When it comes to legendary guitars throughout the ages, nothing quite beats the glistening tones of a classic Fender Stratocaster. With a wealth of history behind it and a stadium-filling list of famous guitarists who swear by it, the range of Strats you can buy in the modern age seems a little daunting. But it doesn’t have to be, here is a quick guide on how to choose the right Fender Stratocaster for you and why this legendary guitar is so popular amongst guitarists worldwide.
The Fender Stratocaster was created in 1954 by a team of luthiers and designers that included Bill Carson, Freddie Tavares, George Fullteron and Leo Fender. Its success was brought on by a few famous guitarists of the time and due to its lightweight body, brilliantly clean and bright overall tone made it part of the sounds of the 50s and 60s.
Designed to sound different
The classic Strat features a double cutaway body that allows for the playing of the notes higher up the fretboard, with the top horn of the instrument extended for balance. The balance, feel and shape of the guitar makes it one of the most comfortable instruments to play, and thanks to its unique design and type of wood used in its production it offers the distinct Strat tone that guitarists love so much.
There are many different models of Stratocaster, but the majority of them follow the same rules when it comes to construction and materials used. You can buy Strats that come in Alder, Ash, Poplar and Basswood bodies, Maple, Rosewood, Ebony and Pao Ferro fretboards, with a whole host of customizable electronics and options at the point of sale.
Growth in popularity
Used in just about every musical style you can think of, its take-up by legendary guitarists across the globe have raised its success as a lead guitar instrument throughout the decades, making it one of, if not the most popular professional guitars sold in the world.
Fender also launched a budget range of guitars under the Squier brand, allowing anyone to pick up and play the guitar that was designed by Fender to be more affordable for cash-strapped guitarists and beginners. Whilst being technically similar in terms of design, many of the Squier models offer excellent sound quality and construction, despite their inferior materials and electronics compared to the professional models.
Fender Classic Series
One of the most popular models of Fender Stratocaster has to be the Fender Classic series of guitars. This series focuses on the tonal qualities and craftsmanship that went into the original models and are considered an excellent place for those looking for an authentic tone. Using era-specification materials and components, these classic models are the closest many people get to hear what a true vintage guitar would have sounded like in its day.
Fender Custom Shop Guitars
The custom shop is the place to go to if you are strapped for ideas and not for money. You get to choose almost every component for your guitar including a custom paint job, custom pickups, fretboard, body tonewood and selector switches for your preference to give you an unparalleled service when it comes to customization.
Custom shop guitars are mostly one-off guitars that are made for a specific artist or design and allow the craftsmanship of the luthiers at the workshop to perform their magic in creating modern art in the form of a musical instrument. Usually, custom shop guitars are purchased as an investment if you have any notions of getting one of these master-built guitars on the cheap.
Whatever your choice of model, there is a series in the line-up that is perfect for you. Want an authentic tone with great build quality to take on tour? Then the USA Fender Strats are right up your street. Want a Strat on a budget that also plays well? Then a Squier Fender Strat is the perfect learning tool. Choose from thousands of classic colours or a range of limited edition models to pick your perfect Strat that will be with you for a lifetime.