13 Incredible Bands Like The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Written by Dan Farrant

The Jimi Hendrix Experience revolutionized rock music in the 1960s with its groundbreaking blend of psychedelia, blues, and heavy guitar riffs.

Their songs, like “All Along the Watchtower” and “Purple Haze,” have etched themselves into the fabric of rock and roll history, embodying the spirit of the band.

As one of the most iconic power trios in history, the influence of The Jimi Hendrix Experience is still felt today across various music genres.

In this blog post, we’ll take a journey through 13 incredible bands similar to The Jimi Hendrix Experience — from their raw energy to innovative soundscapes and virtuosic guitar playing. Let’s get started!

Jimi Hendrix Experience by Hannu Lindroos / Lehtikuva (Public Domain)

1. Cream

We begin with Cream. This British rock band legend came to prominence in the mid-1960s alongside The Jimi Hendrix Experience and was also known for their innovative fusion of blues, rock, and psychedelic music.

The band’s early career was marked by an intense period of musical creativity and experimentation. They quickly gained a reputation for their powerful live performances and their ability to improvise, which was unusual for rock bands at the time.

In 1966, Cream debuted with Fresh Cream; however, it was their second album, Disraeli Gears released a year later, that catapulted them to international fame. The album, featuring the hit singles “Sunshine of Your Love” and “Strange Brew,” is often considered one of the greatest rock albums of all time.

2. The Who

Next up is the English rock band The Who. Formed in 1964, the band played a significant role in shaping the sound of rock music in the late 1960s and early ’70s, similar to The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s influence.

Since their inception, The Who has given us plenty of eargasms with hits like “I Can’t Explain,” “My Generation,” and “Baba O’Riley.” Their 1969 album Tommy also gained significant popularity, particularly in the US. This album is often credited as the first successful rock opera and featured the single “Pinball Wizard.”

With such an outstanding record of great hits, it’s not surprising that The Who has received numerous awards. They have also been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1990), and the UK Music Hall of Fame (2005) and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

3. Led Zeppelin

One of the most successful and influential bands in the history of music is the English rock band Led Zeppelin. The group, formed in 1968, consisted of vocalist Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist and keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham.

We’ve received many great albums from Led Zeppelin, most notable is the RIAA Diamond-certified Led Zeppelin IV in 1971. It contained their signature song, “Stairway to Heaven,” considered one of the best guitar songs ever.

Like The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Led Zeppelin was known for their innovative and boundary-pushing approach to rock music. Specifically, Page’s guitar playing has often been compared to Jimi Hendrix’s style. Both guitarists were known for their use of distortion and innovative techniques to create unique and powerful sounds.

4. The Yardbirds

Emerging from the London music scene of the 1960s, The Yardbirds made a significant impact on the British blues boom during that time. The band was known for their innovative use of guitar effects such as feedback and distortion, much like The Jimi Hendrix Experience.

The Yardbirds launched the careers of three of rock’s most famous guitarists: Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page. Their early success came with a string of hits that included “For Your Love,” “Heart Full of Soul,” and “Over Under Sideways Down.”

Their music was marked by a fusion of blues, rhythm and blues, and rock, which resulted in a distinctive and influential sound. Recognizing their contribution to the industry, The Yardbirds were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.

5. Jefferson Airplane

We move away from British bands to the American rock group Jefferson Airplane. Formed in San Francisco in 1965, they became one of the pioneering bands of psychedelic rock, a genre that The Jimi Hendrix Experience also significantly influenced.

Some of Jefferson Airplane’s most popular songs include “White Rabbit,” “Somebody to Love,” and “Volunteers.” These tracks exemplify the band’s distinctive sound, which often featured distorted guitar riffs and surrealistic lyrics.

Jefferson Airplane’s work earned them a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. In 2016, they also received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. These honors underscore the band’s significant influence on rock music and their lasting legacy in the genre.

6. The Rolling Stones

Next, we have The Rolling Stones. Formed in 1962, their career spans over seven decades, making them one of the most popular and enduring bands of all time. Just like The Jimi Hendrix Experience, they were a significant part of the British Invasion of the US music scene in the mid-1960s.

The band is known for their blues-based rock sound and have consistently pushed the boundaries of rock music with their bold lyrics and innovative compositions. “Paint It, Black,” “Angie,” “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” and “Sympathy for the Devil” are just a few examples of fan favorites that have lasted decades.

Their work has been acknowledged with inductions into two halls of fame: the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2004.

7. The Doors

American rock band The Doors is next. Formed in 1965, the band’s lineup consisted of vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger, and drummer John Densmore.

Their music predominantly falls under psychedelic rock, blues rock, and acid rock. With their dark, mystical lyrics and blues-based music, they created a distinct sound that set them apart from other bands of their era.

