Purple Haze Guitar Tab

As autumn rolled into winter, and christmas into the new year, we now find ourselves in 2015. Happy New Year from all of us here at London Music Factory! Through the seasons of each year we pass by some important music-related dates. Especially, November 27th. I never forget the importance of this date above all – the birthday of Jimi Hendrix.

Sadly, Jimi Hendrix died September 18th 1970 at the tender age of 27. Born in 1942, probably the greatest guitarist that has ever lived would have marked his 72nd birthday in 2014. I thought it fitting to dedicate this weeks article to him – providing the purple haze guitar tab so all you buddying Hendrix-ites can get it down!

jimi hendrix

Before we get into the music, here is a brief background on the man himself (skip below to view the guitar tab):

Born Johnny Allen Hendrix, Jimi was raised by his father in Seattle, Washington. A lover of blues and rock music, he acquired his first guitar aged 12 and by 16 he was playing with local bands. By the 1960’s he had turned professional, playing guitar for the likes of the Isley Brothers, Wilson Pickett, and Ike & Tina Turner. In 1965 he moved to New York and consequently, it was here he was noticed playing at the famous Greenwich Village. Chas Chandler (from “The Animals”) convinced Jimi to move to the UK with the hope of developing his career and as they say, the rest is history.

He arrived in 1966 and quickly became popular amongst the local musicians. Notably, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones were fascinated by his energy on stage.

Furthermore, he auditioned musicians for what would become his own (new) band. Deciding on bass player Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell, the three of them formed the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Their first recording session took place in France. Here they recorded two singles: “Hey Joe” and “Purple Haze”, as well as a B-side: “51st Anniversary”. Today we will focus on the Purple Haze guitar tab (riff only). You can listen to the song using the link below.


Now take some time to look over the scale of which this riff is based.

e minor pentatonic scale



purple haze guitar tab part one

Two and three:

purple haze guitar tab part 2 & 3

Four and five (final part):

purple haze guitar tab part 4 & 5

*Please note, there are numerous ways you can play this riff. When you watch different videos of Jimi performing it, he plays it differently on occasion – sometimes like the example shown above and other times further up the fret board. Also, he used to have his guitar tuned down a semi-tone to Eb (E flat). It was how he liked to play. Perhaps this was because the strings are loser and easier to get awesome bends going. Although this is just my own theory behind it. The Purple Haze guitar tab above is in the same key as the recording so there is no need for you to tune down as he did.

A lot of the genius behind Jimi Hendrix’s guitar playing was his sound. You have to try get a powerful, overdriven sound on your amplifier. Don’t go buying loads of pedals and effects. All Jimi used on stage was a Fuzz Face, a Vox wah-wah pedal, and a Marshall 4 x 12 cabinet played VERY loud. If you want to play like Hendrix, you must begin by playing loud.

If you are interested in improving your playing – whether it’s to develop further or learn from scratch – our local guitar tutors will help you accomplish your goals.