”Little Wing” is a song written by Jimi Hendrix. He first recorded the song on the 1967 album Axis: Bold as Love. It is ranked #357 on the Rolling Stone magazine’s list of “the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”, and has been covered by numerous artists, notably Derek and the Dominoes, 2 Cows in a Field, Joe Satriani, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Kirk Hammett of Metallica, Pearl Jam, Sting, John Mayer, Skid Row, The Corrs, Toto, Socrates, John Petrucci, Concrete Blonde, among many others. Stevie Ray Vaughan’s version earned a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance in 1993.

“Little Wing” is played using the unique chord/melody guitar style that Hendrix developed during his early career stints in rhythm and blues bands. In this style, the guitar sounds as though it is playing two parts. This is done by simultaneously playing multiple complementary notes, often parts of chords, and then changing a note within the chord to create a melodic effect. Other songs played in this style include “Life Without You” by Stevie Ray Vaughan, “Rainbow Eyes” by Rainbow, “The Boy From Seattle” by Steve Vai, “Yellow Ledbetter” by Pearl Jam, and “Under the Bridge” by Red Hot Chili Peppers. The unusual flanging sound of the lead guitar part is a result of the Doppler effect which is created using a rotating speaker cabinet, or Leslie speaker.

The studio version features a glockenspiel playing the root note of the chords.

A song by the same name appeared on Neil Young’s 1980 album, Hawks & Doves, but is a different song entirely.

Hendrix’s studio version can be found on numerous compilation albums, including The Ultimate Experience (1993). He also performed the song in concert, and some of those recordings are available on CD, including The Jimi Hendrix Experience.

The song was released as downloadable content for the video game Guitar Hero World Tour on 13th November 2008.

Edited by IVIuno on 9 Mar 2009, 01:40

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