In 1951 Leo Fender introduced a prototype solid-body guitar that would eventually be called the Fender Telecaster guitar. The Fender Tele, as it was often called then and still is today, was the first solid-body Spanish-style electric guitar to be commercially mass-produced. As a result of this humble beginning, Fender guitars are one of the most popular brands in the world today.
The Fender Stratocaster first appeared in 1954, and incorporated many design innovations based on feedback from professional musicians, Fender staff and Leo Fender himself. The Strat’s third single-coil pickup offered more tonal possibilities than the two on the Tele, and its sleekly contoured body made it more comfortable. The double cutaway design of the Stratocaster made access to upper registers much easier.
The most important innovation on the Strat, however, was the addition of the new Fender vibrato (or “tremolo”) bridge, an innovation originally intended to let guitarists bend strings, thus achieving the pedal steel-like effect so popular among country music artists of the day.
Nobody could have foreseen then how the Fender Stratocaster would go on to revolutionize popular music. Essentially unchanged since its 1954 debut, the Strat is the most popular and influential Fender electric guitar ever, and players at all levels and in all genres continue to rely on its sound, playability and versatility to this day.
Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) is the world’s foremost manufacturer of guitars, amplifiers and related equipment since 1946. The Fender name has become synonymous with all things rock ‘n’ roll. Iconic Fender® instruments such as the Telecaster, Stratocaster, Precision Bass and Jazz Bass guitars are known worldwide as the instruments that started the rock revolution, and they continue to be highly prized by today’s guitarists and collectors.
Fender has touched and transformed music worldwide and in nearly every genre: rock ‘n’ roll, country and western, jazz, rhythm and blues and many others. Everyone from beginners and hobbyists to the world’s most acclaimed artists and performers have used Fender guitars and amps. Legendary Fender guitars like the Telecaster® and Stratocaster® guitars and Precision® and Jazz® bass guitars are universally acclaimed as design classics.