Fender Guitar Profiles
The guy who invented it was not a guitar player. He was more of
Hi! I'm Dan Courtenay here at Chelsea Guitars in Manhattan to talk about Fender guitars.This guitar was first developed in 1953. If this came out today I think it would be... it't not post-modern, it's a perfectly beautiful piece of industrial art. The construction of the guitar is very unlike a traditional guitar. The guy who invented it was not a guitar player, he was more of an inventor and an engineer and he figured out that he could make an electric guitar more cheaply and more efficiently basically if he took good hard wood and screwed it together.The first guitar they came up with was the Telecaster and that was in about 1948/49. So those holes in the back, you put the strings through the back: now why would you do that? Well Leo figured out that if you put the strings through the back and over these bridge saddles right here, not only is it a cheaper way to make a guitar, it also causes the strings to press very hard here, and here: that's really brilliant design because it makes the strings vibrate forever.Now in 1953 he wanted to come up with a guitar that did more for rock and roll and that is the Stratocaster. What he did was take a plank of wood and he carved it out here so it would fit up against your body. The top is offset, if you can see that beautiful carve there. That's so your hand fits... so this guitar now fits up against my fat belly perfectly. It's effortless to play. He put these cutaways in the guitar, now most guitars at the time had one cutaway, like the telecaster. He put two in, so now I can play the guitar all the way up here. So I can play the guitar, I can reach a lot more notes with it and if you listen to Eric Clapton or rock and roll, Jimi Hendrix especially is all the way up on the top of the neck. You can't do that with most jazz guitars or certainly not with any acoustic guitars.Back in the late 40's there were other companies that, I think Gibson for one, that had come up with an upright bass that was solid. But no one had turned the bass into a guitar so you could play it like this. This was probably just as revolutionary as the Telecaster or Stratocaster. This just didn't exist before Leo did it. It's set up with a long scale, it's got 4 bass strings, it's got the split pickup - it's really one pickup. But what was so amazing about was the clarity that you could get at volume. So I could plug this into an amplifier and for the first time you can hear the low tones. For more information about Fender Guitars go to About.com.