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.
For both my original band “Thrasonic” and my function band “Superfuzz” I favour one of the most iconic set ups in rock history, which is a Gibson (in my case, an SG) into a non-master Marshall amp and turn up to eleven!
In both bands I use a variety of effect pedals, but two I simply couldn’t do without. These are my JMI Tonebenders – I have a Mark 1 and a Mark 1.5. The Mark 1.5 is my current favourite and I use extensively in my original band.
The other classic vintage effect is a Treble Booster, which I use when playing in my function band.
To hear this classic sound of a Gibson through a Fuzz, into a Marshall listen to artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Mick Ronson (early Bowie) and, most famously, Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin.
Despite a very wet summer in West Bridgford, I have been seeking out different blues artists and gone back to the real roots of the blues. I am currently listening to a group of talented musicians from Mali, Africa called Songhoy Blues. Raised on a diet of Hip-Hop, R&B and Hendrix, their album “Music in Exile” is an exciting addition to the world of blues music.
If you are looking for something a bit different, check these boys out!
For all you budding blues/rock guitarist’s check out Sky Arts 1 on Thursday 18th September at either 9am or if you are a true musician and don’t get up until the ‘crack of noon’, 3.30pm. A virtuoso guitar player playing songs by the man himself!
Just sat in a cold, windy (August!!) West Bridgford listening to “Electric Ladyland” by Jimi Hendrix. If you have never heard this album before I highly recommend you check it out.
The iconic “Voodoo Chile” is perhaps one of the best examples of blistering blues rock guitar playing.