Fender Stratocaster – the most iconic guitar in the world?

The Fender Stratocaster was designed in 1954 by Leo Fender, Bill Carson, George Fullerton, and Freddie Tavares. The Fender Musical Instruments Corporation has continuously manufactured the Stratocaster from 1954 to the present day. It is a double-cutaway guitar, with an extended top “horn” shape for balance.

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 first and second 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.

Custom Shop models can cost many thousands of pounds, but a Standard American Stratocaster today can cost around £1,200, but there are many more affordable options. The first one being the Stratocasters made in Mexico that start from around £400, and the much more affordable Squire range starting at around £100.

Notable players include, for classic rock n roll, Buddy Holly, blues, Jimi Hendrix, prog rock, David Gilmour and the guitarist that influenced me to pick up and learn a guitar, The Edge from U2.

Which guitar is best for you?

If you are thinking about which guitar is best for you, the two major brands are Fender and Gibson. Most other cheaper alternatives are usually based on one of these brands.

There are lots of differences between the models but the main difference from a playability standpoint is that Fender necks are a bit longer and therefore tend to suit slightly bigger hands. If like me, you have quite small hands, the slightly smaller Gibson necks are usually more comfortable to play. If possible, try to play a guitar before you buy it as every person is different and a guitar is a very personal choice.

For younger children 3/4 size guitars are available but a good age to start thinking about a full size guitar is around 10 or 11.

Open Mic & Jam Nights

Have you ever stood in the crowd and watched a band play and wished that you were up there on the stage playing with them?

Well, it needn’t take years to make that dream come true! One of the best ways to get yourself and your music noticed are the local open mic and jam nights around Nottingham where people just turn up and are given a chance to play in front of a ready made audience. Usually you get the chance to play around three songs – it is a great way to boost your confidence and meet with like minded musicians.

Whether you are a complete beginner or a little bit rusty one on one guitar tuition could help you achieve your goal.

Some of the best city centre venues for acoustic sets are The Rescue Rooms, Jam Café, Filthy’s and Pepper Rocks. Or if you want pull out your favourite Fender or Gibson, then go to The Navigation Inn and jam with local blues legend, Colin Staples. Alternatively try the cool, chilled out crowd at The Doghouse, Carlton.