got to know what’s behind it. That trail through the woods that you see when you’re riding the bus? Sooner or later, you’ll get off a stop early to explore it. What happens when you put a bunch of big ball bearings on piano strings? You’re just the person to find out. Curiosity, exploration, and experimentation are bread and butter for musicians.

2. You’re not slowed down by rejection

Like salespeople, musicians have to hear “no” on a regular basis. No matter how great your act is, it won’t be right for every gig or every venue. No matter how talented you are, you’ll lose opportunities to someone who got there just a little sooner, someone who knows someone, or someone who sounds a little bit more like that club owner’s favorite artist. Although these rejections always sting, they also don’t deter you. You believe in your own voice and will keep working until it’s heard.

3. You have systems and rules for yourself and your surroundings

If musicians have a hard time accepting external structures, we tend to be eager to impose rules and restrictions of our own making. Musicians know intuitively what the right thing is. We’re likely to have strong opinions about domestic issues like dishwashing, laundry, and home organization.

A musician might have a no-eating rule in his or her car, or insist that all T-shirts have to be hung up rather than folded. This sense of correct practice is what builds the conventions and habits that form an artist’s personal style.

4. You’re reasonable in your dealings with others

Musicianship takes a lot of teamwork. You collaborate with bandmates, session players, studio staff, live sound techs, and (of course) your audience. You might be the brightest light in the room, but it’s highly unlikely that you’re the biggest diva.

If someone has unreasonable expectations or inflexible demands, it’s not you. Whether this skill is learned through your art, or whether your natural talents led you to become a performer, you’re always more likely to be peacemaker and negotiator than an instigator.

5. You don’t stay down for long

Ever work in the studio all day and hate the result? Ever lose a bandmate right before a series of shows? If you tackle anything passionately, you’ll have lots of little triumphs and little disappointments along the way. But if you’re moping on Monday, you’ll be back in the studio or on the stage on Tuesday. You don’t let a bad mood engulf you and color what you’re trying to do.

6. You have a lot of empathy

What makes a good songwriter? It’s not just wordsmithing – it’s empathy. How many great songs have been written about hardworking people crushed under some harsh system? Songwriters feel for others, so much so that they write songs from others’ points of view. This is why you’ll see so many musicians who have day jobs in caring professions, particularly helping the disabled in schools or job-coaching environments.

7. You get along well with animals

That empathy also translates into a love for animals. Tons of musicians have pets and many are animal lovers. Quite a few are animal rights activists. I challenge anyone to think about Sarah McLachlan without visualizing that ad with the sad puppies and hearing “In the Arms of an Angel.”You probably cried, too, even if you’re in a nasty punk band and have a safety pin through your nose.

8. You like science fiction books and movies

The real world? Boring. Artistic types like to create new worlds and explore worlds created by others. We like sci-fi and fantasy for this reason, and enjoy shows in which new viewers would be completely lost because they don’t understand the complex backstory.

Of course, since we’re veterans of creating things ourselves, we also tend to deconstruct scripts, calling out predictable lines that actors are about to utter. We like making fun of bad special effects, clunky direction, and bad acting.

9. You like fixing and building things

Music is a hands-on field, made to order for people who hate lectures and chalkboard notes and want to just jump in and do it. That’s why so many musicians modify their instruments, customize their band vans, and build all sorts of hacks in the studio or rehearsal space. A lot of us are drawn to carpentry, computers, electronics, and mechanics. We’re not afraid to rip things apart and see what makes them tick.

10. You laugh a lot

News cycle got you down? We’re all stuck on planet Earth, dealing with violent extremism, climate threats, and atrocious fast food. And we all have two weapons to battle the blues: art and humor.

Musicians are some of the funniest people you’ll meet, especially in groups. Ride to a show with any band that’s been together for a while, and you’ll be spitting out your drink. It’s a kind of amazing, vulgar, politically incorrect banter that screenwriters rarely get right. If we could just record chunks of that, we’d have enough material for a stand-up routine… or the lyrics to our next album.

