Founded in 1950, Fender introduced the first mass-produced solid-body electric guitars to the market. Inspired by the burgeoning car industry in California at the time, Leo Fender’s vision of mass-producing affordable, stylistic, user-serviceable and customisable electric guitars led him to...Read More
Founded in 1950, Fender introduced the first mass-produced solid-body electric guitars to the market. Inspired by the burgeoning car industry in California at the time, Leo Fender’s vision of mass-producing affordable, stylistic, user-serviceable and customisable electric guitars led him to the creation of truly pioneering and iconic instruments that have remained in constant production. From Buddy Holly, to Jimi Hendrix, to Waylon Jennings, to Jeff Beck, to Johnny Marr and beyond, Fender guitars have made an indelible impression on the world of music with iconic models such as the Fender Stratocaster, Telecaster, Jazzmaster and Jaguar. Read on for a breakdown of these trailblazing guitars.
Fender Telecaster – The Tele was the first mass-produced solid-body electric guitar. Introduced in 1950, this single pickup guitar was originally known as the Esquire. In 1951 a dual pickup version, the Broadcaster, was launched but due to a conflict with Gretsch over the name Leo modified the headstock logo and they became known the “Nocaster” for a short while. The Telecaster finally got its name in 1952; inspired by merging the new and increasingly popular “television” with “Broadcaster”. Its bright twang and throaty growl has inspired countless musicians from all styles.
Fender Stratocaster – The Strat was introduced in 1954, it was to become the most popular and widely copied guitar ever. Several people including western swing artist Bill Carson helped in its design. Unlike the Tele it featured a contoured body, three pickups and a tremolo system giving it a versatility that few other guitars can beat. It’s an unmistakable icon of rock ‘n’ roll!
Fender Precision Bass – It’s easy to overlook the importance of the P Bass. Introduced in 1951, it is equally as revolutionary as the Telecaster. Before its introduction, bass players had no real alternative to the heavy and cumbersome upright bass. The Fender Precision Bass offered players a much lighter portable instrument with a single pickup for easy amplification.
Fender Jazz Bass – Launched in 1960, the Jazz Bass, like the Stratocaster, was designed to complement its predecessor rather than replace it. It offers dual pickups, a contoured offset body and a narrow 1.5″ nut width while a better weight distribution makes it easier to play. The tonal richness allows the Jazz Bass to span jazz, rock, metal, funk, slap ‘n’ pop, and a whole lot more.
Fender Jazzmaster – In 1958 Fender unveiled the Jazzmaster, originally intended as a top of the range alternative to the Telecaster and Stratocaster. Fender were also looking to appeal to a wider audience – jazz musicians in particular. It also featured some new Fender innovations: an offset body for better weight distribution, a floating lockable vibrato system, and distinctively warm dual single coil pickups wired into two separate tone circuits. Although the Jazzmaster never caught on with the jazz fraternity it became popular on the surf music scene, and more recently with indie rock.
Fender Jaguar – Out of Fender’s most popular standard models, the Fender Jaguar was the only one born in the sixties (1962). Unlike the Jazzmaster the Jaguar has a shorter 24-inch scale 22-fret neck for “faster, more comfortable” playing. The dual circuit had three extra slide switches – two on-off switches for each pickup and a tone switch providing more treble tone.
Fender Amplifiers – Prior to being a guitar innovator, Leo Fender built and repaired amplifiers and PA systems for musicians. Famously bold, brilliant and clean, popular Fender Amp models include the Deluxe, Bassman, Champ, Princeton, Twin Reverb, Hot Rod Deluxe and the small-but-mighty Blues Junior.
Fender guitars keep on evolving while still being true to their heritage. Plenty of options are available for all styles and budgets and Guitar Village always keeps a wide range from across their various divisions:
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