The Experience's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame biography states: "Jimi Hendrix was arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music. Hendrix expanded the range and vocabulary of the electric guitar into areas no musician had ever ventured before. His boundless drive, technical ability and creative application of such effects as wah-wah and distortion forever transformed the sound of rock and roll." Musicologist Andy Aledort described Hendrix as "one of the most creative" and "influential musicians that has ever lived". Music journalist Chuck Philips wrote: "In a field almost exclusively populated by white musicians, Hendrix has served as a role model for a cadre of young black rockers. His achievement was to reclaim title to a musical form pioneered by black innovators like Little Richard and Chuck Berry in the 1950s."
Hendrix favored overdriven amplifiers with high volume and gain. He was instrumental in developing the previously undesirable technique of guitar amplifier feedback, and helped to popularize use of the wah-wah pedal in mainstream rock. He rejected the standard barre chord fretting technique used by most guitarists in favor of fretting the low 6th string root notes with his thumb. He applied this technique during the beginning bars of "Little Wing", which allowed him to sustain the root note of chords while also playing melody. This method has been described as piano style, with the thumb playing what a pianist's left hand would play and the other fingers playing melody as a right hand. Having spent several years fronting a trio, he developed an ability to play rhythm chords and lead lines together, giving the audio impression that more than one guitarist was performing.He was the first artist to incorporate stereophonic phasing effects in rock music recordings. Holly George-Warren of Rolling Stone commented: "Hendrix pioneered the use of the instrument as an electronic sound source. Players before him had experimented with feedback and distortion, but Hendrix turned those effects and others into a controlled, fluid vocabulary every bit as personal as the blues with which he began." Aledort wrote: "In rock guitar, there are but two eras — before Hendrix and after Hendrix.