Jesse Sterling Harrison is an author, recording artist, and part-time farmer. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, three daughters, and a herd of ducks.


Product Review – Zoom H1 with Accessory Pack, Matte Black £69.00 inc VAT

X/Y Recording Made Simple

The Zoom H1 Digital Field Recorder’s built-in X/Y microphone provides two matched unidirectional microphones set at a 90 degree angle relative to one another, optimum for most stereo recording applications. For X/Y or other types of recording, you can connect a pair of external microphones or line level signal to the H1’s Mic/Line Input mini phone jack.

The Ins and Outs

The H1 Mic/Line Input is a stereo ⅛” mini phone jack that can accept two mic- and/or line-level signals. Condenser microphones requiring Plug-In Power (2.5 volts) can be connected to this jack. The H1 Line/Headphones Output is a stereo ⅛” phone jack with a dedicated volume control. Headphones can be connected here for private monitoring. There’s also a built-in speaker on the back panel for fast monophonic monitoring of the recorded signal without the need to make any connections. The H1’s USB port provides a digital output of the stereo mix and allows data to be sent to and from your computer. From there, it can be imported into editing software such as the supplied WaveLab LE. It also allows the H1 to be used as a 2-in/2-out audio interface and USB microphone, as well as a microSD card reader.

Auto Level and Low Cut Filter

Overload and distortion are prevented with the H1’s Auto Level function that sets input gain automatically (input level can be set manually, too). The H1 also provides a built-in low cut filter for the elimination of pops, wind noise, blowing, and other kinds of low frequency rumble.

WAV and MP3 Support

The Zoom H1 records audio in both WAV and MP3 formats. The WAV files recorded by the H1 can be either 16- or 24-bit, with sampling rates of 44.1, 48, or 96 kHz, and are automatically time-stamped, making them Broadcast Wave Format (BWF) compliant – ideal for journalists and other professional media.

Battery Life and Recording

The H1 Digital Field Recorder requires just a single AA battery – offering up to 10 hours of operation, even during continuous recording. You can also power the H1 from any standard wall socket using the optional AD-17 AC adapter. The H1 records directly to microSD and microSDHC cards, up to 32 gigabytes.

High Quality Video Audio

The compact, lightweight H1 is perfect for use on a video or DSLR camera. The remarkable depth and clarity of sound achieved by the stereo X/Y mic design brings additional realism and depth to HD video. By combining the H1 with a DSLR video camera, you can create a professional video system with high-quality sound.

Included Accessory Pack

Additionally, the Zoom H1 comes with a useful bunch of accessories that allows you to get the most out of the Zoom H1 recorder. Included is a windscreen that minimises wind noise in demanding weather conditions, helping to retain the audio quality from the H1. The adjustable desktop tripod stabilises your recorder when on the move, or at home, and minimises handle noise to ensure clean recordings. The soft case ensures protection for your H1 during transport and storage. The accessory pack also includes an AC adapter, USB cable, and mic stand clip adapter, allowing you to charge the recorder, and seamlessly transfer files onto a computer or storage device.

What’s Included In Accessory Pack

  • Windscreen
  • Mic stand clip adapter
  • Adjustable desktop tripod
  • Soft case
  • AC adapter
  • USB cable

Reviews

“The Zoom H1 Handy Recorder is unquestionably a bargain” – PC Advisor

“For such a small unit it really can do some impressive recording and will definitely get the job done. Whether you are recording an interview or live music the H1 would be a great tool.” – Videomaker Magazine

Features

  • Built-in 90° X/Y stereo mic
  • Stereo ⅛” Mic/Line Input mini phone jack with Plug-in power (2.5V)
  • Stereo ⅛” Phones/Line Output jack with dedicated volume control
  • Built-in reference speaker for fast monitoring
  • Backlit LCD display
  • Records directly to microSD and microSDHC cards up to 32 GB
  • Supports up to 24-bit/96 kHz audio in BWF-compliant WAV or a variety of MP3 formats
  • Auto Level for automatic control of input level
  • Low-cut filter for elimination of wind noise and rumble
  • Up to 99 marks per recording
  • USB port for data transfer to computer and use as an audio interface and USB microphone
  • SD card reader function
  • Mounts directly to tripod, or to mic stand or DSLR with optional adapter
  • Runs on only 1 standard AA alkaline or NiMH rechargeable battery
  • Up to 10 hours of operation with a single AA alkaline battery