Some of their most popular songs include “Light My Fire,” “People Are Strange,” “Break On Through (To the Other Side),” and “Riders on the Storm.”

These songs showcased Morrison’s powerful vocals, Manzarek’s psychedelic organ playing, and Krieger’s robust guitar work. This combination created a compelling musical experience, much like the fusion of rock, blues, and psychedelic elements in The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s music.

8. Santana

One band that shares similarities with The Jimi Hendrix Experience is Santana. With Carlos Santana at the helm as lead guitarist, the band became known for iconic riffs, use of feedback, and experimentation with different effects pedals, not unlike The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s style.

Santana became famous after their performance at Woodstock in 1969, where they played songs like “Evil Ways,” which reached #9 on the US charts later that year. Other popular hits from them we love are “Black Magic Woman,” “Maria Maria,” and “Smooth.”

Like many on this list, Santana earned a spot on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; they were inducted in 1998. Their song “Smooth,” from the album Supernatural, won three Grammy Awards in 2000 — Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.

9. Steppenwolf

Known for their gritty, blues-influenced hard rock sound, Steppenwolf successfully became a key part of the rock music landscape during their active years, much like The Jimi Hendrix Experience did with their unique blend of rock, blues, and psychedelic music.

Steppenwolf’s music often featured strong guitar riffs, pounding drums, and Kay’s distinctive growling vocals. Some of their most popular songs include the biker anthems “Born to Be Wild” and “Magic Carpet Ride.”

These songs not only defined the band but also became cultural symbols of rebellion and freedom during the late ’60s and early ’70s. In fact, in 2018, “Born to Be Wild” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, acknowledging its significance in shaping the music landscape.

10. Big Brother And The Holding Company

The rock band Big Brother and the Holding Company formed in San Francisco in 1965. They were part of the same psychedelic music scene that gave birth to The Jimi Hendrix Experience. In fact, much like The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Big Brother and the Holding Company played a pivotal role in shaping the psychedelic rock genre.

The band is perhaps best known for launching the career of iconic singer Janis Joplin. With her powerful and emotive vocals, Joplin became one of the defining voices of the era.

Among their most popular songs are “Piece of My Heart,” “Summertime,” and “Ball and Chain.” These songs showcase the band’s unique blend of rock and blues, punctuated by Joplin’s soulful vocals.

11. The Grateful Dead

Formed in 1965, just a year before The Jimi Hendrix Experience came to be, Grateful Dead rose to prominence alongside that band. They became known for their music, blending rock, folk, country, jazz, bluegrass, blues, gospel, and psychedelic rock.

Since their inception, they’ve delivered 13 studio albums and 27 singles. Some fan-favorite classics include “Truckin’,” “Casey Jones,” “Touch of Grey,” and “Sugar Magnolia.”

Despite their vast influence and dedicated fan base, they only had one top-ten hit during their career, “Touch of Grey,” which reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1987. Nevertheless, their influence in the music world and audiences was great; in 1994, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

12. The Kinks

Formed in the vibrant heart of North London in 1963, The Kinks was the brainchild of brothers Ray and Dave Davies. In the same vein as The Jimi Hendrix Experience, the band was also a product of their era and significantly contributed to the progression of rock music.

Their songs have stood the test of time, becoming timeless anthems. Standouts include “You Really Got Me,” “All Day and All of the Night,” “Waterloo Sunset,” and “Lola.” Each one displays The Kinks’ distinctive fusion of rock and roll, rhythm and blues, and pop.

Throughout their illustrious career, The Kinks have been honored with an array of awards and recognitions. In 1990, they found their place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, followed by an induction into the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005.

13. Deep Purple

Formed in the heart of London in 1968, Deep Purple was a veritable powerhouse of the hard rock scene. They weren’t just musicians; they were pioneers, trailblazers who helped shape the face of heavy metal and modern hard rock.

Deep Purple was gifted in crafting anthems that would echo through the ages. Songs like “Smoke on the Water,” “Highway Star,” and “Child in Time” — bold, powerful, and unapologetically intense — became beloved by listeners.

When it comes to similarities with The Jimi Hendrix Experience, both bands were instrumental in shaping the sound of rock music during the late 1960s and early ’70s. Their pioneering sound, iconic songs, and contributions to the development of the genre solidified their place in music history.

Summing Up Our List Of Bands Similar To The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Exploring the rich music landscape of the late 1960s and early ’70s often leads us to bands that echo the innovative spirit of The Jimi Hendrix Experience.

From Cream to Deep Purple, we hope you found this article enjoyable and perhaps added new songs to your playlist.

If you feel we’ve missed bands that should have made the list, we encourage you to let us know. After all, the world of music is vast and ever-evolving, and there’s always more to discover.

Photo of author

Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.