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What Guitar Did Jimi Hendrix Play? Several Actually: Learn How Jimi Made Magic Happen

What Guitar Did Jimi Hendrix Play? Dive into the iconic instruments that helped shape his legendary sound. Discover fascinating insights into this rock legend


Jimi Hendrix is widely regarded as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, known for his virtuosic playing, innovative techniques, and showmanship. His music and performances continue to inspire and influence musicians to this day. When it comes to the question of what guitar did Jimi Hendrix play, the answer is multi-faceted, as he played a variety of guitars throughout his career.

However, there are a few iconic guitars that he is most closely associated with, including a Fender Stratocaster, a Gibson Flying V, and a custom-built guitar by Roger Mayer. These guitars became an integral part of his unique sound and style, and are considered some of the most important instruments in rock history.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Jimi Hendrix, his favorite guitars, and what made them so special for this rock legend.

Let’s get into it!

What Guitar Did Jimi Hendrix Play?

If you are any kind of classic rock fan, you will probably be an ardent lover of Jimi Hendrix (or at least have a lot of respect for the guy). Some of his guitars are nothing shorter than iconic. 

But, what guitars did the great musician play? We’re here to shed light on that!

What Guitar Did Jimi Hendrix Play?

Read on to learn all about the guitars of Jimi Hendrix

The Most Famous Hendrix Guitar – The Fender Stratocaster 

Strats from Fender are completely legendary – and for good reason.

They boast credits in some of the most well-known and well-loved albums of all time, such as Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles, Cliffs of Dover by Eric Johnson, and Brothers in Arms by Dire Straits.

Jimi Hendrix played many types of guitars, but the most famous was his black and white Stratocaster, which he performed with most often.

Allegedly, the white Stratocaster was the only guitar that he brought with him when he first came to England in the 1960s, and he used this guitar during the Woodstock festival in ’69.

In a truly iconic rocker move, Hendrix painted and then burned a Fiesta Red Stratocaster whilst performing onstage at the Monterey Pop Festival.

Another notable strat that Hendrix owned was the 1968 Black Beauty. Some evidence actually points to this guitar being his favorite of all of his instruments. 

Related Article: What guitars did Kurt Cobain play?

The 1957 Supro Ozark 

Hendrix didn’t only play Fender Stratocaster though, as he only got his first in 1966. Jimi actually started out playing a 1957 Supro Ozarks as his first electric guitar.

According to some sources, he got it from his father, who had purchased it in the Myer’s Music shop in Seattle in the year 1959, for only $89 (although, that was A LOT of money in 1959).

According to other sources, the heartwarming story of a father’s gift is actually connected with Hendrix’s second electric guitar, the Danelectro.

In any case, Jimi played the Supro with his band, known as The Rocking Kings, around the year 1959, until the guitar was stolen from the stage at The Birdland Club in 1960.

Jimi Often played at The Spanish Castle Ballroom when he had this guitar, which was a popular nightclub in Seattle.

He later wrote and recorded Spanish Castle Magic, where he expresses nostalgia for hanging around the Spanish Castle Ballroom club, playing and trying to get a gig with a band –  unfortunately, though he wanted to revisit on one of his tours, by the time he was touring in 1967, the club was shut, and later demolished in April 1968. 

The 1960s Danelectro Bronze Standard

After his faithful Supro Ozark was stolen, Jimi then switched to a Danelectro Bronze Standard guitar when he was 17 years old.

He used this to play with another band named “The Experience”, moving on from The Rocking Kings.

In interviews, he said that the Danelectro was his first guitar, so it could be that the Supro was actually borrowed from a band member, and this was the guitar that his father helped Jimi to buy. He said: 

‘When I was seventeen, I formed this group with some other guys, but they drowned me out. I didn’t know why at first, but after about three months I realized I’d have to get an electric guitar. My first was a Danelectro, which my dad bought for me. Must have busted him for a long time.’

The Ibanez Jet King 2 

Taking a look at photographs, Jimi was seen playing an Ibanez Jet King 2 guitar a handful of times. Photography documents him playing it at two gigs in particular – at the Pink Poodle Club in Clarksville, Tennessee, in mid-1962, and later at another venue. 

When it comes to this guitar, the facts are a little blurry, though we do know that he had it soon after being discharged from the army. It went on to be sold at auction in 2002 for a whopping $1.2 million.

The Epiphone Wilshire (1961)

Jimi Hendrix played guitar with the King Casuals in 1963, using his 1961 Epiphone Wilshire.

This gig was soon after he and Billy Cox had been discharged from the military, when Hendrix was able to move from Clarksville to Nashville, in the latter part of 1962.

Shows with the King Casuals at the Club Del Morocco were Jimi’s first regular gigs as a musician, despite getting his first guitar at the age of 15. The Epiphone Wilshire will have been with him for the majority of this era in his career.

