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The Fender Stratocaster


The Fender Stratocaster




The most famous electric guitar (besides the Gibson Les Paul) has inspired many guitar-players since Leo Fender invented it in 1954.


What makes the Stratocaster special?


It was one of the first electric guitars and introduced many new design features. Basing on the equally legendary Telecaster Leo Fender invented here a contoured body for more comfort, three Pick-ups for more tonal flexibility and a new vibrato system. It is one of the most successful models in the history of the electric guitar. It was very much pushed to success, because many famous players used it. The look was influenced by american cars and mirrored the typical 50 design. From its rise in the 50s and 60s to presence the Stratocaster is still one of the most important guitar-models.


What's the difference between a Stratocaster and a Les Paul regarding the sound?


This is hard to explain, because depending on the amplifier a Stratocaster can sound like a Les Paul (or very close) and vice versa. But if the amplification supports the character of the model I would say


Stratocaster: Articulated, sharp attack, acoustic-like, Clear, negative: thin

Les Paul: Long sustain, less attack, warm, fat, negative: muddy


If you compare them to acoustic guitars the Stratocaster would be the equivalent to an acoustic steel-string, while the Les Paul is more like a Jazz-Archtop


If you think on Strat-players Jimi Hendrix comes to mind at first, but do you know more of them?




I will add your contributions to this playlist:



27 Replies

Wayne Kramer from MC5 played a stars and stripes strat:




Jeff Beck is one of my favorites, he's a master on the wammy and perfected making his guitar sound like something else without the help of much techy stuff. His dynamics are out of this world. Where has this kind of talent gone? Someone please create a playlist of new gtr players that are in the same boat as Jeff Beck, Eric Johnson, Eddie Van Halen, SRV and rest mentioned here... oh, reality check, that list doesn't exist! so sad!


@bmmsben Thank you for reminding me on MC5, the godfathers of Punk

@gtrplayrnla In my opinion there are still some amazing players. It's hard today to be innovative on the electric guitar like Hendrix or others were, because everything was done before. The new generation of guitar-stars is technically very skilled and often they are too much focused on technical show-off, but Guthrie Govan for an example is a light in the dark.

richie  NY.jpeg

Richie Sambora is known as the guitarist for Bon Jovi. He started his career with Kramer guitars, but later he developed a signature model with Fender, which is based on the Stratocaster. It features a Humbucker in the bridge position and a Floyd Rose Tremolo system, which was made popular by Eddie Van Halen.

His style is influenced by Blues and players like Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page. Unlike other guitar-heroes of the 80s he never shows off his technical skills and is focused on melodic Solo's and excellent rhythm-work.




@willhessey Great suggestion, I have added Mr.F to the playlist

For a more modern use of the Fender Strat, I know this band called Royal East used a strat to record this song. It's got a real classic rock vibe with a modern edge.


Also, I couldn't personally forget a classic Strat player like David Gilmour from Pink Floyd.

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