Specifications

  • Simultaneous recording tracks: 2
  • Simultaneous playback tracks: 2
  • Functions: Lo-cut Filter, Auto REC Level, Marker
  • Recording/playback format:
    • WAV: 44.1 / 48 / 96kHz, 16- / 24-bit
    • MP3: 44.1kHz 48/56/64/80/96/112/128/160/192/224/256/320kbps
  • A/D conversion: 24-bit, 128x oversampling
  • D/A conversion: 24-bit, 128x oversampling
  • Signal processing: 32-bit
  • Recording media: microSD card (16MB – 2GB), microSDHC card (4GB – 32GB)
  • Display: 127 segment custom LCD (with backlight)
  • Built-in stereo mic: Unidirectional condenser
  • Gain: 0 to +39dB
  • Minimum gain with digital attenuation: -28dB
  • Maximum sound pressure level: 120dB SPL
  • Mic/line input: 1/8″ stereo phone jack (Plug-in power supported)
  • Input Impedance: 2kΩ (Input level: 0 to -39dBm)
  • Phones/line output: 1/8″ stereo phone jack
  • Output load impedance: 10kΩ or more
  • Rated output level: -10dBm
  • Phones output level: 20mW + 20mW into 32Ω load
  • Output load impedance: 10kΩ or more
  • Rated output level: -10dBm
  • USB interface:
    • Type: Mini-B type (USB 2.0 High Speed compatible), Mass Storage Class operation
    • Format: 44.1 kHz/16-bit or 48 kHz/16-bit
  • Power requirements: Alkaline or Ni-MH AA battery x 1, or AC adapter (AD-17, USB to AC type)
  • Battery life (alkaline batteries): 10 hours (MP3), 9.5 hours (WAV)
  • Dimensions: 44(W) x 136(D) x 31(H)mm
  • Weight: 60g (without batteries)
Zoom H1
Zoom H1 Handy Recorder £69.00 inc VAT



 

Freedom for Musicians – From concept, to birth, to flourishing brain child

Roger Moisan, Founder and Director, Freedom for Musicians
Roger Moisan, Founder/Director, Freedom for Musicians

At the beginning of 2016, I had an idea that I wanted to do something digitally/online that would help fellow musicians and be something that I could give back to the industry. My legacy if you like.

Now, I had no idea what it would be or how to do it so I set about learning the tech, digital marketing and website building. This was quite daunting for this fifty-something dinosaur but I quickly discovered that this modern sorcery was actually pretty easy. (Big thanks to DBL and SFM )

Hence, Freedom for Musicians was born. To be honest, the early manifestation of FFM was quite embarrassing in hindsight with no real identity and clumsy tech. However, I persevered and we now have a thriving online music magazine, independent record label and growing community of nearly 5000 musicians worldwide. FFM has Ambassadors representing Uganda, Kenya, Ghana, Canada, India, Azerbaijan, Czech Republic, Italy, USA, UK, Jersey CI and Indonesia. My initial concept has come a long way in a very short amount of time and I am immensely proud of our achievements so far,

Our focus now is to serve our members through publishing their music, videos and blogs. We advertise their products and services and release their music digitally in all stores world wide.

Please take a few moments to check out Freedom for Musicians as it now exists:

Website ffmrecords.com

Our Community on Facebook

Corporate Marketing

For more information and to contact me, Roger Moisan, email rogermoisan@yahoo.co.uk or message me at Linkedin




Trumpet Place – The New Agency for Trumpet Teachers and Students

Learn from the best.

