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Fender Stratocaster

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Title: Fender Stratocaster  
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Subject: David Gilmour, Stevie Ray Vaughan's musical instruments, Jerry Garcia, Squier, Ramon Jacinto
Collection: 1954 Introductions, Fender Electric Guitars
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Fender Stratocaster

Fender Stratocaster
Manufacturer Fender
Period 1954–present
Body type Solid
Neck joint Bolt-on
Scale 25.5 in (648 mm)
Body Alder
Neck Maple
Fretboard Maple
Pao Ferro
Bridge Usually proprietary Tremolo
Pickup(s) Usually 3 or 2 Single-coils with Hot Bridge Humbucker on certain models
Colors available
Various 2- or 3-color sunbursts
Various shades of white, blue, red, green, etc.

The Fender Stratocaster is a model of Freddie Tavares. The Fender Musical Instruments Corporation has manufactured the Stratocaster continuously from 1954 to the present. It is a double-cutaway guitar, with an extended top "horn" shape for balance. Along with the Gibson Les Paul, it is one of the most often copied electric guitar shapes.[1][2] "Stratocaster" and "Strat" are trademark terms belonging to Fender.

The Stratocaster is a versatile guitar, usable for most styles of music and has been used in many genres, including country, rock, pop, soul, rhythm and blues, blues, jazz, punk and heavy metal.


  • Design developments 1
  • Squier models (1982–today) 2
  • In popular culture 3
  • Notable Stratocaster players 4
  • Gallery 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • Sources 8
  • External links 9

Design developments

The Fender Stratocaster was the first guitar to feature three pickups and a floating spring tension tremolo system, as well as being the first Fender with a contoured body.[3] The Stratocaster's sleek, contoured body shape (officially referred to by Fender as the "Comfort Contour Body"[4][5]) differed from the flat, slab-like design of the Telecaster. The Stratocaster's double cutaways allowed players easier access to higher positions on the neck.[6]

Buddy Holly's Stratocaster

Starting in 1954, the Stratocaster was offered with a solid, deeply contoured ash body, a 21-fret one-piece maple neck with black dot inlays, and Kluson tuning heads. The color was originally a two color sunburst pattern, although custom color guitars were produced (most famously Eldon Shamblin's gold Stratocaster, dated 6/1954). In 1956, Fender began using alder for sunburst and most custom color Stratocaster bodies; ash was still used on translucent blonde instruments.[7] In 1960, the available custom colors were standardized, many of which were automobile lacquer colors from DuPont available at an additional 5% cost. A unique single-ply, 8-screw hole white pickguard held all electronic components except the recessed jack plate—facilitating easy assembly.

Luthier Galeazzo Frudua has said the floating tremolos can have stable tuning through techniques specific to a floating bridge.[8]

The Stratocaster features three single coil pickups, with the output originally selected by a 3-way switch. Guitarists soon discovered that by jamming the switch in between the 1st and 2nd position, both the bridge and middle pickups could be selected, and similarly, the middle and neck pickups could be selected between the 2nd and 3rd position.[9] In 1977 Fender introduced a 5-way selector making such pickup combinations more stable.[10]

In 1965, John Lennon acquired Stratocasters and used them for Help!, Rubber Soul and later recording sessions; the double unison guitar solo on "Nowhere Man" is played by Harrison and Lennon on their new Stratocasters.[11][12][13][14]

Squier models (1982–today)

The Squier Stratocaster is manufactured and sold by Squier, a marque of Fender.[15]

In popular culture

A larger-than-life replica of the Fender Stratocaster appears outside the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World.[16]

Notable Stratocaster players


See also


  1. ^ D'arcy, David (November 12, 2000). "ART/ARCHITECTURE; Strummed by One Hand, Sculptured by Another". The New York Times. Retrieved May 2, 2010. 
  2. ^ Ed Mitchell (Total Guitar) (2011-12-28). "IN PRAISE OF: The Fender Stratocaster | IN PRAISE OF: The Fender Stratocaster". MusicRadar. Retrieved 2013-12-14. 
  3. ^ Fricke, David. "American Icons: The Stratocaster". Rolling Stone. 
  4. ^ "1954 Limited Edition Stratocaster Owner's Manual (Catalog Copy)". FMIC. Retrieved 14 July 2012. 
  5. ^ Duchossoir, A. R. (1994). Hal Leonard: The Fender Stratocaster. Hal Leonard; Special 40th Anniversary Edition (1994). pp. 8, 9, 51.  
  6. ^ Balmer 20.
  7. ^ Balmer 21.
  8. ^ "FruduaTv". YouTube. Retrieved 2013-12-14. 
  9. ^ Balmer 23.
  10. ^ "Fender Stratocaster History: The evolution of an icon". Carlos Eduardo Seo. Retrieved 9 September 2015. 
  11. ^ Balmer 154.
  12. ^ Babiuk, Andy (2002). Beatles gear. Hal Leonard. p. 157.  
  13. ^ Bacon 84.
  14. ^ Riley, Tim (2002). Tell me why: a Beatles commentary. Basic Books. p. 413.  
  15. ^ Balmer, Paul (2007). The Fender Stratocaster Handbook: How to Buy, Maintain, Set Up, Troubleshoot, and Modify Your Strat. MBI. p. 14.  
  16. ^ 365 Days of Magic (2013-09-03). " Retrieved August 2013". Retrieved 2013-12-14. 


  • Balmer, Paul (2007). The Fender Stratocaster Handbook: How to Buy, Maintain, Set Up, Troubleshoot, and Modify Your Strat. MBI.  
  • Bacon, Tony. The Fender Electric Guitar Book: A Complete History of Fender Instruments. 3rd edition. Backbeat Books, 2007. ISBN 978-0-87930-897-1.
  • Wheeler, Tom. The Stratocaster Chronicles: Celebrating 50 Years of the Fender Strat. Hal Leonard, 2004. ISBN 978-0-634-05678-9.
  • U.S. Patent No. 2,741,146 (Tremolo device for stringed instruments; Stratocaster Tremolo system)
  • U.S. Patent No. 2,960,900 (Utility patent for offset body styled guitars (Fender Jaguar/Jazzmaster))
  • U.S. Patent No. D186826 (Design Patent for Fender Jazzmaster)

External links

  • Official website
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