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History of the Fender Stratocaster

The Fender Stratocaster is the archetype of the electric guitar, recognized globally by its innovative deep contours and unique double-horned body style. An icon of the music industry, the Stratocaster has been used by rock n’ roll Hall of Famers, electric blues guitarists, modern country artists, and other musicians around the world. The Stratocaster has become more than just an instrument and represents individuality, creativity, and artistry. Since its invention in 1954, the Stratocaster has remained true to its identity as an innovative, practical guitar with a beautiful tone and high-quality design. Though there have been a few bumps along the way, the Fender Stratocaster has undoubtedly earned its place in music history as one of the most popular electric guitars ever created.

The story of the Fender Stratocaster begins in the late 1930s, when Clarence Leonidas “Leo” Fender opened Fender Radio Service in Fullerton, California. Fender sold sheet music, phonograph records, and home public address systems, in addition to building custom amplifiers and guitars for local musicians.

During this period, jazz guitarists were searching for a solution for their instruments to be heard better over the powerful brass instruments in their ensembles. Some jazz musicians attempted to amplify their acoustic guitars, but this created unappealing feedback. There were some electric guitars on the market at this time, but these were primarily lap steel guitars, not standard Spanish-style guitars. As his success building guitars and amps continued to grow, Leo Fender set out to create a better electric guitar — one that resembled a Spanish-style guitar and produced a high-quality sound when amplified… read more >

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