Everyone starts playing trumpet at different ages, but we all start as beginners. From the first cracked note to all three movements of the Haydn Trumpet Concerto, teachers from all around the world skillfully nurture their students’ talent on the trumpet.

TRUMPET PLACE is a website dedicated to bring trumpet students and teachers together in a collaborative space. It seems that many trumpet players in school don’t take lessons, simply because they can’t find a teacher!

If you’re a trumpet player, TRUMPET PLACE is the new online trumpet hub for students, teachers, and performing players throughout the United States. The mission of this website is to provide an affordable listing tool for teachers, so that they can keep doing what they do best: teaching the next generation of trumpet players how to fanfare, flutter, and feel that jazzy rhythm.

One of the most difficult parts of being a trumpet teacher is finding private students. It seems that less and less musicians go into private teaching because not enough students want to take private lessons. The truth is, they don’t know where to find us!

Whether you choose to teach virtually or in person, TRUMPET PLACE provides the platform for students to find you where you are. Help parents learn about your location, your schooling, credentials, and any other information to help them make a decision.

You’ll even get your own fancy webpage, right here at TrumpetPlace.com!




It’s been 50 years since Hendrix’s ‘Electric Ladyland’ blew our minds


Go to the profile of Martin Johnson

The double album blurred the lines between musical genres and refused to let blackness be narrowcast.

For a kid born in 1960, I came to Jimi Hendrix’s music late. While I fondly recall lurking outside the door of my sister’s bedroom to sneak a listen of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and loving the iconic introductory guitar on the Temptations’ “My Girl” emanating from my brother’s room, I can’t claim that I stood in the hallway of my childhood home, in Chicago, playing air guitar to the power chords that introduced “Purple Haze.”

Then I went college. One night in 1979, probably in between Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and the Velvet Underground’s Loaded, a friend put on Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland and, like millions of other listeners, I was absolutely transfixed. At the time, I’d known Hendrix for remarkable three- and four-minute singles like “Manic Depression” and “Foxy Lady.” But hearing Electric Ladyland, whose 10th anniversary coincided with my freshman year, and whose 50th anniversary is upon us, was a game-changer.

On a personal level, it was an affirmation of sorts. As an African American with a diverse sonic appetite dating back to childhood, I’d been called an “Uncle Tom” by junior high classmates for liking Steely Dan more than B.T. Express, a taunt that left me with physical and emotional scars. Electric Ladyland confirmed that my interests were, and always had been, cool. Way cool. The album had a little bit of everything.

The jazz aficionado in me loved “Rainy Day, Dream Away,” while my inner blues lover dug Jimi’s take on Earl King’s “Come On (Let the Good Times Roll).” The rock head banger inside me loved “Crosstown Traffic.” By the time the recording ended, with a searing cover of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” and a fiery “Voodoo Child (Slight Return),” I knew I’d found my church.

So had a lot of people, especially African American listeners and musicians. More than any recording up to that point, Electric Ladyland refused to allow blackness to be narrowcast, and presented a vision of a diverse, accomplished African American future. Which is why it’s as powerful in 2018 as it was half a century ago.

Electric Ladyland’s inside cover. (Reprise Records)

In1969, legendary rock critic Robert Christgau raved that “no previous rock album flowed like [Electric Ladyland], and while jazz albums often support as many contrasting sonic moods, Louis Armstrong himself didn’t match Hendrix’s appetite for sound effects and general silliness. His spaced-out spirituality is the fullest musicalization of ‘psychedelic’ ever accomplished.” In 2017, Pitchfork ranked the recording number 11 in its top 200 recordings of the sixties. In his assessment, Nate Patrin wrote, “Hendrix was a master of both the boundless potential and the immediate simplicity of rock.” Yet this praise only skims the surface.

