Palm muting and the “Jimi Hendrix” chord…..

April 15, 2009 at 2:14 am (Music)

Hey folks. I figured I would address a musical technique that is often misconstrued; Palm muting, although often overlooked, is an essential part of hard rock and metal music. Many of your favorite songs probably utilize it without you even knowing it. Palm muting is when you use the thumb on your picking hand to push down on the back of each string to produce a partially muted sound. Its kind of hard to explain, but its easy to hear…I will use the popular riff from “Killing In the Name Of” (by Rage Against the Machine) as an example.

Here is the riff without palm muting: Killing In the Name Of Riff (not palm muted)

Here is that same riff with palm muting: Killing In the Name of Riff (palm muted)

Its adds variety to repetitive riffs and also has a menacing tone when effects are added. Another thing I would like to write about is one of my favorite chords; one that I have dubbed the “Jimi Hendrix” chord. Jimi was extremely innovative with the guitar as most of you know, and this chord is almost synonymous with his music. In the following audio clip I will play the chord and then show you how the chord is used in another riff by Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello (the song is “Testify”): Testify Main Riff.

Just thought I would share some of my favorite musical techniques…use them to your advantage!




  1. Robert said,

    The 7#9 is a great chord that is seldom used in the crap you hear on the radio.

  2. I wrote another guitar riff…. « Jonathan Cadien’s Blog said,

    […] is only the first draft…Ideally a riff like this would be played at a fast pace, partially palm muted, with a metal chord progression being played in the background. Let me know what you think: Dark […]

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