For guitar players, the definitive version of the “Star Spangled Banner” is when Jimi Hendrix brought the American National Anthem to life at Woodstock in 1969. Many have tried, but none have truly figured out exactly what the heck he played.
So this video guitar lesson is not really about playing “exactly” what Jimi Hendrix did. In fact, I don’t even have a whammy bar on my guitar…so there are no bombs bursting in air in my version of the “Star Spangled Banner”.
In the video below I’m going to play 2 versions of the song. The guitar tablature is on screen, and lower on this page. The first is the melody in a basic form. It’s in the same key Hendrix played in…the Key of E. This can really be played by anyone on any guitar. There’s no fancy stuff going on, you just play the notes.
Then the 2nd guitar arrangement of the “Star Spangled Banner” has a little Jimi Hendrix flair to it…minus the whammy bar stuff. But many of the embellishments that I do play are inspired by that Woodstock version. But it’s way more accessible than if you were trying to piece together the real Jimi Hendrix version of the “Star Spangled Banner”.
Really with both of these versions of the Star Spangled Banner, use them as starting points to create your own version. If you do have a whammy bar on your guitar…throw in some bombs bursting in air and ambulance sirens ala Hendrix.
Star Spangled Banner Video Guitar Lesson
Star Spangled Banner Guitar Tablature – Basic Version
Star Spangled Banner Guitar Tablature – Jimi Hendrix Flair Version
Jimi Hendrix Playing the Star Spangled Banner at Woodstock
Here’s a little inspiration for you. This is a video of Jimi Hendrix playing the Star Spangled Banner at Woodstock.