Jimi Hendrix’s Signature Gibson V

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Jimi Hendrix Flying V Signature Guitar
Jimi Hendrix Flying V Signature Guitar
Jimi Hendrix Flying V Signature Guitar

It Wasn’t Just A Strat …

When people start throwing Hendrix’s name around what comes to mind?  A lot of things.  A lot more than I have time or space for in this article, but without a doubt amongst those various things is inevitably a reversed Fender Stratocaster.  How couldn’t it?  Calling it iconic is probably an understatement.

However it was not the only guitar he was known to play.  He was actually one of the few guitarists that saved the line of Flying Vs when he started playing it.

A bit of history

When the line was reintroduced back in 1967 he’d picked one up during a search for a new look and sound.  Over time he came into possession of several Vs, probably the most famous being the psychadelic V which he had painted himself.  In addition to this Gibson had built a custom left-handed model for him in 1969.

This guitar is certainly not obscure, but most definitely does have a place in the shadow of the aforementioned Strat that was made famous much earlier.  Ever since he’d gotten his mits on one in 67 he’d played them excessively for two years and continued to do so until his untimely passing.

This kind of begs the question.  What would Hendrix be playing today were he still alive?  Fenders and Gibsons still?  Ibanez?  PRS?  My money’s on an ESP with Digitech pedals through a Krank amp.

Perhaps a better question to ponder would be the fate of the line of Vs had Hendrix not started playing them.  Sure there were other guitarists that did much to bring attention to it, but Hendrix had a tendency to make everything he touched legendary, so who knows?

Hendrix had owned multiple different Vs with small differences amongst them, but as is common with Gibson tradition they shared big similarities.  They all had mahogany bodies with the traditional rosewood fretboards, two humbuckers, and a tremolo bridge of one variety or another.

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Kyle Smitchens

Kyle Smitchens is the Guitar-Muse Managing Editor, super hero extraordinaire, and all around great guy. He has been playing guitar since his late teens and writing personal biographies almost as long. An appreciator of all music, his biggest influences include Tchaikovsky, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Steve Vai, Therion, and Jon Levasseur of Cryptopsy.

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