if you were to begin a Jimi Hendrix tribute band and you want to do this...

Is there any specific mechanics or techniques you need to master to be able to play like that?

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    He might be using his hand to hammer on and pull off, and not really using the teeth. Or, he may have his pick in his mouth, again not using the "teeth". Steve Vai uses his tongue sometimes (and doesn't hid his face). So perhaps Jimi is doing the same. – ggcg May 27 '20 at 15:12
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    I always thought he faked it with hammer-ons, but you can clearly hear that's not the case. Also, it's gotta be really hard to hold a pick when your mouth is open that far. Let's just imagine for a second… he actually did it, as advertised, & clearly filmed. – Tetsujin May 27 '20 at 17:45

I wouldn't call that a "master" technique. It's a stage gimmick!

Hold the guitar up so the strings across the body are facing your face.

Push your face into the strings.

The flesh of your lips will mute all the strings.

Part your mouth a bit until you get your top teeth on a string. It isn't too hard to select a particular string, because you're facing the strings initially and your lips are very sensitive to feel the other strings. In a way it's like finding the holes with your mouth on a harmonica.

Your teeth and neck are actual strong compared with your fingers so you don't need to use much force to pluck the string. Sort of push down and back with mostly a neck motion. Pull back enough let the string ring.

For actual performance in front of an audience I would insert the tongue firmly in cheek! :-)


Rubber soles and a separate GFCI (RCD) on the power socket board for your amp seem to be the most important considerations for learning this technique with a view towards being able to showcase it alive.

Also, don't touch any microphone, microphone stand or boompole or parts of the stage or other performer while doing this kind of thing.

Electricity can kill. Giving it access to your mouth makes its work so much easier that it's a good idea to spend some thought on this angle of the equation.

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    If your power supply is already shorted to the mics, or other things, you should probably fire your electrician! If you make it alive even without putting your mouth in the, that is. – Tom Jan 19 at 20:17

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