Lessons From Jimi Hendrix On Creativity

One of America’s greatest musicians… How did he get there? What inspired him? How can we as ‘normal’ people be creative like he was?

A little background Info on Hendrix: Born in seattle washington, he played with music stars such as little richard, buddy guy, janis joplin & many more.

Hendrix is famous for songs such as Purple HazeWho Knows?, & Machine Gun. These songs not only changed the world of rock music but the way people approached playing the guitar & creating music as a whole. How does one man create so many great songs that are so different, inspiring & timeless? Is there a sort of creative quality that some are gifted with that others can only ever dream of possessing?


The following are things that made Hendrix creative

…& consequently will make you great at anything you set goals at accomplishing



Jimi Hendrix was first described as a man who continually practiced & practiced & practiced. Notice what Jimi said when asked about his practice routine: “I like to play to myself… in the room or before we go on stage or something like this, or whenever I feel down or depressed or whatever, you know. I can’t practice though, this is always constantly, what do you call it? Like a jam, you know. It’s hard for me to remember any notes ’cause I’m constantly trying to create other things. That’s why I make a lot of mistakes.”

Some people think that getting good at something is all about spending time practicing. although this is true, it is only half of the equation. the other half is in what we practice & how we practice it.

What does the above statement reflect? There is such a thing as specific practice, where you get good at what you practice. Creativity is not a gift but rather like a muscle that one has to continually exercise to keep strong & to keep improving. Hendrix is a result of his very purposeful practice in creating music & melodies.



Have you ever had a day where you tried to create something but just couldn’t find the inspiration to create anything? sometimes people find themselves going through many dry spells of creativity & don’t know what to do to get the creative juices flowing. luckily for them just like many, Jimi Hendrix, found out how to always find inspiration & what to do with it.

When interviewed by the press, Hendrix was asked: “What inspires you? where do you get your inspiration from?”. Hendrix replied: “The people”. Nice! but what does this mean? And more importantly, how can we apply this?

Simple, as history shows, the best innovative ideas are not going to be completely original ideas nor are they going to be ours most of the time. Jimi Hendrix spent lots of his free time not only creating music but listening to the music of others. Any chance he got, he would go to see his favorite artists & bands play. People like the beetles, buddy guy, jeff beck, etc. How does this link to the above statement? In an interview about meeting Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck stated that Jimi told him that he took a musical idea from Jeff & created something completely different with it.

Here’s another way to think about creating something new. Remember how teachers in school would check our papers for plagiarism? There is no word that we can write that doesn’t already exist. therefore the creativity lies in the different combinations of punctuation that we use, the order that words are placed in sentences, paragraphs & essays. experimenting with different combinations is what helps use create the most valuable & “original” works.


Great, but I’m not a musician, what does this have to do with me?

The Lessons we can take from Hendrix are universal to all things.

1, If you want to be creative, practice creativity in the way you want to see it expressed. creative writing? practice creating different written pieces. creative graphic design? practice creating different graphic art pieces.

2, if you need inspiration to think about what you want to create, look at the creative works of those that you admire or want to be like (Where it is painting, writings, music, whatever) & see if you can make something similar to them without it being 100% similar.




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