If 6 Was 9 (5:34)

Cover of AXIS: Bolder Than Love

From AXIS: Bolder Than Love and 7 other releases

“If 6 Was 9” is a song written by Jimi Hendrix and recorded by The Jimi Hendrix Experience. It appeared on the release of their 1967 album Axis: Bold as Love and on the soundtrack for the 1969 film Easy Rider.
The style of the song has been referred to as “acid-fueled blues”. The guitar solo is noteworthy for making innovative use of studio technology for the time, with stereo panning from left to right and vice versa, along with other effects, such as slap echo, fuzzbox distortion, and reverb.

There is some confusion as to whether Hendrix played a flute or a soprano recorder on this track. The credits list Hendrix as playing flute, but recorder player Rodney Waterman and Joe Vanderford of Independent Weekly refer to Hendrix’s instrument as a recorder. Early music enthusiast Nicholas S. Lander maintains that “the high tessitura, the typical ‘breaking’ between octaves, and other characteristics are more suggestive of a soprano recorder.”

The theme has been described as an “individualist anthem”.The lyrics portray the underlying conflict of the counterculture of the 1960s: the “social and cultural dichotomies” between the hippies and the “white collared conservative” business world of the establishment. Beginning with a blues riff, the lyrics accompany a “spacey” free-form jam, with Hendrix epitomizing the existentialist voice of the youth movement: “I’m the one that’s got to die when it’s time for me to die/so let me live my life/the way I want to.”


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Albums featuring this track (8)

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  • StaggerRach

    this is my fav Hendrix album.

    22 Mar 2013 Reply
  • Sulisk


    10 Mar 2013 Reply
  • ashrafoe

    Mitchell !!!!!!!

    3 Feb 2013 Reply
  • Ezekiel22


    20 Dec 2012 Reply
  • zombiesaresmart

    forever repeat

    15 Dec 2012 Reply
  • wongbing1997

    "Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!................Sing the song Bra!"

    22 Nov 2012 Reply
  • El_Salvador7

    Jimi sounds so good when he's pissed off. (He also sounds good when he's not btw)

    15 Oct 2012 Reply
  • metalhed00

    "So let me live my life… the way I want to."

    9 Aug 2012 Reply
  • Nimbie

    Axis: Bold As Love is Jimi's best album [2] and this is the best song on it.

    15 Jul 2012 Reply
  • TaraTheSweetPea


    25 Jun 2012 Reply
  • donodii

    Great track

    24 May 2012 Reply
  • wmcfaul

    let it be

    28 Feb 2012 Reply
  • Roy1968Wood

    Axis:Bold As Love is Jimi's best album. The first and third albums were pretty great, though.

    21 Feb 2012 Reply
  • pharmman52

    it's all been said many times there has and never will be better

    9 Jan 2012 Reply
  • astbury04

    First heard this in easy rider, excellent track.

    18 Dec 2011 Reply
  • goldengriffin90

    Mitch Mitchell kills this song. One of my favorite Hendrix Experience tracks.

    19 Nov 2011 Reply
  • zero000000000

    insane demo for 6 was 9!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    14 Sep 2011 Reply
  • Susanna-Cole

    Our dog (who is unfortunately old and doesn't know how to "play dead", yet, lies unnervingly and rigidly still for such extended stretches of time, you would think she was), suddenly came to life as soon as this song began ... Dog's got good taste, this is one of my favorites!

    18 Jun 2011 Reply
  • sas1983

    First heard this in the movie Point Break oddly!!! Great song though, Hendrix Experience FTW!!!!

    12 Jun 2011 Reply
  • prominence_la

    Mitch Mitchell at his best [2] And is it just me...or do I hear Jimi chewing gum at around 3'31"? Or am I just hearing things?

    16 May 2011 Reply
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