Talk:Little Wing

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Songs (Rated C-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Songs, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of songs on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the quality scale.
Checklist icon
WikiProject Rock music (Rated C-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Rock music, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Rock music on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.


I added the lyrics, hope no one minds.

I guess it's acceptable, but I am not sure, though. I did not read carefully the docs about the rights of the author and the possibility to publish lyrics. I remember some sites did not post lyrics because of legal issues, but this is a very old. Some moderator should come and sput a definitive word about it, so that we can evetually add more lyrics.
p.s. post with the four tildes at the end please
Federico Pistono 11:46, 2005 September 4 (UTC)
This comes up every once in a while; the consensus says that it's a breach of copyright law. I've added an external link to them, which is our standard procedure. Thanks for the effort, though. Deltabeignet 03:49, 5 September 2005 (UTC)


I was wondering if their should be a section of the thought process leading up to the song, and why it is named Little Wing. However, I've heard two accounts on the matter - one that it was named after a flightless bird which became extinct in America (the translation from Apache of the bird being Little Wing), and the second that Jimi wrote the song about the atmosphere at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. I don't have any solid evidence to back either of these stories up, but was thinking that maybe someone else would have. The second account is from here.

I've found a third, mentioned in the Wikipedia article about Electric Ladyland, that Little Wing was the name of Hendrix's 'Guardian Angel'.

I'd heard that "little wing" was an allusion to Jimi's native american ancestry

from what i read in the book Room Full Of Mirros, A Biography Of Jimi Hendrix, the song is actually about his mother. While he did say to reporters that the song was about Monterery, he once confessed to his brother Leon, that, like the song "Angel", the tune is really about his mother coming down from heaven and giving him sprirtual support. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Reekie (talkcontribs) 21:30, 12 May 2007 (UTC).
According to the 2010 television documentary Jimi Hendrix: My Story, which quotes Hendrix's words entirely (for all two hours worth), Little Wing is about a woman who befriended Hendrix at a point where he was needy and his life in disarray whom he did not in his account have his stuff together enough to appreciate for who she was and what she was offering him, to his subsequent awareness and regret. Wikiuser100 (talk) 03:35, 17 September 2010 (UTC)


The last two sentences of the second paragraph are very POV. "The Curtis Mayfield-influenced chord riffing is breath-taking throughout the introduction and the tone of his guitar is clean and pure; a perfect balance between aggression and sympathy. This is Hendrix at his very best." If the "breath-taking," "Perfect balance...," and "Hendrix at his very best," are all subjective and not appropriate for an encyclopedia article, and if the person who submite the second paragraph could provide corroboration for any influence by Curtis Mayfield, that would be great, because otherwise I have to believe that's also subjective.

The Curtis Mayfield influence should not be too hard to corroborate. I do not have references to speficic issues, but I remember reading the Hendrix was influenced by Mayfield in numerous articles in "Guitar Player Magazine" in the 80's and 90's. Mayfield's signature on guitar was his use of "double stops" (two notes played at the same time), that were embellished using slides and hammer-ons. The guitar intro to "Little Wing" is heavily peppered with this type of playing (it is probably one of the most notable examples in the canon of electric guitar recordings). Mayfield himself can probably not be called the inventor of this style, there are plenty of examples of people using it before him (such as Chuck Berry during his guitar intros, like "Johnny B Goode"). It would probably be a good idea to reference a song of Mayfield's using this technique, but I do not have a title readily at hand. 02:47, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Tonal Center?[edit]

From the article:

Hendrix makes great use of the relative minor harmonic concept by utilizing a tonal center of G major, but introduces the tune with an E minor chord played with authority and a sense of immediacy. The awesome power in the first miliseconds are achieved by gripping the E minor at the 12th fret with the thumb wrapping around the neck to reach the bass note E found on the 6th string (Jimi had huge hands). A muted percussive blast preceeds the actual chord by a split second.

To me, it doesn't sound like the tonal center is G major (actually G-flat, because the guitar seems to be tuned down by a half-step). That argument could be made, certainly, but it sounds more to me that the song is in a straightforward E minor, which is the chord that ends most of the phrases. And as for the second sentence (ignoring the POV of the first phrase), why would he have to wrap around to reach the bass note E on the 6th string? That would be an open string in standard tuning; that is, the left hand would not be involved in sounding that note. And as for the acrobatics involved, it sounds impossible even for someone with abnormally large hands. So unless someone can provide some support for either of those positions, I am moving the paragraph to the Talk page. ArthurDenture 06:50, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

The thumb IS used to fret the 6th string many times during the song, I have an official songbook which specifically notes this, and it isn't remotely difficult to do for even someone with medium size hands. I can't speak to the tonal center of the song though as my knowledge of music theory is hardly extensive. User:PipOC
Yes, using the thumb on the 6th string is no big deal. Looking at it now, I think I the original poster may have been referring to an E played on the 12th fret of the 6th string during the initial chord rather than the low E on the open 6th string that is played immediately following that chord. So that part may be ok with some cleanup and NPOV, but I'm still skeptical about the tonal center bit. ArthurDenture 04:22, 9 January 2006 (UTC)


I'm confused how the style of playing this song is similar to comping. If anything it's opposite to it. The Thumb fretting the root is a way of maintaining a strict tonal center while allowing melodic passages to go on within the distinct harmonic structure of the song. Comping has little in common with this, as it's a means of improvising harmony, not distinguishing it. The Jazz technique I would most closely relate this to is chord melody. PipOC 04:00, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Since no one can offer a defense for relating it to comping I'm going to remove the following text from the third paragraph
"In jazz music similar style is called "comping".

PipOC 01:27, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

Live versions[edit]

It would be good to have a list of live versons recorded by Hendrix that have been made available. I think there are several. Bubba73 (talk), 02:01, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Alternative name...[edit]

I have recently discovered that this song is also known, and has been released on some versions of The Last Experience Concert: His Final Performance under the title of "Little Ivey". Perhaps someone should add a note to this effect on this article page?   Яєdxx Talk 17:06, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

Hard Rock?[edit]

I deleted the genre of Hard Rock because... Listen to the song! How is there any argument for that? Quentinisgod (talk) 05:11, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

Removed Deep Purple[edit]

I removed the reference to the song "When a Blind Man Cries" by Deep Purple since the song does not use the technique being discussed on the page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:34, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with File:Axiscover.jpg[edit]

The image File:Axiscover.jpg is used in this article under a claim of fair use, but it does not have an adequate explanation for why it meets the requirements for such images when used here. In particular, for each page the image is used on, it must have an explanation linking to that page which explains why it needs to be used on that page. Please check

  • That there is a non-free use rationale on the image's description page for the use in this article.
  • That this article is linked to from the image description page.

This is an automated notice by FairuseBot. For assistance on the image use policy, see Wikipedia:Media copyright questions. --14:44, 2 January 2009 (UTC)