Electric Ladyland was released in October of ’68, a little less than a year before Hendrix’s landmark appearance at Woodstock, where his solo guitar version of “The Star Spangled Banner” would solidify his place in the pantheon of American musicians. It’s fairly easy to draw a direct line from him to other great guitarists like Robin Trower, Joe Satriani, Ernie Isley, Prince, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, as well as shredders in different genres like Robert Randolph (gospel/Americana), Gary Clark (blues/rock) Eddie Hazel (funk), and Mary Halvorson (jazz), just to name a few. But Electric Ladyland’s impact goes deeper than just the work of a virtuoso guitar player.

“I think that the impact Hendrix’s work had on me was the sheer power of his visionary imagination,” Vernon Reid, a guitar wizard and leader of the group Living Colour, tells Timeline via email:

Hendrix painted murals of sound, a cosmology of artistic freedom. He didn’t seem to have any boundaries to his expression. Even as he was deeply connected to blues, he was not hemmed in by that traditional structure. He managed to find a way to be free within it. Jimi became a capital-O Obsession. The opener of Electric Ladyland, “And the Gods Made Love,” was hardcore psychedelia, total aural strangeness, a preamble to a dream question, “Have You Ever Been to Electric Ladyland?” The answer was decidedly NO, but I really, REALLY wanted to go.

Hendrix’s vision, his uncanny ability to be rooted in many genres yet see beyond aesthetic boundaries, is what makes Electric Ladyland an inspirational touchstone for so many artists. Reid notes that his group’s 1990 recording Time’s Up owes a significant debt to the Hendrix classic, adding that “a record like Prince’s 1999 or Sign ‘O’ the Times doesn’t happen without the existence of Electric Ladyland.” Neither, he says, does Lenny Kravitz’s Let Love Rule or Miles Davis’s Agharta or Funkadelic’s Maggot Brain or any seventies-era tunes by the Isley Brothers. And of course, he says, “the DNA of rock from Seattle is suffused with what Hendrix accomplished with Electric Ladyland, which makes all the more sense, given that Seattle was Hendrix’s hometown.

 

Electric Ladyland’s influence can be heard on recent recordings by Solange (left), Kamasi Washington (center), and Nicole Mitchell (right), despite the fact that none are rock albums. (Saint Records/Brainfeeder/FPE Records)

Evidently, Electric Ladyland’s DNA still runs strong in the current generation of musical artists. Or perhaps the confluence of Barack Obama’s presidency and the rise of Black Lives Matter have played a part in supporting a vision for a strong African American future. Either way, several recent, sprawling, epic recordings suggest a sonic itinerary that includes the multi-dimensional realm of Electric Ladyland.

A Seat at the Table, Solange Knowles’s 2016 exploration of contemporary black womanhood, draws on many styles, such as jazz, gospel, and hip-hop, and reimagines each to create a polyglot rhythm-and-blues sound that both is rooted in the past and reaches far into the future. Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly, a 2015 meditation on African American masculinity, features a broad base of musical styles and goes so deep on the jazz tip that it provided the breakout moment for saxophonist Kamasi Washington, who then released his own appropriately titled recording, The Epic, which presents an Afro-futurist vision.

Flutist and composer Nicole Mitchell had her breakout in 2017 with Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds, which depicts a future world where technology and nature coexist peacefully. Mitchell, who was based in Chicago for more than 20 years, draws on blues, house music, and gospel, blending them seamlessly into an improvised context. None of these recordings are rock albums, so they haven’t been presented in the lineage of Electric Ladyland. But it isn’t hard to see their eclecticism and vision in a similar mold as Hendrix’s timeless double LP.

“Jimi Hendrix was lighting a pathway for, and setting a challenge to, subsequent generations of artists,” says Reid. “He showed me and many others what was possible to create and make happen. The greatest lesson of Electric Ladyland for me was finding myself.”

Back in college, while looking at the album’s liner notes (remember those?), I noticed that Hendrix was credited not just with producing the record but directing it, title that’s rarely used in recorded music. That’s because it isn’t simply a collection of songs; it’s one of the first concept recordings in popular music. What that concept is, of course, varies from ear to ear, listener to listener, artist to artist. “It wasn’t just slopped together,” Hendrix has said. “Every little thing you hear means something.”