All Along The Watchtower with a Gibson ES-339


Jimi Hendrix’s version of Bob Dylan’s,  All Along The Watchtower, is in my opinion the best guitar cover ever. The vision and skill he showed in the arrangement is just incredible. What amazes me about Hendrix is how little he made use of repetition in his music. Not a single lead guitar bar is alike throughout this song. Take also into consideration that he sang while playing this.

I attempted this song before during my final guitar practical exam at Allenby Campus, way back in 2004. Back then I owned a Gibson Les Paul Standard and an Epiphone Riviera. The Les Paul’s tone was never going to work, so I used the semi-hollow body Epiphone.

Recently I wondered what the song would sound like with my ES-339. I was pleasantly surprised. Obviously it’s not that classic Hendrix/Strat sound, but Gibson’s Classic ‘57 humbuckers has a nice bite and it gives a bit more beef in the lows and mids. Gibson Custom ES-339 webpage I also think the semi-hollow body has a warmth that can’t be matched by  solid body guitars.

For the slide section I used my new, amazing micro POG pedal to give it that 12 string sound. The most fun parts to play in this song are the solos and especially the section from 2:22 to 2:55, when the song really kicks off. Through teaching I’ve noted how most students only learn certain parts or riffs from songs. My advice would be to take a song you like and learn it from start to finish. What you’ll learn and gain is invaluable. Hope you enjoy the song and video.

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