Jimi Hendrix (November 27, 1942 - September 18, 1970) was an American musician, singer, songwriter, guitarist, and cultural icon. Widely lauded by music fans and critics alike, Hendrix is arguably the most influential electric guitarist in rock music history.
Mostly self-taught on the instrument, the left-handed Hendrix played a right-handed guitar turned upside down and re-strung to suit him. As a guitarist, he built upon the innovations of blues stylists such as B.B. King, Albert King, Buddy Guy, T-Bone Walker, and Muddy Waters, as well as those of rhythm and blues and soul guitarists like Curtis Mayfield. Hendrix's music was also influenced by jazz; he often cited Rahsaan Roland Kirk as his favorite musician. Most importantly, Hendrix extended the tradition of rock guitar: although previous guitaristsâ€”such as The Kinks' Dave Davies, The Yardbirds' Jeff Beck and The Who's Pete Townshendâ€”had employed effects such as feedback and distortion as sonic tools, Hendrix was able to exploit them to an extent that was previously undreamed of, and made them an integral part of many of his compositions.
As a record producer, Hendrix was an innovator in using the recording studio as an extension of his musical ideas. Hendrix was notably one of the first to experiment with stereo and phasing effects during the recording process. Hendrix was also an accomplished songwriter whose compositions have been performed by countless artists.