Fender Stratocaster

The Fender Stratocaster is probably the most famous guitar in the world. The musical equivalent of the AC/Shelby Cobra, it has been copied by countless imitators. My version is nothing special, just a bog standard, US made, sunburst model that plays wonderfully well. Sorry to torture the analogy to death but, like the Cobra, it has a minimalist appeal but does the job with supreme competence. I suspect it is by mere chance that the shape has an almost hypnotic elegance and is often shown in collections of twentieth century art and design. The treble clef headstock is a Fender, copyrighted, trademark.

The design features three pickups with a sophisticated control that allows various combinations. The layout of the pickups provide a wide range of sounds with the neck pickup giving a deeper and mellow sound and the bridge one yielding more treble and sharper tones. It has been the choice of rock musicians everywhere. There are several features like the elongated horn of the top double cutaway that provides balance and the ‘comfort contoured body’ with its back hollow to allow more comfortable positioning while playing. Most Strats have a tremolo arm that is one of the best in the business. My overriding musical recollections are of Buddy Holly with his tremololess sunburst and of Hank Marvin with the Shadows.