He got this guitar in early ’63, around the time he started performing at Club Del Morocco.

Hendrix’s particular model has a mahogany body, painted red, with a tortoiseshell black pickguard, two P-90s, and a set of dot fretboard inlays. 

The Fenders 

After this, Jimi went on to own and play a series of Fender models, such as the Fender Duo-Sonic, the Fender Jazzmaster, and the Fender Duo-Sonic (Sunburst). From here, he graduated to his trademark Stratocaster. 

He names his first Stratocaster Carol, but not much is known about this instrument. His girlfriend, Carol Shiroky, purchased it for him from Manny’s Music Shop in New York.

What Guitar Did Jimi Hendrix Play

He may have broken this guitar after splitting up with Carol, however. His second Stratocaster is probably his most famous and is the only guitar he took overseas with him.

In some stories, it is alleged that the guitar, finished in Olympic White, actually belonged to Keith Richards (The Rolling Stones), another guitar icon, and was given to Hendrix by Linda Keith, a British fashion model at the time. 

Another famous guitar of Hendrix’s is his Stratocaster, named Astoria Strat, which he set fire to when playing a gig at the Astoria, in London.

The scorched remains of this guitar were sold to a private collector in 2008 for $575,000. 

Final Thoughts 

In conclusion, there are many guitars that Jimi Hendrix used throughout his life. Today, we have discussed some of the most famous instrumental guitars that he owned.

He really was a Stratocaster man through and through, though, with many of his most famous guitars being Fender Strats. 

We hope you enjoyed reading our article! If you want more information about any of these instruments, feel free to explore our other articles.


What is the most expensive electric guitar?

One of the most expensive electric guitars ever sold is the “Reach Out to Asia” Fender Stratocaster. It was auctioned for charity in 2005 to raise funds for victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. 

The guitar was signed by 19 legendary musicians, including Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, David Gilmour, Brian May, Keith Richards, and Paul McCartney, among others.

The “Reach Out to Asia” Fender Stratocaster was sold for a whopping $2.7 million, making it one of the most expensive guitars ever sold.


The most expensive guitar ever sold goes to Dave Gilmour of Pink Floyd, sold at auction through Christie’s. The guitar was Gilmour’s “Black Strat” which sold for US$3.975 million, becoming the most valuable guitar ever sold, privately or at auction. It was purchased by Colts’ owner Jim Irsay.

Is acoustic guitar beginner friendly?

Acoustic guitars can be more challenging to play for beginners due to the thicker strings and larger body, but they can also help build finger strength and offer a more traditional playing experience.

My recommendation is to start with an acoustic guitar. 

Is it good to buy an electric guitar for beginners?

Electric guitars can be a good choice for beginners who prioritize versatility and customization options, but they can also be more expensive and require external equipment like an amplifier.

If your goal is to be a rock star, an electric guitar is your best bet.

Is electric guitar easier after learning acoustic?

While there may be some transferable skills between acoustic and electric guitar, the two instruments have distinct differences in terms of playing technique, sound production, and equipment. 

It’s not necessarily easier or harder to learn one after the other but your finger dexterity will transfer between the two instruments and make learning how to play an electric somewhat easier and faster.

Should I learn acoustic before electric?

There’s no right or wrong answer to this question. It’s ultimately up to personal preference and goals. Learning acoustic guitar first may help build finger strength and develop a traditional playing style, while learning electric guitar first may offer more versatility and customization options.

Is it easier to learn acoustic or electric first?

Again, there’s no definitive answer to this question. Some beginners may find acoustic guitar more challenging due to the thicker strings and larger body, while others may prefer the versatility and ease of playing an electric guitar. It’s important to try out different instruments and find what works best for you.

What is the average price of a quality acoustic guitar for beginners?

The average price of a quality acoustic guitar for beginners can vary depending on the brand, model, and features, but generally ranges from $100 to $500. Some well-known brands that offer affordable and high-quality acoustic guitars for beginners include Yamaha, Fender, and Epiphone.

What is the average price of a quality electric guitar for beginners?

The average price of a quality electric guitar for beginners can also vary widely but is generally higher than that of an acoustic guitar due to the added cost of an amplifier and other accessories. 

Electric guitars for beginners can cost anywhere from $150 to $500 or more. Some popular brands that offer quality electric guitars for beginners include Squier, Epiphone, and Ibanez. 

It’s important to note that higher-end models can cost significantly more.

Passionately invested in the music world for over 20 years, Jake studied music for 14 years at the Royal Conservatory Of Toronto. He has a degree from Champlain College & Bishop’s University in Business & Music. He is the owner of Fly Away Music & Media Studio in Montreal since 2014, with over 500 happy artists recorded, mixed and mastered.

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